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9 Best QRP Cw Transceiver Reviews & Buying Guideline

The best QRP CW transceiver guarantees excellent/exceptional communication.

It supports remarkable signal transmission over a reasonable length or distance at reduced power (around 5W).

Every QRP CW transceiver enthusiast or user knows the effectiveness of this device.

However, the primary issue many individuals face when it is time to pick up a transceiver, especially the newbies, is the complexity surrounding finding/picking the ideal design.

We have identified 9 top QRP CW transceivers that you will find in the market.

Irrespective of your experience level (skilled or beginner), you will find these devices appealing/pleasing.

They deliver exceptionally on every user’s expectations and needs.

Furthermore, other relevant details such as the buying considerations and frequently asked questions by prospective and existing users are provided in this guide.

These details further enhance your selection and buying experience.

The best QRP transceiver brands/designs you will find on the market are Xiegu, Icom, Qianson, Abovehill, FidgetFidget, Youkits, and Hechengdianzi.

A Comparison Table of 9 Best Qrp Cw Transceiver

Brand NameDetails
Xiegu X5105
Xiegu G90
Icom IC-705
XIEGU G1M
Qianson- S-PIXIE-154
Abovehill B08DHQZPT1
FidgetFidget B07FKMKR2X
Youkits HB1B
LJJDSLYU S-Pixie HAM

What Is The Best QRP CW Transceiver?

Xiegu X5105 QRP transceiver is our top choice.

Thanks to its impressive number of features for improved performance.

Why Is Xiegu The Best Brand of QRP CW Transceiver?

Xiegu is a frontrunner in the production of ham radio components or devices.

The brand is famous in the global market for its quality-driven products for long-lasting and exceptional performance.

Top 9 Best Qrp Cw Transceiver Reviews 2021

01. Xiegu X5105

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 6-inch LCD screen & 3800mAh battery
  • AF-DSP digital noise reduction system
  • 500kHz to 30MHz frequency coverage
  • 5W (AM) & 5W (FM) power output
  • 42 pounds in weight
  • ‎11.81 x 9.13 x 4.57 inches in dimension
  • Xiegu X5105 is a product from a reputable ham radio devices manufacturer. If you are picking up this transceiver, top-quality performance is assured.

If you are an experienced transceiver ham radio user who needs a replacement/upgrade or a beginner.

Here is a great option to look at for consistent and uncompromised performance.

Thanks to its built-in antenna tuner (auto)

This transceiver is designed to operate/function within a power output of 5W.

Also, it supports transmission across several bands.

The most notable inclusion is the FM band.

The build quality is impressive, guaranteeing optimum protection against extreme conditions for improved longevity.

Since the Xiegu X5105 is portable and lightweight, users can conveniently move around with it across various distances.

Its impressive speaker mic quality adds more excitement to use/performance.

Other features that are worth mentioning include its impressive battery capacity, which supports long hours of use, and the exceptional frequency coverage

Pros

  • Portable design, allowing you to move freely with it irrespective of the distance
  • Covers several modes (FM, AM, CW, RTTY, PSK, and SSB)
  • Its automatic antenna tuner supports impressive performance
  • Its large capacity battery supports extended operation/use

Cons

  • Costly
  • Heat dissipation can be better

02. Xiegu G90

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 8-inch full-color LCD screen display
  • Side panels for improved protection
  • Built-in automatic antenna tuner
  • 4 working modes (CW, SSB, FM, and AM)
  • 48 pounds in weight
  • 07 x 9.69 x 4.92 inches in dimension

This is another Xiegu transceiver model. It further emphasizes the brand’s position in the market.

Most especially why its products are rated as top-class among users around the globe.

Just as the X5105, the Xiegu G90 is another portable and lightweight design that allows easy movement from one location to another.

The G90’s internal antenna (auto) supports an extensive range compared to several other QRP transceiver ham radios.

Using this device, you can access several stations across a long distance.

For instance, a user in Italy can listen to radio stations from the United States of America or France.

The display screen can be detached from the body of the transceiver with ease, allowing users to position the transceiver’s head remotely.

Another impressive feature is the LCD display screen.

The color is impressive, ensuring the displayed information is easy to read during use, especially in daylight.

Pros

  • The display unit is easily detachable
  • Setup and operation are not complicated
  • The screen supports clear information display irrespective of the conditions
  • Supports firmware updates for improved functionality

Cons

  • No stands
  • The base or bottom becomes hot after a long hour of use

03. Icom IC-705

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 3-inch display (touchscreen)
  • Supports GPS, Bluetooth, and wireless LAN
  • FM air broadcast
  • 5 pounds in weight
  • 11 x 9 x 7 inches in dimension

Icom IC-705 is a new generation transceiver design.

It is designed for modern-day users, especially tech-savvy or individuals fascinated by a model that offers several impressive features for improved performance and use.

The compact/portable design ensures it can fit into the smallest space.

It allows users to easily move around with it without adding any extra weight to their loads.

For instance, it slots into a backpack easily, leaving some extra space in the process.

If you need a reliable transceiver for indoor and outdoor use.

Here is an ideal model or design for your needs.

The speaker mic is loud, and the volume can be adjusted with ease.

Also, the RF direct sampling ensures distortion is reduced dramatically, supporting a significant improvement in sound quality.

When it comes to the number of features, only a few designs can compete with what the Icom IC-705 offers.

Many new features are detected during use, some of which are not mentioned in the product’s specification.

When it comes to firmware installation and upgrade, the process is initiated with ease and completed at high speed.

Pros

  • The volume is adjustable
  • Portable design
  • Impressive display and sound quality
  • Reduces distortion greatly

Cons

  • Expensive design

04. XIEGU G1M

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Durable and highly-protective metal chassis
  • Multiband QRP transceiver
  • 5W @13.8V DC transmit power
  • 50 Ohm Impedance
  • ‎2.66 pounds in weight
  • 1 x 3.82 x 1.75 inches in dimension

XIEGU G1M is a multiband design.

It is well-known/popular among users for its exceptional performance at a very reasonable price.

This is one of the most affordable QRP CW transceivers you will find on the market.

If you have a tight budget and looking for a reliable receiver, here is a portable design that you can invest in or pick up for your needs.

Impressively, it is not difficult to use/operate, making it easily accessible to all users irrespective of their experience.

Thanks to its easy-to-navigate menus.

Also, the built quality is impressive.

For instance, the top-quality metal case supports protection from extreme conditions, enhancing longevity in the process.

The display screen is clear enough. Users can easily read out the information or details shown on the screen irrespective of the lighting.

Although the internal speaker is not as big as some other designs on the market, it doesn’t affect the audio performance.

The sound produced by the speaker is clear and free from distortions.

Pros

  • Use/operation is effortless
  • Portable design for easy movement across various locations
  • Pocket-friendly
  • The display quality is highly-impressive irrespective of the lighting or condition

Cons

  • Weak connectors

05. Qianson- S-PIXIE-154

 

 

Highlighted features

  • A self-assemble device
  • Low-power transceiver
  • 9V square battery & 7Mhz 50ohm antenna
  • Attractive and highly-protective metal shell
  • 95 x 1.95 x 0.51 inches in dimension
  • 1 pounds in weight

Qianson- S-PIXIE-154 is a shortwave transmitter-receiver or QRP transceiver

it. If you are a DIY enthusiast, most importantly, with a great understanding of electronics and the use of a soldering iron.

This may be a fun/exciting project you would like to take up or embark on.

The price is very reasonable.

It is the most affordable design on our list and possibly the most pocket-friendly option you will find on the market.

The kit comes equipped with all the necessary accessories and components you need to assemble or build your transceiver.

To hasten up the assembling process and make it an easy and enjoyable task.

You can consult the installation manual.

It contains pictures/diagrams showing how each connection can be made to set up the radio unit.

Qianson- S-PIXIE-154 is operated with the aid of a battery (9V square).

Not only that, the build quality is awe-inspiring for its pocket-friendly price.

The case is made from a strong/durable metal that provides a high level of protection from possible interference or external attacks.

Pros

  • Very affordable design
  • Guarantees clean/clear tone without distortion or annoying sound
  • Easy to assemble and operate
  • The reception quality is highly-impressive

Cons

  • The frequency agility is low

06. Abovehill S-Pixie

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Self-assembled transceiver/shortwave Radio
  • Plexiglass case
  • 9-13.8V power supply
  • 50 Ohm impedance
  • 15 pounds in weight
  • 22 x 2.59 x 1.88 inches in dimension

Abovehill S-Pixie is another shortwave transmitter-receiver on our list.

Just like the previous model, you need to understand the technical aspects of electronics and the use of a soldering iron.

This allows you to assemble the transceiver efficiently for excellent reception and overall performance.

The kit comes with the relevant accessories you need to complete the setup.

However, it doesn’t have the instruction/installation manual included.

Instead, the manufacturer sends you the E-copy of the installation manual via the chat window upon purchase.

Once you follow the instructions, coupled with your technical knowledge of the task.

You will be able to build a transceiver that works excellently and delivers exceptional reception.

The manufacturer advises buyers/users to detach the protective film placed or attached to the Plexiglass case.

This gives your device a similar look/appearance as the image in the description section.

Also, before turning on the radio station, ensure a dummy load is connected accordingly to guide against or fight off accidental emissions.

Pros

  • Pocket-friendly design
  • Easy to put together or assemble to form a unit
  • Receives and transmit signals efficiently

Cons

  • No installation manual
  • Setup and assembling is restricted to individuals with electronics knowledge

07. FidgetFidget Assembled 9-13.8V

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Acrylic case
  • 59 Ohm receiving antenna
  • 7023kHz reception & transmission frequency
  • Fully-assembled design
  • 9-13V power supply

If you are fascinated with transparent designs or devices or would love a transparent transceiver, here is a great choice you can add to your list.

This design also falls under the same category as the previous two designs on our list (shortwave transmitter-receiver).

However, it comes assembled.

The Acrylic case is covered with a protective film layer that must be removed or peeled off once you receive your product.

While the first layer is somewhat easy to remove, the layer that spreads out from the case may be difficult.

Hence, you may have to detach the case in some cases to remove the trapped layer successfully.

The power supply voltage range is 9V-13V.

The manufacturer advised that the transceiver is best operated using a battery pack.

According to users, the pack doesn’t come with the installation manual included in it.

Also, the schematics or installation diagrams available on the internet are irrelevant (possibly designed for another product entirely).

Pros

  • The reception is impressive
  • It supports CW digital signal communication mode
  • Inexpensive design
  • You do not need to perform any form of assembling before use

Cons

  • No installation manual
  • The protective film layer is somewhat difficult to peel off

08. Youkits HB1B

 

 

Highlighted features

  • Assembled transceiver unit
  • 12V power output
  • -130db noise floor
  • Compatible with the HF band
  • ‎1.1 pounds in weight
  • ‎6 x 4 x 3 inches in dimension

Youkits HB1BU is designed to eliminate some of the major issues or complaints about the previous transceiver models designed by this manufacturer.

For instance, the sidetone is moderately regulated, eliminating the extreme loudness attributed to the earlier designs.

The upgrade was achieved or successfully implemented using the latest IC & hardware.

The build quality guarantees reliability and durability, ensuring your device is protected from external interference from time to time.

Using the function keys, users can easily control this transceiver for optimum reception and transmission.

Also, the headphone jack is intact, performing just as expected.

When operated on the HF band, Morse code transmission extending over 1200 miles is achievable.

For instance, a user in Canada or the United States of America can make uninterrupted contact with countries across Europe and South America.

Although the package doesn’t come with the installation instructions manual.

You can easily find/download one online.

Overall, Youkits HB1BU is one of the top-sensitive designs you will find on the market.

Not only that, the signal sounds and display quality are pretty impressive and hard to beat.

Pros

  • You do not need any module to operate/use the device
  • Guarantees improved reception and transmission for best performance
  • Simple to use ( the control is not complicated)
  • Excellent display quality.

Cons

  • No installation instructions manual
  • Some users complained that they received a transceiver devoid of internal battery
  • No built-in key

09. Hechengdianzi LJJDSLYU S-Pixie HAM Radio

 

 

Highlighted features

  • 9~13.8V power supply (battery-powered)
  • 50 Ohm antenna
  • 2W transmission power
  • Acrylic case
  • 1 pounds in weight
  • 2 x 2 x 0.52 inches in dimension

S-Pixie HAM Radio is yet another affordable and self-assembly or DIY transceiver on our list.

The pack has all the materials you need to complete the setup, and they are neatly packed.

Once you complete the purchase, do not hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service to get a hold of the installation instructions manual and other valuable materials.

If you are a beginner, especially if you do not have technical knowledge of how electronics function or work or can’t use the soldering iron.

This may not be an ideal choice for you.

Nevertheless, if you wish to give it a shot (a DIY enthusiast).

The manual is clearly written, ensuring you get all the assistance you need while at it.

With its pro-bent component leads, you can easily insert the necessary components into their respective holes.

However, you must systematically confirm the component values to achieve a more effortless and smoother assembling process.

Upon completing the build process (when done rightly), you will achieve an impressive outcome.

All the functions will perform optimally, ensuring the transceiver works just as expected.

Overall, the LJJDSLYU S-Pixie HAM Radio gives a neat and attractive appearance.

Also, it doesn’t need excessive space (tiny and compact) and can be operated/controlled with ease.

Pros

  • Attractive and easy to assemble
  • Well-detailed instructions manual
  • Affordable and easy to operate
  • Built to withstand external interference that may impact transmission or reception

Cons

  • Automatic transmission isn’t supported
  • The CW tone is slightly unclear

The Buying Guide of 8 Best Qrp Cw Transceiver

01. Price

When looking for a QRP CW transceiver to buy, you must first consider your purse.

When you know how high you can go (how much you can conveniently spend or invest on this device).

It eliminates unnecessary stress.

You will be able to focus or tailor your research towards products within your budget and eventually pick a more appealing option (that meets your desired or expected performance standards).

S far, we have listed and discussed 9 top-quality transceivers that you can buy, both for beginners and experienced users.

These designs range from low-priced to premium.

As a result, you will be able to find a quality product irrespective of your budget.

02. Features

There are several QRP transceivers on the market, spreading across various brands or manufacturers.

The distinguishing factor among these designs is the features that they offer.

When choosing a transceiver to buy, ensure you pick a design that offers improved/advanced features than other available options.

The more advanced the features a transceiver is equipped with, the better such product will be.

03. Sound & Display Quality

These two factors (display and sound quality) are essential considerations when choosing a transceiver to buy.

When the produced sound is unclear, the primary purpose of using a transceiver or ham radio is defeated.

Also, the display quality must be impressive (clean/clear) to aid easy access to displayed information or details, especially when operated in daylight.

04. Size

When choosing a transceiver to buy, ensure you consider how you desire to use/operate it.

For instance, if you prefer a product or design that can be used remotely, especially when you go hiking or camping.

You must consider any of the top-rated compact and portable options available out there.

A portable transceiver ham radio is easy to move around with and can be stored easily in your backpack without adding extra weight to your load.

05. Ease of Operation/Use

Irrespective of the top/advanced features or qualities a transceiver may offer.

For instance, offering the best display and sound quality.

If the use/operation is complicated, it doesn’t worth a pick or consideration.

Choose a design that you can easily operate the dials and controls.

Not only that, the user’s instruction/manual must be well-detailed enough for an easy and clear understanding of the setup, operation, and control.

06. Installation

Usually, transceivers are designed in two forms.

We have assembled and self-assembled options.

The former doesn’t need any special setup before you can use or operate it.

However, the latter (self-assembled) requires putting the different components together to form a unit.

Self-assembled designs may be complicated, especially if you do not have any technical knowledge/understanding of electronics or the use of soldering iron.

If you are not fascinated by DIY or do not have a basic idea/understanding of electronics.

It is advised you go for any of the highly-rated assembled designs you can find around.

07. Performance

Before you make a payment, another significant factor you must consider is the device’s overall performance.

Go through the seller’s page and check what existing users have to say about the performance.

If the transceiver doesn’t deliver the features or functions indicated/highlighted in the description.

You should avoid such a design at all costs.

Also, check through issues and complaints raised in the reviews and check if they have been addressed.

Usually, when you see a load of remarks on the same issue, that tells you that the product is likely the problem and not in any way related to use or handling.

08. Filter

One of the main attributes of a transceiver ham radio is to guarantee or support effective communication by ensuring interferences or disruptions are significantly reduced.

When choosing a transceiver to buy, ensure it is equipped with an adequate filter that minimizes or eliminates noise that may affect or lower the quality of your communication.

Best Qrp Cw Transceiver

Photo Credit; Flickr, C.C

The Regular FAQ’s of Best Qrp Cw Transceiver

01. What Does QRP Mean?

Before now, you may have considered the three (3) letters as an acronym. However, they are not.

In a real sense, it illustrates that such a transceiver ham radio is designed/built to function using a transmitter that runs on low power (around 5W) for improved and greater performance.

o2. What Is a Transceiver Ham Radio Used For?

Your transceiver can be used for many activities and in a wide range of situations/conditions.

However, it cannot be used as a means or medium for making extra cash.

Using your transceiver ham radio, you can meet and communicate with new individuals with a similar device.

Some other activities where a transceiver becomes useful include traffic handling, emergencies, contests, VHF roving, Morse code, and a lot more.

03. Do I Need a License to Use the Ham Radio?

Yes, you do, especially for individuals living in the United States of America and other regulated regions.

If you are not licensed and proceed to use a ham radio (transmitting with it) in a place like the USA.

There is no way you will escape being fined when caught, except the transmission over the ham radio frequencies was initiated to communicate an emergency or disaster.

04. What Can I Do with My Ham Radio Before I Get a License?

You can listen to received signals with your transceiver ham radio before getting a license.

05. Why Do I Need to Invest in A Top-Quality Transceiver?

If you desire uninterrupted/reliable communication while using a QPR transceiver.

You must invest in one of the best options you can find around.

The better the quality, the better transmission or communication it supports.

06. What Should I Do If My Transceiver Doesn’t Come with An Installation Manual?

There are situations where you may receive your transceiver kit or pack without the installation instructions included in it.

This may be an issue for some users, especially if you are using or operating a transceiver for the first time.

However, do not panic.

There are times when the manufacturer opts for an E-copy of the installation manual instead of having it printed and attached to the product.

As a result, you will have to reach out to their customer care service via the manufacturer’s website or reach out on Amazon using the chatbox.

Alternatively, you can go online to download the manual.

It is easier to find the installation instructions for the top-rated and popular designs on the internet.

07. How Much Does a Transceiver Cost?

The price of a transceiver ranges across various brands, models, or designs.

Some designs are positioned within the low-priced categories, while others fall within the average and premium categories.

The good thing is that you will find a suitable and quality design for the money, irrespective of your budget.

On average, a reliable transceiver may cost as low as $20 and as high as $1000.

Conclusion

The best QRP CW transceiver brands/designs we have discussed so far in this guide are the top and reliable options you will find on the market.

We recommend that you take your time to go through each of them and pick a design that fulfills your needs and preferences.

Most especially when it comes to price and overall performance.

These products are equipped with several features for improved functionality.

For instance, advanced signal quality (for reliable and excellent reception) and improved sound quality (for outstanding communication) at all times.

Whatever design you choose, you will get impressive results for the money.

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