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Author Topic: Stucked with older transceivers.  (Read 4747 times)

Posts: 174

« on: May 15, 2010, 06:03:26 PM »

I have two HF transceivers a Kenwood ft-690sat and an Icom IC-707. Now and then i her from fellow hams that this are "older rigs", that i should try some of the newer rigs with DSP. and so on. For some reason i don't feel like changing. And if DSP could have helped me with a QSO, that would be hard with my current rigs, i am not sure it's that important to me. It's not about the money because i spent a lot on other stuff. Any one else that feels the same?

Posts: 2567

« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 06:48:42 PM »

I agree completely. You do not need a new rig to enjoy the hobby.

Sometimes the propaganda from the folks who "you need a new this" or "a new that" could almost be taken right from a sales brochure.

Most of my gear this at least 20 years old with a few pieces that are 50 years old. Without exception I can carry on as many QSO's as folks who have the latest microprocessor driven, DSP-centric, software designed radio.

Sometimes I think the use of a DSP is a easy way out from developing a "golden ear" and knowing how to maximize the performance of your antenna system and the radio you have.

Tisha, AA4HA
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 06:51:05 PM by Tisha Hayes » Logged

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f

Posts: 115

« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010, 07:35:16 PM »

There is two radios you cant beat,a TenTec Corsair,and a TS520.I have both.They can keep there fancey new radios.73s de JW

Posts: 933

« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 04:28:08 AM »

OK, so my standby rig is a Corsair II rather than one of the originals but I know what you mean.


Posts: 342

« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 06:57:39 AM »

I run my Yaesu FT-950 as close to analog, so to speak, as I can get it.  I hate all of the DSP (some of it gimicky) and rarely use it.  Many days I wonder if I should sell it and go back to my older TS-570 or (FT-840 that I loved) or get an IC-718.  Add my little SCAF filter and external keyer and it's a heck of a nice station that is simple, FUN and easy on my pocketbook.   I guarantee you that I can work just as many stations.    A good filter, attenuator, and IF-shift works wonders.   
73, Doug

73, Doug - NG0K

Posts: 307

« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 04:03:20 PM »

  I have old, I have new.. 90% of the time, I run the old. Some of the vintage stuff just can't be beat. That Corsair II by the way is a KEEPER!! I always loved that rig! As far as the 520 goes, good radio, but the 530 SP and the 830 I find to be IMHO much nicer. 

  Don't fret the old stuff, I love it and can afford anything out there if I want it, but a 10k radio isn't what I want nor need. I get more of a rise fixing stuff and rebuilding old rigs and then using them on the air. The rig I run now is over 10 years old, its my favorite in the shack and I have 6 newer radios I can use. Good Luck with what you have, chances are there are fellow hams drooling right now to get their hands on it. Richy N2ZD

Posts: 2527

« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 12:44:05 AM »

Whenever I turn my C-Line on, I smile.  I run an SB220 with it when I want more than 100watts

My goto rig for pile-ups is a TS950S.  I run an Alpha 77Dx for BIG!!!! pile-ups.

I've looked at new rigs over the decades and always ask what will a new rig do that my present ones won't do?  Will I have more FUN?

Elecracraft still looks interesting.  When DX ops start running software to pick people outta pile-ups and run software driven rigs, I'll look at software driven rigs, maybe?

I bought my electronic keyer in the early 80s, works FB with my Drake gear.


Posts: 2645


« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 12:14:29 PM »

If you're looking to make improvements to your station, it's always good to look to see if you can do anything with your antenna. That will go a long way. I'd much rather have a heathkit HW-101 with a gigantic tower / array / etc rather than an IC-7800 with an innefective antenna.

When I look to make improvements, the first place I look is the antenna.

Posts: 4

« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 01:49:31 PM »

I own a Ten-Tec Corsair (560), Kenwood TS-440SAT, and a Yaesu FT-100.

In the past I have owned a Yaesu FT-920, Kenwood TS-850SAT, and other 'modern' rigs.

The Corsair is my main rig of choice. It is the oldest of my rigs, but it is the most dependable. I can work stations on it that I can't even hear on the other rigs!

The Kenwood TS-440SAT and Yaesu FT-100 are boxed up and in the closet.

I really don't mind, at all, about being "stuck" with an older rig.

Phil - W4AIN

Posts: 165

« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 03:48:38 AM »

I use an admittedly much modified FT102 inherited from my father - he bought it in 1983. It has the original relays, driver and PA tubes. It's done quite a few contests, and I have an audio DSP box for when it's needed. I also have the matching desk mic, external VFO and speaker. It has more than adequate instantaneous dynamic range, is very good on phase noise, produces good transmit audio and has the advantage that it is repairable. It's a fine rx and as far as DX is concerned, I only need one country - KP1 - for the #1 Honor Roll spot.

So I would say stick with older gear if it does what you want. Bear in mind, too, that anything with a special to type ASIC in it and surface mount is unlikely to be as readily repairable as gear with conventional through hole mounting and stock ICs.

Posts: 122

« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 05:34:54 AM »

I am a big fan of older rigs and "one button, one function" rigs.  (Envious of the fellow with the C line Smiley )  Anyway, here is my station line up:

Kenwood TS-440S
Ten Tec Omni D
Yeasu FT-726R
Ten Tec Argonaut 509

I have a lot of fun with them and don't spend a lot of time reading the manuals to see which menu I have to change.  To each his own though. 


Posts: 104

« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 10:42:01 AM »

Heck---I still own and operate my ICOM 740 bought in '82---Icom's 'flagship' rig at the time, ham-band only, has 2 PLL systems (one is used to generate the HFO injection signals, and the other generates the VFO signals)---very quiet receiver, superb controls, and a pleasure to use.  Recently had the meter bulb replaced and the COMP switch cleaned.  There aren't many out there as only about 4000 or so were produced as following models were catching the 'general-coverage disease).
73---Ernie VE3GNU

Posts: 55

« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2010, 09:17:55 PM »

well I have a full suite of professional audio software, recording, editing, and composing/ processing is no problem for me, but I would like to have a basic radio. A basic radio with a few analog rf filters or what not, but that is not a requirement. I'll do with what i can. Now recently I saw a real nice receiver only for 200 or less used, so I agree it can be done...maybe following the ideas of better to have big ears then a big mouth build a nice qrp  transciever for 30 - 50 bucks and buy a good receiver for 150 - 200? Then scrounge and ...well i should build nice antennas first and then scrounge for a receiver...but you get the idea.

Posts: 159


« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 10:15:06 AM »

Yes sometimes if it is not broken, keep using it!  On today's crowded bands good filters come in handy, but it depends upon operating modes and preferences.  For operating 80 and 160m CW I have found a switched capacitor audio filter (SCAF) to work well at reducing QRN to copy weaker signals.  The advantage of your rigs, to you, is that you already know how to operate them.  Since you are not motivated to replace any of them, no need to. 

It is nice to use a different rig from time-to-time.  Here in USA we have field day coming up - an opportunity to enjoy using someone else's rig.  Or maybe a shack visit to another ham, just to experience one of those newer radios.  There may also be new hams wanting to experience the older radios!  Enjoy what you have. 

73 Curt

Posts: 268

« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2010, 08:41:56 PM »

I lucked out last year and scored a mint condition TS-520S with the MC-50 mic and all the manuals and original packing. I love this radio and I always get excellent audio reports on it. Its a great beginners radio and it does most of what I need. Im watching for some of the other matching components for it, like the monitoring station and external VFO. Eventually, I plan on getting a newer rig, but if a mint TS-830S would come along at the right price, it might wind up sitting next to the 520S LOL
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