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Author Topic: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?  (Read 2246 times)
BOOTYMONSTER
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Posts: 72




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« on: July 20, 2014, 11:41:27 PM »

i'm gonna go ahead and get a ham license this fall . been thinking about a RCI 2950DX or 2970DX 10-12 meter radio .... but i've been looking at the icom 718 10-160 meter transceiver and reading comments about getting used ones in great condition for $400 - $450 ....... not too much more than the RCI's new , but with much greater frequency coverage features/modes and stability . FWIU i won't be able to use all the frequencies and modes with a entry level ticket , but it would be cool to have already have them if i progress up the license hierarchy . is this a good choice ? what other radios in that price range would be good options ? if i run a long wire dipole how long will each end need to be so the built in tuner can make it match it over the full 10-160 meters ?
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1735




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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 01:13:34 AM »

i'm gonna go ahead and get a ham license this fall . been thinking about a RCI 2950DX or 2970DX 10-12 meter radio .... but i've been looking at the icom 718 10-160 meter transceiver and reading comments about getting used ones in great condition for $400 - $450 ....... not too much more than the RCI's new , but with much greater frequency coverage features/modes and stability . FWIU i won't be able to use all the frequencies and modes with a entry level ticket , but it would be cool to have already have them if i progress up the license hierarchy . is this a good choice ? what other radios in that price range would be good options ? if i run a long wire dipole how long will each end need to be so the built in tuner can make it match it over the full 10-160 meters ?
    It's an excellent choice!  They are built like a brick and can be had for very reasonable prices!  They are miles above a 2950 or 2970.
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KC7YE
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 07:02:27 AM »

Yes ! Went to a 718 from one of the modern do everything rigs as is much simpler to use. Have had for 5 years, use in contests, DXing, digital, mostly CW(with filter). Use portable also. Not just beginers rig, pushing 50 years here. Good bang for buck. There is no built in tuner on this rig. I feed a random wire or home brew "S9" with a Icom AH4 tuner, sometimes a manual tuner.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 07:09:25 AM by KC7YE » Logged
NO2A
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Posts: 755




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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 08:44:55 AM »

By all means stay away from the RCI rigs,they are really just cb radios with no filtering. They may not even have a vfo,probably channelized. The IC-718 is a great choice.
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WB4TJH
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Posts: 189




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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 10:03:51 AM »

Heed the advice of experienced hams and forget the glorified 10/12 meter CB junk. As a licensed radio amateur, you will find little to no reason to deal with anything related to the clown band. If you want CB, get a $50 CB only radio, but spend your money on an Icom 718 or something that offers ham band only coverage. The world of REAL ham radio offers such an unlimited range of possibilities, you will forget about those filthy mouthed knuckle draggers on the Clown Band. It's like someone offering you a choice of a taste  of some cheap ice cream (CB), or offering you a chance to own the whole ice ream factory (Ham Radio), with an unlimited chance to eat all you want of any flavor of the best ice cream in the world.    It's your choice.
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BOOTYMONSTER
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 10:27:39 AM »

i really don't think that the radio someone talks on defines if they are a "filthy mouthed knuckle dragger" or not . it's folks with elitist attitudes like yours that make me (and probably others) question if i really want to invest in better/more expensive equipment and support the amature radio hobby .

thanks to the other folks that have replied .
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K9MHZ
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 06:55:57 PM »

Well, I have to admit to being in the corner of encouraging you to leave the CB world completely.  It's not "elitist" at all....ever go to a hamfest?  It's just that the RCI, Rangers, etc are pure garbage that cost almost as much as full-up amateur gear and aren't even in the same league.....not even close.

For some reason, some hams insist on hanging on to their CB gear, especially is it's "10/12 meter gear".  It's baffling.  Maybe the lure of being a bad boy off of the channels is what does it for some, who knows?

To your question, the 718 is a very good first ham rig choice.  It outclasses ANY CB-like gear by lightyears.
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BOOTYMONSTER
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Posts: 72




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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 09:29:11 PM »

i understand a real ham radio is a much better than a CB radio pretending to be a "export" , even the RCI 29xx series and optimas ...... that's part of the reason for getting a ticket and a real radio . the elitist comment is directed at folks wanting to degrade people purely because they choose to use them .

like it or not this is still America !!!!!
land of the free .......

it's the minority that don't know how to make a on topic reply in a forum thread without badmouthing folks they don't even know that bug me ...

and thanks to you to K9MHZ Smiley
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K2TPZ
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Posts: 41




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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 06:33:24 AM »

Off the subject comments aside, the IC 718 is an excellent choice for a beginning ham. I've been in the hobby for 56 years and I have owned many radios, even a few CB Radios. Everyone's advice on the IC718 is exactly right. I've advised many new hams to check out that rig.

It will not only work for you when you first get on the bands but will be a good rig for many years after you upgrade. I'm hoping to meet you on the bands one day.

Mike
K2TPZ
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 09:40:08 AM »

One other thing, and I hope I'm not veering too much.  I've always been an "Icom guy", owned a 718 once, even before they put in DSP which rocks, BTW.  Anyway, doesn't matter what I like, but I mention it because I saw the Yaesu FTDx-1200 at an AES store recently, and have to report that it's a very, very nice radio, and perfect for a newer ham.  It's more pesos, but it's also a brand-new design that's quite a bit more capable than a 718, which is getting pretty old and nearing its end in lifecycle.  Still a great rig though.

Don't want to spend your money, so just a FWIW.

Best,
Brad, K9MHZ



   
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AF5CC
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Posts: 821




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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 02:53:17 PM »

I am going against the rest of the crowd as I don't think the Icom 718 is the best rig out there for a new ham.  I would recommend the Yaesu FT450 or FT450D instead. For one thing, it also gives you 6 meters, which even a Technician class ham has full access to.  Also, may of the features which are optional on the 718 are standard on the FT450.  For example:

Icom 718 $625                 Yaesu FT450D $870
TCXO $80                        TCXO included
SSB Filter $220                 SSB filter included
Total $920                       Total $870

If you want a narrow filter as well for the digital modes (500hz or so) then you have to buy that as well for the 718, as well as an INRAD filter board so you can mount both filters in the 718. Then you need a digital modes interface, which is more money.  The FT450D has both the narrow CW/Digital filter and the narrow SSB filter included, plus all you need for the digital modes is a cable between the computer and rig, no interface is needed. 

In addition, the FT450 comes IF DSP, whereas the DSP in the 718 is AF level.  This makes a big difference on noise reduction, and the 450 has an incredible, manual IF notch filter.  The 718 uses a crummy, AF based autonotch.  The FT450 has a built in voice keyer, built in CW memory keyer, and a built in voice synthesizer (that is more money for the 718).  If you look around much you should be able to find a used Yaesu FT450 for $500 or so.  It is definitely the best value in ham radio transceivers right now.

Good luck on your decision.

73 John AF5CC 
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SM6XUN
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 01:16:11 AM »

I am going against the rest of the crowd as I don't think the Icom 718 is the best rig out there for a new ham.  I would recommend the Yaesu FT450 or FT450D instead.

I have both right now for portable use and i 100% agree with you that the FT-450 is without doubt the rig that brings you the most bang-for-the-buck right now.
I have also had IC-7200 which has a great receiver and capailities for the price, my main station is a IC-7410 which i consider is the most bang-for-the-buck when it comes to the larger bench-top radios.

IC-718 is a radio of the older generation and has its shortcomings compared to the newer ICOM radios, but still, if you are new to hamradio the IC-718 is a good radio to start with as it is uses a minimum of menus,
and maybe the most important for a new ham unused to all the terms and possibilities of a hyper modern radio: easy to learn to operate.
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 07:35:25 AM »

Nah, you guys aren't going against the grain at all.  Good inputs from people who actually own those radios.

As with most things, after a new person gets his/her feet wet and really enjoys the hobby, he'll probably eventually want to upgrade his equipment (and license).  I think he'll have a much better time in resale value with a newer generation rig.  Or, if he feels so moved, he could get that "upgrade" right away.  Great that there's good gear to choose from, and he isn't relegated to buying someone else's used junk.

Good luck, enjoy the hobby!



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W5WSS
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« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 01:46:26 PM »

I own an Icom 718 that I bought new from HRO in 2008 with a rebate for about $520. Bought an Icom 125 power supply at a ham fest for $100.

 6 months ago I bought an Alinco SR8T $519 and an Alinco 330 MMV for $149

The Icom 718 has more available options than the Alinco.

Either radio is reasonably similar on receive the Alinco can be narrower with the 2.4 filter that can be narrowed to 1.8

helps with QRM

When selecting the narrow 1.8 setting the transmitter is included and is too narrow and affects the audio.

Otherwise they are priced similar and compare reasonably.

73

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AF5CC
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Posts: 821




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« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 09:01:18 PM »

The narrow filters are standard in the Alinco but are expensive options in the 718.  Saw a DX-SR9 at the Oklahoma City hamfest today.  Seems like a solidly built rig.

John AF5CC
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