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Author Topic: $1000 budget what Rig would you buy? New or used  (Read 3042 times)
KC0TPL
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Posts: 17




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« on: November 28, 2007, 02:36:41 PM »

If you had a $1000 +/- a few bucks to spend on a primary rig what would you get. This would need to include a tuner and power supply if not built in.

Other criteria.

160-10 Meter. 6,2 and 70 cm a plus.

Must be "full-sized" I have a Yaesu 857D which is great little radio but I want something that each knob or dial does not have 47 options. 1 knob, 1 or 2 functions. Bench space is not an issue.

New or used does not matter but in the last decade and a half would be nice.

Solid-state, no tubes unless they are bullet proof finals.

DSP would be a big plus.

I work digital and SSB modes most of the time.

I have been looking at reviews on the site and my mind is mush....suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Craig


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N0IU
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 06:48:13 PM »

Icom IC-718 HF rig - $540.00 (List price is $590, but Icom is currently offering a $50 rebate)

Astron RS35A 35 amp power supply - $150.00

MFJ 949E tuner - $170.00

Total = $860.00

Spend the rest on your antenna system

Scott N0IU
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ONAIR
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 11:14:11 PM »

   I second the 718.  You can pick up an inexpensive LG auto tuner for around $100, and a used power supply for under $100 as well.  That leave you a nice piece of change for your antenna system!
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ONAIR
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 11:18:40 PM »

BTW N0IU..  What store is offering the 718 for $540 now?  Do they include free shipping?
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K9KJM
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2007, 12:58:06 AM »

PRIMARY rig?Huh
Without question, If a person could only have but one radio, The Kenwood TS-2000 IS that "do it all" radio!
Including cross band repeating!  
There is one for sale good used on Eham right now for 1250.   I would save a few more bucks and go with the TS-2000.

ALSO good radios, But much more limited because they do not have VHF/UHF include the good old Icom 756PRO, Now selling good used for 900-1100 dollars,  

As mentioned, The newer Icom 718 IS a good "starter" radio in its price range.

For even less money, A radio that will do about as much as the 718 is the good old Icom IC-735. Selling good used for around 300 bucks.

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N0IU
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 02:13:48 AM »

"What store is offering the 718 for $540 now? Do they include free shipping?"

Everyone is offering the '718 for that price and it includes the UT-106 DSP unit.

I believe HRO has free shipping, however.

http://www.hamradio.com/

Since the KC0TPL lives in the Denver area, a better choice might be to go to the HRO (Ham Radio Outlet) store in Denver. I am sure one of the friendly sales staff there would be more than happy to help him spend his $1000!

Scott N0IU

 
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AB8XA
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 04:05:38 AM »

When I got into ham radio, I was all enamored over all the bands and bells and whistles on the FT-897.  But like I usually do, I downloaded the owners manual to see how it worked.  Discovering a menu with 90-something settings and 3 buttons with 17 different functions each, I was swamped.  Even after spending considerable time reading it, I knew I'd never be able to operate that radio without the manual open on my lap.

That's when I discovered the IC-718.  Power-up setup of 20-something settings I'd seldom if ever use again, 13 settings I'd use less frequently in a Quick Set menu, and the functions I'd use most frequently on a dedicated knob, knob ring, or button.  Pressing the Enter button once turns the buttons into a keypad to enter frequency and pressing Enter again switches to that frequency.  Handy and I use it often.  It's been really easy to use and I call it the Macintosh of modern ham radios.  I'd definitely buy it again.

I was given an Astron RS20A power supply that's worked well with it, but as N0IU recommends, if buying new, I'd get the RS35, probably the M model with meters.

I also bought the Icom AH-4 auto-tuner which integrates with the radio, and which HRO has for $259, because it not only works with an end fed, but because of the articles I've seen where many successfully use it with a balanced antenna to bring coax into the shack.  I wound up using a trap vertical at home rather than a wire antenna, but will use one with the tuner for field day.
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KC0TPL
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 08:24:31 AM »

Thanks guys...This is not my first rig and the antenna system and shack is established and the $1000 +/- can go exclusively to the Rig/PS/Tuner. The 718 is a nice little radio no doubt but I was looking for a larger foot print.

Say a FT920 and the TS 2000 was on the list as well maybe the 756pro...Granted these would all be used in my price range...The FT-950 really has my eye but is a little out of my range new and I have not seem any used.
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N3BIF
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 10:06:25 AM »

 I found the 718 to be lighter and more buttons than I would like. Controls were not well suited for my fat stubby, sausage fingers.
    What I got instead is not relevant as it doesn't come anywhere near your requirements.
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W5GA
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 10:13:20 AM »

Absolutely no question...either an IC-765 or a TenTec Omni 6+
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N0IU
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 10:38:56 AM »

Yet another reason to go to the HRO store in Denver and see what they have in terms of used gear. If they don't have something on the shelf, I am sure they can have something sent to them from another one of their locations.

Yeah, I know people will say that you can buy the same piece of equipment for a lot less money if you buy it directly from the seller instead of letting HRO make a profit. On the other hand, there is a company that will stand behind the gear. If you buy something from an individual, you are always taking a chance. It all depends on your comfort level with buying used equipment.

Scott N0IU
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KC0TPL
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 11:24:31 AM »

Scott,

I have checked HRO selection here and they have nothing at all, HF related anyway. I have no problems buying from a shop if they have what I want.I will keep checking but its also a 40 mile jaunt from my QTH so I do get by as much as I would like.

Nothing they have new is what I am looking for in my price range.


Craig
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K8AG
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 12:22:45 PM »

My Vote is FT920.  That is my main rig ant it is wired for PSK31 and rig control.  Rig control doesn't require a special cable like a lot of other rigs.  Straight RS232 works fine.

Lots of controls up front so menues are rarely touched.

I have the 250Hz Inrad filter and that really helps in digital as well.

73, JP, K8AG
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W3FLH
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2007, 06:33:20 AM »

Craig,

I've been watching Yaseu's on eBay for better than a year-and-a-half, and for $1000± you can pick your poison, so to speak.

The FT-990 is a good buy at around $700-$800 dollars, and can be found in AC only, AC/DC, or DC only versions.  It originally sold for over $2000, has a large footprint, good receiver, SCAF filter and a good AT built in, along with a good history and lots of reviews.  They are offered regularly with all sorts of configurations (filters, TCXO, etc.); but as with anything on the 'Bay, caveat emptor.

For a few bucks more, around $1200-$1300, there've been quite a few FT-1000MP's on the 'Bay, and that is obviously a fine rig.  A couple of FT-1000D's have even been gobbled up that low, and that's one of the finest HF rigs ever offered to the amateur market (originally in the $5K range).  FT-1000MKV Fields are in the $1300 area, too, and FT-1000MKV (200W) generally runs a bit higher, probably out of your price class at $1500-$1800 (it's out of mine, too!).

Keep in mind that these are former Flagship radios, and are all fine rigs.  And be sure, there are Icom, Ten-Tec, and Kenwood rigs out there to be had in that price class, all exceptional rigs in their own right, and a grand will buy a nice one.  My best suggestion is to get your hands-on the actual rig you are looking to purchase if at all possible.  A 100 mile drive on a weekend is no big deal for a $1000 investment, and great peace of mind.

Oh yeah, I've got a '718, it's a great little rig, and really nice as main rig for the shack, though mine is currently a back-up rig, which I  plan to use mobile.  It's probably the best current production rig on the market, dollar-for-dollar.

I guess that's my two cents, good luck with your purchase, and let us know how you make out.

de Tony, W3FLH
73
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KG6YUN
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2007, 10:36:30 PM »

HI;

You might look at a TS-480 or a TenTac Jupiter.
These were the radios to which I narrowed my search last spring. [I had a similar budget.] I also considered a TS-570SG, but this 6 meter version is rare on the used market.

I bought a used TS-480SAT thru the eHam classifieds.
I am please with the unit.

I see a lot of the TS-480HX units for sale.  I suspect many people buy them then discover they need two 25 amp power supplies to get the 200 watts.  Also the HX unit does not have a tuner.

The TS-480SAT I purchased also came with SSB & CW filters installed.  The internal tuner does the job of loading my fan dipole on the bands it supports.

Generally speaking the radio is intuitive to use. The menus were easy to learn though some needed reference to the manual. I am pleased with the performance of the radio.  I find the DSP features useful in extracting weak signals from the noise and especially good on contest weekends.  I have discovered that I like the remote control head.  The main body of the radio is on a shelf next to my operating station.  This leaves more space on my table for the computer and hard copy logs.  [I still find it quicker to write out my notes on paper.]  I have not yet tried the computer control programs.

After visiting several other hams and trying their equipment, I think one would need to move up to the $3000 range to get a real performance improvement.

For VHF & UHF I have a TS-790 for the base station.

---->Doyle
KG6YUN


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