Radio Options

Current device is a Yaesu FT817. I use the non-FD model purchased 4+ years ago second hand. It is bullet proof and yes I have blown the finals.

Size 13.5 x 4 x 16.8 cm. Weight 1.2 kg with batteries

FT 817

  • RX Freq coverage: 100 kHz-30 MHz, 50 MHz-54 MHz, 76 MHz-108 MHz (WFM), 108 MHz-154 MHz, 420 MHz-450 MHz
  • TX Freq coverage: 160 – 6 Meters, 2 Meters, 70 Centimeters (Amateur bands only)
  • Power consumption: 13.8 V DC @ transmit 2A, @ receive 450mA. 
  • Can program with Mac, actually share memories between FT817 and FT897.

The down side is the power demands. Even when off the device still draws current and will flatten the battery in storage.

It is a great device and I will never part with it but looking for a lighter option for SOTA activations.

New radio for SOTA activations.

As the need to go deeper to activate peaks increases then the weight and power consumption become a factor.

40M is essential as use 40M on the peaks and as also carry a Yaesu VX-8G transceiver (2m / 70cm with APRS and GPS) so the need for a multi-band device can be questioned.  

CW only is a option especially if the weight can be reduced to less than 500g. There are enough chasers with CW. The only issue is my CW skills.


  • Portable
  • 40M and 20M.
  • > 500g then CW only is acceptable.
  • Compact
  • Internal batteries

 Quite a few options. 

Steven Weber,KD1JV – MTR – Extremely desirable, 


Altoids tin size  – 3-13/16″ (9.68 cm) long, 2-7/16″ (6.19 cm) wide, 3/4″ (1.91 cm) deep

YouKits – HB1B 

Receives SSB CW. Transmits CW only.


$300 US. Size: H 9.8cm x W 5.8cm x D 3.8cm. Weight 250g (380g with battery); 

  • TX covering: 3.5-4MHz, 7.0-7.3MHz, 10.1-10.15MHz, 14.0-14.35MHz
  • RX covering: 3.2-16Mhz
  • Step: 10Hz,100Hz,1KHz,100KHz
  • Output: 12V 3-4W, 13.8V 4-5W


Elecraft – KX1 Ultra-Portable CW Transceiver Kit

Comes as a kit. Options include internal automatic antenna tuner and batteries.

Kx1 2hb small

$450 US. Size 3 x 7.5 x 13 cm.  Weight 311 grams.

  • The enclosure measures just 1.2 x 3 x 5.3 inches (3 x 7.5 x 13 cm)
  • The transceiver weighs just 9 ounces (11 ounces with both the optional ATU and keyer paddle installed).
  • KX1 Ultra-Portable CW Xcvr Kit (20+40 m) 299.95
  • KXB3080 30/80 M Adapter for the KX1 89.95
  • KXAT1 Internal Auto. Ant. Tuner 129.95


LNR Transceiver – LNR FX-4


Fx 4 blackA

FX-4 Specs

FX4 Features


KX1 is $299 + $64 = $363. (20/40m no ATU). 

KX1 fully optioned – $519.85 + $64 =  $584.23 (80/40/30/20 and ATU)

HB1B is $357.00 USD inc battery and freight from Canada.

FX-4 Estimated price $425. Expected availability August 2013

Given the availability of the ATS4 or FX-4 then it really comes down to the KX1 or HB1B. 

The biggest different is the internal ATU. The cost of ATU as additional $130US. I already have a T1. Also current antenna are setup to be resonate avoiding the use of tuner in field.


On paper the HB1B wins. 

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