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Author Topic: Kenwood 711 and 430 vs Icom 706  (Read 705 times)
KI4PCB
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« on: October 06, 2005, 07:58:38 PM »

I have a Kenwood TS711A and 430S with matching power supply and speaker and am considering selling both and buying an Icom 706MK2.  I do not know enough to know if this is a good move or will I be missing out on something later down the road?
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AH6RR
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2005, 08:11:04 PM »

The Noise Reduction on the 706 stinks compared to the 430/440 unless you use the DSP and do not go mobile.

Roland AH6RR
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N6AJR
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2005, 09:24:11 PM »

I perfer the ft 857d which covers the same bands (160 to 440) has digital signal processing, and is only $689 new..
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N5EAT
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2005, 09:57:06 PM »

The 711 is one of the finer receivers ever sold to amateurs.  You will miss it.   I have a yaesu ft-857, 100D, knwd ts-2000, and Icom 706. The Yaesu is very sensitive but noisy unless you turn the pre-amp off.
The ts-2000 is pretty good on 2 meters.  The 706 that I have is said to be deaf on 2mtrs, but with preamp on, it's acceptable.  The 711 beats them all by a significant margin in terms of noise and sensitivity.

I kind of agree with the other poster who said get the yaesu 857 - just keep the 711.  With nothing but a simple home-made ground plane, I can pickup sideband satellite qso's which don't even register on any of my other receivers.  

I have just finished placing ssb and cw filters in my 857, and with the pre-amp off, it's a very nice receiver.  Even the manual says that you should generally not run the pre-amp, especially if your S-meter is bumping with just the background noise.  With the "IPO" set to off, the 857's receiver is very nice.
The IPO on the Yaesu is labeled to look similar to Kenwood's intercept point button, which takes a regular IF amp out of line.  In the Yaesu, there is no pre-amp function labeled pre-amp. It's labeled IPO.  Somewhat confusing unless you read the manual.  Unfortunately, it comes set to ON by default making the receiver sound noisy.

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K7VO
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2005, 10:27:07 PM »

Actually, I went an entirely different route than anyone else suggested.  I have a Kenwood TS-430V (the QRP version of your TS-430S) and had a Kenwood TS-780 (dual band 2m/70cm rig of about the same vintage as your TS-711A).  I still have the TS-430V as a backup rig as it really is quite good.  I did sell the TS-780.

My replacement rigs are worlds better than an IC-706 (which I did own once) and I believe they are worlds better than an FT-857 as well.  I have a Ten Tec Argonaut V (model 516) for HF and a Ten Tec 6N2 (model 526) for 6m and 2m.  These are both very small but very communications feature rich IF DSP rigs, something that neither the Icom nor the Yaesu can boast.  Both have fantastic receivers and run circles around the Kenwoods.  Both have wonderful IF DSP bandwidth filters that Icom and Yaesu can't touch until you get to their higher end, larger rigs.  You have no need to buy filters for these rigs. Your Kenwoods have fantastic receive audio.  The Ten Tecs are even better.

Yes, both rigs only put out 20W.  The difference between 20W and 100W is 7dB.  I can pretty much work everyone I can hear well with my vertical.  True, I'm roughly an S unit down from a 100W rig,  That might make a difference in 3-5% of QSOs and will, on rare occasions, mean I don't get through.  That's a very rare occasion, mind you.  I have worked up to about a 400 mile path under "dead" band conditions on 2m and 6m with my little 6N2.  I work the world with no difficulty on HF.

A couple of additional things these rigs have which your proposed Icom or suggested Yaesu don't have:  The Argonaut V has a built in digital interface.  You won't need a RigBlaster or some other interface to work PSK31 or other digital modes.  It's all built in.  So is an RS-232 interface if you want to use computer control on HF.  The Argonaut V is 60m ready right out of the box.  An IC-706MkIIG is not.  (The Yaesu FT-857D is.) The 6N2 has a transverter port, something definitely lacking on a 706 or 857.  (If you went for a Yaesu FT-897D that would have a transverter port as well.)

I also, personally, find it a real advantage to be able to monitor 6m and/or 2m for a band opening while working HF and that is MUCH easier with separate rigs.

The Argonaut V is $795 new from Ten Tec or $849 with the TCXO option.  A fan kit ($30) and digital cable ($10) are recommended if you want to use the built in digital interface.  The 6N2 was discontinued this summer.  I bought a very clean one on the used market with the latest firmware for $450.  Oh, and that word "firmware" is key.  Ten Tec has, over time, improved both radios.  You literally download upgrades, at least in the case of the Argonaut V.  That's something Icom and Yaesu don't even offer at the top of the line.  Current firmware versions are 1.08 (Argonaut V) and 1.23 (6N2).  

If you like complex menus you want that 706.  If you like good ergonomics and controls that you can mostly figure out without even reading the manual go Ten Tec.

Yes, we're talking about more money, but if you add the cost of filters, a digital interface, etc... you'll find that the Ten Tecs aren't really much more expensive.  The receivers, though, truly are superior.  Plus you get the satisfaction of buying an American product.

Oh, and one more thing:  If you buy an Argonaut V and decide you don't like it you can return it for a refund for 30 days, no questions asked.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K7VO
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2005, 10:28:26 PM »

Oh, one last point.  I agree with the previous post:  The IC-706 is NO upgrade from what you have now.

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K0BG
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 05:49:07 AM »

I'm just waiting for my IC-7000 sometime in November. I'm sure it will be state-of-the-art, while the 706 is some 7 years old. Aside from the 706's various foibles, it enjoys nearly 75% of the HF mobile market.
 
Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KA1MDA
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2005, 07:54:44 AM »

I had a TS430S which included the optional AM filter and FM board which I sold to buy an Icom 746 (non-pro). Although the built-in antenna tuner and 6 meter capability were nice, I regretted selling he 430. I like to do AM broadcast band DXing as well as listening to VLF stations below 500 khz. The TS-430 had no problem picking up tons of stuff down there. The 746 never heard one thing below 500 Khz for the entire 5 years I owned it. Also have a 706 MkII G, and it's the same way- totally deaf below 500 Khz, so-so on AM broadcast band. Recently sold the 746 and bought a Kenwood TS-2000, and surprise- I can hear tons of VLF stuff again (all with same antenna)! I really regretted selling the 430 until I got the TS-2000.

Hope this helps.
Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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KI4PCB
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2005, 02:39:16 PM »

Thanks for all the input.  Looks like I need to look into the Yaesu 857.  

K7VO $ is an issue as the boss won't authorize much more out of pocket over what I get for the 711 and 430.

I am only a No Code Tech now and can't even work any HF now.  The whole reason that I got my license was for emergency comms between myself (Panama City Beach Florida about 10' elevation and 40' tower) and my dad (Pensacola Florida about 100' elevation and 30' tower).  He never evacuates for hurricanes.  If they are without phones for a couple of weeks like they were after Ivan it would be nice to still be able to communicate with him.  

Would like to be able to work him simplex and am starting to search the internet for ways I may be able to do that on 2M.  We can both hit a repeater in Ft. Walton so that may be an option.

Still studying code to get General but with 2 kids, a wife, and a partially restored 23' Penn Yan it is hard to find time to practice code.


73s
KI4PCB
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WA7UNW
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2005, 10:10:20 AM »

Keep the 430. It is a good rig, and since you have already paid for it, no additional money is necessary. I have a 430 also, and I think it performs better than the 706. It also does not have menus. It is a little big for mobile work, but it can be done. You could sell the other radio and buy a 6M/2M/440 radio for the upper bands. Santa Rosa county is putting up a 6M repeater near the Alabama state line. You could get the 6M/2M/440 radio and keep in touch on 6M also. Since your primary desire is to keep in contact with your father, I would focus on antennas. You could build a simple 2M beam and point it to the Ft. Walton or even the Milton 146.700 repeater. That would give you a lot of bang for little bucks, and you could keep all your existing gear. I live in Navarre, and have used a handheld and a simple beam to hit most of the local repeaters on a few watts.

Mike
WA7UNW/4
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WA7UNW
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2005, 04:39:13 PM »

I also have a boat project, and am getting rid of it to focus on ham radio and family. It is all about priorities :}

Mike
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