Thursday, April 5, 2018

Minion Mini: a new fully built QRP rig from QRPver with a QRO surcharge

I've recently thought that it might be beneficial to have a stand-alone FT8 station that could operate on receive continuously, uploading spots to PSK Reporter and HamSpots. Such a set-up would provide an insight into band openings at the user's location and with the user's particular antenna capabilities.



This $350 rig and a small laptop could provide that functionality with minimal current draw (heat generation) compared to the Big Rig and desktop computer, not to mention being available for actual QSO's and portable operation at a moment's notice. Have I talked myself into it yet...!

Some specs:

- Lowest price relative to features available, and competitive offerings
- Assembled & tested
- Very small size (100x100x30 mm)
- Light weight (430-g)
- Modest power consumption (~120-ma on receive)
- USB interface for CAT control (TS-440 protocol)
- 5-9 watt power output
- .5 micro-volt receiver sensitivity (not *great*, but acceptable relative to the price)
- 80-db of AGC dynamic range
- Simple uncluttered functional ergonomics

And a video:


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More details on the QRPver website, including a manual and schematic.

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UPDATE: I was all set to order one and pay via PayPal - until a surcharge (a big one!) kicked in for using that method of payment. This is not a shipping charge as I had not yet added my address or even country to which shipping would be required.

A bit of research shows that this is an unscrupulous (and illegal) practice engaged in by some vendors. It is against PayPal's Terms of Service to add these charges.

No thanks.


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6 comments:

  1. Shame about those 'fees.' I was considering the same rig and their even smaller mono-bander, but just closed both tabs...

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    Replies
    1. I emailed QRPver and asked about that charge. I'll post the reply here if I get one.

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  2. Check the FAQ. There was a question asked about this in 2017. If PayPal won't support the country they are operating from they have to use an intermediary. That's unfortunate but not unscrupulous

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  3. Hi John, Glad to see you picked my post from ehams about the DC-3001 for your blog. As the previous comment here suggests, a bit more research using the QRPver FAQ, explains the surcharge::

    > This is due to the fact that in our country there is no possibility to
    > accept PayPal directly and we have to accept payment through the
    > gateway where a commission is charged for each transfer of funds.

    I agree that a $60 surcharge is an exorbitant amount for the convenience of using PayPal, so why not use the SWIFT Money Transfer option instead? Suggesting the surcharge is illegal and or unscrupulous, unnecessarily creates a bad reflection.

    I was motivated to share the news about this rig's availability, so some intrepid hams would test the airwaves, and share their findings. Hopefully some critical reviews will still be forthcoming, despite unfounded fears about doing business with a Russian/Ukrainian vendor such as QRPver.

    -at-your-own-risk-insert-joke-about-Russian-oligarchs-here-

    de VE3OCU in Ottawa

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    Replies
    1. You're right - that was probably a bad choice of words.

      Regarding SWIFT Money Transfer, their FAQ warns that a refund will only result in an amount 87.5% of the total being refunded. These penalties are a big deterrent in doing business with Ukraine. I wonder why PayPal has such policies...

      As a side note, I have done business with QRPver before and posted the satisfactory results of that here:
      http://ae5x.blogspot.com/2016/06/qrpver-for-20m-psk-arrives-from-ukraine.html

      At that time, such policies were not in place. If they were, I never would have bought the transceiver in the first place.

      I hate to see a company being strangled by such policies and was very much ready to buy a Minion Mini but am unwilling to pay the price for policies put into place by PayPal (and likely for good reason).

      73 - John

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  4. If they said it was 45.00 it still sounds like a good deal---and we wouldnt be talking about it.

    ReplyDelete