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Author Topic: Best, most modern transceiver for under $500?  (Read 13415 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 391




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« on: October 19, 2013, 11:12:13 PM »

Once I get some debts paid, I'll be looking to upgrade my transceiver. I would ideally like it to not have tubes or electromechanical switches (like band or mode switches are on my TS130) and cost under $500. I know that it will be used. I'm hoping for something that the manufacturer will still be able to fix. Any suggestions?
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M6GOM
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 02:20:32 AM »

Assuming the standard $1=£1 price conversion that there seems to be on new gear applies to used gear...

In the UK you can buy a used Kenwood TS480SAT for under £500. They're a rock solid radio still in production that has no known common faults. Its easy to use and has a cracking receiver - just read the reviews on eHam.
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 07:38:09 AM »

Assuming the standard $1=£1 price conversion that there seems to be on new gear applies to used gear...

In the UK you can buy a used Kenwood TS480SAT for under £500. They're a rock solid radio still in production that has no known common faults. Its easy to use and has a cracking receiver - just read the reviews on eHam.

I checked QRZ swap and it seems like the going price for the 480 is around $700 or so. In addition, some hams include power supplies, etc. that raise the price by a few hundred bucks. Close, but no cigar.
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W4KYR
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 08:15:06 AM »

I have seen the Icom 718 selling for $500 used. It is a good reliable HF rig that has an accessory jack in the back that you can use for computer control or digital communications. It is still being made today. 
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 08:23:06 AM »

I have seen the Icom 718 selling for $500 used. It is a good reliable HF rig that has an accessory jack in the back that you can use for computer control or digital communications. It is still being made today. 

I too have seen used Icoms going for good prices. I really don't like Yaesu, I owned a FRG-8800 for a while and whenever the AC burped the radio would act funny for a while, even if it was turned off at the time. I finally put it on a separate surge protector and turned that off when the radio was not in use. Kenwoods seem pricey.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 08:25:07 AM »

ZOL:  

Although I've been a ham for 57 years I am always trying to learn something new each day.  

Quote
I would ideally like it to not have tubes

I understand this.  No problem.

Quote
electromechanical switches (like band or mode switches are on my TS130

However, I don't understand this one.  I thought all radios had electromechanical switches.  Or do you mean a menu driven radio?  
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NO2A
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 11:12:07 AM »

I think he means no mechanical bandswitch,or switches that are prone to wear out. The IC-718 would be a great choice,for a used rig.
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 11:44:55 AM »

I think he means no mechanical bandswitch,or switches that are prone to wear out. The IC-718 would be a great choice,for a used rig.

Exactly. I have a hard time getting my point across sometimes. What I meant was a mechanical bandswitch/menu switch. On the old Kenwoods these tend to wear out, and when they do the radio cannot be fixed.
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K0OD
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 04:11:29 PM »

Quote
What I meant was a mechanical bandswitch/menu switch. On the old Kenwoods these tend to wear out

Not from my extensive experience with a 1977 TS-820, a 1982 TS-430 and a 1992 TS-850. Mostly caps leak and are fixable.   
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KA5IPF
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 05:12:28 PM »

Quote
What I meant was a mechanical bandswitch/menu switch. On the old Kenwoods these tend to wear out

Not from my extensive experience with a 1977 TS-820, a 1982 TS-430 and a 1992 TS-850. Mostly caps leak and are fixable.   

1 out of 3 is good for a baseball player. The 820 is the only one you listed with mechanical bandswitches.

Clif
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 03:05:44 AM »

Try a Kenwood TS 570. A solid rig that was in production until about 6 years ago and has a easy to read large display. I used one for many years and still do.
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W8GP
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 08:09:08 AM »

Icom IC-735
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KJ6ZOL
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 08:22:12 AM »

Icom IC-735

That's a little cheaper than the 718. The 735 goes for around $350 on QTH swap.
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W8GP
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2013, 08:28:26 AM »

I've had my '735 for over 20 years and although I don't use it that much anymore, it's still one of my favorite rigs for it's simplicity and more than adequate performance.
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N3HFS
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2013, 06:50:45 PM »

With some judicious shopping, an older Yaesu FT-450 would still be quite modern, and probably in the $5xx range (used, of course).
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