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Author Topic: Newbie trying to figure out what to buy. Spec rea  (Read 1439 times)
AB1DZ
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« on: August 24, 2004, 11:21:54 PM »

Greetings!!

I am a newbie shopping for my first transceiver.  I am looking at the Kenwood TS-480SAT and the Yaesu FT-857D.  They both are HF.

Someone told me Kenwood has a better receiver.  How can I figure that out by reading the spec?  How much better is it.

Thanks,

    Roland
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2004, 11:49:17 AM »

You can't figure it out by reading the specifications, at all.  "Better," when it comes to HF receivers (or nowadays, even most VHF receivers) has nothing to do with sensitivity, it has to do with performance when an antenna is connected to the receiver, which is something that a million dollars' worth of laboratory test equipment still doesn't simulate very well.

Of those two rigs, I don't know which is "better" under real-world conditions, but I'd bet that each is probably better in some way or another, depending upon existence of close-by strong signals, band used, local noise factors and other variables.  To compare two receivers, the only way I've ever found that works is to have them side by side on a bench with an antenna switch so I can switch rapidly between the two (like, in less than a second) and actually listen for differences under various conditions.  

And even then, this evaluation can take days or weeks, not minutes or hours, because some differences don't demonstrate themselves right away.

I don't like the little Yaesu's tiny frequency display.  That has nothing to do with performance, but it is ergonomics, and if I can't read the display I'm not going to like the rig very much.

Can you get to a store that sells these rigs and take each one for a "test drive," in the store?  That's a great way to draw your own conclusions, which is more important than everyone else's opinions.

WB2WIK/6

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AB0SI
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2004, 01:27:14 PM »

Welcome to HF!

I am is agreement with WB2WIK's comments. I run the 857 mobile. It is wonderfully compact and well suited for such operations. By the same token, I would never choose this radio for home operation. Just about everyting except frequency is set via menus. Fine mobile when the idea is to make the control head as small as possible, but hardly the best way to operate given a choice. I have never operated the Kenwood, so I can make no comparisions. I will say that betweent he etnry level Icom (718) and the 857, I'd take the 718 for home use.
AS WB2WIK indicated -- your milage may vary. It would be nice if you could wander over to a ham store and play with candidates.

Paul AB0SI
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K8AG
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 02:25:56 PM »

Good replies.  Straight to the point.

I too like a radio with some real estate for my home, as long as I have the room.  The FT-857 is small and even though its feature list is a mile long, you might think in terms of a slightly large rig.  I have an FT-920 and it is quite large, esp. considering that the power supply is not built in.  But I find it easier to get to things that I want to do than with other radios I have used such as the ft-817 and ic-706mk2.

FWIW, 73

John Pawlicki, K8AG
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WA2JJH
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2004, 03:38:56 AM »

tHE TINY DISPLAY WOULD DRIVE ME NUTS!
I am sure for a ""swiss army Knife radio" it should do as good or better than the FT-100D or the ICOM 706-IIG

  I am biased for Kenwood however. Problem is I do not know of one single ham that has used kenwoods much over due mobile offerings.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2004, 01:26:55 PM »

A neighbor of mine just bought the TS-480 and is very pleased with it; we just chatted last night on 17m.

You might want to ask him (K6RSG) for more details.  

K6RSG's e-mail address is shown with his bio here on eHam.

WB2WIK/6

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