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Author Topic: What is a good HF rig to get (re)started with?  (Read 27252 times)
W4KPA
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 02:53:16 PM »

Maybe I missed it when I scrolled through, but I didn't see anybody mention an ICOM IC-706 mk2g.  They're great little radios and there are thousands of them on the used market at pretty low prices.
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N3HFS
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Posts: 212




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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 03:02:48 PM »

Maybe I missed it when I scrolled through, but I didn't see anybody mention an ICOM IC-706 mk2g.  They're great little radios and there are thousands of them on the used market at pretty low prices.
On its face, that's not a bad rig for the price and package. However...

I have a 706Mkii (non-g)  and I can tell you that the menu system is a nightmare.  Not that menus aren't a nightmare on other radios, too, but to put a radio like that in front of someone who isn't already familiar with what s/he is looking to do at any given moment is a recipe for frustration. 

Having buttons and knobs that instantly feed back (to the operator) changes in receive/xmit is a huge advantage for someone getting (re) familiarized to the HF world.  Menu-driven versions of this concept will usually, in my experience, fall flat in comparison.
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NO2A
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« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2013, 04:20:27 PM »

I would suggest you consider a few other rigs in Kenwood tree I would suggest a TS140 which is a new rig than 440 which is getting very long in tooth. 140 is a very sturdy/reliable rig too and in same price range. A 570 is a very solid rig and from mid 90's to mid 00's. Can be had in 500 to 600 dollar range.
This is great advice. The `440,or `440SAT (with autotuner) is a good choice provided it doesn`t have the potting glue problem which causes distortion on ssb,and chirp on cw. I have one with this problem. If you do decide on that rig,make sure it doesn`t have that issue. I think the `450,or one of the other rigs suggested would be better,though.
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KB4OIF
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Posts: 73




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« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »

I would get a Kenwood 480 SAT or 480 hx.  I have the HX model and I love it.   
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KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2013, 04:48:35 PM »

I would get a Kenwood 480 SAT or 480 hx.  I have the HX model and I love it.   

I could not agree more. I have the HX version and love it.
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VE3WMB
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Posts: 290




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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2013, 08:08:20 PM »

I am surprised no one has suggested the Kenwood TS-50.

Used ones in good shape go for about $500 and they are excellent rigs on SSB and not bad on CW with the optional filter. Most importantly these rigs are built like tanks and the majority are very reliable.
The NCDXF/IARU beacon network still uses a number of TS-50s that were put into service back in 1996.
They transmit every three minutes, 24-7 ...  not many rigs would survive that.

Michael VE3WMB
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AK4P
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2013, 08:29:54 PM »

You can still find dependable vintage Heathkit gear for not a lot of money. Some people still run Heath gear because you can get it for not a lot of money and it is reliable and you can work on it if you have to. I have several myself, in fact.
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WN2C
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Posts: 481




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« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 09:20:18 AM »

Since no one else asked, I will.  What do you have left from pre QRT days?  Anything?
Lets see...some thing with dials and knobs...hmmm
Kenwood 830, 530(or 520s) Icom 735, 6 or 7. Drake TR 4, 4 line Twins, maybe the Kenwood Twins...
or you could find some working Hallicrafters gear like the HT 37, HT 32 and pair it up with the appropriate receiver...
Or just go for the gusto (and possibly break the bank) and get the Collins gear that you always wanted!!

Rick  WN2C
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W4KVW
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Posts: 508




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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2013, 07:49:20 PM »

For just HF I'd shoot for a Kenwood TS-50.GREAT radio with a GREAT receiver & transmit audio is GREAT as well.Works as a mobile or a base with ease. {:>)

Clayton
W4KVW
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KC7MF
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2013, 10:45:40 PM »

How about an idea that will seem right off the wall.

Why not get a used Swan tube rig?  You could pick up a nice 500CX or 700CX easily for the price you mention.  You have to tune them.  Some people don't like to do that.  But you can't beat tube audio.  Also.  These rigs put out north of 300 watts so they deliver a lot of punch.  You won't need an amp and that extra 200 watts makes a bigger difference than most people are willing to admit. 

I have newer rigs but I still fire up the old Swan frequently.  My friends and I have a running joke about how I can bust just about any pileup with it.  The Swan factory repairman, John Bruchey, still works on them and tubes are easy to get.  (They don't fail often anyway.)

I think it is fun.  It sits right next to a 756pro and amp but you would be surprised how often I fire up the old Swan. 

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WA6LII
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2013, 10:34:48 AM »

Nothing left over from the old days, getting a nice collection of VHF and UHF gear however. 
Swan, good idea!  The school radio club where I got my start in California used all Swan equipment.  Excellent gear as I recall. 
There is a couple of Hamfests in this area, time to make a decision, I guess. Grin
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2714




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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2013, 12:40:41 PM »

He must have gotten something by now.
 BTW he wanted to spend under $500. So some of these suggestions are over his budget.
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 453




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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2013, 07:23:25 AM »

....A Kenwood hybrid might also be a good choice. I realize that these are older rigs, but they're easy on the wallet and usually have good receivers, which is important. 


"usually have good receivers" is being pretty vague, especially compared to what's available today....but I know you weren't trying to give the definitive answer. 

I just think that a person should go with the most modern rig he can afford.....eg. a used IC-718 (or similar) with DSP over a TS-520 or TS-820.

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K5TED
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Posts: 820




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« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2013, 10:39:10 PM »

It's not unusual to see a TS-690 or TS-450 in that range.
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W8JX
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Posts: 6692




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« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2013, 09:41:04 AM »

....A Kenwood hybrid might also be a good choice. I realize that these are older rigs, but they're easy on the wallet and usually have good receivers, which is important. 


"usually have good receivers" is being pretty vague, especially compared to what's available today....but I know you weren't trying to give the definitive answer. 

I just think that a person should go with the most modern rig he can afford.....eg. a used IC-718 (or similar) with DSP over a TS-520 or TS-820.



But the 718 receiver would not sound as good 520 or 820 and then there is the proven old 530 and the classic 830 which is in this price range and still a impressive performer even today.
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