I am going to build a QRP morse code transceiver. Due to money, I am only going to build one, for one band.

I plan on taking the QRP transceiver backpacking where I will wire the antenna in a tree.

I will be operating from South America, and I am starting the process of building the QRP rig. I am thinking about building for either 40 meters or 20 meters.

Given the constraints

•Two Watts

•Small antenna (wire strung in a tree)

•CW operation

•Probably more in the early morning and late afternoon/evening because we will be hiking during the day

•Very portable for lightweight hiking

Which band should I go with:

•40 meters

•20 meters

Or another band

Again, I am only choosing one band for now, I may expand later, but I only have the money for one band QRP at this point in time.

  • $\begingroup$ What do you want to use your radio connection for? Just talking local? DXing? Something else? $\endgroup$ May 3 '15 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ I used my Norcal 40A on portable 40 meter ops with single-wire antenna slung into trees and a single ground plane wire. I used a sling shot and fishing line to launch antenna into trees but I doubt I ever got it up more than 25 feet elevation. OK performance at times but I personally prefer 20 meters much more than 40. I use my KX1 and KX3 on 20 meters mostly portable using same wire antenna or Buddistick vertical (when I am on the coast). Summer time 20 meters is fine up to 10 PM or so here in the northwest states but better in late afternoon. $\endgroup$
    – K7PEH
    May 4 '15 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ You can get by without an antenna tuner (I did for awhile with the Norcal 40A) but an antenna tuner does make a world of difference. I have the nice small portable tuner (about the size of a deck of cards) from Elecraft that handles up to 20 watts. If you are really on a shoestring budget then give a hint to this tuner to someone who might have a Christmas list with you in mind. Better yet, have them put the Elecraft KX1 40/20 with internal tuner and attached paddles on the list. $\endgroup$
    – K7PEH
    May 4 '15 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ I am wondering if reception will be even very good hiking up Machu Pichu until I get to the top, I think there is a lot of terrain $\endgroup$
    – Skyler 440
    May 5 '15 at 1:34

20 meters.

This assumes you're wanting to work back to the States or into Europe. If your primary interest is local in South America, then I'd go with 40 meters.

An advantage is the ease of dealing with a smaller antenna.

While not a single-band radio, I'd seriously consider one of the KD1JV rigs. Occasionally available as kits, but now commercially available built from LNR Precision. I have a two-band MTR, as well as a six-band ATS3b. Very compact and very nice performers.



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