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Author Topic: Please recommend gear, $1500 Total Budget.  (Read 9403 times)
KE5PVO
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Posts: 8




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« on: January 14, 2014, 01:21:18 PM »

Greetings Everyone, KE5PVO from Laredo here, and my budget window is approaching (tax time). I have a tech class license but take the General class on the 25th of this month so I need advice please. I was looking to get a Kenwood TS2000 or the new Icom 7100, BUT realistically I need to think smaller. 1,500 dollars is my TOTAL budget, this will include radio, power supply, antenna etc.

Essentially I ONLY can spend 1500 for everything I would need to get on the air. I currently have a little Baofeng UV-5Re HT and dual bander, and really enjoy being able to connect with folks from around Texas using our Linked repeaters. Please bear in mind that whatever radio I purchase will be my main radio for years and years as this is quite a bit to spend for me.

Could you all please give me advice on radios (must be able to TX on the 2mt/70cm bands) as well as antenna(s) and power supply's? I need to start narrowing it down. I am NOT partial to any brand or model since I am new to the hobby.

Thank you all in advance.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 01:29:34 PM by KE5PVO » Logged

KE5PVO
K1WJ
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Posts: 458




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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 02:02:06 PM »

If you need to TX on 2m/440, that leaves out some good choices like the IC-7200 (HF&6m only). If total budget is $1500, that leaves only one clear choice to me:
Radio: IC-7000
PS: Astron 35M
Antenna for HF: Hustler 4-BTV vertical, ground mounted with 32 ground radials. this will 10m/15m/20m/40m, easy to add 12m/17m.
Antenna for VHF/UHF: Diamond X-50 - 2m/440 vertical.
Use 9913 coax for VHF/UHF
Use RG213 for HF

Hope that helps, if issues with 4BTV install contact me, know all about them. 73 David K1WJ
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1773




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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 02:07:07 PM »

More info needed:

Desired power level, amp??
What modes?
Antenna space available, supports/restrictions?
Portable/fixed?
Can you trouble shoot used gear or homebrew basic antennas /matching units?
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KE5PVO
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 05:03:23 PM »

I cannot troubleshoot this type of gear, though I am very handy with computer components, I am a tech by trade.
Antenna wise I do live in a restrictive HOA so I would have to hide/stealth the antenna.
Power wise, i suspect I do not need much as we have a linked repeater system that I can hit with 4 watt HT baofeng.
I would like to get into DXing, and system will be fixed, non-portable.
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KE5PVO
N2ADV
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 05:50:40 PM »

I cannot troubleshoot this type of gear, though I am very handy with computer components, I am a tech by trade.
Antenna wise I do live in a restrictive HOA so I would have to hide/stealth the antenna.
Power wise, i suspect I do not need much as we have a linked repeater system that I can hit with 4 watt HT baofeng.
I would like to get into DXing, and system will be fixed, non-portable.
So with your restrictions, what, realistically, are you thinking for antennas?
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K1WJ
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Posts: 458




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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 06:14:42 PM »

HOA not a problem:
MFJ-1979 telescoping whip, adjustable 6m/10m/12m/15m/17m/20m - adjust to 1/4 wave per band of choice - elevate base of antenna 4ft off the ground with tripod. Make one 1/4 wave radial per band of choice. Elevate radial 4ft off the ground. When not in use, retracts to 2.5ft.

May want to consider Yaesu 857, less money than IC-7000.  Thin low verticals are great HOA antennas. In my AZ HOA I have verticals for 40m/20m/10m & 2m/440. 10m & 20m are full size 1/4 wave antennas with single 1/4w radials. 40m is reduced in size with 1/4 wave radial.
2m/440 j-pole, with camo ivy from Hobby Lobby - HOA Clueless............73 K1WJ
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2541




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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 06:23:36 PM »

Are you only interested in a new stuff or are you willing to buy used equipment?

My best advice is take your time, don't rush in and blow the cash.  If your willing to get used gear then I suggest you first get advice from this thread as to what you can buy for that amount and then keep looking daily at eHam, QTH etc classifieds for the equipment at a good price.  You would be surprised what you can find, just make sure you follow all the guidelines for buying on forums and also make sure you can talk to the seller on the phone and get an idea of who you are dealing with.  Also check Craigs list, sometimes some great deals pop up on there and if you can drive and see the stuff before paying thats a huge plus.

 I know a Ham who got a Hy-Gain TRS JR 3 element Beam, a butternut vertical, a rotator, 100ft cable and two working heathkit HF radios. the whole bundle was sold for $300 on Craigs list. All he had to do was go to the guys house and take down the Beam off of a short pole.

Don't waste your time with eBay, if it looks like a deal on eBay more than likely there will be issues the seller never told you about.
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KD8IIC
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Posts: 160




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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 12:26:03 AM »

  Small steps for the beginner is always best.This is not a competition here, it's a hobby. My advice is what I started out with and had DX and regional fun from the start on SSB. New IC718, a 20m dipole as inverted vee up only 15 ft.Worked South America and Europe regularly with this stock rig and minimum antenna on 20m phone.
 I have not outgrown this simple radio and use is now CW and AM phone.I have added an amp and two more wire dipoles with open line feed and balanced tuners.All band all the time, no hassles, no coax to replace.
 Start with a rig you can afford and a coax fed dipole or maybe a G5RV and a tuner.Learn the basics. Have Fun.Keep learning and advancing over time. Be nice to your fellow hams on the bands.....73 from Lane in Ohio.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1773




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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 02:43:52 AM »

Re: KE5PVO

Are you now operating with any type of VHF gear or are you starting from ground zero?
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KE5PVO
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 04:04:14 AM »

Re: KE5PVO

Are you now operating with any type of VHF gear or are you starting from ground zero?

i am starting from scratch sir.  i have a computer,  a desk, and a baofeng 4 watt ht at the moment so am literally starting from the ground up. i would like to get some headphones and a mic in my budget as well as it will be i the bedrom and i know it will drive the wife nuts if i were to just use the speakers.
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KE5PVO
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 04:14:40 AM »

My best advice is take your time, don't rush in and blow the cash.  If your willing to get used gear ...

That's very good advice, in my opinion.   I've seen a few FT-897Ds for sale used recently at good prices; that gives you 160m through 440 and I really like mine.  I got mine a couple of years ago, used, from one of the big ham vendors.  It was used and inexpensive, but still had a guarantee in case there was a problem they hadn't discovered.

MJR's advice about not rushing into anything is very sound.  Talk to other local hams, look at the ads, and take a little time deciding.

The other good thing is that, if you get a used rig in good working order at a decent price, you can always sell it to upgrade later on.  :-) 

Or you can tell your wife that you are 1.) keeping it as a spare for contest season; 2.) keeping it to use portable this summer; 3.) keeping it until the average prices go up a bit more; or 4.)  "keeping it in case YOU decide to get your license, snookie-wookums."    Wink  Wink  Wink
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1493




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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 06:32:56 AM »

My choices would be the following

Rig: Yaesu FT 857D $834
Power supply: Samlex SEC-1235 $130
Antenna tuner: LDG AT-200PROII $234
Balun: Balun Designs: 4113 $67.99
Coax: RG8X price dependent on how much you need

Use the balun to make a wire dipole hidden in trees if you don't have any trees you can omit the antenna tuner and go with the MFJ whip vertical discussed earlier. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
NI3S
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 01:27:45 PM »

IMO, you have two paths to follow.  The first is new everything, as others have stated, the second is good used gear to get started.

Great used rigs can be found for $300-350, $100-150 for a power supply, and $100 for an SWR/Wattmeter meter.  Throw in some coax and a roll of wire and build a dipole for a band or two (20m & 40m) to start.  Build the interface from PC to radio and you get a pile of digital modes too.  This should keep you entertained until you get a better grip on where you want to go, at least HF wise, and you'll still have some money in your pocket.

Pretty easy to find VHF mobiles for less than $100.  Building antennas for the band is quite simple as well.

The more you are willing to build the less you need to spend.  You are likely to learn a lot along the way and gain a far better understanding of how your station works.
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2541




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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 01:35:54 PM »

We could all guide you so much better if you told us if used equipment is an option!

If it's not than an 857D is just about your best bet.

All new stuff.

Radio: Yaesu FT-857D:    $850
Antenna: A Kerry G5RV:   $55  ;http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2202
Tuner: LDG At-200 ProII: $234
Coax: RG8X and wind a Balun per Kerry's simple design that he will email you.
Power Supply: Astron RS-20A: $80 - $130 on eBay (these power supplies are made like Tanks)
With left over cash you can buy some filters for the 857D.

Now if you were willing to go for used equipment you might be able to score a much better HF radio than the 857D for an extra $150.  Something like the Icom IC-7000 which I have seen sold every month or so for $1000 or less.  With the Icom 7000 you wont need filters, it has fully adjustable filters built in. So it will still fit your $1500 budget
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NI3S
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 07:35:47 PM »

http://www.eham.net/classifieds/detail/428103
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