In 2017, QRP Labs changed the QRP kit landscape when they released the QCX, a high performance single band QRP CW transceiver. For $49 a person can have a self aligning transceiver packed with features.
Many wondered: will they follow up with a SSB kit? The answer of course is yes. But it’s going to be so much more than that!
Enter the QSX
The QRP Labs QSX is an All Mode All Band transceiver kit. But that’s just the beginning! Out of the box it sports CAT control, it’s digital ready, and has a 24 bit SDR front end. It puts 10w out and has a big heat sink so the PA doesn’t overheat during those late night FT8 sessions. It also has a built-in iambic keyer and can work psk31 and CW with just a keyboard, no computer needed.
Pricing isn’t firm but a 40m single band base rig is expected to be about $75 and the all band version about $150. This may change as the release gets closer towards the end of 2018.
But don’t take my word for it! Go to the QRP Labs website and see all the specs, and an interview with Hans Summers regarding the development, goals, and features of the QSX:
Is the QSX a uBITx killer?
No, not really. Yes it has more features and yes it will be similarly priced. But the uBITX is a very different radio. It is not SDR based, is a super het. Additionally, the uBITX is a completely open-source design that is extremely hackable. The QSX on the other hand will surely be hackable in some ways as most of the QRP Labs kits are, but the software is all closed source and is not hackable, unless you want to build your own from scratch which would likely be a daunting task.
All in all the QSX is going to be another entry into the growing world of affordable QRP transceivers, and I am eager to see this radio in person!