One Month With The uBitx

Curt M.

Hi guys, last month I finished up the build on my uBitx.  It's completely stock other than using some outboard filters.  I decided to humor myself and for one month exclusively use only the uBitx.  I have to say that I'm impressed with the results.

With just casually making contacts I made 61 between 40, 20 & 80m.  Those contacts were in 18 states plus Slovenia and Belgium.  Being that the last month has had a state QSO party or two every weekend that kind of increased the contact to state ratio but it gave me a lot of opportunities to make some contacts when I could fit it in.  At no point did I sit down and spent more than 15 minutes trying to make contacts.  I think had I sat through a QSO party or two for an extended period of time I could have done even better.  Also I did not make one contact by throwing out the QRP card, that made it even more of a challange.  I had a few contacts that I struggled with along the way but there were five times more immediately successful contacts than ones that I struggled with.

During this last month I also checked into a bunch of nets.  When checking into one net during their 73 round the net control operator asked me where I was located and what I was running becuase he said the band was in such bad shape that day that they didn't have as many check-in's.  He seemed to be impressed with how I was making it into his location on about 8 watts.  He closed down the net and all of the sudden people started throwing out my call sign to make contact with me.  I picked up about 4 new states in a few minutes that said I was making it into them with varying degrees of signal strength.  One guy said that I was about an S5 but I was 10 over at one point while talking to another guy before him.  So that was a lot of fun.

So my take-away from this last month is that if the uBitx was your only radio, even though it doesn't have fancy filters and all of the other stuff like a mainstream radio does, you can still have a lot of fun and make contacts.  I will say that I missed having AGC and although the pop when you key up is annoying, it's bearable.  Both can be fixed through various mods.

Last night I turned on my IC-7300 for the first time in a month and even though it's a great radio in it's class, making contacts with less power and not telling anyone what you are running unless they ask is really a lot of fun.  I see me getting use out of both radios but I was amazed at how well the uBitx performed at less than one tenth the power.


Curt M.

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