Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: In need of a HF/VHF/UHF mobile radio... recommendations?  (Read 2013 times)
KF6KTM
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« on: September 03, 2017, 04:42:11 PM »

Happy to report that I'm getting back into the hobby after about 18 years of distractions. 

I've been reading and trying to catch up as much as possible, but hoping I could request a lifeline...

For budgetary and simplicity reasons, I am looking to get a HF/VHF/UHF mobile radio to act as a base station and a mobile rig that I will occasionally transition between the two.  Mainly, though, it will be in the house. 

I looked at some of the newer models, and they seem to be priced around $600-$1,000.

Does anyone know of a model from the big three (I'm assuming we are advising against the Chinese rigs that are a fraction of the price?) that is a handful of years old, and more affordable? 


Thanks, in advance!!

-Andrew
KK6OXP (formerly KF6KTM)
Logged
KC3RN
Member

Posts: 200




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 04:59:57 AM »

I think you will be hard pressed to find an HF/VHF/UHF rig for under $600, even on the used market.  A new Icom IC-7100 is about $800 after rebate.  A Yaesu FT-991 is almost double that.  Even a used IC-7000 is in the $6-700 range.  If you look hard enough, you might find an IC-746 (non-pro) for $5-600, but you won't get 440 capability.  Plus, the 746 is a pretty large radio.  Not really suitable for mobile ops.

The Yaesu FT-897 is another option.  It's a good size for mobile ops.  It runs $850 new, and not much less than that used.  The FT-857 is another option, but no longer available new, so you'll need to fins a used on.  They don't seem to come on the market veru often, and sell quickly when they do.  I friend of mine has 3 857's, and loves them.

Do you need SSB/CW capability on VHF/UHF?  If not, you might want to consider a dual band FM rig for V/U, and a conventional HF rig.
Logged
KF6KTM
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 01:22:43 PM »

Great advice, thank you.  I was under the wrong impression about a used rig being much more affordable.  It is good to hear that even these all-in-one radios retain their value over time. 

Looks like I'll be running separate radios, which is fine and fits my budget even better.

Logged
KF6KTM
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 10:52:33 PM »

Is the consensus that a dedicated HF rig will out perform an all-in-one, such as the FT-847/857?

I am thinking about the FT-450, given the solid DSP and filters. 

If the HF performance is noticeably better than an all-in-one, the FT-450 can be had for ~$500, and I can then find a decent dual band mobile for ~$200. 

 
Logged
KD8IIC
Member

Posts: 648




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 02:15:53 AM »

  Look at an FT857
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 04:04:03 AM »

Is the consensus that a dedicated HF rig will out perform an all-in-one, such as the FT-847/857?

All in one rigs are a compromise and over rated I think.

I am thinking about the FT-450, given the solid DSP and filters. 


Solid is not the word that comes to mind here, CHEAP is. The 450 is a cheap entry level rig with cheap/basic IF DSP. . It costs a lot more than the price of a 450 to get decent IF DSP.

If the HF performance is noticeably better than an all-in-one, the FT-450 can be had for ~$500, and I can then find a decent dual band mobile for ~$200. 

A dual band rig is far more versatile than a all in one rig on 2m and 440 FM and over 90% of the activity is in FM mode. 
Logged

--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD8IIC
Member

Posts: 648




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 04:51:54 AM »

    Ask a man who actually owns one is your best advice.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 12080




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 05:08:29 AM »

    Ask a man who actually owns one is your best advice.

Not really because if it all they have owned or used they have nothing to compare it to.
Logged

--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KF6KTM
Member

Posts: 10




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 07:58:37 AM »

Is the consensus that a dedicated HF rig will out perform an all-in-one, such as the FT-847/857?

All in one rigs are a compromise and over rated I think.

I am thinking about the FT-450, given the solid DSP and filters. 


Solid is not the word that comes to mind here, CHEAP is. The 450 is a cheap entry level rig with cheap/basic IF DSP. . It costs a lot more than the price of a 450 to get decent IF DSP.

If the HF performance is noticeably better than an all-in-one, the FT-450 can be had for ~$500, and I can then find a decent dual band mobile for ~$200. 

A dual band rig is far more versatile than a all in one rig on 2m and 440 FM and over 90% of the activity is in FM mode. 



Thanks, this is helpful.  Reviews seemed to embellish the DSP of the FT-450.  I guess it makes sense, compared to much higher-end units, it probably doesn't compete.  Good for the price might be a better way to describe it.



Logged
KK6RPX
Member

Posts: 113




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 08:13:53 AM »

I bought a 450D when I first got licensed and have used it a lot. Great radio, while it is basic it does very well. My only beef is that the display can be hard to read from an angle. I have a FT-991 and have operated a IC-7100 a lot. While both of those radios have more features the FT-450D still stacks up for the basics. Good bang for the buck.

I like having my HF separate from VHF/UHF. That way I can be chatting with one of my local buddies as we hunt for DX etc.
Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1348




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 08:20:16 AM »

I have owned an FT450at and I now own and FT891, just recently purchased.  The newer FT 891 is just a bit better receiver than the Ft450, and it should be as its technology is several years newer.  The FT 891 doesn't have a tuner though as it is very small and styled as a mobile/portable rig not a base rig.  The FT450 is NOT a bad radio for the money.  I got a lot of pleasure using mine when I had it, and I had a Icom 756pro3 to compare it to as it stablemate.  Of course it was not the receiver the 756pro3 was, but I had $500 in the Yaesu and about $2700 in the Icom.  What would you expect?

 If you are going to do casual operating, and need a rig with a 3 to 1 trim tuner built in, for about $500 used or a bit more new, you would be well served by the FT450d.  The FT891 is now $579 new, and if you pair that with an LDG auto tuner for about $179, you have a 100 watt rig that will tackle about any antenna situation you will encounter.  Or run good resonant antennas and you will not need the tuner at all.

So my current rigs are the Icom 756pro3, the Icom Ic7300, and the new Yaesu Ft891.   The Ic7300 gets the most use now, the 891 is my portable operate outside mostly rig, and the 756pro3 just mostly sits.  Yeah, the 7300 is that good.
Logged
AI6DO
Member

Posts: 12




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 10:40:33 AM »

All rigs are a compromise. Every single one.

The FT-857D is in a class of its own when it comes to mobile/portable all-band, all-mode rigs. By that, I mean there's little else that can be substituted for it if your needs are for mobile and/or portable operation. Its nearest competitor, the IC-7100, is noticeably heavier, less convenient for mobile or portable mounting, has higher current consumption (which translates to heavier batteries or shorter operating time), and has a touchscreen interface (which has pros and cons).

The FT-857D's user interface and receiver are of lesser quality than most dedicated base station rigs, most mobile FM rigs, and dedicated portable HF QRP rigs like the Elecraft KX3 or KX2. It's the price you pay for having all those bands and modes and 100W output in a small, 4.5 lb mobile-ready radio. It's certainly usable, just not optimal for any individual purpose. My FT-857D is my go-to radio for only two purposes: 1) working the linear satellites or other 2m/70cm weak signal work, and 2) as my grab-and-go radio in the event of the need for a quick evacuation. The rest of the time, I'd rather use one of my other radios that is more optimized for that purpose.

If you can only afford one radio, I don't think it's a bad choice. It'll give you the ability to try out operation in the shack, mobile, and portable from 160m through 70cm, including the ability to try out VHF/UHF weak signal operation (CW, SSB, and digital) including all the FM and linear AMSAT satellites. Just about any other rig will leave out one or more aspects of amateur radio that might just be the one that catches your fancy. And it will retain its value fairly well for the used market. It was my first radio after getting licensed, for all of these reasons, but I don't plan to sell it.

73, Ryan AI6DO
Logged
KC3RN
Member

Posts: 200




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 05:35:05 AM »

    Ask a man who actually owns one is your best advice.

I like mine.....
Logged
KG4RUL
Member

Posts: 3062


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 07:20:07 AM »

Having the ability to operate an all modes in the 2M and 70Cm opens up a world of possibilities.  This makes the all-in-one radio a viable choice.
Logged
WD4CHP
Member

Posts: 198




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 08:14:37 AM »

I use an Icom  IC-706mkIIG mobile with an original outbacker antenna.

Outstanding performance.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!