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Author Topic: Itching to by a new Icom (Why?) HELP...  (Read 2085 times)
WB7TSO
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Posts: 34




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« on: March 04, 2013, 11:21:41 AM »

I just thought I’d float the question on this forum since it might generate some healthy dialogue. I have been in and out of ham radio since I got my novice ticket in 1976. I have recently came back into the hobby after lying low for the past 8 years. I feel the itch to buy a new radio for no good reason. My last and current HF rig is a Icom 746 PRO which was state of the art a few years back. I’ve owned the following IC-730, IC-745, IC-736, IC-706.  I find myself looking for a better radio than the 746 for no clear reason. I keep seeing ads for the Icom 9100, Icom 7700 and Icom 7800. I also have seen some great deals on used IC-775’s and Yaesu FT 1000 MK V’s and the likes. My question for those of you who have owned the classics and have tried the current crop of radios is do the new rigs hear that much better? Specifically if I upgrade to a IC9100 or IC7700 am I going to get better reception of weak signal dx on the HF bands or am I just wasting money buying the latest and greatest.  I have the following antennas available at my QTH. Cushcraft R6000, 160m Dipole and a AH-4 longwire. I am renting some rural property and could swing a fullwave 160m loop but towers and HF yagi’s are out of the question so this is the best I’m going to be able to do as far as antennas.  In the past I’ve always been told to spend money on my antennas and stop looking at fancy new boxes. However, those glossy ads are hard to resist.
Thanks Brad
 Undecided
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:45:13 PM »

Hey, sometimes we just have to succumb to the call of Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). 

EnJoy! 


73
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K8AC
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Posts: 1473




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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 03:07:07 PM »

No, they don't hear any better.  It seems however, that anyone who drops $5K or more on a new radio does develop a more vivid imagination and they report hearing things that they can't hear on their old rig.   One thing to beware of: If you're looking at rigs of the vintage of the 775 and FT-1000 Mk Vs, it's a good idea to understand the failure modes for those rigs - what is known to fail in general - and how you're going to deal with those problems.  If you don't have the gear or knowledge to fix things yourself, make sure you know where you can send the rig to get it fixed (the manufacturer may no longer be fixing them) and be prepared to pay a lot for shipping.  For various reasons, rigs from Elecraft and Tentec weigh a lot less than others and if you have to ship them off for repair, the cost is considerably less and there's less chance of them getting damaged in shipping. 

If you're really interested in DXing on 160M, you'd be better served by installing an inverted L and use one or more low noise receiving antennas such as a Beverage-on-ground, a real Beverage, flag, pennant, etc. 
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WB7TSO
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 04:07:13 PM »

K8AC I hear what your saying and yes I agree that spending the money somehow makes you beleive that it was worth it. I agree about repairs and that has been the limiting factor in jumping on deals. I may just bite the bullet and go for a one box (NEW) solution ie IC9100 if I have to scratch the itch (ie GAS). I like new with warranty. Also as far as antenna's the dipole would be the easy to put up the loop would be significantly harder. I'd love to try 160m before we move probably this summer whiile I still have the land to string it up. Haven't tried inverted L's or beverage rec. antenna's yet? 

Thanks for the insight  Wink
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5480




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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 10:45:37 AM »

OK... you have the money, the inclination, and your an "ICOM" man!
I would consider the IC9100.  I have not used one, but it sure looks good in the glossies!  Good specs and a great heritage make for a good radio.  I doubt you will be disappointed.
73s.

-Mike.
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K2GWK
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Posts: 462


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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 01:48:11 PM »

No, they don't hear any better.  It seems however, that anyone who drops $5K or more on a new radio does develop a more vivid imagination and they report hearing things that they can't hear on their old rig.    

I disagree. If you can truely understand and use the IF DSP of a more modern radio, you will be surprised how much better they can hear. It's like anything else, if you don't put the time in to learn and understand the new features of your radio, it really won't hear any better.
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K8QV
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 05:43:26 PM »

A ten dollar watch tells the correct time, but a Rolex says you have too much money but still need to know what time it is. I worked more stuff on Drake and Heathkit than I have on the new gear. Sometimes the fun is in owning the newest and most expensive toy, and that's a fine hobby too.
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 08:41:37 AM »

Quote
I disagree. If you can truely understand and use the IF DSP of a more modern radio,
you will be surprised how much better they can hear.


Boy is that ever true!

During the ARRL DX SSB Contest my 756PROII went out.
I switched over to my backup, a TS-940S/AT.
It's an excellent radio with great sensitivity, but
I sure did miss the IF DSP filters of the PROII, especially
with the crowded bands. What a difference. Still, the 940
was my first ever "bought brand new in the box" rig and
I love it and will never sell it.
73, Ken  AD6KA
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WB7TSO
Member

Posts: 34




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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 09:47:28 AM »

Thanks so far for the help. I agree if you can't use the extra features they are not of much use. When I went from a Canon 10D digital SLR to a Canon1D MKII I had a steep learning curve however, when I go back to the older 10D I can't understand how I lived with out the control the more advanced camera give me. In my situation I think that I just need to get some metal in the air and work as much as I can. Once I get some time on the bands I think things will clarify themselves. ie HF yagi, vs new rig vs ?

Thanks Brad Smiley
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K6AER
Member

Posts: 3515




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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 10:11:13 AM »

The newer radios made (designed) in the last three years are much better at recovering wanted audio from a noisy situation.  Just the same I would rather have a $5000 antenna set up with a $500 radio than the other way around. When you have the budget both is best.

As for the old adage this or that radio is more sensitive is mostly just poor memory. If you connect the radio to the antenna and the recovered audio (static) goes up the radio is already more sensitive than the noise floor being presented from the antenna.

Ham radio is interesting for the last 3 dB of performance generally cost 6-10 times more. This hold true for power output, selectivity, antenna beam width and coax loss
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NZ3Y
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 01:17:12 PM »

There is something about buying a top-end piece of gear. You get a charge
everytime you use it. Life is short. If you have the money, get a 7700 or
7800, depending on whether or not you want two recievers. Contrary to what
others may say, the DSP noise reduction really works. Also, the ability to pick
out a weak signal right up against a strong signal is really satisfying.

73's
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AC2EU
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Posts: 399


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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 01:51:18 PM »

I have an el cheapo Yaesu FT450AT which has IF DSP and other digital DSP features. Works for me...
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W9KDX
Member

Posts: 770




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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 03:22:47 PM »

No, they don't hear any better.  It seems however, that anyone who drops $5K or more on a new radio does develop a more vivid imagination and they report hearing things that they can't hear on their old rig.    

I disagree. If you can truely understand and use the IF DSP of a more modern radio, you will be surprised how much better they can hear. It's like anything else, if you don't put the time in to learn and understand the new features of your radio, it really won't hear any better.

I agree totally.  I tried three different radios in the last year and the differences in DSP are huge. 
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Sam
W9KDX
WA3SKN
Member

Posts: 5480




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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2013, 07:57:03 AM »

If you are thinking new rig vs. REAL antenna... go for the antenna!
It is worth the investment.  You can always upgrade the rig later.
73s.

-Mike.
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