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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-26-2019 12:44 AM
kl0an The radio I got came with the cable and I've downloaded Chirp quite a few times. I 110% agree with you in trying to program Yaesu, Icoms, etc.. It's a shame there isn't an east cheat sheet. Used be years ago some folks were making cheat sheets for radios like the ICOM 706 and selling them. Wish I could find one for the 706, HTX 242, and the Baofengs as well.

My Baofeng is great at gathering dust..
03-25-2019 07:34 PM
CPLSeraphim There is an additional kit that apparently shows a lot. I just thought it was interesting, at least for conversation. My big issue is that I doubt it has been tested like the big radios for it to be clean. Still a neat little project, though. even for discussions sake.
03-25-2019 11:02 AM
HomeDefense The problem is not what I see, but what I don't see with that kit.

- no case or enclosure

- no readout or any way to determine which frequency you are on

It looks like it's strictly a hobbyist's toy.
03-25-2019 09:55 AM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by kl0an View Post
My wife bought me a Baofeng GT-3TP this past Christmas and I haven't figured out how to load any frequencies or anything. It sits up on my window ledge in it's charger.

The manuals are absolutely terrible for this radio.

It used to be you'd get a tool or a radio, flip it over and see "Made in Japan" on the bottom and think "Aw man, total carp".. Nowadays, you flip it over and see "Made in Japan" and think "Thank god it's not made in China."

Funny how time changes.
Get a programing cable and use Chirp. You have to get "tuned" in to the approach used by the firmware. I have HTs from Kenwood, Yasue, ICOM, and Boafeng. I go nuts trying to remember how each is set up and all the key sequences. The ICOM is the worst because they squeezed the DStar into the button set as well.

I've had Baofengs for a while and, unit recently, never spent much time with them other than programing a few channels on Chirp and getting into memory scan mode. But the last ones I got were Radioditty with good manuals. I spent an evening with the manual and it turned out it wasn't too bad to figure it out. Even did squelch adjustments and other feature changes. I just had to tune in to their approach. Now that I understand it the Radioditty Baofeng is usually the first I take on an outing.
03-24-2019 10:18 PM
kl0an
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin View Post

I have 6 Baofeng radios. All worked out of the box and are still working. I have about 20 MFJ products with 15 having issues that either needed repair, parts, or in one case I redesigned part of it. I bought one of their fiberglass masts. Was missing a part. The replacement they sent was also wrong. Third time was the charm. I don't recommend most MFJ products to hams unless they are skilled repair technicians.
My wife bought me a Baofeng GT-3TP this past Christmas and I haven't figured out how to load any frequencies or anything. It sits up on my window ledge in it's charger.

The manuals are absolutely terrible for this radio.

It used to be you'd get a tool or a radio, flip it over and see "Made in Japan" on the bottom and think "Aw man, total carp".. Nowadays, you flip it over and see "Made in Japan" and think "Thank god it's not made in China."

Funny how time changes.
03-15-2019 06:59 PM
LC '92 Also look at the Bitx40. See it here: http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/bitx40-buy/
The PC board is already assembled and tested. You must provide the case and assemble the controls and external connections. I've had one for about 6 months now and just love it! $59.00 delivered. The kits are assembled and tested by a group of collective women workers in India, not some Chinese mega-maker. It uses an Arduino processor and the ROM code is open source. Lots of really great updated code out there and a ton of people are hacking it and making upgrades. It has a large following and there is a lot of free support from groups and individuals online.

See: https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/13221
And: https://groups.io/g/BITX20/topics
03-02-2019 09:28 AM
CPLSeraphim That does look pretty interesting. Looks like it would be very interesting on SOTA activations and such. I was looking at one time at the SDR Cube, which I later decided to go with the Xeigu X108G. There were a lot of delays in enclosures and there was supposed to be an all band TX card in the works, but still hasn't been made. I was looking at this like 2 years ago, and was looking forward to it.

The QRP Labs looks nice, and will be on my radar. I can only wonder, as of now, at what price point it will be at. There is a lot there, and 10W can be useful, even now. 20W has gotten my across the US, and that was using a highly compromised buddipole.
01-11-2019 01:02 PM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKR View Post
QRP Labs QSX - looks to be worth waiting for -
https://qrp-labs.com/qsx.html

The little single band xcever QCX (https://qrp-labs.com/qcx.html) would be a good starter kit and has built in test equipment for alignment etc.
Seems to get good reviews. Have to be careful on some of these kits as the reviewers are kit happy and tend to hype almost al kits. But I saw YOTA videos where they were building these kits.
01-11-2019 11:33 AM
DKR QRP Labs QSX - looks to be worth waiting for -
https://qrp-labs.com/qsx.html

The little single band xcever QCX (https://qrp-labs.com/qcx.html) would be a good starter kit and has built in test equipment for alignment etc.
01-09-2019 07:39 AM
Dolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPLSeraphim View Post
You guys are right. What is upsetting is that at the last hamfest I went to, there was a lot of vintage, but still worked test equipment. I was debating on purchasing, but was going to wait and see if other stuff popped out.
Don't forget that "old" test equipment probably needs calibrating which can cost extra.
01-08-2019 03:14 PM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPLSeraphim View Post
You guys are right. What is upsetting is that at the last hamfest I went to, there was a lot of vintage, but still worked test equipment. I was debating on purchasing, but was going to wait and see if other stuff popped out. I spent my money and couldn't get the test equipment. The seller left with it, so maybe it'll be there next year. lol.

I am working on some smaller, less detailed kits. I was just curious, and looks like it could be intruguing. Something I thought about buying and storing for now as I am working on kit building skills. I kind of wish the bigger companies still made affordable kits. They have been a good time so far.
Start out with some simple, less expensive items. A good sine wave generator. A good signal strength meter is another handy item. At some point an oscilloscope. I found an excellent used sine wave generator on Ebay for $60. Power supplies are also easy to come by these days. Learn how to use the basic tools first.

You could build something like Bob Heil's pine board. I used to have many books on simple circuits. Transistor and tube. That aren't hard to build. I'll have to see if I have any left in the attic. What types of kits are you interested in?
01-08-2019 12:55 PM
CPLSeraphim You guys are right. What is upsetting is that at the last hamfest I went to, there was a lot of vintage, but still worked test equipment. I was debating on purchasing, but was going to wait and see if other stuff popped out. I spent my money and couldn't get the test equipment. The seller left with it, so maybe it'll be there next year. lol.

I am working on some smaller, less detailed kits. I was just curious, and looks like it could be intruguing. Something I thought about buying and storing for now as I am working on kit building skills. I kind of wish the bigger companies still made affordable kits. They have been a good time so far.
01-07-2019 02:42 PM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolf View Post
99.9% of the people here would not be able to successfully complete this kit. The soldering skills needed are vast. Just my 2 cents.
Even fewer have the test equipment that's needed for serious trouble shooting, even proper alignment.
01-07-2019 01:08 PM
Dolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKR View Post
Lots of SMD parts - do you have a hot air gun or will you use an oven?
99.9% of the people here would not be able to successfully complete this kit. The soldering skills needed are vast. Just my 2 cents.
01-07-2019 06:36 AM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logit View Post
Please inform the hundreds of thousands of Hams around the country who are using MFJ equipment. I am certain they would appreciate your input.
All you have to do is go to QRZ or eHam and read the monthly, sometimes weekly, threads complaining about MFJ quality. Any ham with experience knows that MFJ has many products of poor design and spotty quality. Yes Martin has kept many small product lines available and has something like 3000 products. That's part of the problem. Treat any MFJ product like a kit. You may need to repair or call for missing parts. Just don't buy the week before field day and expect it to work out of the box.

I have 6 Baofeng radios. All worked out of the box and are still working. I have about 20 MFJ products with 15 having issues that either needed repair, parts, or in one case I redesigned part of it. I bought one of their fiberglass masts. Was missing a part. The replacement they sent was also wrong. Third time was the charm. I don't recommend most MFJ products to hams unless they are skilled repair technicians.
01-05-2019 09:30 AM
Logit
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin View Post
Must be a different MFJ than the one I know. Has gained the nickname "Mighty Fine Junk". A well earned nickname. The models in your first link to are Chinese made. A slight step above Baofeng in quality. Serviceable but in my opinion over priced for the quality.

As to the transceiver, I'd search around the internet to see if anyone has reviewed it. Even if you get it built it may be a poor design. It requires winding your own coils. Do you have the test equipment that's needed to troubleshoot at a detailed level?
Please inform the hundreds of thousands of Hams around the country who are using MFJ equipment. I am certain they would appreciate your input.
01-05-2019 12:32 AM
CPLSeraphim I do not have the set skills, and was thinking a cheap project with a lot of them could be an interesting learning experience. I am a licensed ham, extra class and VE. I was just curious if anyone had any experience. I just started kit building a while ago with the pixie then a little tuner. I asked here because there isnt much out there. The youtube videos look good, but there isnt much and could be self made propaganda type videos. As for spectrum i can almost guarentee it isnt perfect. I couldnt even find the output power data. Again, why i asked here. Just looked like a fun tinker project that could have value in an emergency. One of those things you tinker with and sits until you need it. Thanks for the input.
01-04-2019 11:48 AM
franklin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logit View Post
.
I would question the quality of the product. The company is an "unknown entity".

A known company here in the States is MFJ Enterprises. Known quality and reliability.

Amplifier : http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Produc...uctid=XPA-125B

Xcvr: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Produc...oductid=YHB-1B


The company also sells single band SSB xcvrs. Trust you are a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.
Must be a different MFJ than the one I know. Has gained the nickname "Mighty Fine Junk". A well earned nickname. The models in your first link to are Chinese made. A slight step above Baofeng in quality. Serviceable but in my opinion over priced for the quality.

As to the transceiver, I'd search around the internet to see if anyone has reviewed it. Even if you get it built it may be a poor design. It requires winding your own coils. Do you have the test equipment that's needed to troubleshoot at a detailed level?
01-04-2019 10:47 AM
Logit .
I would question the quality of the product. The company is an "unknown entity".

A known company here in the States is MFJ Enterprises. Known quality and reliability.

Amplifier : http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Produc...uctid=XPA-125B

Xcvr: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Produc...oductid=YHB-1B


The company also sells single band SSB xcvrs. Trust you are a licensed Amateur Radio Operator.
01-04-2019 10:28 AM
FirstToken I have no experience with that particular kit. So what follows is nothing but first glance guesses and assumptions. Call it a list of questions to answer.

As DKR says, it is a lot SMD stuff, as well as some thru hole. I would say this is definitely not a first timers kit. Exactly as DKRs question, how do you plan on addressing the building techniques required? Do you have the requisite skill and tools? If not, do you have the patience required to use or learn alternate methods? Such a board can be soldered using a fine tip, low wattage, iron and magnifying glass, but it can be tedious.

What is required in support of this board? Obviously, power supply. What about DDS/ VFO? It seems to have one, but the schematic is not clear enough for me to be sure. What power level out of the board can you expect? Will that drive the amplifier you want to use?

Is it legal for sale / purchase, or do you care about that? Yes, kits do require certification, at least Part 15 if not Part 97, if they are being commercially sold or if distributed in number (I think the number is 10 or more, but not sure). This goes back as a core issue in DKRs question of spectral purity and also its status as an unintentional radiator. If you use it you (not the kit marketer) are responsible for meeting the required technical standards. But part of the Part 15 certification process would establish if the basic kit, when properly built, can meet at least some of those standards.

With that said, it is a tempting toy to play with. If you have the required skills to build it I would think it would have at least some value. I am tempted to grab one and see what kind of digital beacon it might make.

T!
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