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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint

from Michael Cameron W5MGC on September 6, 2007
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BEST HF RIG FROM AN ERGONOMIC STANDPOINT?

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and this is particularly true with HF radios. I personally lament the fact that the big, bold rigs I've grown up with are giving way to non-descript computer controlled boxes.

Looking back over the last few years, the evolution to this sad state of affairs becomes evident—the Kenwood TS-B2000 was a bad omen. It appears that the big 3 radio manufacturers, and the others, are going to take us kicking and screaming into the next decade, with two radio choices: (1) small boxes without buttons, but with a USB interface and a software CD, or (2) an all in one small box with a 1 inch LCD screen, 1 knob and 4 buttons behind which will be 450 functions reachable via a menu driven system that will require a manual the size of a New York phone book to understand (and that will be the Nifty Guide version!). Change Mode from LSB to USB: Press Menu for 1.75 seconds; Rotate knob to Item 66; Press FNC for 4.13 seconds; Rotate knob to USB; Confirm Choice By Pressing ALT for 1.78 seconds; If ERR message, Reboot System and re-enter Time/Date settings; Send Notice of ERR Message to Microsoft; Press Menu 3 times within 5 milliseconds to Return to Main Menu...

What's ironic about this evolution is that the rate of decrease in the size of the display/buttons of modern rigs is directly proportional to the rate of decline in the eyesight of many Hams (myself included)! Makes you wonder about the usability designers at these manufacturers. Here's a hint to them: We already own a cell-phone—it is not our desire to have an HF radio that could be mistaken for a second cell-phone.

I do not discount that future Hams will be sending IM messages via their cell-phones to an HF transceiver via some Sky Command inspired set-up. I'm sure Verizon would love to have hams using up their 750 monthly minutes listening to 14.300 mHz over their cell-phones, and sending CQ using a cell phone coupled to a remote VOX HF transmitter. But, for now, I think most Ham prefer to maintain the purity of the hobby as it has been practiced the past 40 or so years. Don't even get me started about the heresy that is the Internet based virtual HF radio (No license required!)

Notwithstanding the foregoing--I must admit that I currently have an Icom IC-7000 (and have had a 718, 706MkIIG, 746 Pro and a 100D). But while the technical features of these rigs are great—ergonomically, it comes up short against some of the larger solid state and vacuum tube rigs of yesteryear. I have regressed to using a Kenwood TS-520 and a Kenwood TS-830S because I like having all the controls immediately available at my fingertips. I think these two rigs (along with some of the Collins and earlier Yaesu models) are just about as ergonomically perfect as you can get—and they still look awesome. Without getting into the details of performance (which, frankly, has been done to death), which rigs would you nominate as being the perfect HF rig from a usability/looks/ergonomic perspective, and which one has your vote as the worst from an ergonomic/looks/usability perspective? My votes (it is coincidence that they are both Kenwoods):

Best: Kenwood TS-830S

Worst: Kenwood TS-480HX

Mike Cameron

W5MGC

(c) 2007

Member Comments:
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Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by PD0AC on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Yaesu FT-920.

Worst: Icom IC-706 (all versions)

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by HA6SST on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Ten Tec Corsair II http://www.rigpix.com/tentec/corsairii.htm

Worst: Yaesu FTdx-9000MP http://www.rigpix.com/yaesu/ftdx9000mp.htm

HA6SST
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by PA7WWO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi All

I love my FT920.
Its looks and appearence are beautiful.
And it is a nice radio to use and to listen to,
It is very easy to learn to use and all functions are on the front of the TRX in seperate knobs.
You never have to use the menu in daily use and the TRX is solid built.

But I am very happy that in field use I have a FT857D.
I have used the FT920 twice in the field and with the classical power supply I have to carry abt 25 pounds for the trx and 40 pounds for the power supply.

I now use the FT857 and a switched powersupply and have to carry 6 pounds for the TRX and 4 pounds for the powersupply.

I surely love the layout and the easy way to operate the FT920 but my back prefers to use the FT857 in fieldoperation and take the lack of easyness in use for granted.
I do use the FT857 a lot and after a while you get pretty fast in using the menu's and adjusting the rig.

73 Jos pa7wwo
 
Ergonomics in Ham Gear  
by WB9YCJ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It seems to me (30 + years of Hamming) that ergonomics have been going downhill epecially as of lately and mostly from the Japanese rigs. Im glad this topic has been brought up here. Without reffering to Websters dictionary, my definition of ergonomics in Ham gear is simply the efficient Interface between equipment and operator with much of this being determined by operator attitude (tolerance, acceptance, SPEED, EASE and EFFICIENCY of executing desired operator inputs, equipment ability to transduce physical and audible results back to the operators brain and hands).

Many noticed things going down hill ergonomics wise with the introduction of the FT-100. Then, as a very happy FT-1000D owner I found it difficult to accept the introduction of the MK 5 and the MP series - why? Just about everyone accepts the MK5 and MP series as superior performing rigs. But when I sat down in front of them at the dealer, my first reaction was - "Give me my FT1000D back!" What can make bad ergonomics? Well to start, knobs and buttons crammed in so close that you rub or bump one when you intend to change/adjust another. Knobs and push buttons with labels so small they are difficult to read. The FT-9000 and FT-2000 are especially guilty of this and Im surprised at the acceptance these radios have received. Its no wonder the IC-7800 has excelled in sales with its thoughtfull layout, form and ergos. I have sitting in front of me as I write this an IC-781 which I am reluctant to part with. Other rigs which I give good marks in ergonomics include IC-775, IC-765, TS-570, TS820, 830, 930, 940, 950 and Drake, Collins, TenTec and perhaps most of the seventies, eighties and first half of the nineties Japanese rigs. Multi - layered menus which to many are ergonomically unfriendly seem to start popping their heads in the last half of the ninties and include FT-817, 857, 897, IC706, 703, arguably 756, 7000. TS2000 (I think the ergos really suffer on this terrific performing rig), TS50, TS60, TS480. Hey, I just bought a TS570SG (with it very easy to read display) since it has better ergos IMHO than the TS480 which is considered a superior receiver. Id easily have paid for a TS480 in a TS570 form factor. Anyway, I like the upcoming IC-7700 and perhaps the new FT950 as they appear to be moving back somewhat to the "Radios made for North American hands" department. Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood, JRC, etc, many of us would be willing to pay the extra in overseas shipping for the bigger radios.
73,
Ken
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by PA7WWO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi to All

I forgot the worst TRX

I've got 2 rigs for this.

The Yaesu FT9000MP and the Icom IC7800.
If I want to read the instruction manual of both rigs i should take a sabaticall for a month.
To much to remember to many menu's on both rigs and way to dificult in use.
The both of them are over the top.

Most off the hams I know would not be able to use these rigs at there full potential even if they owned them for more then 5 years

If I had to choose between a FT9000MP a IC7800, or a FT840 or a IC718, I surely would choose the FT840 or IC718.
If you have these simple TRX for three days you know every in and out of it.

73 Jos
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by ZS6AN on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My summary of all the radios I have used over the years:

Best base - FT1000D

Second best base - FT920....at a push, I would rate the FT2000 just behind the FT920)

Worst base - TS820S (my opinion)

Best mobile - FT857D

Worst mobile - IC706

73

John (ZS4S)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KA4KOE on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best Kenwood TS-940, TS-830

Worst TS-570
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W5ONV on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like my TS 570. Easy to use,reliable,good receive and good transmitt.Good price. I like it. 73, Jim
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N0IU on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
PA7WWO wrote:

Hi to All

I forgot the worst TRX

I've got 2 rigs for this.

The Yaesu FT9000MP and the Icom IC7800.
If I want to read the instruction manual of both rigs i should take a sabaticall for a month.
To much to remember to many menu's on both rigs and way to dificult in use.
The both of them are over the top.

Most off the hams I know would not be able to use these rigs at there full potential even if they owned them for more then 5 years

RESPONSE:

If someone is that serious about their amateur radio activities that they are willing (and able) to spend $10,000 plus on a single radio, then they will surely take the time to devour the user's manual so they can get the best performance from their rig.

I am sure there are some people who bought these radios just for the status of owning one. If they don't take the time to learn about their new play toys, then that is their loss.

These radios were not meant to compete with entry level rigs. Don't blame the manufacturer for the faults of the end user.

Scott N0IU
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N4MJG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
i love yeasu stuff ft-102 ,ft-847 , ft 817nd, ft-897d.

The 706m2g is ok for mobile

maybe the ic 7000 would be better in (my opinion)



73
Jackie
KG4ORX
WEBSITE http://webpages.charter.net/kg4orx/

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W3ULS on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: FT-920; Ten-Tec Jupiter

Worst: IC-756PRO III

I am a CW man at heart, and the FT-920 and the Jupiter are (were) designed for me. It looks as if the new Ten-Tec OMNI VII follows the Jupiter's design closely. I tried an FT-2000 at HRO a while back and did not warm up to its ergonomics. I'm hoping the new FT-950 will be more like the FT-920.

I never got used to using "split" in the PRO III, and generally the Icoms I've had do not put the CW op first.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W2BLC on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Corsair (either model) is a great rig if you like older technology. Simple and easy to use effectively.

Currently I use a TS-480. Easy to learn. I usually only use the on/off, AF Gain, VFO, Band Change, Attenuator, and filter selector. Seldom is there a need to go to the menu. In my opinion - the 480 is the best rig I have ever owner - and I have owned just about every rig ever made - except for those costing over $5000.

The worst piece of junk I have ever owned is an FT-100, followed closely by an 857D. Nice physical design - lousy quality and performance.

Middle of the road - a 1000MP (original flavor). But, you still had to contend with a menu. Also good are the 990s and 920s.

Lamenting about the past will do you no good. It is just that - the past. Push buttons and menu operation is a part of everyday life. Unless you live off the grid and in a cave, learn to live with it. Your car, cell phone, TV, stereo, alarm clock, stove, garage door remote, and nearly everything else is menu driven.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG4RUL on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: TS2000X
Worst: A tie between the FT-100D and FT-857
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by VE3TMT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Of what I own or owned,

Best: Kenwood TS830 and TS850 and Yaesu FT920. All the important controls are up front and they do what they do, simply and exact.

Worst: Icom 706 series.

If money was of no concern, I would hands down get the 7800, it is just a great looking radio. I have no desire to own any of the FT9000 series, in my opinion they are cluttered and ugly. But as I said, that is my opinion.

..and I still wouldn't part with my 850!

Max
VE3TMT
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint? None.  
by AI2IA on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There presently is no BEST HF RIG FROM AN ERGONOMIC STANDPOINT!

If you spend many hours in front of a rig, then you begin with the display. You need a well illuminated, glare-free display at eye level. Next you need controls that you can reach and operate with your hands quickly and easily at hand level. Every try to pick up some of these rigs? You need firm, secure, hand-fitting grips that take into account the center of gravity of the unit. Push buttons must not be crowded together such that you can inadvertantly depress two (or more!) at once. Need we discuss the ergonomic atrocities at the back end of the rig? Concentrate on circuit board design; crowd everything in; use a million tiny metric screws. Ever try to install filters or worse yet, a crystal? User friendly? Pah!

Just because we are used to it, does not mean that all rigs out there now cannot be ergonomically improved! Will they do it? Probably not! Same old, same old exterior surfaces and tiny metric screws await your attempt to open the rig. Creativity? It must play second fiddle to cost of production and profit ratio say the business genius folks.

If there are Martians, then they would have ergonomic rigs, but don't look for them on Earth!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N8EMR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The orginal icom 706 was the pits for mobile use. The MKGII make changes to make it much more usable.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KD5RGJ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
PLEASE DON'T FORGET THE HT'S. THE OTHER RIGS PALE IN COMPARISON IN TRYING TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT OPERATING SIMPLEX. THE HTX-202 IS BIG AND CLUNKY BUT VERY SIMPLE TO OPERATE. I VOTE IT # 1 IN IT'S CATEGORY.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K1TWH on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Alinco DX-70T
Worst: Icom IC-706
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE4SKY on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have three Yaesu FT900CAT which I use for mobile, portable and base. While I've flirted with newer radios, I keep going back to the FT900. I don't need everything in one box and prefer separate 2m (all-mode Kenwood TM255A) and UHF (commercial IC-F221), so my HF radios are HF-only, which works fine for me.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N9VO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I wasn't aware there were any HF HT's. Might need a new thread.......
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WA2DTW on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best. Ten Tec Argonaut V
Worst. Yaesu FT-817 (don't get me wrong. This is only from an ergonomic standpoint. Otherwise the 817 is a GREAT rig.)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by TIMEWILLTELL on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
you know, .... I think that these questions about "what is the best HF rig" are nothing more than a, "hey look at what I have". And of course if you have it, it is the best by far, and your back up rig is second best.

Tree peeing at its best.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N9DG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The best is PowerSDR running with either the FlexRadio SDR-1000 or the Flex-5000. The same software runs on both models. It is excellent ergonomically simply because it doesn't try to paint a picture of knobs and buttons radio on a computer screen. It is instead geared toward optimizing the user interface design for use on a computer screen from the get go.

The user interface is very intuitive and easy to learn. It can also provide a true real-time panadapter or waterfall display for a slice of spectrum up to 192 kHz. From there if you see a signal you move the mouse pointer to the appropriate spot and click. You are instantly tuned in, no reaching for, or fiddling with knobs. And if you have the "snap tune" option set you don't even have to be very precise with your click either. And if by chance you missed the signal just roll the mouse wheel to get zeroed in.

Also the PowerSDR menus are all plain language and are easy to get to. Most menu items are set and forget items anyhow. No numerical based menu systems with cryptic pseudo-text indicators here.

No doubt future versions will offer both much simplified control panels, and also task optimized control panels. Such as ones optimized for DX, and others for contesting, and yet others for other modes and styles of operating. The knobs and buttons radios today all try to cram everything into multifunction tiny buttons or pile on a ton of buttons. In the end they are always a compromise for everyone. And they'll never change significantly once they leave the factory.

While the pre menu knobs and buttons vintage radios are nice and simple to use, they just can't give you as good a sense of what is happening on any given band. You really do need a panadapter, or better yet a waterfall display to truly know what is happening on a band. And to make the best use of panadapters and waterfalls you do need to use something more efficient than a VFO knob to maneuver around the bands with.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5EAT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My old Yaesu Ft-757 and 747 were really easy to use.
My FT-2000 is very nice because of all the buttons on the front. I rarely have to go into a menu for anything on it. I have Yaesu 857,897, and KWD TS-480 and they are all easy enough considering the use of menu functions.

The absolute worst rig in terms of ergonomics is the SGC 2020. It will run all day on a single "C" cell battery, but it's about as intuitive as my old AZDEN PCS 5000 2 meter rig.

The Elecraft K2 and Icom 7000 are wonderful radios but somewhat complicated. Oddly enough - I have an original IC-706 and I found it fairly easy to operate.

Everytime someone poses a subject like this - I realize how many rigs I need to sell.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NB1U on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Strictly from experience with my own gear...

Worst: Yaesu FT-857...Too small, 3-deep menus.
That said I do like it because one gets alot of radio in a very compact space.

Best: Collins 75A-4 receiver and Central Electronics 100V transmiter...Big, no menus, all adjustments on the front. 100V is no-tune like modern radios.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W4VR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For SSB I use a PROII and PROIII. My backup is an IC718. For the money the 718 is hard to beat for performance. I don't know how it rates in a lab test, but operationally it's a lot of bang for the buck. The menu system on the Icom radios is very easy to use. I had a TS570 as a back for a couple of years...if you don't have a photographic memory you have to take the book out every time you want to change a menu item...and I understand the Yaesu radios are no different.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K7RNV on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hello from Reno Nv.. The best rig is the yaesu ft1000mp mark v and the ft 847. There are no bad rigs, just bad or should i say hams that can!t understand the manual. Yes radios have there problems and from time to time everyone has there rig break. So pick the one you like and enjoy the hobby, i sure do..73 Bob K7rnv
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WW5AA on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, the manufactures will drag us into the digital age thank heaven. It took me a long time to figure it out. I was stuck in the dark ages of AM for to long, but this time around Iím catching on. The learning curve is a little higher than the old junk we love so dearly, but the new stuff is incredible.

1. Base: IC-756 Pro III (I didnít think it was as good on receive as my IC-751A until I looked at the MANUAL and learned the MENUSí!).

2. Mobile: Yaesu 857D (Again a matter READING the MANUAL, until then it didnít stack up to my FT-900).

Yup, I have learned something, as difficult as it may be, READ the !#@*&+ MANUAL!

73, de Lindy
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE3WD on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another vote for PowerSDR here.

If Ergonomics is the subject, the open source abilities of this one can even be tailored to do it any way you think is best, too, consider that you could conceivably have different setups for different operating methods, too.

The change is coming, those who don't like it are likely to be the big complaint from Amateurs in the next decade, but expect more black boxes without knobs and computer controls like these.

Imagine rigs from the "big three" that have well written control softwares, perhaps with templates for beginners, different modes of operation, etc. with onscreen mouseover hints and help, etc.


KE3WD
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KF4HR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The $10K+ rigs typically have an excellent ergonomic layout, but are probably owned by less than 3% of the amateur population, so forgetting the highest-end stuff for a minute, and considering transceivers currently on the market...

Worst HF base from a ergonomic standpoint: TS-2000. Kenwood does squeeze a lot of functionality into it; 160m-70cm, satellite operation, decent DSP, etc, but the layout, small buttons (and even smaller print), and slow scrolling menu system can drive you nuts; especially if you're in a hurry. I own one. It's "ok" but I only use it as my standy-by rig.

Best all around HF Base: ICOM IC-756 Pro series. Good price, simple to operate (even without the manual), good overall performance, real-time bandscope a plus. I own one as my primary rig.

Best modern HF mobile: ICOM IC-7000 (seems to do everything fairly well. Menu's fairly easy to learn. Only complaint is the limited band scope functionality. I own one, as my primary mobile rig.

Worst modern HF mobile: FT-857D. Small everything, especially display. Had to keep the manual handy at all times. I used to own two - sold them both. Good-bye!

Radio most in need of being upgraded to a newer model:

Yaesu FT-736R - I own one and plan to keep it until parts are no longer available for it. Great rig!

Yaesu - FT-736R NEW VERSION NEEDED! Keep all the options; 220mhz, 1.2ghz, Sat Mode, ATV encode/decode, dual display. And add easy to use low-power transverter ports.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AK2B on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The best rig Iíve ever used, ergonomically, is the Softrock SDR transceiver from Tony Parks, KB9YIG. The RX/Tv6/2 coupled with a program called Rocky (Alex, VE3NEA) is the most straight forward, easy to use radio Iíve ever seen. You see on the display a 96 KHz section of the band with signals popping up at various places. Putting the cursor on a signal and clicking is all the tuning required. Dragging the slider under the signal changes the bandwidth. This may not be the ideal radio for those who like knobs (me included) but it sure is simple and a lot of fun. (After all, ham radio is a license to have fun.)

The worst radio, I guess, is my IC-706 mobile. I say this only because you asked for the worst. In practical use it is not all that bad. Working mobile cw most of the time, there is very little I need to do to change bands, tune the radio or match the antenna. Most of it can be done without taking my eyes off the road except for checking to see if Iím still in band. I use an AH-4 antenna coupler which means that a quick tap of the paddles makes the radio happy after a band change. For anything else beyond the norm, I pull off to the side of the road and hope I can remember how to get at the menu item I want to change.

Tom, AK2B

Incidentally, PowerSDR can also be used with any of the Softrock radios. I just like Rocky better.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NT4XT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Speaking in terms of strictly ergonomics, non-contest, my vote goes to:

Best: The Corsair, and for late model, pretty much Ten Tec anything, contest or otherwise.

Worse:
Hmmmmm. Well we don't want to go stirring up the hornet nest, do we? However, I tend to find Yaesu's and Icoms rather frustrating, especially the wonderkind swiss army knife kind that does 160m-70cm, while being able to fit in a cereal box. And I have rather small, geared towards compact electronics hands.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA4PB on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think the same is true of many electronics items, not just radios, as features become a matter of software rather than hardware. Features no longer cost a lot of money and so most demand lots of features. Lots of features also demands lots of user controls. The easiest way to implement the controls is in multi-layered menus.

Can you imagine what some of these multi-featured radios would look like if all the user controls were real hardware? You'd have a big front panel filled with controls. Take a look at a 32 channel studio audio mixer as an example :-)

This is an ongoing discussion in the commercial world as well. This thing is too complicated for the users. Can you take off some of the buttons? By the way, while you are doing that can you please add these 16 new features that we need? Sure, I can do it all with only one button. Just keep pushing it until you find the menu that you want. Of course it will take 75 button presses to get to some of the features!

I'll bet many hams are like me - never use 80% of the radio's features (once they are initially set). Have to break out the manual to figure out how to change some of them.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA4PB on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
In terms of simple ergonomics, the DX-100 :-)
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WX1F on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The author asked us to answer two simple questions without getting into the details of performance.

The answer from each of us should have been as simple as 1 plus 1 equals 2. Then the readers could browse through all the replies in a couple minutes.

Why is it that a certain few can't follow a simple request? There were some replies that were not even answers to either question! They were just spewing out drivel! It was exactly like the average 2m repeater....Overrun now with newbies talking just to hear themselves talk and trying their damnest to sound like real live radio operators with their stupid mix of "Q" codes and cb clichťs.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE3HO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best I've ever owned: TenTec Century 21.

It had 4 knobs and 2 push-buttons, and each of them did one thing and one thing only. ;-)

73 - Jim
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N2EY on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best HF rig from an ergonomic standpoint?

This one:

http://hometown.aol.com/n2ey/myhomepage/

(It was really good on Field Day, too).

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB2WIK on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For me:

-Somebody suggested the Jupiter as a "best." I think it's "pretty good," but nowhere near best. I hate that I have to push two buttons and turn a knob to change keyer speed, that's ridiculous, especially for a company so well known for producing fine CW rigs. Its menu is *excellent* in that every single thing you can control is spelled out in plain english, no need to refer to the manual for anything. But I want a front-panel independent control for power output, keyer speed and volume: Not one knob that controls all three, after pushing buttons. The N4PY software only allows you to alter computer-controlled features and functions but has no impact on the Jupiter front panel.

-The SDRs like the SDR1000 (I haven't used the 5000 yet) are weak, for me, because without a PUI (physical user interface) and only a GUI, I don't have nearly as much parallel functional control. As such, I dislike all this stuff. Those who operate their rigs using HRD or equivalent should be fine with it, but GUI control just slows me down -- it's never as fast as having two hands on the rig, turning two knobs in different directions simultaneously as I do a thousand times a day during a contest or similar. For casual operating with time to kill, the GUI is okay.

-I agree with others about the "big radios with big panels and a lot of knobs:" they're pretty much the best, and easiest to use once you start using them. I love my TS-850S for this, but also loved the TS-950SDX, TS-940S, etc; the IC-761/765/781 are good, too; as are the FT-990/FT-1000. Well-placed controls, easy to reach, easy to adjust make it possible to make simultaneous adjustments of 2-3 functions. A mouse click or even a touch-screen doesn't.

-In more "low end" (cheaper) rigs, the old Ten Tec SCOUT model 555 was one of the easiest and most ergonomically satisfying rigs I've ever come across. Very few controls, all did something meaningful; so easy to use that I don't think I ever even opened the manual (let alone read it!). I used this "mobile" for years and one of the great things about that is I could change every single function of the radio without ever looking at it -- could keep my eyes on the road, driving down the freeway at 75 mph, and change anything because the controls were large and well-spaced, and no menus were used. To me, that's the essence of what a "mobile rig" should be!

WB2WIK/6

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KU2US on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The easiest base to use-Alinco DX-77, simple, efficient, no bells and whistles.

The worst base for me to use-Kenwood TS-520 ( I still use it, but I cant stand adjusting plate voltage).

The best 2m mobile to use-Radio shack HTX-252..Again simple, micro small, and 25 watts out.

The worst 2m mobile to use-Azden.

Maybe I am just to simple?
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W3JJH on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent:
Collins KWM-2
TenTec Argonaut V

Pretty Good:
TenTec Omni VI
Kenwood TS-570
Yaesu FT-1000D

OK:
Elecraft K2

Bad:
Icom IC-706 (any version)
AN/GRC-106

Really Bad:
Yaesu FT-817

Your opinion will most likely be different.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA8X on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: FT-920 and TS-830s and FT-100d

Worst: IC-706 in all respects.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WR8D on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Buttons and knobs don't really bother me at all no matter how many or how few or how close together. I go for the receiver.

To date my IC-775DSP has had every drake, collins, kenwood, yaesu or ten-tec that i've owned beat on the noise floor. I've compaired them all inline on the same antenna at the same time to convince myself of the superior xceive in the 775. My pro-III is just to close to call between it and the 775 xceiver. So here i am still loving the 775DSP after buying it almost ten years ago. I'll never part with it but i love the bells and whistles and the display of the proIII. The others in the pro series never came close to the 775 but now it has a little brother in the proIII on the other end of the bench here.

I've been told by others doing a comparison between the proIII and the 7800 xceive that they are to close to call also. I guess when you make perfection as in the 775DSP xceive it will take another "roswell" incident for new tech to show up in the market..."hi".

The 775DSP is one of those big ole rigs too and looks very "spiffy" with those rack mounting handles attached. Prove my point to yourself. I'm sure there's a 775 owner near by. Just take your favorite rig over and put it inline next to it and thumb around the bands and listen to both of them at the same time.

I must put a plug in here for the kenwood TS-830 and it's VFO-230 too. It's just another of those rigs that once you've owned one it gets under your skin.

Have a great weekend everyone.

73 John WR8D

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by EX_AA5JG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Icom 740 and Kenwood TS850-the 850 is a better performer, though, and with a nice built in voice keyer option and CW memory keyer.

Worst: Yaesu FT1000MP-you have to go into a menu to turn off the subreceiver filter!!? You have to use a separate box to control the CW memory keyer? And another separate box for a "built in" voice keyer?

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AC6IJ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Lots of people are knocking the Icom 706 series rigs without any reason why? Of course if you are not capable of figuring out how to use it I could see why they say that. It's one rig that does it all at a modest price. I'd rate it #1. Bill
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by VA3XQ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ergonomically speaking

Best Kenwood Ts 570

Worst Ten Tec Jupiter

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K8GWW on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My choice is the Kenwood TS-570, not a top of the line radio but very nice. Very user friendly, controls well laid out and quick access to menu items and one button access to a few items that you access often such as power, etc. I have had mine for about four years and use it as my portable and special event radio. My main rig is a TS-870 which I like very much but have a hard time thinking about selling my TS-570. These comments come from a visually impaired operator. Jerry K8gww <
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W5HLH on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"If someone is that serious about their amateur radio activities that they are willing (and able) to spend $10,000 plus on a single radio, then they will surely take the time to devour the user's manual so they can get the best performance from their rig.

I am sure there are some people who bought these radios just for the status of owning one. If they don't take the time to learn about their new play toys, then that is their loss.

These radios were not meant to compete with entry level rigs. Don't blame the manufacturer for the faults of the end user."

I respectfully disagree. At that price level, the rig should be inherently user-friendly and intuitive to use; the user shouldn't have to fight it in order to use it. Needless complexity isn't a hallmark of good engineering design; it's the opposite,

Sometimes I think the designers of some high-end rigs are resentful of anyone who can afford such an expensive unit and deliberately make them as user-hostile as they can. At the very least, no one bothered to approach the design from the end user's perspective.

It seems to me Ten-Tec does the best job of getting the "human factors" part of the design task right.

I'll echo the remarks about how frustrating it is to use the Icom IC-706 series. Mine is collecting dust---maybe I should sell it on eBay---while my 20 year old IC-735 continues to give me faithful service on CW, and I don't have to consult the manual when I want to change bands. Okay, I'm exaggerating. . . . . but not by much.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N0IU on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with WX1F - most people here don't even know what ergonomics are! It has nothing to do with performance specifications.

Ergonomics: The applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering, human factors engineering.

Scott N0IU

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N0IU on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W5HLH wrote, "I respectfully disagree. At that price level, the rig should be inherently user-friendly and intuitive to use; the user shouldn't have to fight it in order to use it. Needless complexity isn't a hallmark of good engineering design; it's the opposite"

Have you ever used an ICOM IC-7800? Did you find it difficult to use? Did you find it "needlessly complex"? I don't have one (yet!), but having used one of the 756 family for around 8 years, I found the 7800 to follow along the same design funtionality and easy to use.

As far as good engineering design, the 7800 has received excellent reviews from those who have dug into the guts of this radio up to their elbows.

W5HLH went on to say, "At the very least, no one bothered to approach the design from the end user's perspective."

Actually, the 7800 is ICOM's attempt to design a radio that has most of the "wish list" features amateurs told them they wanted. Unlike Kenwood (who is getting out of the amateur radio business), ICOM (and Yaesu) have amateur radio operators at the helm of those organizations. Maybe you are just bitter because you can't have one!

Scott N0IU


 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KA5ROW on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Would be the Kenwood TS-530 & TS-830

Worst: Has got to be the Kenwood TS-2000.

The Kenwood TS-2000 is the ugliest looking radio ever. Radios are suppose be nice a square not a rounded front like this radio has.


I Currently own a TS-570 S and I like it. But it has to many multiple function buttons. I only use about 3 of them, the rest I have no use for.

Other Ugly HF Radios are:

Yeasu FT-817..... You need a Magnifying Glass to see the small Display.
Yeasu FT-857 .... Tuning knob to big as compared to radio size.
Yeasu FT-897 ..... A little better. Display is still to small.

Kenwood TS-480 ....Has got that ugly rounded face, and you can not attach the face to the radio.
Kenwood TS-2000 ..Ugly Ugly Ugly no mater how you look at it..

Icom: All are acceptable but could use a different display design. Other than that they are ok.

Most all at the Kenwood, Icom, Yeasu, and Ten-Tec radios from the 1990s looked nice.
" So what happened? "
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K2MEN on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Mike,

Nice article. Simple, to the point and generated a lot of good discussion. Thanks.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6NKN on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For simplicity, it doesn't get much better then the Drake TR-4C.

Stepping up, I would say the Kenwood TS-930 SAT.

For modern rigs, I'd pick the 756 Pro III.

N6NKN
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WR8D on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
We're having a good time it seems. Most of us want to add a few comments about our favorite ergonomic rigs. Why bitch about it?

It never fails here though, when ever a good thread comes along there are always those with their attitudes to take away from it.

nuff said! John WR8D
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NT4XT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I forgot to mention, this article is fun and entertaining.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB2DHG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that these new rigs of today are far less user frendly and harder to read as the older gear.
I happen to like the bigger rigs with knobs and buttons that are easy to use and read.
I am a big fan of the vintage equipment and for a good reason, they are much better and can be adjusted and modified easier!
They also look a lot better!
The most mordern rig I own is my ICOM 745 which I purchased new in 1987! My Yaesu FT-101EE is a charm to be on the air with. I guess it is all in your personal opinion but I would like to see the manufactors keep building the bigger rigs. I also would like to see a more down to earth afordable 100 watt rig without all the bells and whistles! Give us a basic rig like days gone by!
As a VE, I am seeing less applicants for amateur radio. I think anyone who may be interested in getting into this hobby will be immediately turned away because of the cost of some of these rigs and the dificulty of figuring them out...
So my vote for the best rigs to use is my ICOM 745, Yeasu FT-101EE and the good ol DRAKE T/R series!
DE: KB2DHG
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB7PST on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You know, in these days of software controllable radios (I'm thinking about pretty much any modern rig and Ham Radio Deluxe or similar) - it makes me wonder why someone hasn't designed a nice sturdy adjustable USB dial control that can control any sort of rig via computer - and while we are at it, what about combining it with user-definable switches, so that you can pretty much tailor the operator experience to what is most useful and needed for that person? Why can't we stick the interface we want on pretty much any radio we happen to have?
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KN7T on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Collins S-line
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NN4E on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I must agree - I have both - the FT-920 and FT-1000MP Mrk V. The FT-920 has the best ergonomics for HF radio - extremly pleasant to work with, the controls are laid out in a logic manner and the display is superb. The DSP controls are also one of the best I've seen! The FT-1000MP is not good at all ergonomics-wise and the display is not that great too!
My mobile FT-100D has the worst ergonomics tho - no direct frequency dial, no scan for PL tone when used with repeater, too small buttons, no backlighting for the buttons (its a mobile rig!!!!)
I like a lot the ergonomics of IC-R75/IC-718 - very well placed controls and perfect display!
The K2 had pretty good ergonomics before they introduced the DSP add-on - if you install the KDSP2 all goes down the drain when you try to engage it or display even the clock. The original tuning knob is pretty bad too!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K6AER on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For a high end radio I would pick the IC-7800
For a mid level radio I would pick IC-756 Pro-III
For an entry level transceiver the award goes to TS-570S/G
For a mobile the award goes to IC-706 Mk II-G

Best overall radio award goes toÖEnvelope pleaseÖ

(Drum role)

What a coincidence it is the radio I own.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W5GA on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best - Drake twins, any version

worst - TT Omni 6. The buttons are WAY too small for my fingers. I'll live with it though for the great RX.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AE1Y on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Nice to see the Yaesu 920 getting some good press. I have one and it's big with big knobs. Great radio for us old half blind people. I also have a TS-2000 great radio but those buttons are very small.


Best---Yaesu-920

Worst--Kenwood TSB-2000
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by G3VGR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I tried using my local club's new IC7000 at a special event station. It was truly awful. I never really mastered it over a whole weekend & had to keep referring to the manual to accomplish simple things. Considering I'd been using a IC706/iiG for a few years, so was not new to Icom menu-driven rigs, I was surprised at how dreadful and unintuitive the embedded menus of the IC7000 were. I suppose my K2 would be OK if the panel was larger, with bigger knobs, spread out a bit more. Best ergonomics I can remember was the old HRO receiver - every control seemed in the correct place & the tuning dial was a joy to turn.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5EAT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve: you are absolutely right. I don't know how I could have forgotten how much I enjoyed my Ten-Tec Scout. I had it in my old 87 Mustang for 2 years and it was truly an easy to operate radio. It's still my all-time favorite camping radio even though it ate batteries.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB2WIK on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint Reply
by N5EAT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve: you are absolutely right. I don't know how I could have forgotten how much I enjoyed my Ten-Tec Scout. I had it in my old 87 Mustang for 2 years and it was truly an easy to operate radio. It's still my all-time favorite camping radio even though it ate batteries.<

::Yep, ergonomics is all about user friendliness. One of my "ergonomics" tests is this one: Can I look at the front panel and figure everything out without opening the user manual? If the answer is "yes," that goes a long way towards ergonomic acceptability. The Scout is perfect in this regard.

The IC-706, like the FT-817/857/897 and many other little rigs, is terrible in this regard.

To me, a user manual should warn of hazards (e.g., "don't drop this rig on your foot, as you may break a toe") and maybe explain very advanced features if there are any, but should not be required to get a user up and running.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W4DL on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can no longer sit idly by and read the erroneous reports from my ham brethren; the ergonomically undisputed pinnacle of radiodom is the venerable Drake TR7 and TR5. The kluge of kluges is the FT1000MP.

Good DX,

Mike W4DL
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W3OZ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If it wonít go into a 19 inch rack have the power turned on and forgotten, I do not want it and it is ugly to me and very non-ergonomic. For me I want to look straight ahead, have my feet on the floor, my butt comfortable in my ergonomic chair and my display as large as I can afford at eye level with no glare.

I donít want or need to play with these kinds of knobs; I grew out of that a long time ago. If I canít do everything I want via my computer, I donít need it and it is for those old men down the street.

I started in amateur radio in 1957 with RME receiver, Johnson transmitters and I am not looking back.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W1XZ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ergonomics to a blind ham is different to a left handed ham is different to a computer savvy ham...and the list goes on. I have 42 push buttons and 13 knobs and dozens of menu functions on my transceiver and it is as ergonomically usable as one of the old Drakes. It just takes a bit of time to learn what does what. To those who don't like to tune a tube transmitter might I suggest needle point or stamp collecting. Which is better, peaches or string beans?
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K6YE on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
John (WR8D)

I agree with some of your points with respect to the 775. I only use mine for SSB and it does a superb job. However, my Yaesu FT-1000D is a dream on CW especially on zero-beating (my ears are not what they used to be). Roofing filters make both radios even better.

I also have an IC-756PRO but I hate menus. I worked for a Telco for 36 years and had a UNIX workstation on my left side, an HP on my right, and a Compaq laptop on my lap for writing code. So I am not fond of menus, IM, or modes that use keyboards.

Despite being a ham for 40+ years, I do not own really new equipment (made in the last 4 years) so I cannot speak with repect to them.

The worst rig I owned, for mobile use, was the "Faust Gonset designed" SBE-33. It had teeny knobs and a minature multi-function meter both of which required one to pull over to tune. In fact it was a pill when stationary. OTH, it had a very good receiver with the installed Collins filter.

I guess the reason for so many different rigs is proportional to personal tastes. Enjoy the hobby!

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WT0A on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
worst: tentec jupiter
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WO7R on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another vote for the PowerSDR software defined radio as best.

I use mine with the SDR 1000.

It is a fairly radical departure and some won't be able to embrace its visual paradigm, lack of knobs, etc.

Once you "get it", however, there's just all kinds of operational advantages that are easy to achieve with it that other rigs can't touch. This applies both for HF and VHF use as well.

And, it keeps getting better.


I don't know why the Icom 706 gets knocked so bad. I used the 703 (similar interface so far as I know) and prefer it to the Yaesu 857D by a long ways. The 857 has a lot of capability, but getting to and from things is a pain in the neck.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA1IK on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best is Kenwood 870, fully adjustable CW filter down to 50 HZ. Adjusted by pot on the radio face.

Worst: Index Labs QRP++ it had pot in the rear that had to be adjusted by screwdriver.

I fixed that!

de AA1IK/P

Ernie,

Home sick for my first rig, ic 735

PS. I am surprised that the 706 took such a pounding here. I can do anything that need doing on this rig in my sleep.

Its like playing my clarinet, I don't need to read the book on which keys to press for B flat!
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W6BR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Gee Folks, I've allways found that the Kenwood Radios were the most pleasing in both operational and esthetics qualities even to this day! My TS-950SDX is a dream to operate, listen to and the quality is par exelance!! I upgraded it with one of Inrad's Roofing Filters, and now I believe it is the best of the best, and a lot cheaper! $10,000.00 plus?? those new radios better cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for me! :-)

Kenwood for ever!! :-)

Ron, W6BR
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE7IPY on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It is a fairly radical departure and some won't be able to embrace its visual paradigm, lack of knobs, etc.
--WO0Z

I have a USB (the Bus not the sideband) knob controller for my PC that I use for a variety of different applications.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate/

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB6SSW on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Of the rigs that I've owned/operated:

Best: Drake TR-5 (no manual needed, everything was logical and single function rocker switches that made it easy to tell what's on and what's off.)

Worst: SGC-2020 (nice looking front panel, but it took two hands to operate it, menus that didn't make sense and a power cable that never stayed in place.)

73
Lee WB6SSW
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K0BG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A lot of nice comments, opinions, likes and dislikes. Added in are a few nay sayers, and protagonists, and the usual mishmash. What comes out at the end is; there's a radio for every taste.

I really can't add anything to what's been said, except for this: If the owners of all of these fine radios, would just take the time to familiarize themselves with their radio of choice, and the menus (hate them or love them as the case may be), their enjoyment would be at a whole new level!

In case you missed the point, owners should study the user's manual like it was their personal gospel. Then, we'd all be saved from having to explain dozens of times what's already in print.

Alan, KōBG
www.k0bg.com
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by ZL2TW on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have kept my first HF set, a Kenwood TS-130S, I just can't part with it because it is so nice and easy to use, it would have to be the best ergonomically because it is so simple to use. I loan it out to new hams for this reason, and it just won't die!

(I also have an IC-718, an FT-897 and a couple of museum pieces: an Atlas 215X and a heathkit SB104A)

The things that make new radios so great (huge number of functions/features/user selectable settings) have them harder to use. The set either has to have everything buried in menus (FT817/857/897) which is awkward, or for the top of the line sets a knob for everything (FT1000s etc) where it all gets too small.

My bargain basement set, the Icom 718 is a pretty good compromise between front panel controls and menu functions.

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K1GMG on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I love my Yaesu FT-920....Lots of knobs, dual VFOs, only one menu list for less used settings. The radio is big and wide (like me), the display is also ease to read. Also works great with Ham Radio Deluxe software using a single serial cable.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AC5E on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm. It's been 59 years. I have been around ham radio for a while. Ergonomics? Well, I'm pretty adaptable, but I detest the user interface on the IC-706. Especially when I am driving in traffic. And reading over the previous posts it seems I'm not the only one.

After my 20 year hiatus, I tried more than a dozen rigs before I found one that suited ME. I never had a problem unloading the rejects, but none were really intuitive and a couple drove me nuts. Since I don't own them any more I won't go into particulars. But it's no secret that my primary HF rig has been a Ten Tec since 1990. At least the most used controls are close to the big knob.

At the moment, my daily driver is an original Orion. The rig is very easy to use and the manual is an easy read, in real American English, and the important stuff is covered in the first dozen pages. The controls fall pretty much under my hand and do what I expect them to do. Ergonomic, yes.

On VHF/UHF, I still own a couple of Icoms and an assortment of other brands. The rig I generally use is a Yaesu FT-736 with four band modules and a variety of bricks. Not because I like it - but I am cramped for space and it has four band modules and a variety of bricks. I keep the manual, a high intensity light, and a magnifying glass next to it and they do get a workout just about every time I want to QSY. I do go back to an Icom or Ten Tec from time to time but miss the extra bands enough to go back to the 736.

Mobile? I have had Standards, Icoms, Yaesus, Kenwoods, and Alincos. Currently running three IC-207's in the three vehicles I drive. I can't say they are particularly ergonomic but I get along pretty well with them.

Actually, this post is a long winded way of saying everyone has their own likes and dislikes. If your rig suits you it suits me. Especially if it gives me an advantage in the pileups.

73 Pete Allen AC5E
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5AAR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Of what rigs I have owned, I would consider the Icom 737 to be the best. The radio has a large display and a knob or button for most functions. I even sold some of my more modern radios so that I could buy a second 737.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NI0C on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is an interesting topic, and I'm grateful to the author for initiating this discussion. Any evaluation of the ergonomics of a radio is by nature subjective, and colored by the user's operating styles and preferences.

What I hear most people saying is they want radios that are simple to operate, with reliable and smooth manual controls readily accessible for the adjustments that they make frequently.

From a Dx'ers point of view, the ability to work "split" vfo mode and spot frequencies accurately, reliably and quickly is of paramount concern.

I liked my old TS-850S with the RM-1 remote control unit, with the "T-F" function thoughtfully located at one's fingertips. My newer radios are not quite as convenient to operate in the pileups, though I've learned to adjust.

For a portable QRP CW rig, the Elecraft KX-1 is hard to beat-- a lot of thought went into the ergonomics of that radio.

Lastly, although I've never owned one, I have admired the apparent simplicity of the IC-718-- just a good basic radio.

73,
Chuck NI0C



 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KASSY on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It seems many on here have missed the point - from an ERGONOMIC standpoint, what is the best rig in your opinion? I can't imagine the FT-1000 coming in anywhere near the top, despite its good performance.

I've used a lot of rigs, mainly on Field Days. Here's what I've determined....

Drake 4-line (don't remember A/B/C) - wonderful. Every knob had exactly one function and nothing jerky about any of them. All controls equally smooth - you did not have to "turn this knob barely" while cranking the next adjacent knob six turns was required. Almost every knob that was commonly used was a different size or shape, so you could operate by pure feel. Bandswitch is a fine rotary knob - point it and you know where you are...even if the power is off. Lovely. Performance-wise there are probably some detractors, but that is not the point of this article.

Yaesu FT-840. Sort of OK. Nice simple layout, but easily-overloaded front-end and no RF gain control. Made it ergonomically difficult to understand how to make the RX perform adequately for FD. Many of the buttons are the same size, so you MUST be able to read what's printed on or near them to operate the radio, not always possible in sunlight. Up/down buttons for band-select has become common on a lot of rigs and it is ALWAYS a bad idea...what band will the rig power up on? When you switch from 80 to 40, will it go from 3.505 to 7.005, or will it remember the last freq you used on the new band? Bring back the rotary bandswitch! They could have done this better - easily.

Kenwood TS-850SAT. Once you had it figured out, the radio operated well, but many of the buttons do two functions, and there are too many of them that are the same size and shape and again, you have to be able to read what's on the button AND on the panel adjacent. One of the more-understandable built-in speech processors for SSB, thank you Kenwood. The AIP button was simply stupid - why not just label it "preamp on/off"? And then there's the up/down band buttons again - a bad idea, PLUS these buttons sometimes are selecting memories...very confusing. Grade: D-

Icom IC-735...have to tear myself away from its really poor RF performance for this, but the front panel layout is as good as a solid state rig gets. Each button does exactly one thing. Very few of the buttons are the same size, so you can ALMOST operate this rig without looking at it. Split mode is as easy as can be on a transceiver (still, it's easier on a separate RX/TX). Only ergonomic gotcha: those six sliders (one with dual function) and six buttons under the door - very hard to operate/read the descriptions, etc. Oh, and if anybody could come up with a WORSE band select than up/down buttons, this is it - push that button over there and the VFO knob becomes a rotating band-select...but turn it VERY slowly because you'll be switching bands as fast as you'd be spinning kHz normally. Bad, bad.

Elecraft K2. As much as I love the performance, this radio's front panel is a problem. The buttons are all the same size and all do two things, you MUST be able to read what's on the button AND the panel, the four rotary knobs are all the same size, oh, and there's that fifth knob over there what did it do?...the RX filter widths are picked by repetitive press of a single button, so you have to go through the whole list before getting the one you want and that display...takes a LOT of getting used to before you know what the annunciators mean. And it's yet another wimpy up/down button set for the band select. Sorry, the ergo of this radio does not match up to the legend.

IC-756ProIII. Sorry. Not even in the running for "best" ergo. There were simply too many ways to make the radio not work...squelch on HF SSB? Should simply not be available without special effort. Combining the squelch on the RF gain knob is a reason to "just say no" to anything Icom ever again. Bad enough to even HAVE SSB squelch, but to make it worse by combining with RF Gain? Yeeks. And, with all those knobs, why can't I watch peak RF output, ALC, and speech processing level all at the same time? That should be the STANDARD display mode on that huge panel-wasting display in transmit mode.

As far as I can tell, nobody making radios today is particularly serious about genuine ergonomics. Partially due to hams being cheap, and partially due to wanting to get a microprocessor doing as much of the work as possible. The sheer concept of a real bandswitch - one that has a pointer on it, and 160/80/40/30... markings on the panel - we will never again see a radio with such an elegantly simple bandswitch. Instead, we're cursed forever with up/down buttons, or nearly as bad, one-button-per-band (a gaggle of idencially-sized buttons! What a travesty!), or worse, one-button band-select (imagine having to cycle from 40, to 30, to 20, etc, because you want to get to 80), like so many radios today force you to suffer through to pick a bandpass filter.

Here's a feature I'd LOVE to see on a modern rig: Make the front panel so ergo-friendly that I can set all the knobs BEFORE turning it on, and I know in what mode, on what freq, and with what TX power it'll come up in!

- k
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG4RUL on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
R.E. the TS2000 - Saying it is "ugly" does not speak at all the topic of "ergonomics". If you have operated one for any length of time, you will realize that the controls are logical and grouped well. THAT is "ergonomics"!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5XM on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Great stuff...I've had the pleasure of owning 24 different HF rigs in my 11 years in the hobby. Maybe the most ergonomic radio of the bunch was a simple Ten Tec Triton 4 digital. My main rig now is the Orion, and it is truly quite ergonomic. I was thinking about that last night as I was tuning around 40m CW. My only complaint is the fish finder is lousy. As I am one who generally sends CQ, I don't need it. I enjoy the IC 756 Pro II and Pro III a couple of friends have, and the scope on those are great. I don't like the small controls, but using an outboard keyer, the only one I need to get at is the RF power, and that is a piece of cake. Lot of great rigs out there, yes indeed!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KF4KQI on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have not played with a lot of rigs, maybe 20 or so over the years that I and other hams have owned.

My current rig, a FT857d is pretty bad. Having to press buttons and knobs several times to read the ALC and SWR is a real pain.

Kenwood ts830s, what can you say? Excellent.

Either of the Flex Radios using powersdr. Software defined radio is where it is at in the future I think. Being able to see a signal on the other end of the band and pointing and clicking on it to hear is really amazing to me. The easy click-able filters that can be endlessly customized are just insane.

 
RE: Ergonomics in Ham Gear  
by AB4D on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best Rig for ease of use; IMO the Yaesu FT-1000D is the best non-tube radio. Decent size knobs and buttons, fly weighted VFO, everything clearly marked, just a joy to use. Second is the Yaesu FT-840, works great, portable, and the learning curve for this radio is two minutes or less.

Worst: Icom IC-706 (In a mobile environment, the 706 menus are a pain to use.) Yaesu FT-1000mp MK V (Ok, but not great, too many functions buried in stacks of menu selections, the only reason I like the MK V is it mates so well with the Quadra) Yaesu FT-847 and Yaesu FT-857, same issue, too many menus. If I have to get out the owner's manual just to adjust the noise blanker, it's just annoying.

IMO, the new rigs these days require more work fiddling with menus vs. the benefit received, than is necessary to have fun with Ham Radio. Life is already too complex, ham radio shouldn't have to be.

73
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5IVZ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Kenwood 830s & Tentec Argonaut V

Worst: Heath HW 16 & Tentec Century 21
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N4VNZ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Of radios I have owned and used for some time:

Kenwood 870. Everything is one-handed once you know the rig. Incredible...much better than the 930, 940, 140, and 820. I've owned and used 'em all extensively.

Worst: SGC 2000 pushbutton model...I really liked this rig for it's performance but it was really weird to operate..

Weirdest: Atlas 350-xl with it's "backwards" tuning knob.

Absolutely the worst: Just about any handheld you can name from the past 15 years.

Really the best? The rig you like and learn to use...just like the clarinet player above...you want complex? Try the bassoon...

n4vnz
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K3NC on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best:
Another vote for PowerSDR. After all, if you don't like it, the source code is Open so you can design your own! Many of the features we now love were added by users.
My second vote would be for the FT-1000D. I knew how to operate it within an hour and everything felt in the right place.

Worst:
IC-775, solely for the filter selection section. I loved the big knobs and display but the selection of the filters was always a question mark as to whether I actually had what I thought I had!

Neal k3nc
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KC8HXO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well- this is really simple: If a fellow like me has owned his Kenmore TS-850s with the RM-1 remote, and that was his ONLY rig, and he operated it a bunch, for him, IT would be ergonomically excellent. Kinda reminds me of another old saw: "Beware the man who owns only one gun....... he likely knows how to shoot it!!"
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N7YA on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I suppose ergonomically speaking, the easiest are those little MFJ single banders...ive had 2 of them, but sold them off...really nothing to them, a knob, then a small knob on either side and a button...thats about it. and it fits in the glove compartment. they didnt work too bad either...i reached Africa and Europe on them with a dipole, and made lots of qsos all over the place on them with 5 watts and an indoor loops...they worked just fine, a bit unstable though.

I currently run a Yaesu FT757GX, its ok ergonomically but im sure i could do much better. besides, its getting a little long in the tooth as far as up-to-date rigs go. one good thing is the relatively small size of it, it fits perfectly into the small space on the desk here (which i also need a new one of) and the controls are simple and kept to a minimum. my 12 year old son is going to start his ham classes with the CAP here in a few weeks so im sure the rig will go to him...that leaves me with what to get next...im thinking a full blown DXers rig, why play around? go for the best i can get, and i certainly would implant every word of the manual into my brain so i could get the most out of it. hmmm....maybe i can mortgage the house too, ill probably need it.

I do have a TenTec Century21 in storage and it served me well, but ergonomically its like operating a cat right after a bath. it also has a real issue with a certain gear in the dial system that malfunctions, you buy one of those, you will have to pop the hood on it for sure. all for only 5 CW sub bands and 50 watts? thats why its in storage. it reminds me of russian military gear...only difference is the russian stuff works. The Century is cheaply made and TT does good gear usually, im sure it was just an experiment anyway.

One interesting thing about that rig...my J36 crapped out on me in the middle of a qso with europe just pouring in on 20 one night during the height of this last cycle a few years back. It was an absolutely perfect DX night and i wasnt about to miss it. I forgot who i was talking to over there, but my bug seems to have shorted out inside the terminal posts, knowing my rig, i quickly finished the qso by just reaching up and manually sending on the little red 'zero beat' button right on the front of the rig. It wasnt a Shurr Profii by any means, but it got the job done...in fact, i made a string of qsos using the button on the front of the rig. But overall, the rig sucked...tough to operate, limited coverage for its bulky size, ugly as hell...its best as a student rig, for sure. and again, im sure my son is getting that one to as a project rig because he is damn well learning the stuff he will be questioned on. I want him to understand what he is getting into here, he will not be a cracker jack ham. and that rig is a good learner box for him. for you other C21 owners (the dissatisfied ones), donate the rig to a new young ham or school, you can even write it off if that matters to you.

My first rig was a Galaxy V, it was unstable and bulky but packed a punch. it had that cool 'old time radio' look to it, but not as cool looking as the Drake or Collins stuff...or Hallicrafters or National either for that matter...but it still meant business when i could keep it on frequency. ergonomically? who cares! they didnt build radios back then for comfort, they build them to use as a block to hold your car up while you changed a tire.

Ive also had a TS-430S, great rig, that one was a hit back in the 80's. Im just not sure how it would stack up against todays gear...im guessing it wouldnt. Im usually lucky with gear, i dont abuse it and i make sure its tuned properly, etc...i dont go through rigs very often so getting a new rig is a big day for me. I am no electronics engineer by any means, and my house is overrun by musical gear more than ham gear. so im sure you all have much better info, but whatever i can offer to you, i will. i hope it helps.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K4ELO on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Not having used all rigs, I can't really say which is best or worst.
I can say that my Argonaut V is a real joy - simple and fun to use and very straightforward. The Orion II is a bit more complex, a little learning curve there.
But for ergonomics, my vote would have to be the Drake 4 line. Use it for a day and you never have to look at the manual again. Just intuitive, but then I grew up with tube rigs, so there you go.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG6TT on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well I have to say that I really like my Ten-Tec Pegasus with N4PY's software front end for ease of use and just plain fun. I owned a Jupiter but I didn't like its hardware interface. I have an Orion that I give fairly good marks for overall ergonomics but would prefer more direct control of operating modes and a more intuitive tuning rate to give it top honors.... and well thinking about it I really prefer honest switches, potentiometers, and large tuning knobs to menus and buttons.

Overall best rigs for me over the past 20 years or so? The Paragon or Omni-IV Plus... unfortunately I no longer have either. I do like my Corsair II a lot (switches, pots, etc.) and find myself using it more than any other rig at the QTH, followed closely by my Omni-C.... even my old Triton IV was ergonomically attractive. However, none of these can be computer interfaced and their tuning rates are a bit tight for my hands these days... and I do a lot of journeyman contesting... and need the computer stuff. Nevertheless I don't have to get out a manual to refresh myself on how to use the older rigs effectively.... and some days that alone is worth the price of admission.

My worst rigs for me ergonomically? Probably my TS-940SAT. I just had to stare at it far too much to figure out too many functions.

Despite what others have felt I actually don't mind my FT-100D all that much, but I can't wrap my head around the Icom 706 line. Nor for that matter any of the newer 746 or 756 designs. The menus system I guess.

To each their own!

73,
Jerry, KG6TT
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N0AH on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yaesu FT-847. Lacks a lot of features, ie: vox, tuner, etc.....and you hear signals 10-15KHz accross the band, but all the buttons are easy to push. (Naw, I'm just kidding on this hunk of junk)

A lot of comments on the FT-920. You can tell what radio was sold fast on the resale market after the big restructure. I played with one at HRO in Denver. A lot of plastic and felt like a toy. Ick.

Kenwood TS-940 in my book wins- Everything on the front panal makes since and it all works-

Two radios I'd wish I would have kept- my original TS-940 and my Icom 756.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KC2WI on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can only rate the rigs I have or had.

I think the best in terms of large, simple, and smooth working front panel controls was my TS-530S. Never should have sold it but I work a lot of MARS. The 530 didn't have the range and at the time I needed space more than extra radios.

I liked the Corsair II I had for a while but the screwy wrong sideband on 17M knocks it down a notch and the 530 S-meter was better.

As far as 'digital' rigs, my old TS-440SAT was OK because it didn't have menus, but not really great. One thing I love about all the new radios is band stacking registers. With the 440 whenever you changed bands you typically had to turn the tuning knob a lot to get back your 'favorite' frequency. And the non-standard numeric keypad layout wasn't that ergonomic either. And the fact that you couldn't adjust the RF power on SSB except by turning down the mic gain is another demerit. Having sold it after purchasing a 746Pro, I don't miss it at all ...except for the built-in autotuner that would match almost anything.

I have to agree with other posters that the Alinco DX-70T is a pretty nice and simple radio, control-wise. It doesn't really have menus, only buttons with second functions. You can pretty much figure it out without reading the manual. Performance-wise, it isn't perfect, but not bad considering the price (on the used market.)

As far as radios with menus, display-wise, my 746Pro is very nice. It can be read from across the room. The knobs are a reasonable size and reasonably spaced. Once you get used to the controls it is pretty easy to operate. There are menus, but you usually don't have to get too far in to them after the intial setup. And going in to a menu to do setup such as agc, vox, break-in, etc., is much better than having to open up the case or some door on the top or side and/or use a screwdriver to turn som internal control. Plus, the radio's performance is really great. One demerit is that the AF gain RF gain/squelch and similar knobs don't have any line, mark, or pointer, so you can't see where they are set. That is easily fixed though.

The 706MkIIg is OK but not great. Adding the simple tune control circuit really helps because you don't have to go through a bunch of button pushes to get a low power CW signal for antenna matching.

The IC-7000, although it has more menus than the 706, I think is a little better once you learn the tricks. The display is super. Having direct frequency entry and other keys on the mic is really nice and somewhat offsets the limited front panel controls. And any inconvenience is more than offset by the performance.

On all my Icoms and the Alinco, I like the separate memory knob and the fact that you can tune off a memory frequency with the main tuning knob. I use that a lot to tune around, then just click the memory knob one notch and back to return to my original memory frequency.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W4JFR on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ergonomic -- "The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering, human factors engineering."

Based on that defintion and that alone:
Best -- Ten Tec rigs manufactured in the 1970s and 80s (e.g. Triton IV, Omni C & D, Corsair and Corsair II)

Worst -- Just about any rig manufactured in the 21st century (take your pick)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N4OI on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yaesu FT-920 -- Everything is where it should be with a lot of options for personal preferences. In particular, I do not understand why other new radios do not use the same concentric, interlocked hi-cut / low-cut DSP control -- it is a joy!
73 de Ken -- N4OI
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB9JOX on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You got to be kidding.Besides how many of us actually use our radios to its full potential?
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by M3UFZ on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best:Kenwood TS 2000

Worst:Kenwood TS 480HX
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W7ETA on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best, TR4s and Drake C-line.

TS950S, no menu.

Rig's with menus, nightmares.

Absolute WORST, mobile 2 meter rig with red leds in the display. Me thinks it was an Azden.

73
Bob
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by G3LBS on September 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Rig controlled by speech
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AD7DB on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Jeez, there sure is a lot of ragging on the Icom 706 series.

I have a 706 MkIIg and I happen to like it. I studied the literature between it and other mfrs, tried them out at ham stores, and made a careful decision to go for that one. I do not regret my decision. (HRO Burbank may still hate my guts for coming in so much and NOT BUYING anything each time, I say phooey.)

I have no experience with the earlier models of the 706. Maybe some of them were worth the criticisms.

You should buy the radio that suits YOU and be comfortable with your buying decision.

As for a "worst", I haven't an opinion. Sorry.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K2TPZ on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The top three from an ergonomic standpoint:

Icom Pro 3
TS 480SAT
Ten Tec Scout

The worst three (but excellent rigs otherwise):

FT 1000 MKV Field
TS 2000
K2

Maybe I'm getting old or just lazy, but I want a rig that is both a great performer and easy to use. I know that's a challenge, but I'll keep a rig and recommend it if it's a pleasure to use. I don't enjoy (while I realize some folks do) fiddling with dozens of buttons and controls (or need to rely on computer software)to make QSOs. I don't believe it should be a given that a good radio must be an ergonomically complex radio.

I think someone will eventually design the radio I'm looking for. Maybe it will be the Elecraft K3 (I know that's what they are working towards). As of today, the IC756Pro 3 and the TS 480 are close to what I'm looking for. They're not perfect, but close.

73s, Mike
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KA2DDX on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

The "Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint" is the Yaesu FT-920. Ergonomics is one of the reasons I bought it. Why Yaesu stopped making this rig is a mystery. I know, they wanted to replace it with upgraded technology migrated from the 9000 / 2000 series. Nice idea, but look at what they took away from us in the name of all that. The FT-920 is a joy to use, not only because of it's technical capability, but because ergonomically it's easy and intuitive. Switching between modes and bands and styles of operating is almost seamless. The new radios may be technically superior but look like a lot of clutter and pain. Irregardless of how sophisticated a radio (or any product) is, it still has to be easy (friendly) to use or it is functionally useless.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N1GXC on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Better: IC-706MKIIG

Best: IC-7000

Small, clean and very portable.

73, Dan WZ1P
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K9PYO on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ergonomics, we're talkin' ER GO NOM ICs.............

and since this has morphed into a discussion re separate xmtr and rcvr's as well as the original xcvr comments, my votes are:

Best transmitter - My Ameco AC-1 (remember the title of this thread)....since 1958...built it , still own it.

Best Receiver - One more vote for Collins 75A-4.

Great thread!

Frank K9PYO
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by A9KW on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is what I run,I would not use anything else.

Kenwood 830S
Kenwood 870
Kenwood 940s
Icom 765

TOM
N9ZV
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W2KAE on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
At a certain age, ergonomics starts to equate entirely with size and feature set. Sticking to recent technology rigs, my vote is against any radio requiring a "Nifty" guide to navigate. Oddly my experience is just the opposite as the author, I find the TS-480SAT (with filters) to be the most friendly radio I have used in decades despite the smaller panel. The K2 was a disappointment, great performance but way too difficult to keep so many levels of embedded menus straight - they might as well not have been there.

Cheers, Deke W2KAE

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W4LGH on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is an interesting article, and I agree that over the years things have changed, and I guess they should, as everything else does, so why shouldn't Ham radio.

I can not go with the "Black Box" theory although I see it as the future, as the computer will eventually control everything in our lives one way or the other.
I also don't buy into the radios with "Fish Finders" either.

I am enjoying my newest purchase, the Yaesu FT-2000! Lots of knobs, switches and features, along with some software defined features.

I would have to go along with the Best HF radio as being the FT-920, most bang for the buck. The worst being the IC-746 series, as if you have to have a fish finder, let it be in color!

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W4LGH on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Continued.....

Now the absolute BEST ever HF rig... Drake TR-7A!

The worst...anything made by GLOBE!!!

73 de W4LGH - ALan
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KD7YPD on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Most of the new rigs I've played with have been cheap, in the design deptment.

I could throw my car keys to a majority of you guys and have no doubt you could jump in, and drive to the store without even thinking about it. And you don't even know what kind of car it is. That's good design; from the shape and placement of the door handle to how you can just reach down and adjust the seat without looking, most cars use intelligent ergonomics. A lot of money was invested in design.

On the other hand, If I threw you my car keys and asked you to set the clock on the radio....in ten seconds.... Not much was spent on design, since it's not a common everyday function.

My FT-857 is a nice radio with lots of functions, but I better have the book handy if I'm adjusting something unfamiliar. Even knowing what to do it takes time. For example, without programming the keys, if I want to tune the DSP, change the power and bring up the SWR meter - it can be more than a ten second job. It's like setting the clock.

It's almost like I've been programmed to accept the fact that; if it's modern electronics with multiple features, I better expect a large learning curve.

That is, until one of my kids throws me one of the nice Apple Ipods, with just a couple buttons, and I can scroll through menus almost like it's second nature. Good design.

Why can't ham radio be like that? The average ham should be able to sit down with a new radio and be able to use it, like driving a car - and that doesn't mean having a button for every feature.

What kind of ergonomics would that take?
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB4TJH on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Just give me a radio large enough with enough buttons to make it easy to use without having to wander thru the menues to change something. I am pretty happy with my present Kenwood TS-570SG. I hated my Icom 703 and Yaesu FT-100 because I had to get the manual out to remember how to find something in the menues. As for computer operated radios, you can throw them out a 10th floor window as far as I am concerned. If one day it comes down to that's all that's available, I will probably give up radio.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by EX_AA5JG on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"As for computer operated radios, you can throw them out a 10th floor window as far as I am concerned. If one day it comes down to that's all that's available, I will probably give up radio."

AMEN BROTHER! Tried that with a Kenwood TS-B2000 and quickly grew to hate it.

This Kenwood TS950SDX I recently picked up is sure getting easier and easier to use the more I play with it. Sounds great also.

73s John AA5JG

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AE6QF on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK hit it. The rig should be easy to operate....the basic functions....without first reading the operating manual.
Others have mentioned the TS-530S & I agree, {the '830S is a fine radio but then it does have the concentric knob controls}.
Most CW operators rest their wrist on the deck whilst tuning around & we also prefer the RF gain control to be located on the bottom row of controls near the tuning knob for the same reason..
The TS-850S has fine performance but it's only "good" from an ergonomic standpoint.
Back in my high school ham days, it bothered me that my beloved NC-300 receiver's tuning knob was too high above the table top's surface.
Worst-of-the-worst for me was the TM-251A....too many seldom used features to scroll through to change basic functions.

73, Quiet-Finger, AE6QF
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AD5TD on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
From an "ease of operation" stand point (i.e. "walk up and operate") I would have to go with The TS 570. ANYONE can use this rig with NO training.

Worst is easy, The TS 2000. By far the worst I have ever used. I couldn't even figure out how to change the frequency!

Now that is said from an all YAESU guy.

I have owned (in order of acquisition):

FT-107M, great first rig. Wish I still had it.

IC-745 great receiver, scared of the memory battery. Sold it.

FT-857 (non D), still have it mobile and love it. Menus don't bother me. 4 years and no problems.

FT-1000MP, my present home rig, love it also. Great transmit audio. However, I'm tempted to try the FT-450...

FT-100D, for portable ops, OK once you learn the ropes but very voltage sensitive. Would like to switch to a K-2. Also found out that YAESU doesn't support them anymore. You have to use an "Authorized" YAESU repair shop now.

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K3UD on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Over the last 43 years I have had more radios than I can remember. Sometime I need to make up a list of what I CAN remember :)

As far as Ergonomics are concerned the best was:
The National NC-303 receiver.

Everything I needed was there and everything was in its place. The Heathkit Twoer and Sixer also were very good examples of ergonomics because of the pure simplicity of the design.

There are a lot of worst examples of Ergonomics and most of them center the need for 100+ menus that can be fiddled with As much as I like my FT-100D I can say that the ergonomics leave a lot to be desired. (I still think that it is a great radio though)

Best mobile Radio in terms of ergonomics:
Alinco DX-70T (I also liked the SBE-34 in the mobile because it did not need many controls.

Much easier to use in the mobile than radios like the 706 or FT-100.

73
George
K3UD

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KLEMM on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
best for the buck and the car YAESU 857D
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KT8K on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: most of the Tentecs. I have loved their user interface design philosophy forever, and was disappointed to hear about the Jupiter controls (I've never used one).

Worst: FT857/897, IC-706xxx .. the little screens, few and multi-function buttons, and multilevel menus are especially difficult without a LOT of manual-reading (which I never got to). If it's your only rig you can probably get pretty good with it, but please don't bring one to use at Field Day ... you'll probably be the only one who can use it effectively. At Field Day we need only big-faced, simple-to-operate rigs.

best rx & 73 de kt8k - Tim
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N3EVL on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
After operating my Flex SDR-1000 with PowerSDR software for about a year and a half, I can't imagine reverting to a "conventional" radio with knobs and buttons and a set of features frozen at the time of purchase. The big plusses for me:

1) The panadapter giving a real-time display of spectrum coupled with the variety of tuning options allowing you to GO to the signals you can SEE. I don't have to tune around to know there is an intersting signal 20 KHz down.

2) The ability to support any amount of features as simple or complex as needed without the limitations of a teeny tiny screen or a difficult to use menu system. Being based on a PC, PowerSDR has the luxury of offering sane controls and friendly menus. If some new feature is added, the necessary contols are added too - try adding a button or knob to your conventional rig! Even a conventional rig with updateable firmware can't add new features without complicating already complex menu systems.

3) The capability of continual improvement e.g. when I bought the radio it supported a single receiver; now I can have two receivers within the 192KHz sampling bandwidth and the contols to use them. The rig originally had a 3-band equalizer for RX and TX - now it has 10-band equalizers; both of these improvements at no additional cost to me.

73, Pete, N3EVL
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6HPO on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Although I did not read all of the postings, it appears that no one's yet voted for the IC-775. Perhaps because so few were produced, or so few remain? Don't quite know for sure. So, permit me to cast my vote for it.

The 775's that I've used I find very much to my liking! I've got big mitts and for me, everything is laid out on the panel right where I would place it, were I going to build a transceiver myself.

Large center dial, buttons that I can see AND read even in less-than optimum lighting. LARGE frequency & function display, split ops, dual watch, large well lite meter, 200W out and it's almost 17" wide. Nice footprint! Heavy enough to stay put in earthquake country, hi!

Well done, ICOM!
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K3MD on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: IC-7800
Worst: K-2/100

Doc K3MD
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE4ZHN on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting thread. I love my Icom 756 Pro. The menu is written in plain english, no need to keep the manual by the rig to figure out the "hieroglyphics" type menu like some other rigs. To me, its very user friendly to operate and set up. Personally, I think many who dislike menu driven rigs never bother to take the time to learn their radio and read the manual to familiarize themselves with it. They get flustered with the rig because they paid big bucks for it and cant operate it so they sell it at a loss and write lousy reviews about it on sites like this.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by HB9PJT on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like the TS-480 and TS-2000 very much for the ergonomic. Both are very intuitive and very logical to use. The worst for me is the Yaesu FT-100. Of course the TS-2000 has a lot of functions an old rig or a TenTec does not have and if you want to use them it needs some more effort. But to make ordinary QSO's it is not necessary to invest the time.

I realy would like to know from Mike Cameron W5MGC exactly what function is so difficult with the TS-480. It is very straigth forward to use and I know a lot of OM's who like the ergonomics of this rig so much.

73, Peter - HB9PJT
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA6A on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Michael, you've got to crawl out of that Stone Age Cave of Ham Radio you're dwelling in!!

There must be a room full of 1970 Vintage Computer (Boat Anchor) Gear you can pick up really cheap somewhere!!

If the old gear was so great and continues to be appreciated and praised so much, don't you think the HAM radio manufacturers would be designing and selling gear like that to people like you? The Car makers have certainly hit pay dirt by offering "retro" styling! Hi Hi!!


The Best Votes here go to the:

The TS-480HX and TS-480SAT!!

The 480 presents full use and control right from the control head and is legible and easily functional for even the vision waning or clumsy Cave Man type Ham (who would otherwise favor a Frankenstein's Lab looking piece of equipment). They are amongst the most computer literate rigs on the market today, and for their price you can't come close with anything else.

And, although Kenwood's free Software doesn't do a bad job, to really appreciate the rig at it's state of the art level, you've got to run it with the also free, Ham Radio Deluxe and Digital Master 780.

The Works Votes go for any rigs older than about 10~15 years.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W6PMR on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If I have to boot up a computer to use a radio I'm going back to collecting coins ! SDR radios are the antithisis of radios that are ergonomic. No matter how great they work or how many features they have, they need three boxes to work, an RF deck and some type of computer and a screen. Sorry, I'm not interested at any price.
Of the radios I have used over the years I have to agree with many on this thread, the less menus the better.
Of the HF rigs I found these to be easy to use.
All the Kenwood 1,5,8 and 9 series. The 2000 is a disaster AND it's UGLY to boot. The 430 and the TS 50 are easy to use also.
Yaesu 900 and 920. I love the functionality of the "jog" tuning knob. I wish all larger base radios had it.
The newer "Pro" series Icoms and playing with a 7800 at the candy store was a snap, loved that radio.
The early Ten-Tec's and the Scout was wonderful.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W6PMR on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry for two posts but I was interupted by life!
To continue with my easy and/or ergonomic HF rig list.
Yeasu 847,101's, and most early Yaesu's.
Most all older boat anchors, (remember ease of use),
Johnson transmitters, most all Collins gear etc.
Drake gear most all, (still love the TR-7).
The bad stuff is a shorter list.
Yaesu 100, awful, awful, QSY'ing around in the car will kill you. Same for all the wiz-bang all in one box HF/VHF/UHF mobiles. I prefer seperate HF and V/U radios in the car.
Icom 706, all flavors including the 7000. See above
SGC 2020. Probably the WORST ergonomics in history!
impossible to figure out with out the manual and then requires two fingers at a time for many functions!!
I won't go on about some of the U/V HT's that used some of the most convoluted logic to program.
I'm also sorry fore the rant/ramble and misspelling, I just had my tooth pulled and I'm sitting at home under the influence of pain killers,..I feel great!
Paul.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NL7W on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ergonomics!

Two Best: TS-830S & TS-850S

I won't part with my TS-850S either!

Best ergo amp: Alpha 374A and 78.

73 from the North.

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE7IPY on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That is, until one of my kids throws me one of the nice Apple Ipods, with just a couple buttons, and I can scroll through menus almost like it's second nature. Good design.

--KD7YPD

The first time I picked up an iPod I was able to figure out how it worked, because it had a heavy rotating knob that seemed to make perfect sense to me.

I handed my 1st Gen iPod Nano to my father and he couldn't figure it out. It doesn't have a big moving wheel, and you can press parts of the touchpad wheel to function like buttons.

Here is a great example of a super-intuitive control being turned into a non-intuitive control over the course of 4 years. We need more controls like the 1st generation iPod, even if they're more expensive.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N4KC on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is a fun thread! And thanks to N0IU for reminding us that "ergonomics" have nothing to do with specs or features or even price. It is how well designed the radio is for how it will be used by most of its owners.

It is funny to see so many who crave cool features and small operating-position footprint but fuss when those features require an extensive menu system or small buttons and knobs. The Globe Scout was pretty simple...if you only wanted CW on a crystal-controlled frequency. Oh, and it didn't RECEIVE either! The old rigs were (and are) great, fun to play with, but definitely NOT ergonomic.

I have a radio that allows me to jump from 160 to 70cm to 17 using one button. Takes less than a second to make the move from one point in the spectrum to another and another fraction of a second to change modes. And I can even be monitoring a local repeater, a satellite frequency, or a DX packet cluster at the same time on a separate receiver. I can twist dials all I want or I can string it up to the computer. I can even sit on the deck and use an HT to work DX while I cook steaks. Sound like an "ergonomic" radio? It has gotten several votes as the worst. I certainly consider it to anything but, and not just because I own one. It's the Kenwood TS-2000.

Only ergonomic complaint I have is I sometimes hit the antenna tuner button when I mean to hit the #1 CW memory button. Is that my fault or the designer's?

Its decidedly different look has even grown on me and I bought it despite its "different" appearance. But looks don't necessarily have anything to do with ergonomics.

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K9ZF on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Great topic Mike! It seems pretty popular:-)

Lots of great info in the responses as well. Although many have strayed from the topic of ERGONOMICS and just voted for their favorite rig based on performance.

I've been a ham for about 15 years now, but the number of HF rigs I have owned is pretty limited. I have owned an old FT101E, an HW-8, a Swan 500c, an Icom 746, and a Yaesu FT897D.

Of these rigs, ERGONOMICALLY, the old FT101E was probably the most simple and had the "best" layout of controls. I used it for several years.

Of course the HW-8 was the most simple overall, being a no frills QRP rig. But I thought the tunning was a bit "course" and could have benefited from a gear reduction to make tuning smoother.

The Swan was "OK", but I never really like the feel of it. I did love the receive audio, however. It made a great SWL rig.

Of the more modern rigs, I like my 746. It may not as be as well laid out as the FT101, but it isn't bad. The menus are pretty simple, and the common controls have a dedicated knob. It does have a few minuses however. The tiny little knobs on the bottom of the front panel are too small and flimsy. And the compressor adjustment on the back of the rig is just poor design. I would have preferred a menu setting for the compressor level than a cheap knob on the back of the rig...

In the poor category would be my FT897D. Don't get me wrong, I love the rig. It performs very well, and has tons of features in a very small package. And it even has a pretty decent display screen. But for ERGONOMICS, it's horrible! Endless menus that seem very awkward to navigate in my opinion.

Here is what I would like to see in a rig: First of all, I don't mind a big radio for home use. Really... I don't mind! Make it big. Let's start with the power supply. I don't mind adding a supply, but if the rig is intended for home use build in the supply. And it has to be completely RF quiet, so beware of switchers. I, and most other hams, can't afford the 10k$ rigs. But I would like to have FT897D/IC2000/TS2000 features in a more ergonomic box. I like the big display screens [ala 746/756], but drop the menus. If the feature is important enough to include in the radio, give it a knob or button! Power out is important. It should have at least 100 watts on each band. And, if it includes VHF/UHF bands, the power should be adjustable for each band. And last, but not least, add a USB port for computer integration.

That's my 2 cents.

Now Mike, once again I would like to congratulate you on the good topic. But, here is your homework...

Analyze all of this data everyone has provided. Sum up the data and report on the "best ergonomic rigs." Also write up a directive to all the radio builders on how we would like a rig to look and feel.

Who knows, maybe they will get the message. If nothing else, it will make a good follow up article!


73
Dan
--
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at: <http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K7FD on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The TS-480 is getting a bum rap. It's actually a menu driven rig you can really use WITHOUT a manual! I give it a big thumbs up. Not only is it easy to use, the performance is that of $3K plus radios. In fact, if I had to trim my shack, I think I'd be hard pressed to dump the 480 in favor of any rig in the shack...

It's THAT good.

73 John K7FD

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W9OY on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a fan of PowerSDR and the flex radios. The interface is so efficient compared to a knob. As features are added new buttons show up. You can set up the radio for a particular task such as digital or CW or a particular band like 160 with beverages, or 80M with RX 4 square, and memorize the set-up. You can set up on a DX station that is building in strength, filters offset etc memorize that and then head off tuning around the band instantly checking back to see what is happening with the DX. When he's loud enough pull the trigger.

Ergonomics is more than control placement. It is a human/systems analysis of efficiency and ease of use. As such the plastic nature of PowerSDR and the 2 dimensional interface of point and shoot tuning is far superior to "first in first out" one dimensional knobs. The radio also sports a "flexwire" interface which is a 2 way 3 wire serial interface that can address e-proms remote potentiometers and switching matrices. So PowerSDR has the capability of becoming "grand central" for station control all the way from the key or mic to the rotor direction control and antenna selection including seamless integration of preamps, external filters, transverters, relay timing and multi channel audio control. I can't wait till there is a macro language!

73 W9OY
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KQ9J on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<You really do need a panadapter, or better yet a waterfall display to truly know what is happening on a band.>

You mean I can't just tune around and LISTEN to the band anymore? Sheesh.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KI4GSF on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well to be honest since all I primarily use is Icom.
I can not say anything bad about either.

Main HF radio is IC-761.

Mobile/Secondary HF/VHF/UHF is IC-706MKIIG. used mobile to Florida. no complaints. I worked quite a few staions on 20m mobile.

I also own an FT-2800M a great 2m only radio.

Every thing has it's place. It all depends on how you use it and what features are important to you.

KI4GSF
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N3EVL on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<"...If I have to boot up a computer to use a radio I'm going back to collecting coins ! SDR radios are the antithisis of radios that are ergonomic. No matter how great they work or how many features they have, they need three boxes to work, an RF deck and some type of computer and a screen. ...>

Last time I looked, none of the three essential items listed were in short supply!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KC8VWM on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Tuna Tin QRP transmitter.

One switch operates the entire rig.

Simple.

:)



 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W6TH on September 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.

The best: Icom IC 756 Pro III.

The best: Icom IC-V8000.

The worst: DX 160.

.:
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W7KNZ on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best- Kenwood TS-570S I love it.
Worst- Yaesu 100D
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WC4R on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like the TenTec Orion. Big buttons, lots of space.

If you liked the FT920, you may like the new FT950.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W3UA on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best -- Icom IC-7800
Worst -- TenTec Orion II

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K3ROO on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best I've used: FT-840. Not necessarily the best performer, but the best in ease of use. Can do everything I need with one or two pushes of a button.

Worst: Any rig with more than one layer of menus. The IC-706M2G can take up to 6 button presses to switch a filter in or out depending on which menu you're starting on.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AB9LZ on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The best, Icom 746 (ergonomics only, not a great rig overall tho), the worst, the Orion... what a pos, a big honkin radio, and you only ever use two knobs!

Now if the 746 had the Orion's performance, then you'd have something!

73 m/4
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by VE7BGP on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My vote has to go for the older FT-767GX It is the only Mid size radio that in addition to HF you can add the Transverter modules for V/UHF operation for operation on 6,2 and .7 Meter operation. I have the 2 meter module in mine. Being a larger Base radio it has a great front panel layout and not too crowded between its knobs and switches. I like the 1 switch or control for 1 function on this radio in contrast to all other Radios that include all the bands having their Multilayers of Menus. This radio has a nice large and easy to read display and real Needle Type S-meter. The display and S-mater Lamp you can select Bright or 2 Dimmer settings. There is also a direct Frequency entry keypad but that takes a little getting used to it is in Calculator rather then Telephone format most other Radios use. That is still better then the Kenwood TS-440 and TS-940 direct entry Keypad. The FT-767GX came with all its ammentities Automatic Tuner, Power Supply, CW Filter, High Stability Master Oscillator and Iambic Keyer Built in standard equipment for that radio. It is a complete Plug& Play radio. Yaesu's newest Do All radio FT-857D has to have one of the worse Menu Systems on it you have to get the Manual out to find out how to change the Keyer speed when you operate CW and so forth we have one at VE7NA our Club EOC Station. I end up using the Older Omni D or FT-101ZD down there instead.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG6WLS on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Staying on topic with the best HF rig from an ergonomic standpoint (simply put):

Best - The rig that YOU choosed that YOU could operate.

Worst - The rig that YOU choosed because SOMEBODY else said it was the best.

**************************************

Getting a little off topic with the best HF rig from an ergonomic standpoint:

In terms of ergonomics to ham radio, I'd think that the operating position would be a good starting point. Without disrespect or flames to the author and others, they have neglected to explain ergonomics at the station. So, let's take an unpretentious look at station location and operating position.

Station location should be carefully selected and meet the XYL's approval. Some of us are lucky enough to have a spare bedroom/den to use as a ham shack, an office, or a hobby room. The rest that have limited space to set up a station by using book cases or armoires, you do the best you can to accomodate the situation. Lighting should be adequate and without any glare on the radio. Worst case scenario would be operating mobile but, it can have its rewards. More on that in a moment.

Just like the office "Dilbert World" setting, desk height is an important part of ergonomics for the oerating position as well as the chair that you're sitting on. I'm 6'-1" tall and my station desk is at a height of 34" tall, at 24" deep. People my size, or at around 6 foot tall should have a desk height anywhere from 30" to 34". Folks that fall in the 5 foot and above-ish category might require a desk height of 26" - 30". Many of us will use a shelf on top of the desk to accomodate for our ham accessories and gadgets. That's fine but, to use shelving to stack layers upon layers of radios can't be comfortable to operate. Haunching or reaching across the desk to work is ridiculous. If you have the space, use a longer desk or make it an "L" configuration.

I'm not a die-hard contester but, if your going to spend $10,000 for a transceiver... get a decent chair! I wouldn't sit on anything less than an office chair. That chair should have a height adjustment, be able to swivel, and have casters to move around and away from the station with ease. Sitting on a folding chair in front of a "mega-buck" station is just penny wise and pound foolish.

Getting back to the mobile, auto manufactures did not intend to build cars, trucks, SUV's, or mini vans with ham radio in mind. But (with a little bit of Wile E. Coyote-Super Genius), we can make our mobile stations adequate for ergonomics. I was able to do away with one cup holder in the truck at the center console to mount a flexible Porta-Grip for a remote head, and still have one left for my coffee tumbler. The center console/armrest is very comfortable for band hopping. The remote head is within reach and within sight. I enjoy working mobile HF while being parked on a hill. It's much safer and it's fun. FM simplex and repeaters are stored in the memory and can be accessed easily while in motion while keeping the eyes on the road.

***********************************

Getting off topic with the best HF rig from an ergonomic standpoint:

I don't understand why the IC-706 series is getting kicked to the curb either. I had one in the shack as a back-up before it went mobile. After I learned my way around the little rig, it was easy to operate mobile and it fit MY needs... both ergonomically and for operating.

**********************************

Want more info about ergonomics?
Look here:

http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/1995-February/005210.html

73
KG6WLS
Mike






 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6NKN on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Choosed????
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG6WLS on September 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, alright!!
***
Staying on topic with the best HF rig from an ergonomic standpoint (simply put):

Best - The rig that YOU <chose> that YOU could operate.

Worst - The rig that YOU <chose> because SOMEBODY else said it was the best.
***
Better? :)

 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N7YA on September 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It appears that there are a lot of favorites....but im also seeing a universal disliking of the 706 and especially the TS-2000. I have seen a couple of you guys defending the 706 but most dont like scroll down menus, cant blame you.
But unless i scolled over it up there, everyone thinks the 2000 sucks...and its ugly. Hey, have to credit Kenwood for trying something new. If every idea that came along was a winner then how would we improve? I have a "work with what what is handed to you" mentality...but not for that money. I Think i will heed all of your opinions on this one.
This is a good article and well timed, I am getting into new rig mode myself and everyones input is greatly appreciated.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W8JAS on September 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best - Ten Tec Orion I and II

Worst - Icom 7800, well actually, just about any recent Icom rig.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N3IJ on September 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The SWL PSK series or any other rig controlled with Digipan 2.0. Skip Teller, KH6TY, and his team are geniuses.

Back in the early days of aviation, one of the pioneers said (loosely translated) "Your design is not complete when you can add nothing more. It is complete when you can remove nothing more." Back then aviators were concerned with physical weight. Now, with featuritis epidemic, all designers should be concerned with the mental weight borne by the user. Someone else put it this way: "Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."

Tom, N3IJ

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AE6QF on September 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
~Swan-Cubic Astro 150~
Since we're talking ergonomics, I've oftentimes wondered about the Astro's unique tuning scheme. The tuning control was a rotating knob with a detent center position: a little to the right would scan slowly up in frequency....more to the right would scan/tune up the band a little faster, etc, etc.
Any users of this radio like to tell us how it was to tune CW with this one??

VE7BGP mentioned the FT-101ZD. The '101ZD reminded me of my TS-830S & I liked it for much the same reasons. Thing is, the front panel knobs on the Yaesu were insultingly cheapo, just like MFJ & Ten-Tec of the same era.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KC5NT on September 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I only have a choice for "best" - Kenwood's TS-570. For day to day operating, you never have to go to the menu system. Everything that I need is one button press away.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by G7SOZ on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can't believe that there are people who think that the Kenwood TS480 is the worst rig from an ergonomic standpoint. It is a really easy to use radio with none of the nasty menus found on rigs like the 706. I can only think that they have got ergonomics and aesthetics muddled up! ;-)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KL7AJ on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Any rig that has only ONE function per knob or switch is ergonomically correct. Any rig that has multiple functions per switch is not. Period. This alone eliminates just about every modern rig, except for an Elecraft, and perhaps a couple other QRP rigs.


Eric
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N7HTS on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can only comment on what I have experienced with my own rigs.

1. Kenwood TS-530SP
2. Ten Tec Century 22
3. K2. It's smaller but, still easy to use and was designed that way for a reason.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by VE3WGO on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The rig I think is most ergonomic in design:

recent = Yaesu FT-847 - easy to use, controls are direct and only one menu knob, pleasing to the eye.

boat-anchor = Heathkit SB101/102 - very easy to operate and rather nice looking.


least ergonomic in design: anything that uses a mouse to control it. A mouse requires muscle actions that are unergonomic.

A rotating knob offers a very high level of ergonomic interface. Steve Jobs understands that, and automobile manufacturers understand it too (think iPod and steering wheel). I like radios that use real knobs, and dislike radios that don't. I like tuning with a flywheel-weighted knob, and dislike poking up/down buttons or clicking simulated buttons on a screen with a mouse.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N7YA on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A rotating knob offers a very high level of ergonomic interface. Steve Jobs understands that, and automobile manufacturers understand it too (think iPod and steering wheel). I like radios that use real knobs, and dislike radios that don't. I like tuning with a flywheel-weighted knob, and dislike poking up/down buttons or clicking simulated buttons on a screen with a mouse.


...I couldnt agree more. I simply wont buy a radio without a nice big dial with some weight to it. It allows the user far more control. Ive had an SW rcvr before with step buttons...one up, one down...it was free so i didnt complain too much. but secretly, what a horrible way to tune! 5 khz steps?? egads!

73...Adam, N7YA
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by VU2PEP on September 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think any modern day bell and whistle stuff will fit the bill of 'THE BEST ERGONOMIC RIG'. I will
not consider the old vintage stuff like the HW101 or
FT101's with their valve finals as ergonomic.

According to me the best Ergonomic rigs are the
Atlas 210 SWAN cubic and MX100 these were the
best in their class easy to operate. The only drawback was the lack of a digital display or
a stable VFO.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5WTZ on September 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Amen to the article. I run an old Atlas 210 mobile and am not looking to change, in fact I may get another for backup. The controls are far apart and easy to reach, it has plenty of power, the memory battery never goes dead and it does all I need mobile or at the shack for a backup rig. Just a joy to operate while driving down the highway. Great reports also. 73 and bah humbug to a lot of the new rigs on the market.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N3EVL on September 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"...least ergonomic in design: anything that uses a mouse to control it. A mouse requires muscle actions that are unergonomic..."

I disagree. I use the mouse pretty much exclusively for tuning my SDR-1000 either via the mouse wheel or point and click on a signal or a variety of other mouse related options. It seems comfortable and intuitive. PowerSDR does not have, nor does it need either a simulated tuning knob or up/down buttons.

Interestingly, many who purchased this radio also purchased an optional physical tuning knob (Griffin), only to discover that it really isn't needed.

Pete, N3EVL
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K9VSK on September 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
FT920 - perfect size, excellent sensitivity, power output - all the features needed and six meters as well!
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by NJ6F on September 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Yaesu FT100 and FT100D without a doubt are the best.
The rotating menu is self explanitory and quantitative. When you put your audio gain on 30, for AM it is the same every time etc. Same for power...none of that 10:30 knob setting crap.

I see absolutely no reason for a big rig full of expensive filters you never use and all that dust on those knobs...what a hassle. So far the only hams that are complaining are ones that either cannot ( remember ) anything...their probem, not the radios. Those that are going blind, not the radios fault, Those that are used to big dust collectors, not the radio's fault. Those that have to have tubes or heathkit type monster components so they can work on it which they never do. Or those that have to have the latest most expensive rig to have something to talk about. I have two of the Yeasu FT-100's and really enjoy the 160-440 Mhz all mode functional operation. Large display, hears and gets out well, scans, has lots of memories and is the smallest rig on the market and with a nice remote head. Blows away the 706, runs COOL and so light you can velcro it to a jump start battery and be portable or cut it down to 5 watts and go really portable out of a backpack, all modes etc. Come to think of it A big box radio is a step back... The one who wins the prize is the one that has DESIGN TALENT and can compress all the big box stuff into a very small space...that takes talent. All I am waiting for is for them to incorporate fully digital audio in any of these radios. Make it the size of my VX7. Respectfully, Rich
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K8DXX on September 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
All things considered, I really love my new IC 7000. Works great and is nice to look at. I've had other Icom radios before so it seems easy/familiar.

Worst - FT817. Hard to use, hard to see, lousy receiver, poor reliability... POS!
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N8IK on September 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Can't figure why folks don't like the IC-706. I have a mk2g in my car and whether voice or CW I hardly have to look at it. Play with your radio! Maybe lack of familiarity breeds contempt.

Ian N8IK
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K9ZF on September 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It amazes me that people can't follow a topic.
It's not about who makes the best rig, or which rig is the best performer.

Ergonomics is the topic!

Maybe this will help:

From Wikipedia,

It is the applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.


73
Dan
--
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at: <http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WH6OR on September 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My radio ergonomic preferences would include:
Easily readable, faceplate lettering, meters and display(both day and night)
Size and weight for respectively, easy finger fit and one hand operation
Dedicated front panel knobs/buttons for most common functions

In my limited experience, many rigs from the '90's qualify. Two personal top favorites, Icom IC-775DSP and Yaesu FT-1000D.

Addressing only ergonomics, the least pleasing to date, Kenwood TS-480.


 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K5HSV on September 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood 480HX

I really like my Kenwood 480HX for mobile. I find it very organized. The filters are in the same area. Simply hold down a button and get to the adjustment region of the function you pressed. No menu button to fumble with. I will say that I like the looks of the IC-7000 but haven't played around with it yet.

73s,
K5HSV
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by HB9PJT on September 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Of course it depends also on the ability and skill of the operator.

73, Peter - HB9PJT
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WA0ZZG on September 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think what best applies here is a line from a movie made in 1977. The actress name was Linda. Her line was simply "Different strokes for different folks".
Dave WA0ZZG
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KL7IPV on September 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Swan 100MXA and any Ten-Tec
Worst: Icom IC-25A and any of the 706 series. But they work well and that counts!

But then,I really loved the Hammarlund receivers too.

Frank
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB3MMX on September 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
BEST Mobile: Kenwood TS-480



WORST Mobile: FT-857
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N3JWN on September 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The best Mobile rig the Icom ic-7000 best filtering and used with the at-7000 tuner cant be beat

The best all around hf-vhf.uhf rig is the Kenwood ts-2000 thats my opinion have fun and be safe thanks
Dick / n3jwn
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by AA4NN on September 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Try using the IC7000 on 30M CW, you'll change your mind about what a good rig it is. de Joe, aa4nn
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KE5BCG on September 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Folks;
I'm a new General. K5BCG now, and recently bought a mint Kenwood 530S. It's a real beaut - not a scratch and the original owner even provided the sales receipt and original manual.
It's a very simple unit and I've actually learned about radio principles in the process of using it. Despite having a General license I feel very much like a "Fred Flintstone" level operator.

When I first got my Tech ticket, I bought a Yaesu VX5 HT, and had a real ordeal learning how to use it. It was much more difficult than passing the Tech test! And my 7800 UHF/VHF is not much less complex. Since they're from the same company and are of the same design generation it makes using them both easier that if one were a Kenwood or Icom. But this menu business is a nuisance, and this is coming from a computer geek who regards PC as toys.

Thanks to all who posted opinions, because although I intend to prolong the life of the 530, everything wears out eventually. Someday I'll ned a new HF unit and a new one is probably going to be out of the question. These postings provide valuable insight.

I see the software-defined radio as the base station of the future since the user interface can be so flexible and suit the needs of the operator. (And as long as they don't ever connect it to the internet the PC's OS will probably work just fine!)

73
Pete
K5BCG
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W8KX on September 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: FT-1000 & TS-830
Worst: TS-2000
W8KX
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by W9YE on September 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best: Tie between my Icom 775DSP and Icom 736
Worst: FT 857/897 (Sold soon after purchased)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB2IUA on September 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I vote for the Icom 735. Not a bad rig either. No menus, just those little slide pots. A lit of rig in a small space.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB2IUA on September 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I vote for the Icom 735. Not a bad rig either. No menus, just those little slide pots. A lit of rig in a small space.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KB2IUA on September 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I vote for the Icom 735. Not a bad rig either. No menus, just those little slide pots. A lit of rig in a small space.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KK8V on September 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Through the years I've tried a few of the, should I say, top of the price range radios. In 2000 I decided to take a few years off from Ham radio, so I sold most of my station. In 2006, the urge to get back into Ham radio hit. It was then I decided to look backward a few years, and started to look at the older radios that I had either wanted at one time, or had owned, and had regretted getting rid of. I guess I was tired of getting the manual out every time I hit the wrong button. And then I guess the old term, "KISS", Keep It Simple Stupid, finally hit home. After going through a few older radios, I finally decided on the IC765, the FT990, and a simple newer one, the IC746. I lucked out, as they all operate as they should, and look almost new. I never thought that I would ever say that I was done searching for a station that I was completely happy with, let alone three. All three together cost less than todays medium priced new ones. I looked over the manuals of each one as I received them, and put them on the air. Simple, simple, simple.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6QL on September 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I own or have owned all of the Yaesu HF mobile rigs, IC-706MkIIg, ProII, TS870, and IC-7000. Have used TS-2000, and various Yaesu HF base units.

I also own several vintage HF rigs but when you talk ease of use (ergonomics is about how the knobs are layed out, not necessarily ease of use) you also have to factor in functionality. A low functionality device is nearly always easier to use than one that has lots of features and capability so the old stuff doesn't count in my list.

Best Base Rig - Icom Pro Series
For me the ProII provides incredible functionality with excellent ease of use. It has the right combination of dedicated knobs and buttons that work intuitively and menus combined with a big display so you know where you are at all times

Worst Base Rig - Kenwood TS-870
I owned the 870 for several years and it's menu system was very poorly thought out and it had a very minimal display capability. Many common features where buried in menus.

The various Yaseu HF base rigs and the TS-2000 fall in between.

Best Mobile HF Rig - IC-7000/IC-706MkIIg
I have to give these two a tie. Again functionality an access to it are the criteria here. Like the Pro series, common functions are on dedicated buttons and knobs. A larger than average screen with a good combination of graphical and textual information on the screen. I give the 7000 a slight edge for it's use of color.

Worst Mobile HF Rig - Any of the Yaesue Rigs
The biggest issue with the Yaesu rigs are the horrible displays. Mediocre contrast and extremely small and almost complete text based. The menu system has many functions layed out in a marginally organized fashion. PITA to use these radios. I've owned both an FT-100 and FT-857 and I still own a 897 and an 817 (the worst!). The redeeming value of of the Yaesu rigs is the extreme compactness of these rigs - which is why I own them.

73 Ron N6QL
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WB0CJB on September 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My choices are the Kenwood TS-520S (with or without the digital display) and the Drake TR4 line (TR4C in particular). Yes I know they are old rigs and I would be much better off getting a new rig or at least a newer radio.I cannot see paying $2K-4K (or more) for a radio that has more features than most hams will ever use.I bet the vast majority of the owners do not have the rig fully loaded with filters and use every function on the radio.You can only work one frequency at a time. When the radio goes rubber feet up they have to have someone else (usually the service center) repair it.In this day of surface mount technology it is a real pain to work on (I work on SMT boards daily)and with everyone going lead free solder its going to be even harder to work on. If the display section goes out you have a box of parts that doesn't do you any good until you get the display fixed.The hams who are getting older cannot afford the standard service charges so they must do with what they have.SMT packed rigs are only as good as the quality of the components they put into each radio and usually its the cheapest parts they can get that make their way into the boxes.

With the old radios you still have the mechanical dial and you can actually work on them (like the old cars).My 520S is going on 25 years old and still going strong.It doesn't bust the pileups every time with a vertical but can and does work its share of the DX (3Y0X and 3B7C).The TR4C is a fine radio as well and as soon as I get the HW-100 I am restoring on the air it will see its share of air time.

My vote for the worst radio? HR-10B receiver.Heathkit made some great stuff but I was not impressed with that receiver.Maybe it was because I was a young Novice....
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by 2E0MCA on September 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I wouldn't like to name a worst. Best, for any Ham must be the rig they are using at the moment.

For me that is the FT-2000. The button sizes are fine and the knobs fall to hand to the point where I have no issues with operating this rig in the dark - a desk lamp behind the radios and the glow from the screen being perfectly adequate. The screen display gives all the information I need in a clear an concise fashion. My previous radio was an FT-840. Very simple to use and, as stated by a previous respondent, an excellent beginners rig. There is absolutely nothing that you could mess up on the front of that rig. So that's my 2 ergonomic preferences on HF (ps I have used the IC7400, IC756, FT-857, FT897).

On VHF I chose an IC-E208 and have always been happy with the layout of its controls - much less fiddly than the Yaesu equivalents.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WN2RUJ on September 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The defination is very nice but in practice this means that controls should be made to fit your hand the way good fitting clothing is made. You should not have to pinch a knob between your fingers to turn it. A pinch grip will cramp the muscles in the hand and lead to fatigue. Gain controls tend to turn almost 360 degrees. This puts a strain on the wrist and elbow. The older rigs had rotary switches with heavey detents that turned almost as much. This can really fatigue your forearm. Controls are supposed to be intutive. You should know what they do by where they are placed and what shape they are. In addition, there needs to be biofeedback that acts as a servo mechanism that acts in concert with the brain. This should all occur without you looking at the control. Emergency stop buttons on machinery is such an example. Color, contrast clarity is important. Look at the cockpit of a commercial or military plane. These displays are as clear as possible. So its just not the layout of the knobs and their size that is contributing to the frustration. I don't have a vote for best and worst as I have not had many rigs but I can tell you my Yaesu FT859 has terrible ergonomics. But it fits well on my desk with all of the other stuff.






I agree with WX1F - most people here don't even know what ergonomics are! It has nothing to do with performance specifications.

Ergonomics: The applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. Also called biotechnology, human engineering, human factors engineering.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WA0TTN on September 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Worst ergonomics: Yeasu FT-847

Best performance for the price: Yeasu FT-847

I hated this radio from the start for it's kludgy controls. But I've learned to love it for the amazing frequency agility and features. The only feature missing is a tune button.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by KG6YV on September 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best=FT 2000 IMHO. No experience with the worst, thankfully I didn't audition anything really bad when I bought my FT 2000 in June.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by WN2RUJ on September 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry, I don't know my own rig.
Its bad, its an FT 847.
Worst ergo and I do ergo consulting for a living.
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by MM3XXW on September 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Best = Yaesu FT990 (maybe biased!!)

Worst = Yaesu FT450 (what were they thinking about!!)

IMHO
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by K6VVA on September 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can't believe you listed the TS-480X as worst.

One of the reasons I own THREE TS-480's is because they are the absolute best ergonomic rig (control head) with the minimum amount of desk real estate and a stellar display (also for mobile).

The simplicity of being able to instantly change the angle of the control head is a piece of ergonomic engineering design genius.

I use two of the TS-480's for my compact & portable SO2R-To-Go station, and may buy a 4th.

TS-480's ... Bring 'em ON !!!

73...

Rick, K6VVA
 
Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by MM3XXW on September 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Can I change my mind?

Amongst the 'best' has to be the TenTec Omni VII (what a cracking looking rig)
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6HPX on September 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I would think most would pick whatever they could afford to buy at the time, for example the Icom 718 being a good starter radio, as opposed to some radio that is up in the $2000 dollar price ranges. Alot of the radios is from the person own perspective. I was told of one listed here as not being good. But for seeing is believeing not hearing others feelings on that particular radio. I too have looked at the Kenwood 480 models but have alos used Icoms, and occassionally Yaesu's. But I feel any person should test drive it for themselves the same way he test drives a car, I dont always believe Car and driver or other magazines. Its a self trainned test drive. As they say what is good for one might not be good for the next one.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6HPX on September 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry to counter point this but never had any problems with the Icom706mk2 and its a good rig for me..been using it for since they first came out..worked fine and heldup.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N5ACK on September 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The IC-718 seems ergonomically to be a great rig to me.
 
RE: Best HF Rig From An Ergonomic Standpoint  
by N6HPX on September 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For the price and whatever bells and whistles I pick the 718 as well. The price is within the range of newcomers and old timers.
 
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