From: Dave Finley (email@example.com)
In response to Chuck's comments on the QRP Plus, here are my observations.
I'll start with the usual disclaimer that I have no involvement or
interest in Index Labs -- I'm just a customer.
1. Chuck is correct -- the keyer is not yet available. I had talked
with Bruce Franklin of Index Labs prior to my purchase, so I knew
this prior to buying. I haven't talked with Bruce recently, but
did hear from someone else that, as of a couple of weeks ago, he
said he was getting close to finishing the code implementing the
keyer and some other additional features which have not been
2. The receiver IS general coverage, but it does NOT have an AM
detector. You must receive AM as SSB, which makes things
touchy. I have found it acceptable for listening to the
solar-terrestrial conditions on WWV and to the news on the BBC,
about the only things for which I use general coverage. The
general-coverage receive ability was NOT advertised on the flyer
I saw, and I would have bought the rig without this feature.
I took it as-is as an unexpected bonus.
3. The birdies. I went through Chuck's list, using the same setup --
a 50-ohm dummy load on the rear BNC connector. On both 80 and
40 meters, I found all but two of the listed birdies on each
band. Some of them were at slightly different frequencies, but
the same pattern was present. Chuck, maybe your ears are better
than mine -- most of your +1s I would definitely list as +0,
and many of the +0s I could barely detect. The stronger ones
definitely would impede a QSO on that frequency, but the filters
would, in my opinion, allow a QSO on a very nearby frequency.
Rig evaluations are always somewhat subjective. I looked at the QRP Plus
with different expectations than those with which I would look at an
Icom, for example. I bought this rig for the purpose of assembling a
"briefcase station" to take on weekends in the wilderness or possibly
on long business trips. I couldn't do this with a QRO rig because
of the power consumption. A monobander would be completely unacceptable
to me -- I want to be able to operate at any time of day or season.
I looked at the capability I was getting for the money. The power-hungry
riceboxes run $100 to $300 or more PER BAND. The major QRP rigs, both
kit and assembled, seem to run at about $165 or thereabouts per band.
By contrast, the QRP Plus costs $67 per band. At about 41 percent of
the cost per band of other QRP rigs, I expected some compromises. For
my purposes, they were compromises with which I can live. After a couple
of months with the rig, I'm still happy. I'm not going to sell my
Icom -- the QRP Plus is definitely a second rig, but one that serves
that purpose quite nicely for me. Again, the all-band coverage was
extremely important to me.
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