12 thoughts on “Some More QRP Radios…”

  1. Bravo,, best ham video I have ever seen. nice touch with Data appearing in the frame. I bought a decked out KX3 just before the KX2 came out. No chance of staying married and adding a KX2. Cliff keep the videos coming.


    1. It’s hard to justify having the KX3 AND the KX2, really. The KX3 is larger – but still compact – and does more. Me, I’m just a sick puppy who loves little QRP radios too much! I’m a sucker for a new QRP radio, Don. 🙂

  2. I’ve been waiting for the next qrp school vid, and this certainly was worth the wait.

    At first I thought you swapped your wife’s picture out for one of Elecraft guys:

    Nice comparison of the radios. Just like cars, they’ll all get you there. Just that some do it ‘better’ or more comfortably than others.

    1. I made it online at customink.com and I’m thinking about selling things like that. The downside is having to do the city, county, and federal taxes on something that wouldn’t be a lot of revenue… 🙁

    1. Hey, Dean. I haven’t bought the HiPerMite. I’m sure it would make a big difference but I feel kind of funny about spending $25 to enhance my $55 radio. I may do it but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Cliff

  3. Cliff:

    Great video…keep up the good work! I very much appreciate the way you explain things in an even handed fashion, hence I’m coming to you for guidance.

    I use a KX3 as my primary rig and I’ve hauled it up a few mountains. I love it, but it’s a little heavy. At this time, I can’t quite justify a KX2. I’ve seen your reviews of both the KX1 and the MTR5B….you are the only guy I’m sure has both! Which do you like better? Which has the better receiver? It would seem that the MTR might be better on recieve with 12-year newer technology. I’m just starting with CW and having the keyer speed & frequency readable on an LCD seem like it would make for much easier operation. The ability to read the memory input is a big plus. That said, an internal tuner is awesome to have on compromised portable setups above treeline. There are lots of KX1s out there second hand at the moment due to the KX2 so I’m trying to decide if I should scarf one up or get an MTR5B. I also worry about how delicate those KX1 knobs could be bouncing around in a pelican 1060 in my pack. Small and light are key as I’ve been carrying a KX3 up over 14,000 feet and I’d like to have something lighter!



    1. Hello, David.

      Thanks for the kind words. Okay, so you’re not going to want to hear what I’m about to say…

      Unless you use 160m and/or 6m OR you have the Elecraft panadapter, you should probably sell the KX3 and get the KX2. The KX2 with the internal battery gives you up to 10 watts output and 8 hours of battery life. The KX2 is practically the same size as the KX1 (the difference is negligible) but it is in another league.

      Okay, I’ve said it. Now, if you can’t have both the KX3 and KX2 and just can’t bear to part with your KX3, here are my thoughts on the KX1 vs. MTR5B…

      You can’t go wrong with either one. They are both great radios. I probably use the MTR5B more but only because it’s newer. The KX1 actually has the edge in many ways, in my opinion.

      I am a big fan of the RF Gain control. I turn it down to decrease the noise floor (improve the signal to noise ratio). The KX1 has an RF Gain control but the MTR5B does not.
      The KX1 has an internal battery holder for 6 AA cells. If you’re okay transmitting with 1.5 watts, this is a plus. Bear in mind that doubling your transmit power only gains you 1/2 S-Unit on the receiving end.
      The KX1 has an optional internal antenna tuner. If you like to use long wires or antennas that aren’t resonant, this can be a big plus and can keep you from having to carry an external tuner.
      The KX1 has a volume knob (AF Gain). The MTR5B does not. With the MTR5B, my 16 Ohm impedance earbuds are too loud. I carry an inline external volume control (thumbwheel) to remedy this.
      The KX1 has adjustable sidetone pitch and volume. The MTR5B does not.
      The KX1 has a variable width crystal filter of 500Hz to 2KHz. The MTR5B has a fixed filter of about 500Hz (which is as good as the KX1 when you’re in a QSO).

      The MTR5B is smaller (although it lacks the ATU and battery holder of the KX1).
      The MTR5B has 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, and 15m.
      The KX1 can have 80m, 40m, 30m, and 20m. (with the optional 80m/30m board)

      The receivers are great on both. I can’t say which is best because they are both excellent.
      Both radios let you see the frequency and keyer speed.
      The KX1 has 2 message memories. The MTR5B has 3.
      I carry my KX1 in a Pelican 1050 and it doesn’t bounce around. You might also consider a Viewpoint CS 60 camera bag by Lowepro. This is the same case that is sold by Elecraft for the KX2. Check it out.

      Good luck, David. I’ve probably just muddied the waters by saying all these things but, either way, you’ll be a happy camper. (But do consider getting the KX2 as it’s head-and-shoulders above all other small radios.)

      It’s pretty remarkable how well the KX1 holds up when you look at all of the features that are packed into that little rig. But, again, either radio will get the job done and you can’t go wrong either way. They are both a pleasure to use.

      1. Thank you for thoughtfully answering my question, Cliff. I appreciate it! I’m definitely going to save up for a KX2, but as you suspected, I can’t bear to sell my KX3. And yes, it’ll probably have a PX3 before I get a KX2. The KX3 is just too awesome to sell.

        In the mean time, I’m going to play with the KX1 I just picked up from a gentleman I’ve been in discussions with for a few days. To me, the antenna tuner, RF & AF gain, and ability to use my existing LiFePO4 batteries was worth the size trade off compared to the MTR5B.

        Thanks again!

        /David, N4MMI

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