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Author Topic: Upgrading a transciever  (Read 466 times)
NK8A
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« on: February 24, 2007, 12:38:13 PM »

Hello, I am presently using a kenwood 570dg for mostly cw dx chasing. I have had very good results  in my opinion, as far as finding and working good dx.I have a great performing vertical , ground mounted with 26 radials. I have an urge to upgrade to a 2 to 3000 dollar rig that has one of these "quiet recievers" that hears things that other transcievers cant. I would just like to know if a 570 with good antennas, can hear near as well as a top of the line rig can? Also is it worth the extra money to upgrade? Thanks for any advice....Dave
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ONAIR
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 01:10:23 PM »

   You probably will be able to filter out more noise with a more expensive rig, and have some more bells and whistles to play with.  If that's worth a few extra grand to you, go for it.  I think it might be better to spend the extra bucks to build a super amazing antenna set up, IMHO.
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N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 01:11:46 PM »

"I would just like to know if a 570 with good antennas, can hear near as well as a top of the line rig can? Also is it worth the extra money to upgrade? Thanks for any advice....Dave"

Dave, all I can say is do your homework.

Learn about the RX performance numbers in the ARRL reviews and compare them...

Having a "quiet receiver" that can "hear things other rigs can't" is a continuous transition from the lowest performing radios to the highest.  You have to look at RX performance numbers vs. cost and you need to look at your environment and operating habits.

A three kilobuck rig with a super RX won't do you any good vs. your TS-570 if your preferred DX band is 15m, you don't operate in contests, and you have s7 noise level.

On the other hand, if you live out in the country, have an s3 noise level on 160m and are trying to listen to weak DX next to strong stateside stations, every dB of IMD dynamic range performance counts.

- - - - - -

The short answer is that upgrading to a higher performance reciever can help a lot, but you won't be able to make the decision based on comments on the internet.  Everyone has their own comfort level of performance, noise environment, and operating style.  I've worked 295 countries with mediocre recievers.  I have well over 100 countries on each band 40m and up.  I have about 75 countries worked on 80m, and I've taken up DXing on 160m with an FT-857D.  If I didn't know better, I might say something like "no, a better RX won't help, save your money and upgrade your antennas even more".  

The BEST test is an A/B test between the two rigs, one in each ear, probably.  Which one actually HEARS better.  If you can borrow a higher performance radio of the type you'd like to buy and A/B for a week, that's the absolute best way you can check.  

Aside from that, you need to run quantitative comparisons based on test results and get your hands on every subjective report you can as well.  

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W3LK
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2007, 01:16:16 PM »

<< I would just like to know if a 570 with good antennas, can hear near as well as a top of the line rig can?>>

No. A better receiver is one of the things you are paying for in a higher priced radio.

<< Also is it worth the extra money to upgrade? >>

You are the only one who can answer that, but if you ae wanting to pull the weakest stations out of the mud and noise, then the answer is yes.

A 570S(G) is my primary rig and I have about 200 countries with it, although I am only an occasional DX'er. That said, it the 570 was an adequate rig for pulling stations out of a pilup and out of the mud and all the rest, the big DXpeditions would be using them, and they don't.

The 570 is one of the best HF radio bargins around, especially used, but it is not a top of the line DX rig by any means.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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N3OX
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 01:17:28 PM »

By the way, ONAIR, this:

"I might say something like "no, a better RX won't help, save your money and upgrade your antennas even more"

wasn't a shot at you; wrote it before I saw your post ;-)

Better antennas can often be a good idea, but if what you're struggling with is splatter from strong adjacent stations, antennas might not do as much for you as a better rig.

The playing field for ham recievers is fairly level on upper HF where all of the signals you might hear are weak DX.  Some nice filters, and you're set.  Pretty much all rigs out there are equally *sensitive*.

It's when you're trying to hear a 319 signal next to a 599+20dB one that you need a really good RX, and this happens the most on the low bands and in contests.

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
N6AJR
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 01:18:13 PM »

I used to have a ts 570 g and I really enjoyed it. I have also had many others, like a 756 and such. I currently have 11 hf rigs and the one I used most is the orion, alpha 87a, steppir.  best sensitivity, and easy to taylor to your needs. used with autotuner and warranty from Ten Tec, under $3000, or a new O II for a little more. great radios,

my number 2 is a Ic 746 pro ic-2kl and at500.  number 3 is the ts 2000 mostly not as good as the other 2 but all band all mode, so its a keeper.

I use an ft 847 in the truck,  ft 857 d's in both cars, ( size), and just for fun have a corsair II, omni c, scout,  and triton IV. and as always a ft 101 zd.

 but the best for my uses, ( contesting, dxing and rag chew) is the orion. I think you would fiond the 746 pro and such very similar to what you have, and ten tec is "local" and you acn talk to them any day but sunday on the phone, that is nice too. great support.

you might even look at the new omni VII comming out this month. can be controlled remotely by computer ( fast internet speed) for a remote to beat those old HOA blues.

YMMV
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N3OX
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2007, 01:58:18 PM »

One last thing, if you're an ARRL member:

http://www.arrl.org/members-only/prodrev/pr-sum/pr-sum.pdf

Summarized test results for HF rigs from QST reviews...

dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2007, 03:09:19 PM »

I'd probably keep the 570 and spend the $3K on more antennas, given the choice.

The "better receivers" really are better, but they're not more sensitive.  They're better in terms of immunity and rejection, and using only a vertical you probably haven't even run into major issues with those attributes -- yet.  It's when the antennas get big, and the signals get really strong, that immunity and rejection become larger issues that warrant the next step up in receiver performance.

I work a lot of CW and cannot tell the difference between an Orion-II with its narrowest roofing filter selected and my 28 year-old TR-7 using a standard narrow CW filter (2nd IF) and its factory standard +/- 4 kHz roofing filter in the first IF.  If I tried to copy an S1 CW signal immediately adjacent to a 40/S9 CW signal only 2 kHz away, I might notice the difference, but for me, this just doesn't happen.  On the rare occasion when it might have happened, I didn't need any more help than the older rig provided.

Some of the cool stuff new high-end rigs have are very nice, though.  A completely independent second receiver that has all the same features as the first receiver but may be used on a different band simultaneously, for example, is a very slick feature.  But the only $3K radio I can think of that comes close to that is the Orion.  The $10,500 IC-7800 has this, and does it better than Ten Tec, but at quite a high price.

Having a good noise blanker that works well and doesn't add weird artifacts to signals received (like hearing the noise ride on signals when the NB is engaged, or hearing ghosts from strong signals in between activity when the NB is engaged) is a prize winner, and not many rigs can do this well.  Of all the "3K" price range rigs I've tried (which I think is all of them), probably the best NR system was in the IC-756PROIII.  It's better than the PRO or PROII by a country mile, but still not up to the 7800.

Having a quiet operating location where you hardly need a NB: Priceless.

WB2WIK/6

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W6GF
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 04:14:50 PM »

I will throw my 2 cents worth in.  At one time I operated CW a lot. I enjoyed SS and DX contests and did fairly well. But that was then, I had not operated CW much recently, but got the bug to try the CW contest last weekend.  I have the LATEST and BEST from TenTec, Yaesu, and ICOM. (Sorry no Kenwood.  When the going got tough the TecTec blew everything away.  It is amazing.  That being said, unless you are a little crazy like me or have lots of extra bucks, save your money and buy a big signal amp or up-grade the antenna. 99.9% of the time the 570 will do the job just fine

George, W6GF
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K6AER
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 08:34:47 PM »

I used the TS-570S/G in conjunction with a 4 element SteppIR at 105 feet. In two years time I worked over 240 countries on 20 meter SSB. This is the money band where a poor receiver will show its limitations in kilowatt alley. I never had a sensitivity or selectivity issue and except where I was two kHz away from a S9+40 signal, the receiver never let me down. I might add I have used Orion I and  II’s and IC-7800 that had problems under those conditions.

As Steve said, put your money into the antenna. The 10 dB of antenna gain cannot be equaled by any amount of technology in a transceiver. Your Yagi antenna sets the carrier to noise ratio and provides front to back and front to side rejection that you cannot get through DSP technology, better mixers, super low noise front ends and brick wall filters

As an additional bonus the addition gain of an antenna will increase your signal 10 dB. Only after putting up the best antenna you can do you turn to upgraded hardware.
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W5ONV
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 05:40:09 AM »

 Good comments guys ! I am in the same situation as Dave. After reading all of your comments,I think that I will just keep my 570 for now. I never had a hi-end radio,but your thoughts helped alot in making a decision. 73, Jim
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KG6AMW
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2007, 07:23:51 AM »

The problem with antennas is how much effort do you want to go through to get that extra bit of performance.  Owning a tower and a high performance antenna for one ham is easy and for another its not. Only you can decide that. The one thing a better radio offers are tools to deal with interference. I recently purchased a used Yaesu Mark V Field for not much and found it was worth the investment. I would bet that if you purchased something like that or a used Icom Pro II/III you might agree. Check out both radios. Sometimes just time and effort listening on the bands yields the best returns.
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N3OX
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2007, 08:27:14 AM »

Something else to consider is the layout and operation of the rig... some have touched on some of this already, but having two recievers and a huge front panel and extra antenna inputs and so forth can make a more expensive radio a better core for a more effective DX station.

Some bells and whistles are just that, but others are real tools.

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W7ETA
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2007, 11:44:46 AM »

<2 EL yagi>

You'll probably have more fun by getting your yagi higher, or going to a better antenna.

73
Bob
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K6AER
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2007, 03:11:32 PM »

Typical performance of my 100 foot high 4 element SteppIR is 20 dB over the vertical at twenty feet or the dipole at forty feet. The performance is not incremental but huge. The noise reduction is also huge for the front to side and front to back ratios are better then 25 dB. That not only includes QRM but QRN as well.

Put up a little A3S beam at 35 feet and you will never go back.
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