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Author Topic: Hatred for high end radios  (Read 4144 times)
EX_AA5JG
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Posts: 26




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« on: March 28, 2008, 12:51:21 PM »

Here is a sentence from a recent product review for the Icom 718:

"DONT! throw $ at what they SAY are hihger end radios with all the crap, and whistles"

From this one is expected to believe that the 718 is a much better radio than an Icom 7800.  I find that hard to believe.

And this review is not unique in that sentiment.  It seems that more and more hams are bashing Icom and Yaesu for releasing high end radios, calling them crap, full of useless things, etc.

So why is there all of this hatred for the high end radios?  Has class warfare made it to ham radio also? If you can't or don't want to spend $10,000 on a radio, that is fine, don't.  But why hate those that do and bad mouth their radios?

« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 08:31:19 AM by AF5CC » Logged
KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 01:27:16 PM »

K3
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W5GA
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 03:18:25 PM »

These guys for the most part have never sat in front of a high end radio, can't afford one new or used, and for what they do don't need one.

If all you want to do is yak on the 20/75m nets or rag chew, they're right.  It's wasted dollars...an IC-718 or an FT-450 is all they'll ever need.

Wanna bet on who the guys are that complain the loudest about contests?
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W1ITT
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 05:23:35 PM »

The wonderful thing about the American free enterprise system ( and of course our good friends from Japan who work with us ) is that there are radio toys for almost everyone's taste and/or budget.  It is disappointing that many of the "reviewers" on eHam (and others) have, as someone has pointed out, never laid their paws on what they are in a hurry to badmouth.  The SteppIR antenna series has also been the victim of armchair engineers who have never played with one either.  Cardiac doctors caution us to avoid salt, but I keep a bit of it handy when I read the reviews herein.
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W4KVW
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 06:16:02 PM »

Speaking of SteppIR,has ANYONE ever read the E & H plane numbers on the SteppIR beams(any model)?I see these numbers for MOST all other companies beam antennas but I have NEVER saw even ONE such set of numbers for the SteppIR's so they can be compared with others HEAD to HEAD along with the rest of the DBD,DBI,F/B ratios & other numbers!Just thought I'd ask but like before when I ask them at SteppIR for these numbers they did NOT provide them and did get VERY upset with me for asking for such a thing.Guess they MUST NOT be very pretty or they do NOT even have them which would be a BIG suprise!Sure the SteppIR fans will fill the page with flames over this question as did the company on the phone.So go ahead & "FLAME ON" & I'll catch you in a pileup SOON!

Clayton
W4KVW
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N3OX
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 10:00:32 AM »

I think the poster is actually probably on to something.  

There are guys who will buy themselves a FT-9000sdx, an Alpha amp,  a thousand bucks of audio crap and then run a 20 foot high G5RV.

If you can't do good antennas, then high-end radio gear is just conspicuous consumption.  You don't need 130dB close in dynamic range if your plasma TV sets your noise floor at -50dBm and the loudest signal you ever hear is -10dBm.

You don't need stellar third order intercept numbers on 160m if your antenna has -22dBi gain.  You don't need a sub-receiver if you're just going to sit in a circle every night talking to your buddies.

There's a lot of conspicuous consumption in ham radio these days... more and more $10,000 radios going on the market ... hell the Hilberling PT-8000 is more like $20k... and rising as the dollar slips vs. the Euro!

They're pretty, they're shiny, and no one is going to be able to tell a dang bit of difference if you're running a PT-8000 or a K3 or an IC-718 in a lot of cases.

Even you will only be able to tell the difference if you are interested in DX and contesting and even then, you have to start with the antenna farm and local noise issues first before you can really make use of the amazing high end stuff.  You also have to KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING.  I can do more with my FT-857D and homebrew flag antenna & preamp on 160m than someone with an IC-7800 and no clue about common mode noise issues or about detuning their transmit antenna to make their DX Engineering RX four square work.  

You give me that high end radio and lots of land for Beverages and I'd kick the snot out of my current self on 160m, but if you gave me that stuff 10 years ago when I was disappointed in my attempt at a K9AY that I never had a preamp for and it would be wasted on me.

New hams coming in and getting started should be fully aware that a $7000 HF rig is not going to land them any more contacts than a $700 HF rig will... not until they're good and grounded in the foundations of good radio station building.

And that's what this forum is about, right?  Station Building.  The HF radio is the most important part of the HF station in the sense that if you don't have one, you don't get on HF. But it's the least important part in the sense that even the crappy ones out there are pretty good, sensitive, fairly selective and hooked to a decent array of proper antennas will allow you to make thousands and thousands of even contest and DX contacts.

So I say bravo to the reviewer that is telling hams they don't need anything more than an IC-718, because you know what?  Most of us don't!

I hate to think of a brand new general coming out of a test session today and staying off HF for two or three years because they somehow feel like they need to save up for an IC-7700 instead of an IC-718.   The IC-718 is a solid starter radio.

It'll be eight years, 300DXCC, a couple of towers, and a second-place low power finish in a big contest before that brand new general has a real need for a high-end radio.  So you tell me, is it "hatred" for high end radios or is it really just a shot of common sense?

High end receiver specifications and features that make radios excellent DX and contest machines ARE bells and whistles for the brand new suburban ham.  They won't need that stuff for years.  You got a new ticket and $10,000 to spend?  For the sake of your ham radio enjoyment, don't blow it all on the rig.

73,
Dan

















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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
N9DG
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 03:37:21 PM »

As already pointed out 75% of operators will probably never need or use the performance or capability that is better than what the IC-718 offers. So why spend all that extra money? And still others wouldn't even recognize it when they are actually running into its performance limitations. But there are also  some other radio models that cost 4x as much but yet in some of the most important performance metrics like close spaced IMD DR for example, don't perform any better at all. And many of the users of these radios will run into that specific performance limitation regularly but not even recognize it as such even though numerous lab tests have all shown it to be the case. They instead blame the TX signals next door for splattering, when in fact they may not be at all but are just loud instead. But yet people will still buy those radios just because it is the latest thing from their favorite manufacturer. And often just because it “looks” good to them, plus it has slick looking ads in QST. All in all that's just blind brand loyalty plain and simple.

But truth be told all the top performing (not the most bells and whistles or knobs and buttons) and most versatile (i.e. regularly feature enhanced after they leave the factory) radios are all in the $2-4K price space. And they are all made here in the USA. So if performance and capability is your true end goal, then there is no need at all to spend more than 5K on a single radio. Most cases you can spend considerably less, and just buy more than one of them.
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KA1MDA
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2008, 10:20:58 PM »

Once you get past the $1500-2000 price point, the return on investment curve flattens out significantly. That being said, however....

Kind of reminds me of one of my other hobbies, photography. I can't tell you how many people I've known who went out and bought digital cameras. And each time the megapixel count jumped, they ran out and had to buy the newest hi-megapixel camera. Of course, none of them knew anything about the basics of photography like composition, exposure, color temperature, etc. They had no idea what any of the dozen or so shooting modes were for, as they never took the camera out of the full-auto default program mode. And all their photos looked like crap. The end result- they saw no quality difference between their $3000 digital SLR's compared to their $150 entry level point & shoot digicams.

73, de Tom KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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W8KQE
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 07:27:59 AM »

Knowing human nature, it's just jealousy and envy, pure and simple.  I think it's fantastic that we essentially have entry, mid, and high end transceivers on the market.  Frankly, once you get into the FT-2000, IC-756 ProIII, and K3 price points, there are 'diminished returns'.  Even the 746 Pro at around $1500, is an excellent 'do it all' rig.  As are the 480SAT, 450, and 718 at the entry point.  Today, more than ever, even the 'entry' rigs delivery decent performance.  Everybody should be happy!
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ONAIR
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 03:11:37 AM »

  Todays lowly 718 will do the job, and it would have been viewed as astounding, loaded with extras, and not really necessary to a ham in 1965.  Many will note that a Chevy will get you to the same place as a Mercedes, but isn't it great that they make a Mercedes also?  Nothing wrong with owning the best if you can afford it, even if you don't really need it.
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N3OX
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 07:55:37 AM »

"Nothing wrong with owning the best if you can afford it, even if you don't really need it."

But if you can't really afford it you should probably reconsider.

If buying the Mercedes means you can't ever afford gasoline, and you had to tear out your driveway leaving a big uncrossable chasm in front of your garage door, maybe you shoulda gone with the Chevy.

I think that's how I feel about guys who buy a FT-9000 and run it into a hamstick because they're "antenna restricted"

Nice car, stuck in the garage, no fuel ;-)



Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
NI0C
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 10:19:56 AM »

I haven't noticed anything resembling "hatred" of expensive radios.  I have observed that the purchasers of same are very demanding and have high expectations (as they should).

I have read experiences of "buyer's remorse" in reviews of some of the more expensive radios.  

In terms of bang for the buck, the Elecraft K3 can't be beat.  Mine is on order.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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W3LK
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 04:04:31 PM »

<< I haven't noticed anything resembling "hatred" of expensive radios.>>

There have been several threads and articles over the past three or four years railing against the 7800-class of high performance rigs.

The gist of these diatribes always is, "I can't afford one, therefore there's not need for anyone to have one".

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
WA3RSL
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 04:33:54 PM »

Get a K3 for $1399.00 base price. Tops the chart for best receiver. No need to pay $10k.

I love a good receiver simply because it's fun pulling out weak stations among strong ones.

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html
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AA4PB
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 07:11:39 PM »

$1399 gets you a very basic 10W QRP radio. Load it with the accessories to bring it to a 100W radio with the features that come stock with most other radios and you have a $3554 price tag. The K3 may be worth every penny but it isn't an apples to apples comparison for $1399.

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