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Author Topic: Help us select easy-to-use HF rig  (Read 3304 times)
AE7UT
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 10:24:13 PM »

Well being a newbie myself I feel very qualified to help you out!

I've used rigs from a Kenwood TS-830S to an Elecraft K3.
I think the easiest to use and maybe one of the best was the Ten-Tec Eagle.
It has one of the nicest receivers out there and is just plain spartan yet powerful.
It's not cheap but feels bullet-proof.  Nice internal tuner and noise blanker.

73
Stan AE7UT
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VE7REN
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Posts: 469




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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 04:24:46 AM »

i suggest the icom 718,been around,proven,simple and very nice to use for daily club use
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W8JX
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Posts: 5432




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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2013, 04:53:23 AM »

i suggest the icom 718,been around,proven,simple and very nice to use for daily club use

The problem with a 718 though is selectivity lacks and for price of optional filters you can get a better rig to start with.
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AE5QB
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Posts: 265




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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2013, 05:21:17 AM »

I think you are underestimating your newbies.  They are fully capable of using (not necessarily mastering) a general purpose rig - even those with menus.  As has been said, once the menus are set up, most of them do not require tweaking.  It is like playing chess, easy to learn, difficult to master.  But put any of the shack in a box radios on the air and you will have most anyone using them fairly effectively in short order.  I think the 756 series or the 857 are just great little rigs for first time users.  They are not difficult to use effectively and people will enjoy learning one new trick at a time.  "How do I do _______?" is half the fun.
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WD4CHP
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Posts: 143




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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 06:00:44 AM »

An Atlas 210X with the DD6c readout and station consol with the vox unit.

The only change is to realign the 10 meter VFO to cover the CW portion of the band.

I wrote up this procedure in the community section of eHam.

No menues to fool with.
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W7KB
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2013, 07:44:13 AM »

For the price,take a look at the Icom 7200.A good rig,minus all the elaborate bells and whistles that are not normally used by a beginner and a rather simple menu to navigate through.The only real drawback is that it has no internal tuner.I purchased a LDG AT-200 Pro II to use with mine.W7KB
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1043




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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2013, 09:13:13 AM »

New or newer rig?  How much money?

For ease of operation, the FT-2000 has a one time setup menu to get all the various parameters set, then you forget it and almost everything else is a front knob or button.  Should be able to find a used one.

The tuner is only a 3:1, so I'd invest in an outboard tuner for greater range if you need it.

An FT-847 is not too bad, few menus needed but lacks a lot of modern amenities - I know, I own one.

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K4RVN
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Posts: 758




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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2013, 11:45:39 AM »

If you elect to buy used, A Kenwood 570DG is very easy to use with knobs and switches in place of a lot of menus. It is not now in production but a nice rig maybe a cut above a 718. Also it is available with the internal tuner. A 7200 Icom is a great little radio with twin bandpass tuning and DSP but no internal tuner. An inexpensive low power tuner would work well for you with it and it is current production. These are both radios that I have owned and suggest for your consideration. I have since upgraded to an Omni 6 plus and an Orion by ten Tec., no internal tuners.

Frank
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KE5DFK
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2013, 01:41:07 PM »

New radios the Kenwood TS-480 SAT (with tuner) or the TS-480 HX (200w no tuner) is about as simple a modern PURE HF radio can be.  TS-590 also.
For older radios.  Icom 730 is about as simple as turn on tune and make contacts.

Carlos
KE5DFK
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 964




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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2013, 08:12:03 PM »

Not sure why it hasn't been mentioned already - Icom 746Pro - 100 all the way to 2m, built in antenna tuner, easy to use mode and menu selections. Mine goes to our group's Field Day every year by popular demand. Easy to use. Bought it myself after finding on on the Queen Mary at W6RO, figuring out how to use it without a manual. A clean used unit will go for close to $1000, but they're a gem.
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KF7VXA
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Posts: 449




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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2013, 09:49:41 AM »

As a new Ham, the Yaesu 450 AT has been great for me. Once set up, as was stated, not a lot to change. It may not be the best radio out there in a pile up or as sensitive as rigs costing more, but I had it up and running after a read of the manuel. It was the very first HF rig I ever had my hands on. Before that, it was VHF/UHF only.
For the price, it would fit the bill perfectly. Set up, someone could hand a person the Mic and have them start talking. That would be all it would take for anyone to read about how it operates, not especially hard and make good contacts with few problems.
I'd put a good antenna on it, one that the 3 to 1 tuner in the radio would handle. No need for a new person to learn to adjust a tuner right away. Get them talking on a radio that's easy to operate and you will have them hooked. The 450 also has 6 meters. If the band is open, it just might be pretty special to whoever was at the radio at the time.
The small size would make it easy to fit into the space they have set up for the new hams also, this unit is fantastic for it's price, get one and don't look back, it will do all that you require for the new hams and more. They can be had used for a very good price also, saving club money for accessories as needed.

I'm sure I'll upgrade someday, but it won't be for some time. The 450 does all that I ask of it. Grin

John
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 10:21:06 AM by KF7VXA » Logged
VE7ABC
Member

Posts: 29




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« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2013, 09:45:45 PM »

In my opinion, for newbies, a tube rig may not be the best way to go.  I know that tube rigs once you get to know them are great (I used to own a TS830S), but for the newbie, the learning curve might discourage him.
From the big 3, a late serial numbered TS850S, an ICOM 751A, or YAESU FT990 (late serial number).  A TEN-TEC OMNI V is also a good choice.
All four have great receivers and are simple to use.  I wouldn't make a big deal about a radio with or without an automatic tuner.  I've got one in my FT1000MP MKV and never use it.  Most built in  automatic antenna tuners tune a good antenna, but with their limited range not much else.

Just my two bits worth.

73..Graham
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2013, 09:16:40 AM »

My elmer suggested the Kenwood TS-570 about a year ago or so and it's a great radio for the price.   Easy to use.  Smooth Dial.  Good audio.

You can get it on Ebay for $500-600.   I have the D model and it does 10-160m.. 100W auto tuning.

Get the Astron 35M power supply ($150?) and a Diawa CN-801HP Power / SWR Meter (makes tuning the Amp much easier - $150?)

Get the Ameritron 811H amp for $900 and either a dipole comb or Hex Beam or Spider Beam antenna as high as possible and you're in business.   I'd start with the dipoles.  The Hex and Spider are great but you need a rotor etc..  you're looking at $1000+.   Start with Dipoles over trees etc.   Dipoles are great easy antennas. 

You can get those radio components and an 800W amp that plugs into a regular 120V outlet for the price of a new radio that for a beginner won't notice. 

The amp will get you into more DX especially if your QTH isn't elevated or near the water.   

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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2013, 09:26:18 AM »

Here's a ts-570D on ebay for $4XX now.   The Ts-570S gets 6M I think but I wouldn't worry about 6M for now.   Same for 160M - that a large antenna or specific antenna.

10M, 15M, 20M, 40M & 80M.   A couple dipoles over trees facing different directions plugged into the Antenna 1 & 2 or more than 2 going into a Alpha-Delta Switch or better yet - a Ameritron RCS-8VL Remote Switch - which only brings one coax into the QTH.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kenwood-HF-Transceiver-TS-570D-/310596894428?pt=US_Ham_Radio_Transceivers&hash=item4851047edc
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