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MFJ 40-meter CW Cub Transceiver Kit/Good Start?

Feb 4th 2015, 02:42

KC1CYM

Joined: Dec 27th 2014, 01:59
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Not sure if I'm in the correct sub topic, but here goes...

MFJ 40-meter CW Cub Transceiver Kit that is for sale here on the ARRL site.
Is it a good and fairly inexpensive way to get on the air? I just got my license a month ago and have been doing more looking on line than working towards getting on the air.

My girl and I have the couple of handhelds that so far all we've done is monitor services during emergencies. I'd like to get at least enough power to get to a repeater, the closest of which is 7 miles away.

I'd like to put it into a portable suitcase (if this is possible?) eventually or even from the get-go if that's the best platform for something of this size. The suitcase idea, I'd like to explore hooking up to a portable solar generator that I just finished building. Of course, home station is priority just to get on the air.

From the looks of it, no matter what location it ends up, I'd need a mic and a speaker and some other peripherals, which I'm sure the book, that's sold along side the MFJ gives me all this, I was just looking for a whack on the side of the head to see if this is a good direction to go.

I've been looking at new and used and antiques and "fix-err-uppers" and kits....and I'm nervous about which way to go. I had a great time building the solar project so I'd been thinking I'd go the kit route. Of course I looked at some Mega-Digital-Coffee-Maker-Kitchen-Sink-Transceiver kits that seemed to cost just a much as one put together by someone who actually knows what he's doing!

But!...if I'm going to spend just as much on extra's to get me up & running this small kit, then I might as well fork over the cash up front. I'm not broke by any means but I'm starting out here and dropping two or three grand isn't my first choice.

So, if anyone has used these or has any thoughts on which way I should turn my sails, I'd appreciate the input.

Thanks much,
Chris
KC1CYM
Wareham, MA
Feb 4th 2015, 16:59

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Operating a CW rig is like getting a bicycle--it can be very effective if you have the skills to use it--but not everyone can ride a bicycle.

There is no practical way to add a mic to the Cub.

It you want to operate HF voice I'd suggest starting off with a 100W rig and a 10M dipole up at least 15 feet or a 40M dipole up 30 feet.

The digital modes like PSK31 and JT65 are popular among folks who can't put up a good antenna for working voice.

Zack W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Feb 4th 2015, 23:12

KC1CYM

Joined: Dec 27th 2014, 01:59
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Zack,
First of all...thank you for saving me the $$.

I really don't want to go digital. Hardware, not software is what I'm looking for. During an emergency, the first thing I make into a 30lb paperweight is my computer.

I've got plenty of area and opportunity for an antenna, so no foul there. I'll cross that bridge when I have the bicycle to go over it with.
I was hoping that the cub was something I could....build up from, but if it's not expandable then it gets taken out of the running. Again...Thank you!

Even "kits" for 100W rigs are $700 or so and I've seen used rigs in good shape in that ball park. So....I think I will just keep trolling the internet for an estate sale or two, to see what I can grab. Once I learn how to ride the bike, then maybe I'll try to build my own.
That will be a good project once a get a home station in place. I have also toyed with setting up the Jeep with a mobile first, as they seem like they can be a little less pricey but then I'd be sitting outside in it all the time and it's not that comfortable, really.

Guess I'm going fishing the internet again!
Thanks for the guidance,

Chris KC1CYM

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