Ham Radio gift ideas and stocking stuffers for a QRPer (even if it’s you!)

Each year, I receive emails for spouses and friends of hams asking for gift ideas and suggestions. I also receive gift suggestions from readers. Of course, I also have a few gift ideas of my own–!

The following gift ideas are all under $100 US, save the few radios we also mention at the bottom of the post. Note that Amazon, eBay, and ABR links are affiliate links that support QRPer.com at no cost to you.


Hot off the press! I wrote about this book in a previous post (click here to read). In short, it’s the perfect gift for the field radio op in your life.

As a contributor of this book, the ARRL have given me a coupon code to share with my readers and subscribers; this will give you free shipping.

At checkout, simply enter my callsign as a coupon code: K4SWL (UPDATE: the coupon code is working again. ARRL staff have kindly extended this coupon code until December 10, 2023!)

Click here to purchase on the ARRL website.

A good arborist throw line kit

My opinion? Every ham that likes to play radio outdoors and lives in an area trees should have a good arborist throw line and weight. It makes deploying wire antennas so easy and effortless. Plus? It’s fun!

We have an article in the archives that covers pretty much every throw line option, but if you want one that should suit everyone? I recommend this particular combination: the Weaver arborist throw line/weight and storage bag.

N6ARA goodies

Ara (N6ARA) makes a number of ham radio accessories in kit form and fully assembled. All of them are affordable, tiny, and perfect for the QRPer in your life. Ara offers tiny Morse Code keys, tiny SWR meters, and tiny common mode chokes. Check out his full product line at N6ARA.com.

Wire antennas all made by real hams!

One of the great things about our ham radio world is that some of the best products are made by hams for hams. I love supporting the amateur radio mom-and-pop/cottage industry.

The following are a few wire antenna manufacturers I highly recommend. Some of these are kits and some are fully-assembled:

  • K6ARK End-Fed Antenna Kits: These wire antennas are some of the smallest, most compact out there. They’re quite fun to build but might not be ideal as a first antenna build since the parts are pretty small.
  • KM4CFT End-Fed Antenna Kits: These kits are new to the market and quite small. They’re only slightly larger than the K6ARK kits above, and a little easier to build from kit form.
  • Tufteln Antennas and Accessories: Joshua makes a wide array of amateur radio products. His antennas are outstanding and I use them all the time. They’re available as kits and pre-assembled. He also has a number of 3D-printed ham radio accessories.
  • PackTenna Antennas: PackTenna–run by George (KJ6VU) and Mark (N6MTS)–makes some amazing and incredibly sturdy wire antennas. I’m not sure if they’ll have stock ready to ship before Christmas or not.

There are so many excellent antenna manufacturers out there, I simply can’t include them all. These are primarily antennas I’ve used and tested in 2023. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section of this post!

Morse Code Keys

I’m a massive fan of CW Morse Keys: they’re affordable, they’re durable, and they’re a pleasure to use.


There are a wide variety of batteries out there and, as QRPers, we get to use a lot of them because our radios don’t require a lot of capacity.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Talentcell Rechargeable 12V 3000mAh Li-Ion Battery: I have purchased a total of three of these over the years. They will power almost all of my QRP radios for hours at a time. The provided barrel connector fits most Elecraft, Penntek, and QRP Labs radios. One of the best battery deals out there.  ($26.59 US)
  • Bioenno 3 Ah LiFePo Battery (Model BLF-1203AB): This is the workhorse of my battery collection. I find that one charge will take most of my radios through 3-5 field activations. ($64.99 with charger)
  • USB-C Rechargeable 9V Li-Ion Batteries: Do you own a Mountain Topper radio? If you do, these little 9V batteries are amazing, I find that they will power my MTR-3B for more than an hour on one charge! I only recently discovered these thanks to Adam (K6ARK). Note that I’ve gotten feedback that some other brands of these 9V cells produce RFI/QRM. These have not, so I’d stick with this same brand. ($15.29 US for two batteries and a charging cable)

A good cable assembly

I have a lot of feedlines and cable assemblies. While I do build my own, I also purchase high-quality assemblies from companies I trust.

I’m a massive fan of ABR Industries and have written about them pretty extensively on QRPer.com. I’ve been a customer of theirs for more than a decade.

This year, they became a QRPer.com affiliate and even offer a 10% discount for our readers. Many of the links below allow you to choose the length of cable. If you’re buying this for the ham radio op in your world and you’re not sure what length, I feel 20 or 20 feet is a good all-around length.

I also purchase assemblies from my friends, George (KJ6VU) at PackTenna and Joshua (N5FY) at Tufteln. Both make high-quality RG-316 assemblies:

D-Shaped Earphones

Randall (W7UDT) recommends the following product:

Thomas, I’ve used these earbuds for several months. I bought 6 of them, given their simple robust design, sound quality, and price. I like that they are comfortable to wear, and/or loud enough to be used as a mini speaker. The right-angled plug provides for compact strain relief. Perfect for the QRP enthusiasts. eBay, ten bucks for two! No battery to charge, works great…


Thanks, Rand! I would also add that I love these Sony earbuds. They’re only about $9-10 for a pair and I think the audio quality is excellent. They also provide passive sound isolation if using them in a noisy environment.

HF QRP Radios

Do you have the budget to splurge on a radio?  Here are a few new options out there:

  • The QRP Labs QMX: This is a small five band radio is capable of CW and Digital modes. Price ranges from $95 (kit) to about $165 (assembled) depending on the options ordered. Keep in mind, the pre-assembled units ordered now might not sip until the summer of 2024.
  • The Elecraft KH1: I’ve been using this radio for a few weeks and really love it. It’s one of the most portable HF radios on the market. Keep in mind that it is CW only, so if you’re buying this as a gift, you need to make sure the recipient knows Morse Code. The radio costs anywhere from $550 – $1100 US depending on how it’s configured. As with the QMX (above) if you order now, it might not ship for a few months.
  • Xiegu G106: If you’re looking for an affordable QRP radio that does both CW and SSB, you might consider the G106. It’s not a stellar performer, but it certainly gets the job done. A great radio to keep in the vehicle for those impromptu radio outings or even for emergencies. Before purchasing, I’d highly recommend reading my full review of this rig and maybe considering ordering a BCI filter kit, too. This link to Radioddity will save you $10 of the price. Just search the site for “G106.”

14 thoughts on “Ham Radio gift ideas and stocking stuffers for a QRPer (even if it’s you!)”

  1. I used to check Packtenna’s page regularly, but they never have their main EFHW in stock. “Sold Out” constantly, so I quit checking.

    1. Packtenna EFHWs will be back in stock this month:
      “EFHW and Random wire antennas are scheduled to be done by mid-December. That means we should have some before Christmas. Ho Ho HO !”

  2. Solid recommendations, all!
    One comment on the CWMorse paddles. There are two versions: the slightly more expensive version is made from a plastic that is more suitable for extended outdoor exposure, and the slightly less expensive version is made from (if I recall correctly) a more biodegradable plastic. I have both and they look and feel identical. What Thomas linked to is the “outdoor” version, which I think is the best choice for QRP portable ops. But if you’re using yours mostly indoors I think you can save a few dollars on the “non-outdoor” version. (Frankly, I’ve used both of them outdoors and haven’t encounter an issue, but my outings tend to last for an hour or so in less than extreme conditions.)

    1. Someone else noted this. I’ll have to see what might be happening via the ARRL. I didn’t think there was a time limit on it.

      1. It’s working now. I sent a message to the ARRL about the problem and they may have fixed. Just ordered POTA book and it went through with your code. I thought if you were an ARRL member when you logged in it did not apply K4SWL with the standard member discount…but now all OK even with member discount also applied.

          1. I just got a message from the ARRL staff. They told me they’ve extended the K4SWL coupon until Dec 10. You might try doing a full refresh of that page and try again?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.