Which CW radio?

As I continue along the path to CW enlightenment I’ve started thinking that soon, I too, will be able to play with just a small CW only radio. The question that springs to mind is which radio.

So far I have the following on the list.

  • KD1JV’s ATS-3b that fits in an Altoids can
  • Elecraft K1
  • Eleccraft KX1

I’d like something I can make myself for extra satisfaction and a kit is fine. Any other suggestions?


In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy,

beside the ATS 3B which is very much fun to build and operate I also use a blue cool radio quite often: QRPproject! Devoted to QRP and Amateur Radio homebrewing

The RX of the BCR clearly outperforms the ATS 3B and offers variable bandwith among other features like a manual preselector. I am very happy with this kit, too. But if there was a ranking of the weight/performance factor, surely the ATS 3B would be number one. I don’t have experience with the K1/KX1, but the specs sound interesting to me. Maybe one of these will become a project for the next winter evenings.

73 Bernhard DL4CW

In reply to DL4CW:

another interesting SOTA CW rig is the “PFR-3” from QRPKITS.COM.
I have both the ATS-3 and the PFR-3 and like the later much more…
73 kurt HB9AFI

In reply to MM0FMF:

I suppose I really shouldn’t do anything to assist CW in its grandiose plot to take over SOTA (Tomorrow - THE WORLD!) but you might like to look at the kits in the Somerset Range:



Brian G8ADD

In reply to HB9AFI:
I agree with Kurt. The PFR-3 is excellent!

I have a K1 which is great but I probably wouldn’t take it on SOTA trips (but you could)

I bought an ATS-3B but didn’t build it as the PFR-3 came along soon after and looked more robust and easier to build so I bought it and sold the ATS-3B kit (for the purchase price).

The PFR-3 really is an “all in one” box and you would find it a doddle to build Andy. You can read about (and see) my build experience here:


Email me if you want more information.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to MM0FMF:
Most of my HF activations have been with a KX1 and a K2 for the easier summits. I find these both work well whilst great fun to build.

Roger MW0IDX