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 MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver

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SangueG
VanRougeT4
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VanRougeT4
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VanRougeT4


Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
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Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeFri Feb 23, 2024 9:21 pm

I have an HF mobile rig, but have been looking for an inexpensive HF QRP base station rig for the shack. I came across this one that has good reviews on YouTube.

Any thoughts, pros, cons please.

DebMCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Sdr_tr10
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SangueG
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SangueG


Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / 2E0LMI
Posts : 1163
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Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Feb 24, 2024 5:40 am

I don't know this radio. I can only comment / suggest that, before purchasing, see if companies in your part of the world offer support for it. Being cheap doesn't mean it will be bad, but if it does go wrong will you be able to repair or get someone to repair it / are parts available?

From experience I say this from owning a Xiegu G90, another "cheap" HF radio (I only say cheap, meaning in comparison to new prices of the big three major brands, but is still £200 more than the one you are looking at). After only a year of enthusiastic use as a homebase, the encoders started to fail. The volume encoder is now completely useless. There are many parts for this one now though, there didn't seem to be any anywhere when I first bought it. I've bought 3 new encoders for £4 each from Sinotel who I originally purchased the radio from, and although will be fiddly because the radio is small, I should have a useable radio again soon.

Hopefully someone here has had hands-on this one you are looking at and can advise. utube videos are always good to check out too, but some videos are not always honest reviews where they are being given radios by suppliers to review. Check out ones where people have bought them themselves.

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Victor
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Victor


Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 / M7VIC
Posts : 5803
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Join date : 2019-11-10
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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Feb 24, 2024 6:39 am

Is this a kit or ready built?

Is it an original M0NKA or a Chinese knock-off. (The project was open source.)

That's just questions from having a quick shifty around the old internet and sure you must have many more there Deb.

I don't have first hand experience of this radio and hoping that other members are able to chime in with more information for you.

Some great input from Neal (SangueG) already and sorry to hear of his woes with his little Xiegu.
(I hope you get it sorted with the new encoders Neal mate.)

Shopping for radios can be a real pain and I hope you come out the other end unscathed and happy with your final purchases.

73,
Victor

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madmax
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Call Sign : 13-CT-139
Posts : 23
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Join date : 2023-12-13
QTH or Location : Neustadt, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Equipment Used : Kenwood, Quansheng, CRT SS9900 v4, Dipole
Age : 44

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Feb 24, 2024 11:46 am


The market is flooded with these radios, 99% of which are Chinese copies.
Only if you know and can trust the source from which you're buying it.
I was very interested in buying one last year, but a friend talked me out of it.
A radio for which it's uncertain whether it will work or how it will perform when it arrives or even tomorrow when it's turned on again (given that it's Chinese-made).

From the ads, it sounds very intriguing.
For that price, a radio with a waterfall display + firmware upgrade capability has full power on the 11-meter band.

There are heaps of videos about it on YouTube, and also several groups on Facebook dedicated to it.
Typically, during the first startup, they need to be calibrated for operation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ayQsgJ2P4M
When updating firmware, it's crucial to be very careful because not all radios have the same chipset, and not every firmware is suitable for all radios.

Most people buy it on AliExpress from Jorge's Electrical Store.

If you decide to buy it, I'd like to hear firsthand experiences... Smile

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GaryWilson
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GaryWilson


Call Sign : 26-CT-1836 Ham 2E0GGQ
Posts : 4167
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Join date : 2019-06-27
QTH or Location : Redcar, North Yorkshire.
Equipment Used : Radios & Wires & Stuff!
Age : 59

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSat Feb 24, 2024 6:14 pm

Hell Deb, 


Could I offer an alternative suggestion. The Xiegu G90 is a cracking QRP rig that I've had my eye on for some time now. The reviews are pretty good here's an unendorsed link for example only. 

https://www.sinotel.co.uk/products/xiegu-g90-20-watt-am-cw-ssb-sdr-hf-amateur-transceiver

Best 73 Gary.

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VanRougeT4
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VanRougeT4


Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSun Feb 25, 2024 1:06 pm

@SangueG
Yep, I've also been looking at the XIEGU 90. It's more expensive, but I believe the waterfall is bigger and that would save me squinting. I haven't decided yet but will be sure to post when I've weighed up all the pros & cons. Thanks for the useful points on repairs.

@Victor
It is ready built and dispatched from China, although on the French site I saw it on it does say TVA included. I believe the software is open source so I'm sure the firmware will be available. I think the originator sold kits. Back in the day I'd have enjoyed a kit project, but with surface mount components as big as a grain of rice, I don't think I could manage now.

@Madmax (love the name Smile ) At that price it may be worth a punt. You make a good point about chipsets though. I usually look to see how many subs has on YT as they would be sure to have bought the rig with low subs rather than reviewing a freebie. Will be sure to post a review if I do buy one.

@Gary
Yes, the XIEGU 90 is also on my list Smile

Best 73 tous mes amis

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VanRougeT4
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VanRougeT4


Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSun Feb 25, 2024 1:13 pm

Does anyone know if these waterfall rigs usually have some sort of output to view on a larger screen, laptop or monitor for example?

Deb
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SangueG
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SangueG


Call Sign : 26-CT-3971 / 2E0LMI
Posts : 1163
Times Thanked : 68
Join date : 2021-01-30
QTH or Location : Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Equipment Used : Little radios, home-made antennas

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSun Feb 25, 2024 8:01 pm

Of the ones mentioned, I only know the G90 in detail as have one. No, is the answer for that one regarding an output to a larger screen. It's a very clear waterfall on the rig, but is small. I have to wear my glasses to see anything on it.

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VanRougeT4
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VanRougeT4


Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeSun Feb 25, 2024 8:31 pm

SangueG wrote:
Of the ones mentioned, I only know the G90 in detail as have one. No, is the answer for that one regarding an output to a larger screen. It's a very clear waterfall on the rig, but is small. I have to wear my glasses to see anything on it.

Many thanks.
Since I posted that, I searched YT and it is possible to interface the MCHF with a PC with HDSDR and OMNIRIG,, albeit a bit of a faff. But you only have to do it once. I believe you can do the same with the XIEGU90.

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Keyslammer
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Equipment Used : ART-13, GRC-9, IC-7300

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2024 1:03 am

I would recommend looking into the 20W FX-4CR.  Here is a YouTube link to a review of this neat little rig.  As with the other Chinese SDRs - you will want to get this from the source, not an eBay seller.

https://youtu.be/9V_Mr4JDujg

There are other reviews for this and you will find the actual designer and user group links in the comments.

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Keyslammer
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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2024 1:11 am

Www.BG2FX.com is the designer and sellers website.

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VanRougeT4
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Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
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Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeMon Mar 04, 2024 1:46 am

Keyslammer wrote:
Www.BG2FX.com is the designer and sellers website.

It looks like an interesting transceiver. I watched that video and a couple more. It doesn't seem to have a way to interface with a PC, which isn't that much of a problem if there's some other way to upgraded the firmware. But the main thing that I need from a rig is VOX for SSTV and data transmission, and it doesn't seem to have that.

73
Deb
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VanRougeT4
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Call Sign : 14-CT-019 - G1DBS
Posts : 65
Times Thanked : 1
Join date : 2024-02-17
QTH or Location : Montreuil sur Mer
Equipment Used : XIEGU G90 - President Lincoln 2 +

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PostSubject: Re: MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver   MCHF V0.6.3 HF SDR QRP Transceiver Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2024 12:28 am

UPDATE:

First of all, my thanks to those who replied and/or made suggestions, which I took on board causing me much nail biting and watching many hours of YT. But I have made a decision!

I soon realized that the MCHF wasn't for me. The main reason being that to get it at that price I would have to order directly from China. I could see problems down the line if the radio was faulty.

So, I the narrowed it down to two rigs, both by XIEGU. The X6100, and the G90 that was suggested by two members here.

I was drawn to the X6100 by the larger screen, but some reviewers on YT Highlighted cons.

The one I eventually chose and ordered today is the G90! Four main reasons for this.

1/ Great reviews.
2/ On sale at Radioddity right now with a bundle (free data interface expansion card, and cooling stand)
3/ Up to 20w tx.
4/ An exceptional on board ATU.

So there we have it.
Thanks to everyone who replied I'll soon have a multi-band HF rig to play with and a much lighter purse!

73
Deb

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