Two new QRP rigs from two different countries provide an insightful look into the vast differences between those two countries’ economies and cultures.
The recently available X1M Pro is a fully-built 5-band SSB/CW rig from China. It puts out 4 watts, has a general coverage receiver, built-in keyer, RIT, 100 memories and comes with a microphone.
The soon-to-be-available Juma TRX2A is a 9-band SSB/CW kit from Finland that has a 10-watt output, general coverage receiver, built-in keyer, RIT and three selectable receive filters.
Not available on the spec sheets for each rig is the quality of components and engineering expertise that goes into each rig and the rig’s design. I’m skeptical of most products from China until proven otherwise.
For a long while now, Juma seems to have struggled to get off the ground. A recent update to their website mentions that sales of their kits will now be handled by a third party. Meanwhile, China is producing a growing variety of HF kits and fully-built rigs (and an even larger number of V/UHF rigs) with varying degrees of quality.
Ten-Tec recently re-branded a Chinese YouKits rig that gets rave reviews from almost all its owners; other rigs from China either fail to materialize or arrive with bugs (X1M will operate split on SSB but not on CW!) and/or user-unfriendly software (like my new Boafeng HT).
The Chinese Method seems to be: Throw enough crap at the wall and something will eventually stick.
I hope Juma gets it going this time. Their rigs are beautiful and I’d love to build one, especially if their prices become just a bit more reasonable.
And, truth be told, I’d rather support Finnish culture than one that puts its children to work (this littler toddler is good – he didn’t get that way by going to school). This is simultaneously amazing and sad: