Re: Current Bitx kits


Evan Hand
 

Vince,
I am reluctant to give a specific recommendation as I do not know what it is you want to do, and the price point you are willing to pay.  Following are my ASSUMPTIONS about the EasyBITX, as I do not have one.  In general, I can say that the components supplied by AmatuerRadioKits have been of good quality, with no damaged goods. The instructions for the AmatuerRadioKits uBITX cases supplied for the HFSignals boards have been cryptic, to the point where I have had to rewire a couple of times until I could get it to work as I thought it should.  I did review the instructions that have been provided for the EasyBitx, and they do seem clearer.  Again, I have not built one of these kits.

- I am confused by the CW comment.  The EasyBitx does not have CW capability, as far as I can tell.  The HFSignals uBITX does, though it is a compromise with only SSB filtering width (2.7kHZ vs 400Hz). 
- The EasyBITX is a monoband SSB transceiver, the uBITX covers all us ham bands from 3 to 30 MHz as supplied.
- I have not yet seen any performance information on the EasyBITX, as far as the receiver goes.  The uBITX has very good sensitivity, with some measuring 0.1uV.  The uBITX SSB filter is made up of 8 crystals instead of the 4 in the EasyBITX.  This is supposed to provide a flatter response with steeper skirts.
- The major weakness of the uBITX has been the mic audio.  I see that the EasyBITX has gone to an op-amp to help with this shortcoming.  I do like that change.  I got around it for my uBITX builds by adding an amplified mic that solved the low power/volume issues.  That could add $25 to $30 to the cost.
- Depending on the band, the uBITX can put out 15 watts, though it does have issues on the higher bands (10 meters) where I have measured 3 to 4 watts. On 40 meters I am getting 7 to 8 watts depending on the mode and which version board I am testing (CW is lower than SSB constant tone).
- The EasyBITX is a through-hole kit you will need to solder together.  The uBITX is now an assemble kit, no soldering required if you purchase the complete kit.
- There is no track history on issues for the EasyBITX.  It is still too new.  I have not seen any reports on this reflector.  There may be a different group for it.
- The EasyBITX is about 1/2 the cost of the complete uBiTX kit.  $95 vs $209

For me, the uBITX would be a better just starting rig for a Technician class for sure, as it has CW to allow access to the Tech code bands, 10meter phone, and then can grow with the general ticket.  I think it is the better choice for a general too, though that will depend on the desired learning.  There is no soldering on the uBITX.

For a true QRP CW only kit, you cannot go wrong with a QCX+, and if you want portable operation, there is the new QCX Mini coming out.  Both do require coil winding and soldering like the EasyBITX.

Again, I cannot stress enough that these are my opinions, based on what I have experiences with assembling 3 uBITX, a QCX+, a Hermes HL2 SDR, and other kits like linear, antenna SWR meters, tone generators, and others I cannot think of right now.

Good luck with your search.
73
Evan
AC9TU

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