QRP Off-Grid Pack Build
Goal: Complete remote QRP setup in one case. 5W radio, power source, antenna, and all the little bits to have an enjoyable weekend.
History: I have been trying for the last couple of years to have a complete QRP rig that I can take up to the mountain without the need for 100lbs of gear.
Radio's I have tested:
Xiegu X108G - Failed. Worked for 12 months and they stopped receiving. Very temperamental and not a good choice for qrp.
MCHF 918 Clone - Works ok, complicated to use or change settings. My version of it has reached the limit of updates I can apply.
Xiegu X5105 - Bought from MFJ this year. 5W radio with built-in Batteries.
Yaesu FT-817 - Used one for a weekend. Its a rugged radio, but the display is very small. Other than price, this would be a great choice for first qrp radio.
Not Tested Yet:
Elecraft KX3 - Very nice radio. Tons of features and a lot of people swear by them. Also the older K1.
MFJ - Couple versions, not very rugged.
QRPver Minion Mini DC-3001
Yaesu FT-818 - New this year.
I think its important to realize that there are tons of options for each piece of this project. My choices were based on what I thought I needed to do the job, what I was comfortable with operating. When you build you qrp go bag, choose items that you know how to use.
Radio: Xiegu X5105 5w QRP SDR Radio + CE-19 Adapter for Digital and external amplifier
Power: Hardened Power Cadet MK1 LifePoe 4 Battery Pack with Integrated solar controller.
(I chose this setup because I already owned a set of solar panels, and I wanted everything to be on Powerpoles.)
Tuner: MFJ ARP Manual Tuner (Not used most of the time because my radio has a builtin tuner.)
Amplifier: Small MX-P50M 45w amplifier - Not used except for emergencies. Wold not be operating QRP with this.
Antenna: Chameleon Loop v2, Windcamp Gipsy 7-30Mhz
Mileage will vary, but this is my basic setup. I have different lengths of coax and a ton of adapters to make sure I can cover as many scenarios that I can think of. I have a collapsible windsock pole to act as a vertical for an end fed antenna that I can take if needed as well.