Mountains to the Sea QRP Rig

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Harlock

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I'm wanting to start getting on the air field-day-style in the next couple of months, but I'm hesitant to bring out my 857d (though it would rock). I like the idea of choosing a band, and sticking to it if going to a mountain top, or taking a rig on a beach vacation.

Because of this, I've been looking at some of the MFJ sinlge-band radios. 6m & 10m always fascinate me, and I often set up on these bands at my house too, calling CQ all day until I make a contact (they do exist, haha).

I only use dipoles (except for my 2m J-pole), and have both 6m & 10m dipole antennas. The 10m has a 1:1 balun on it, but the 6m does not. I'll tune my 6m antenna with the 857d tuner, but I'm not sure if I would need a tuner for the 6m dipole working with the MFJ rig. What are your thoughts?

Also, the SWR on the 6m dipole I have is good for in the range of the MFJ radio, and the radio only puts out 10w, so I don't think stray RF would be too bad.

Another possibility is the MFJ 20m transceiver. I have a 20m dipole with a 1:1 balun as well.

Though I may be crazy, 6m is really what I want to work :) SSB being preferable, otherwise I would consider that tri-band Yaesu that includes 6m AM/FM at 5w.

Need and appreciate all input on this please so I can make the best purchase decision - thanks!
 

sloop

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Millers Creek, NC
There are a lot of good qrp riga out there. I have a MFJ 9420 and a FT-8127nd and enjoy them both. That being said, 20 meters is dead at this time but 40is open most of the time. I would suspect that 10 is dead as well but don't know about 6.
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I think the best HF QRP rig on the market with 6m is the Elecraft KX3 and if you don't need 160 or 6m the KX2. I have both and they give you multi thousand $$ base station performance in a very small and rugged package if you add the SideKX side panels and Lexan cover. https://gemsproducts.com/

The receivers in these rigs are outrageously good and the transmitters are very loud and punchy, more so than you can get out of an FT-817 or most any other rig. Its rare that I can't contact any station I can hear on these rigs at 10 or 15w and when talking with full legal limit stations they often say I'm not registering on their S meter but they can hear me loud and clear due to the excellent voice processing.

Picture yourself where this guy is using a KX2, that's where I want to be with my QRP rigs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rumdRbqLI00
prcguy
 

WA8ZTZ

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The MFJ 9406 works fine into a 6 meter dipole (no balun), have made lots of contacts ... when the band is open. ;)
 

Harlock

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Aug 2, 2007
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SLOOP - Not sure what you mean about 20m being dead. Worked all kinds of stations this past Sunday on 20m from Maine to FL, and then the south east of Spain in the afternoon using a dipole and 100w. I need to get a 40m dipole because I keep hearing the band is really good right now.

PRCGUY - Elecraft (droooool) :) One day I'll spring for a KX2, but at those prices I might as well take out my 857d haha

WA8ZTZ - Do you use a tuner with the MFJ-9406 and the 6m dipole?
 

WA8ZTZ

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Feb 23, 2014
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No tuner, dipole is 9' 4" long overall. SWR is 1.5 : 1 from 50.0 to 50.3 ( feeding it with RG-6 so SWR may be even lower if it were fed with 50 ohm coax).

The dipole works fine when the band is open (or maybe from a mountain top) but otherwise cannot compete with the guys with towers and beams.
 
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