I have used traditional circuit designed rigs since my first licensure in 1987 and with the exception of one my radios these have all been base stations. After being off the air for five years I started reading up on the latest ham technology. The upshot was that this winter I decommissioned three rigs which were either partially inoperable or showing their ages (30+ years old for them all). Time to come into the 21st century. The upshot is that I decided that I really want radios that are usable outdoors. And I am thrilled to have learned about SDR! I have ordered a uBITX to build and next week will purchase a new QRP rig. So I’d appreciate your insights in selecting a SOTA-friendly one.
I have read up on both the FT 817ND (I know there is an FT 818 coming out but I don’t want to wait) and the LD-11. I realize that the former is traditional circuitry and the later is SDR. Tell me your impressions of each, please…rx, tx, audio, ease of use, etc… Why would I want one over the other? Or perhaps there are others that you would recommend?
I also want to eventually buy a small amplifier to use with this radio in the shack, and possibly in the field. I have read up on the Hardrock-50, HF Packer, Tokyo Hy-Power, WiMo HLA-150V-Plus, and others. ***My biggest question is how does SDR technology respond to amplification? I consider a good antenna to be of much more importance than an amp. So questions into antennas will be forthcoming in the future. But I want to use this QRP rig at home connected to the wire arrays I will put up this summer on my farm, and a bit of power may go a long way in certain conditions on CW, which is what I like to operate.
I also am looking at getting a 5 band Mountaintopper…but am not so concerned about adding power to that.
Thanks so much for your time. I really appreciate your input as I have some trepidation hooking up power to a technology with which I am yet so unfamiliar.
(Elecraft is definitely out of my price range and as such is something I would also have a hard time justifying taking into the field.)