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Author Topic: Help Me Decide....  (Read 7028 times)

Posts: 184

« on: August 17, 2012, 11:47:50 AM »

Well after being out of the hobby for 15 years I recently dove back in. New beam has been up and I have been on the air for little over a year now. My main interests are DX'ing in CW, RTTY and SSB. I also operate PSK and JT65. Occasionally I will dabble in contests but don't consider myself an avid or big time contester.
The current station consists of a Kenwood TS-940S-AT and TL922A along with all the assorted goodies like keyers, etc. Using Logger32 as my logging program along with MTTY for RTTY, Fldigi for PSK and  N1MM for contesting.
So I'm looking at all the new or newer radios out there and am trying to make up my mind as I want to upgrade the xcvr. The 940 will remain as I still think it is one of the best radios ever built in that era. Needless to say I am partial to a radio with knobs and stuff and thus have been looking at the Yaesu FT2000 as one of my options. I really don't have the funds to be spending five or six grand on a rig so that narrows the choices a bit.
I would love to hear the pros and cons of some of the different rigs out there today as well as your personal opinions on them. Thanks in advance!


Posts: 170

« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 01:27:17 PM »

I will share my experience of trying a few different rigs over the past few years and learning what I find important in making a decision. 

As far as the FT-2000, many people really like it but I ended up turning away.  It has great ergonomics but there are some quirks with the receiver that I couldn't get used to after many visits to AES to play with one (if you join the FT-2000 yahoo group you can learn the details).  There is a potential to be disappointed to go from a well refined analog transceiver, such as your TS-940S, to the FT-2000 with an early generation DSP and 1st IF filter system.

If you decide to pass on the FT-2000, here are some general guidelines for making the choice.  First, don't get too hung up on the receiver IMD numbers craze.  My personal experience has been that a modest ham station with a single beam and wire antennas for the low freq bands will very rarely encounter a power density that requires hot-rod receivers with narrow roofing filters.  I read the yahoo groups for all of the newer transceivers with narrow roofing filter options and it is amusing how many people post with a concern that their receiver is not functioning because they can't notice a difference between switching from the narrow to wide filters.  Unless you have a multi-tower station that allows you to receive S9 + 10dB stations at regular intervals you won't notice a lot of difference (BTW, this only goes for CW.  For SSB narrow 1st IF filters do even less). 

The second piece of wisdom I picked up was that the WOW factor of second receivers and spectrum scopes wears off pretty quickly.  I have had rigs with those features but never found them practically useful for my operating.  What I really like about newer rigs is that 6m is now standard and DSP filtering provides more filter choices than ever before.  While DSP brings a different digital sounding tone, I have found the filter choices to be a greater plus.   

To name a few rigs, I'd check out the TS-590S, IC-7400, and FT-950.  Depending on your operating habits, the TS-2000 may also be a consideration. They are pretty good values.  In fact my personal experience has been that I have kept a TS-2000 for several years.  Every once in a while I have become swayed by all the people who claim it is a bad performer and buy a higher end radio to make sure I'm getting the most out of HF.  I have bought and sold the IC-756, PRO and PROII, FT-950, and currently also have an IC-7600.  Each of these have been great radios, but after comparing the TS-2000 to each of them for a few months I never heard a station I couldn't hear/work on one and not the other, so I end up selling it off and keeping the TS-2000.

...that's what I know.

Posts: 1042

« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 08:00:03 PM »

I think if I wanted to go the Yaesu route, and I have both the 2000 and the 5000, I would wait a bit and check out the FT-3000 that has been announced.

I don't think the 2000 is that bad a radio.

The nice thing about the spectrum scopes is how quickly you can evaluate band conditions.


Posts: 302

« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 09:40:23 AM »

Definately check out the TS-590... It is a terrific rig with an excellent rx, and good ergonomics. Its rx was much better than my IC-7600 which i sold. With those funds i purchased the TS-590, and and Elecraft k2 to build.

I agree with the last poster about bandscopes and such. They are cool at first but dont add much and take your focus away from 'listening', which is not good

Honestly, i was more than impressed as to the difference in rx-you will work more stations with a better receiver.


Posts: 12629

« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 01:42:52 PM »

590 is hottest rig out there for money.  The reason Yeasu is developing 3000 is because it lacks a rig to seriously compete with 590 anywhere near its price. The 950 is inferior and not in same league as a 590 in overall performance.

Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..

Posts: 1556

« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 06:11:07 AM »

I have an Yaesu FT-2000D and can tell you that it is the easiest rig to operate I have ever used.  The ergonomics are great! By adding the AC0C 3khz roofing filter mod it is an outstanding performer.  There are indeed some quirks with the rig, but there are with any.  My father has the Icom 7800 and I think it is at least as quirky as the Yaesu. The ability to add the Data Management Unit (DMU) later is a nice touch, it allows you to control a Yaesu rotor from your rig and gives you a few other great features.  It does have a very below average pan-adapter.  I would use the LP Pan for a pan adapter for more features. 

There are other great rigs out there... The Kenwood TS-2000, the Icom 756 proiii, the Icom 7600 and others.  The technology in modern transceivers makes it hard to make a bad choice.   


Posts: 2243

« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 07:27:34 PM »

What is your antenna situation like?
In most (not all) cases, money spent to upgrade
antennas is money better spent than upgrading rigs.

Of course shopping for rigs is so much more fun than
shopping for antennas!  Grin

I agree with you that the TS-940S is by far the best
rig made from that era. I still have mine, will never
sell it, but I did have to upgrade to a modern, IF-DSP
rig to keep up with the crowded bands. (I still get more unsolicited
good comments on my audio with the 940 than I do
with the "modern" rig.

Posts: 771

« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 11:52:31 AM »

Elecraft K3

73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
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