Brent’s updated review of the CQHam TB Box

Many thanks to Brent (VA3YG) who writes:

Hi Thomas, hope you’re well.

Just a short message to bring you up to date on the performance of the new equipment.

In a nutshell, it’s brought me back to my old faithful friend, the FT-817. I bought my FT-817 20 years ago and it’s served me flawlessly all these years. It’s not the best at everything but it’s a perfect QRP shack-in-the-box.

The TB Box makes the little Yaesu a pleasure to use. The tuner tunes my 43’ vertical and K6ARK end fed random wire from 80-10 for the vertical and 40-10 for the ef random wire.

The battery tray slips out to reveal 6 Panasonic 18650 cells. The battery life is exceptional even with the 817 set on 5 watts. I’m just now in the process of topping the batteries up.

Attached are a couple pics of my operating situation today….it was such a nice day out on the driveway. I have a telescopic pole attached to the RV and strung the 41’ of wire up. Also, a closeup of the battery tray and one of the cells.

I can whole heartedly recommend this piece of gear to supplement an FT-817/FT-817ND/FT-818ND.

Loving it!

Brent VA3YG

Very cool! Thank you for sharing the update, Brent! I’ll admit that I like the “old school” simplicity of this power and trans match system.

Click here to check out the CQHam TB Box on eBay. (partner link)

8 thoughts on “Brent’s updated review of the CQHam TB Box”

  1. Very nice Brent. I feel the same way about my IC-705. I use can use either the AH-705 or an Elecraft T1 for a tuner. It’s nice to work with things you like. BTW I also have a Begali Traveler (mine is blue). It is the paddle I use the most when out and about. Hope to work you in the future.

    1. Thanks Scott, I think the IC-705 is going to be my next rig. My KX3 and PX3 sit idle, not because I don’t like them, but I really get a kick out of using things I’ve built. The Hendricks PFR3B and the Pentek TR-35 are fantastic QRP cw rigs that seem to be my go to rig. The PFR3B with the built in balanced liner tuner is so versatile. Recently I upgraded the Traveller finger pieces to aluminum and find that makes a world of difference for accuracy in sending…

  2. The TB Box looks like a great idea for the FT817. I’d add one to my FT817 if I did not already have it in a PVC frame go box with LDG Z817 tuner, battery and AC supply.

    73, ron, n9ee/r

  3. Thanks for sharing this. How long do you get in the battery pack, assuming 5W and usual transmitting:receiving?

    Bruce VA7SGY

    1. Hi Bruce. I’m away right now and can’t recall. From memory, I’ve not been disappointed. When I return home shortly, I’ll get that estimate and publish it or perhaps email you.

  4. Although today, I bought 818nd for 2 years, sota/pota, a total of 10 times, successful communication twice, I recently bought tbbox, but the complex environment makes my communication difficult, I still hope that he can bring me some good luck.

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