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Author Topic: Back After 25 Years!  (Read 1705 times)
WA3WDK
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Posts: 8




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« on: November 20, 2001, 01:38:34 PM »

I'm getting back into ham radio after a 25 year abscence.  My last rig was a Tempo One with a Hy-Gain beam, Hy-Gain vertical and longwire through a home built tuner.  I want to get an all-in-one rig which will take up as little space as possible as I have a small house with a small yard.  Any suggestions?  I want to keep it simple.
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2001, 11:03:24 PM »

My best recommendation: the Icom IC-706MkIIG. I don't think it can be beat for versatility, size or product for the price. Look here: http://www.eham.net/articles/2291
but then, I am really prejudiced. Good luck.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20595




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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2001, 02:49:34 PM »

Remember the rig is only the operator interface, but it doesn't do the work of making contacts.  Your antenna, as the station to ionospheric interface, does that.  

There are lots of great rigs on the market, both new and used, and I'd suggest you try some out at a local radio store if you can, to get a feel for what's available and to your liking.  The IC706MkIIG is a fine little rig with an excellent performance-to-cost ratio, but it's not for me -- tried it, thought it worked well, but I'd have a difficult time actually using it daily...too many menu functions, and lacking in panel adjustments for things I constantly adjust (like CW keyer speed, which I adjust probably 100 times a day); thus, although it might be perfect for some, it's not for me, at all.  That's why I recommend trying rigs for a "test drive," if at all possible.

However, if you have a ham radio budget, and most of us do, I'd always recommend allocating "most" of that budget to antennas.  Given a budget of $2000 to get "back on the air" on HF, I'd assuredly allocate $1500 to antennas and supports (maybe a good used tower and rotor, a good beam, new coax & rotor cables, etc), and maybe $500 on the rig.  Or, possibly $1750 on the antenna system and $250 on the rig.  Remember what really does the work...also, it's really easy to trade in, swap, and exchange equipment.  Antenna work takes much more effort and planning, and you probably don't want to be erecting, dismantling, and re-erecting antennas every few months.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
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K4IA
Member

Posts: 66




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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2002, 09:26:53 AM »

Welcome back from another "retread."  I was QRT for 30 years.  

I'll ditto Steve's advice.  Modern rigs are so good they will astound you.  Even the entry level stuff is far superior to the best you remember.  Spend your money on antennas and don't buy a $400 vertical unless that is the ONLY antenna you can possibly put up.

I would add that the ICOM 718 looks like a real winner for getting back into the hobby on a budget.  Cheaper to get it and a VHF rig than to go for the 706IIG.  And the 718 has the features with a lot less complications.  My first choice in the "most rig for the money" category would be a used 746.   The price is dropping with the introduction of the 746pro but the plain 746 is a great rig that will also give you 2 mtrs and a built in antenna tuner.

Save some money for antennas.  You can put up a simple multiband wire one to start - maybe a G5RV or get a tuner and use ladder line to feed a doublet or L (my favorite).  Graduate to a beam this summer.
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