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Author Topic: First HF Radio?  (Read 6095 times)
KJ6MSG
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 10:20:32 AM »

W8JX,

I was more comparing it to the AF DSP of the 857/897.
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73,
KJ6MSG
@kj6msg
KE5DFK
Member

Posts: 28




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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 10:32:17 AM »

Staying in the price range of what your looking for.
Icom 730, 735,
Kenwood TS 130, 440 or something like that

G5RV antenna or windom you can also make a double bazooka dipole for next to nothing.  Hustler 4 band vertical antenna.

20A power supply of your choice.

Depending on antenna you could be on the air for less than $400

My first HF was an Icom 730 ($300), Astron 20A ($50), 20m double bazooka dipole ($5), coax ($25)
So as you can see to GET ON THE AIR does not take a grand.  Keep It Simple

Carlos
KE5DFK
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W8JX
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Posts: 5492




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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 02:30:19 PM »

W8JX,

I was more comparing it to the AF DSP of the 857/897.

I know but given a choice between a mature analog IF rig with AF DSP and a entry level IF DSP you will get more bang for buck with former not later.
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KJ6MSG
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 07:14:49 PM »

Gotcha, I see what you're saying.
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73,
KJ6MSG
@kj6msg
N3DF
Member

Posts: 251




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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 11:59:56 AM »

Most new hams put up a couple of low dipoles, or just throw a wire out the window and tie it to a nearby tree.  Don't need much in the way of an HF radio to gain cw and sub experience rag chewing and working WAS. 
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Neil N3DF
W4FID
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Posts: 126




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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2012, 06:43:56 AM »

WELCOME ABOARD!

#1 -- get help. You're going to be looking at used in that price and it's buyer beware at fests and even on line. So get experienced help to "godfather" your purchase.

#2 -- enjoy what you can do. Minimal rigs and modest antennas are just as much fun as huge expensive stations. Only difference is you may not be the first one DX hears and you may get stepped on in QRM. So what? Enjoy the QSOs you have and learn/grow. Take a loo at my bio and see what I did at age 14 with a 2 day a week paper route; for example.

#3 -- your CW idea is a good one. CW is easier to work more with less.

#4 -- maybe not QRP at first. It's lots of fun and it's true you can work the world. Many QRP rigs are low cost. But without some experience and a decent antenna you'll have some frustrations. Better to have more QSOs and then get into the fun of QRP. The challenges are part of the fun for QRPers but part of the frustration for newer guys.

I suggest at $300 look for a 70s or 80s vintage solid state rig. TenTec 540 and 544 called the Triton were 5 band very good basic CW and SSB rigs. TenTec Onmi C and D series were also great. Physically large -- not for mobile/portable -- but were good rigs, had some filters, and were easy to learn/use. Kenwood TS-120 and 130 were also good and many live on and are enjoyed still. Icom 720 and 730 may be had for your $$ and are also great.

If need by find an old car battery and use it till you get a few more $$ and then get a power supply. Even a 100 watt rig will run a few hours and then you can use a cheap battery charger to recharge it over night. However, BE CAREFUL as batteries have acid and give off hydrogen gas. If you do it this way get experienced help to teach/sow you what to do and not do so you're safe. DO NOT TRY TO RUN THE RIG WHILE A CHEAP CHARGER IS CONNECTED. The reason power supplies cost what they cost and are called supplies is they differ from chargers.

Take the time to make your antenna resonant at the frequencies you want to operate. Then you don't need a tuner and will save $$. It's not hard to prune a dipole or slide the sections of a vertical and someone with an antenna analyzer can help you. Even today -- 51 years of hamming -- and with about 8 killobucks of gear I don't own a tuner. Don't need one. Resonant antennas perform better and are easier of your gear. Skipping on is easier on your budget.

73
John  W4FID
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AE5TE
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 07:40:57 PM »

FT897 was on my short list a couple years ago when I was looking for a small rig.    FT857D also but I decided against it because of the goofy control panel layout.   The 897 has a lot to offer but it seemed to me there was a little bit more HF radio in the FT450AT, which I eventually selected.

It all depends on the features you want.   All bands in one box has a certain appeal and there are times when I would like to have such a rig.
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NA7U
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Posts: 72


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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2012, 12:35:21 PM »

Thanks for all of the advice. I think I will stick with my little 2m/440 handheld for an extra few months and save more. It looks like if I save up $1000 and get running with the the Yaesu FT-857D I will have about everything I could possibly want.

<grin> No ham worth his/her salt could ever find a single rig that does everything they could possibly want.

If you are serious about CW, put the handheld away and focus on CW only. For that mode you need a lot less radio, less money. You can make your own antenna from scrap wire. If you don't have a long run to the antenna cheap coax will do. My advice, worth what you paid for it, is to find the least expensive used rig that's in good working order and has at least a 500 Hz CW filter and try out HF. Inevitably, we all move on to "better" rigs later anyway.

73!

Casey, TI2/NA7U
http://cloud-warmer.blogspot.com
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N5XM
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2012, 06:38:49 PM »

I think you have to decide if you want a rig with a built-in power supply or an outboard power supply.  I would go with the Triton 4 540/544. which needs a power supply, vs. a rig that has a ps built in.  If that's the case, get a 520 or a 530, but you need a CW filter. 
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N3DF
Member

Posts: 251




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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2012, 07:37:29 AM »

New hams fequently devote a lot of thought to the rig and only a little thought to the antenna.  Antennas don't have to cost a lot; a good wire antenna is generally inexpensive and can work well.  However, antenna design, construction and placement can make an enormous difference as to your success and enjoyment on the air.
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Neil N3DF
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5492




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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2012, 07:59:48 AM »

New hams fequently devote a lot of thought to the rig and only a little thought to the antenna.  Antennas don't have to cost a lot; a good wire antenna is generally inexpensive and can work well.  However, antenna design, construction and placement can make an enormous difference as to your success and enjoyment on the air.

Yes but if you do not have a decent rig attached to it a good antenna is kinda worthless.
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