September 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm #3639KB1BBYMember
I have made some very desirable modifications and enhancements to my LD-11 transceiver, as follows: I rewired an M-206S hand mic, which was actually an OEM spare for my previous FX-9A transceiver. It sounds very good and is much smaller than the hand mic which was supplied with the LD-11 transceiver. The gold plated right angle mic plug also puts a LOT LESS STRESS on the transceiver’s small 3.5mm mic jack. This will be the ONLY HAND MIC INCLUDED with the rig. The big LONG 3.5mm straight plug on the OEM hand mic was destined to cause premature wear and tear on the internal contacts inside the LD-11 mic jack. That original hand mic was HUGE for this tiny rig! I also removed the big, fat, oversized and unsightly silver flower-shaped knobs for VFO and AF. They have been replaced with much lower profile black knobs. The AF knob is a small plastic knob (push-on with splines) and the main tuning/VFO knob is a low profile machined aluminum knob with set screw mount, finger dimple and fine tooth knurling on the outer diameter. Much better streamlined look and improved functionality as well. I have also modified an Icom IC-SM6 desk mic to work with this transceiver. Rather than chopping up the original Icom 8-pin round plug and harness, I simply made a small lightweight metal adapter/interface box. The original Icom preamp board and electret element were causing RF feedback when used with an amplifier and therefore REMOVED from the Icom desk mic and replaced with a slightly less sensitive electret element. It now gets very good audio reports and is very convenient for desktop operations. The PTT button will lock by simply sliding it into the lock position. Also…last but not least…I used a very thin Dremel cutoff wheel to VERY NEATLY cut down and squarely file the small, narrow internal circuit board which previously supported the long and protruding original BNC antenna jack. It simply would not be feasible to desolder the congested lead-free solder joints. I then replaced the original BNC female antenna jack with a very nice low profile gold SMA FEMALE antenna jack with an external gold washer. The internally installed RG-213 coax jumper has a very good strain relief loop and is very neatly soldered with Kester high purity rosin core solder…not the newer ROHS approved “lead-free” JUNK solder. This mod was done so neatly, that it actually looks like it was factory done. With about 20 years experience in the engineering field…AFTER being a US ARMY radio tech for 5 years…this was a very easy mod to do. The low profile and excellent functionality is nice….and VERY PORTABLE. The internal RG-213 jumper and external SMA female antenna jack have been bench tested and confirmed to handle up to 20W PEP without leakage or RF feedback….which is 12W MORE than the max RF output of this transceiver.
Admittedly…I have only used this QRP rig for SSB voice transmissions (sold my iambic keyer and paddles awhile ago). For that purpose, it has worked very well indeed. I have run it 5W QRP and I have also driven a couple of different small amplifiers with no problems whatsoever. Receiver is VERRRY SENSITIVE and the DSP filtering is pretty good.
I really expected to be BLOWN AWAY with the DSP performance of this rig. Don’t get me wrong, it does work quite well…but not what I would honestly define as being absolutely stellar. This is most definitely the BEST QRP RIG I HAVE EVER OWNED, hands down (makes the Yaesu FT-817ND look utterly prehistoric and overall simply pathetic). The Elecraft KX3 MAY overall be better than this LD-11….but I have never owned the KX3 and unless I win the lotto, I probably never will. Overall, my previous FX-9A transceiver served my casual SSB purposes very well, but I wanted the additional 6M band coverage and highly boasted DSP filtering. As it turns out, I really didn’t NEED the additional 6M band coverage and highly exaggerated DPS filtering performance. Therefore, I am selling this rig and probably reverting back to the basic FX-9A transceiver. I just have minimal free time and don’t operate HF all that much anymore.
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