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Author Topic: Rig Suggestions  (Read 1770 times)
N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 07:12:06 AM »

I use to be a beleiver in the Ten Tec Jupiter my self. I thought it was the greatest thing sense sliced bread.
And honestly i still like the Jupiter for lot of it's abilties. But i found my older Omni6 Opt#3 has it beat hands down in receiver performance.  Other radios i have had included drake twins, FT-847-920. Kenwood TS 820, Icom 746(non pro) and the Omni-d.

In ranking them my list goes:

#1- Omni6-Opt3
#2- Jupiter
#3- Ft-920
#4- FT-847
At the bottom was the 746
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VE7REN
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Posts: 469




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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 08:30:50 AM »

746pro used for 1000-1200$
ic706mk2
756 pro series is a definate unit to look at.
icom 7000 all mode
ft 847 used all mode
857d yaesu
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WB3DDF
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 10:35:28 AM »

Thanks for all the suggestions. They have been very helpful. I am kind of leaning towards a new rig at this time. I have been looking at the Yaesu FT-950. The reviews here seem to be pretty good but I have been reading that this rig is somewhat menu driven and some find it hard to get around. I, too am used to using knobs not menus after owning the Kenwood 520 and 940 but I am in the computer networking background so menus aren't new to me but just not with a ham radio. Any comments on Yaesu and the FT-950?
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WE5I
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 11:24:29 AM »

WE5I radio buying rules:

Rule #1 Don't buy a used radio as your main radio.

Rule #2 Don't buy any radio on eBay.

If I had no radio and were going to buy one today with the budget you specified, I would buy either the Yaesu Ft-950 or the Icom IC-746Pro.

The advantage of all-mode 2 meters on the 746 I think is equally offset by the fact that you can't work HF and monitor for a 2 meter opening with one radio.

The 950 is a brand new design, where the 746 might be aging.

If you look around for the best prices, either represents an excellent value for the money.

Good luck!

Graham Welch - WE5I
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WB3DDF
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 11:39:21 AM »

Graham:

 I think your two rules are what I will go by. I don't mind buying some items on eBay but something as expensive as a ham radio and used at that I am a bit concerned. Even though I really like the older Kenwood rigs and wish I had my 940s I sold 8 years ago back I think that it may be wise to get something new. Thanks for the comments on the two rigs. I really do like Kenwood but didn't really care for the TS-2000. Don't really need those extra VHF bands. I mainly work HF.

Charlie
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VE3GNU
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Posts: 86




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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2009, 12:17:57 PM »

For what it's worth---currently on the Eham Reviews, there are only 2 rigs currently available that have been reviewed over a 100 times with a score of 4.8---the K2 and the Kenwood 480SAT.
For a factory-built rig, the 480SAT has garnered a legion of very satisfied owners---who continue to extol its receive-capabilities, specs, and performance, but anyone coming from the large desk-top size radio school may be 'put off' by its looks, and separate face-plate-and main body concept.
Good luck in your quest.
Ernie
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5457




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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2009, 07:15:26 AM »

Aaah!, The rig fight!
You did not mention how you plan to operate... are you looking for a desktop, mobile, portable?  Are you CW, SSB, DXer, ragchewer?
At least you did mention budget!
The FT950 has very good features for the price, and is within budget.  I can recommend it.
Not everyone can afford an Orion or K3.
73s.

-Mike.
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WB3DDF
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2009, 07:20:39 AM »

Sorry Mike but I didn't elaborate my preferences. I mainly operate SSB. I like chasing DX and ragchewing. Not too much into contests but I did enjoy the RTTY contest I participated in many years ago. I never would never do mobile. As I said before I have never owned anything but Kenwood but want to look at other rigs besides the TS-2000. The FT-950 caught my eye and it is within the budget.
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KC2RGW
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Posts: 287


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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 07:38:49 AM »

The FT-950 will take a bit of reading in the manual as the default settings for transmit audio and some other settings are not really all that sane.

After the initial setup though you likely won't be in those menus all that frequently.

The FT-950 yahoo group/email list is useful to search for tips and ask any questions if you get stuck.

In the $1500 range, the FT-950 is an outstanding rig with technology leading the others in the same price range.

Of course it's HF/6m only.
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K8POS
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Posts: 332


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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2009, 06:53:45 PM »

Glad you asked the question.  I too am looking for a HF base rig on a $600 budget.  
You all have given some good suggestions.  There are just so many to look at.  I don't mind buying used if it is from someone local or one of the reputable places like Universal and such.

Please keep suggesting.

 Bob
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G0RIF
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Posts: 129




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« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2009, 05:11:31 AM »

Hi Bob,

Another vote for the TS-480 - a used one may be within budget...?

I just replaced my TS-480 with an FT-950 - I'm not sure yet the 950 is 'better'...whatever that means.

Out of the box the 480 requires significantly less config & setup and once done the diminutive user interface provides quick access to all of the common used settings. The 950 seems to require more work to get to some oft used settings and certainly takes a lot more config and setup. Time will tell if it proves to be a better radio in the long run.

In case you're wondering, I changed to the 950 because it has digital IF filtering and the 480 doesn't (and the 480 only has two optional fliter slots) - I wanted the digital filter flexibility of the 950 for CW, RTTY and PSK31.

The 480 is one sweet little radio though - I'm already missing it!!!

Good luck!
Dean - G0RIF
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K1WJ
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Posts: 454




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« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2009, 06:21:11 AM »

Get the Yaesu FT-950, great value for the $$$$.

Newest updates have been very good.

Don't be shy, order a FT-950 today.....

73 K1WJ David
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G8UBJ
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« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2009, 07:29:05 AM »

If you're into RTTY then definitely the FT-950.. The DSP filtering works very well (No more filters required) and it runs FSK. I use it at 250Hz for HF and 6M and if the QRM get too much there is a useful notch that comes up right between the tones.
If you haven't tried it Download MMTTY for RTTY on your PC, I'm sure you will enjoy using it.
Of course it does SSB well with plenty of QRM fighting features.. But you have to read the manual.. then use it and read the manual again.. On the positive side you can find the manual on the Yaesu website so you can read it while you wait for delivery..
73 Rex - G8UBJ
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K2ID
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2009, 12:18:53 PM »

I too would and have recommended the Yaesu FT-950. I have bought two Icom 746 Pros and both had to be shipped to Icom at my expense for the problems many hams report on eham. I currently own an Ft-2000D and love it. The 950 is similar but perhaps with fewer knobs on the front.

I am not a big fan of menus either but like you I am an IT professional. I simply use the free Ham Radio Deluxe software to run my rig. It allows you to assign CAT commands to buttons in the program so that you do not have to go into the menus. I rarely have a need to go into the menus. BTW, down the road you can get a used DMU. Hams brag about the 96 (98?) K bandwidth scope on the Flex 5000 but the DMU has a 2500K bandwidth scope and allows you to easily find the DX. I just simply switch bands and take a look and know if there is any activity there.

If you want a VHF/UHF/HF radio I would recommend the Icom 7000 as it does it all and has all the latest features. Only drawback is tht it is a mobile rig and therefore will require using the menus much more.
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KC2RGW
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« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2009, 09:45:40 AM »

If I had to buy a new rig right now it would be the FT-950 no questions.  The bang for the buck with that rig at its price point is too much to ignore.

That said, I own a TS-2000 which I love for all of its flexibility...though because of all of those features, you will need to spend some quality time with a manual...all there is to it.

I also own a TS-940, which I love as well, but it is my project radio.  Sometimes it feels like playing nice, other times I have to poke around and give it a kick.  It's nice to have another radio on the bench as a backup.  They still perform amazingly well for RX, but they are ageing and have some inherent issues with the type of solder and assembly used that is catching up to them.

I wouldn't recommend a 940 unless you can locally pick it up and *know* firmly that it is 100%.  Even then, it could go out on you any day just sitting on the bench.  They are not a good radio to ship unless you are comfortable poking around and cleaning and re-seating all the myriad of connectors inside.  Vibration from handling aggravates the issues they have.
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