Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Single band contesting (20) new rig, is it worth it?  (Read 9127 times)
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 373




Ignore
« on: August 15, 2014, 09:40:59 PM »

For some reason I have this inane desire to own a new radio.

My activity is solely 20m cw contesting.

Is it worth buying a better radio than my C line and Ft102? most of the radios I look at have inferior performance for strong signal handling than a modified R4C or the 102 even.

I have looked at the Ts590 and that seems to have never ending problems, the FT2000/FT1000 range both need more mods to improve the roofing filter shape factor.

I do recognise that I missing out on the point and click facility from spotting.

The only rig that tempts me is the TT Eagle.

Any thoughts people.

What would you buy.  Oh and tried an Elecraft did not like it at all, also they are bucket loads of money here in ZL.

The pocket money would run to a FT3000 level.
Logged

ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
N0IU
Member

Posts: 1292


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 04:36:23 AM »

I don't know what the Eagle sells for where you are, but right now there is a summer special  going on that includes the tuner for $1500. (http://www.tentec.com/eagle-hf-dsp-transceiver-with-tuner-summer-package-special/)

But I have to ask...

If you are basically happy with the gear you have and you have $1500 burning a hole in your pocket, what about investing that money in your antenna system? If you ask most ops what they would rather have; a top-of-the-line radio with a mediocre antenna or a mediocre radio with a fabulous antenna system, the universal answer will always be that latter.
Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 2189




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 04:51:05 AM »

I have an Eagle and love it. I have made 70,000+ contest QSO's on the Eagle since I got it. I also use K3's and other popular contest rigs when being guest op. If you did not like the K3 or TS-590, you may not like the Eagle - they are not identical by any means, but they are very similar in capabilities and usability. If perhaps your complaint about the K3 was that it had too many knobs, then the Eagle is the one for you :-). If the K3 was too small for you, the Eagle is even smaller!!!

Going into solar minimum, 20M could be a nice choice for single band contesting.

Unless you buy one of those single-band QRP rigs, it's hard to say that a rig that is good for all bands is not good for one band.

There are some nice homebrew single-band receivers that are a joy to use - I have a homebrew receiver for 40M patterned after the KK7B phasing-direct-conversion receivers, and it is a joy to listen to. If you know you are solely doing 20M CW contesting, it would be very reasonable to homebrew a rig optimized for that and nothing else. I understand the KX3 receiver architecture is like a digital implementation of the KK7B methods and I work many folks using KX3's but have not used one myself.
Logged
KS2G
Member

Posts: 410




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2014, 05:12:27 AM »

I have looked at the Ts590 and that seems to have never ending problems...

The only major issue with the '590 --Power Spike (ALC Overshoot)-- was resolved back in April.

Current production from serial number B4100001 onwards incorporates the fix, and stateside, Kenwood is modifying any/all previous units --both in and out of warranty-- free of charge.

Details are in my Reply #11 in this thread in the Station Building forum:
http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,96132.0.html

73,
Mel - KS2G
Logged
WA8UEG
Member

Posts: 352




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 02:50:46 PM »

Actually, a  new rig could help your scores.  This year I placed 5th in N/A in the International DX Contest on 20 SSB and won my division. Things that have helped me on CW or SSB when contesting is being able to quickly log into a contest logging program via the radio and computer talking to each other. All I need to do is enter the contacts call then tab through the signal reports ( the frequency, band and mode is added  by the log program/rig interface.) The 2nd thing that helps is a roofing filter combined with 1st & 2nd IF filters.

Of course experience makes a huge difference also!!!

By the way, I run a FT1000MP and a 2 element full size quad. The amp is a Swan MKII.
Logged
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 373




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 02:06:20 PM »

Thanks for the input.

Well have put the plans for a "new" rig on the back burner.  The Ft1000mk5 that I was interested someone bid $700 over the reserve so that was a gonner.

Instead will be concentrating this year on the antenna farm, get the 20M beams up in the air.  The 80M GP and the 80 Dipole up again.  Will be digging the holes next week for the big loop for the HF bands.

Going to get the old linear back on the air, so that will give a bit more oomph.

Was going to sell the Drake C line, but having second thoughts about.
Logged

ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
WA8UEG
Member

Posts: 352




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 03:23:59 PM »

I bought a new T4XB/R4B/MS4 when it was first introduced along with all the extra Xtals. I sold them when I got my FT1000MP, SURE wish I had a do over, I would never had sold them. Not to say the twins are close to the 1000MP but boy were the Drake twins great and a pleasure to use.

Getting the antennas up is always a smart move!
Logged
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 373




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 10:35:57 PM »

I bought a new T4XB/R4B/MS4 when it was first introduced along with all the extra Xtals. I sold them when I got my FT1000MP, SURE wish I had a do over, I would never had sold them. Not to say the twins are close to the 1000MP but boy were the Drake twins great and a pleasure to use.

Getting the antennas up is always a smart move!

I really do love those old Drake twins, they have such a nice sound to them, and are so easy to operate.

Lost the aerials when a Cyclone came though, not a good few days that week.

So decided I would get the steel towers up instead of relying on trees this time around.

I possibly do not need many of the features that the likes of Ft1/2000 offer, the enarest active contest station is probably 100 miles away, and the nearest active HF ham is probably 15 miles away, so we are not very densely populated here, only 4.51 million is both islands.
Logged

ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
GW3OQK
Member

Posts: 145




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 02:17:46 AM »

Gavin, I like the simplicity of my Drake compared to modern rigs. My TS850S has 34 controls I do not require and do not use.

However, I have done quite a lot of repairs, improvements and mods to the Drakes. Now the combination works break-in which I consider essential, and I have improved the skirts of the 500 Hz filter with screening tape. The RX runs cool with a new audio amp. I have nothing in my shack I have not modded! For antenna support for my wire aerials I am using Moonraker telescopic fibreglass masts.
73
Andrew
Logged
NO9E
Member

Posts: 401




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 02:16:01 PM »

From what I experienced, radios in VK/ZL do not require high dynamic range.

One advantage of newer radios with DSP is ability to narrow the bandwidth even to 50Hz to copy weak stations and then to reset to normal BW with one key push.  Another one is computer control. K3 allows for complete (CW/radio) control with one serial cable. You can also have  panadapter. With a panadapter set for 2 khz, you will see weak stations calling and then be able to adjust RIT/BW quickly.   
 
Ignacy, NO9E
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!