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Author Topic: Advise on HF Transciever - Which One and Why??  (Read 1385 times)
KI6CFW
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« on: November 16, 2007, 02:38:38 PM »

I am a new general of a few months ago.  For 2M I have a Yaesu 2800 as a base radio, and a Yaesu VX-170 HT - both work very well.  For HF I have a Icom IC-735 and a multiband wire antenna - this setup works ok, but I am looking to upgrade to something more current with DSP, etc.

These three are all about the same price - in the mid $teens$.  Which one, and why?

Icom IC-746 Pro
Kenwood TS2000
Yaesu FT-950

Thanks!
Vince
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AC5E
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 02:53:17 PM »

Both the 746 Pro and the TS 2000 are mature designs that are not likely to give you any nasty surprises. The '2000 is a DC to daylight rig, and many of my friends use them with complete satisfaction. Several around here have 746's and I don't hear a lot of complaints.

The Yaesu is new, relatively untested - and personally I prefer to let someone else discover the bugs.

But why just look at three rigs? Why not look at all the available rigs?

73  Pete Allen  AC5E
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K2LGO
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 02:55:32 PM »

Vince...The 735 is still a great radio..I would suggest that you do a lot of your learning on the 735, as it should serve you well as a new general...73/BOB
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AD5VM
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2007, 02:55:32 PM »

My vote is for the IC-746 Pro. I haven't tried the 950 but I own the FT-2000 which is basically a 950 x 2. I sold my 746 to help pay for the ft-2000 and I'm a little sorry I did. It was a great size, had great DSP, plus 2 meters (100 watts all modes!) I liked everything about it. I just fell into the trance of the FT-2000's DMU display!! After the new wore off of that, I missed the 746.
I really know nothing about the TS-2000 except that it was Kenwood's top of the line rig like seven years ago.
Don't forget about the TenTec Jupiter.

Now that we've got all that covered... Forget everything I just said and order an Elecraft K3.
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K0BG
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2007, 03:19:29 PM »

Vince, the one to buy is the one that meets your expectations, not someone else's.

I like Steve Katz' (WB6WIK) way of buying radio gear. He plays with them at him local dealer, and buys the one he likes best among them. Not a new one out of the box, but the one he played with! If they won't sell him the demo, he goes someplace else.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 03:32:52 PM »

If you don't need VHF and are only interested in HF for this rig, I might expand the list, also.

I haven't used a K3 ever, but it looks nice and probably works very well.

The T-T Jupiter is mature, stable and also works very well and with its (optional) internal antenna tuner it matches anything -- its tuner is better than the one in the 746PRO, based on side-by-side bench use here.  But it doesn't cover 6m/2m.

I wouldn't want a solid state rig that didn't have an internal automatic tuner: These go together like bread and butter and the usefulness of an SS rig without a tuner can be quite limited.

WB2WIK/6
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N1LO
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2007, 03:55:34 PM »

There are about as many opinions as there are Hams.

  Save your pennies and buy nice, not twice. The worst thing you can do is get in a hurry and buy something you end up not liking. Shopping for a new rig is the most fun part - savor it!

  The dizzying array of features and controls on a modern rig will spin your head at first until you have operated HF for awhile.

  I'll second the emphasis *not* to buy a new model that has just come out on the market. You want one that is mature in its manufacturing life cycle. These are usually more refined with fewer bugs.

 Get to know some of the Hams in your local club, visit their stations, and try out the rigs yourself. Start making a list of the features most important to you.

 Of the three in your list, I own a TS-2000LE. Verrrry nice, and something you can grow with. Of all the brand rigs I have used, I think the Kenwoods seem to have the most intuitive menu systems, panel layouts, and button marking. I especially like the dedicated Hi and Low cut knobs on the front panel that let you adjust the IF passband easily on the fly. It's extremely well supported by two active YahooGroups mailing lists:

KenwoodTS-2000
adjust_ts2000

You can work it remotely using SkyCommand
Interfaces nicely with computer rig control software.
TX and RX audio shaping are built in.

--...MARK_N1LO...--
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WY4J
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2007, 04:31:35 PM »

You can't go wrong with the 746Pro. I purchased one in July and just love it. A couple of my friends have also purchased one and they are just as satisfied with it.

The price is right and you can't beat the HF plus 6 and 2 meters.

73
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2007, 05:14:37 PM »

I have both an FT-100D and a TS2000X.  The smaller rigs like the FT-100D, FT-857 and FT-897 are great little rigs but, the small displays are very hard to read.  The TS2000 is a great rig and, contrary to some reviews, I find the panel layout to be extremely well done from a human engineering perspective.
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NA0AA
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 05:39:15 PM »

Honestly?

I have an IC-735 and it's as good a radio as my FT-847.  Many like the audio better.  I use mine as the tranciever for my digital station, it was much easier to connect than the 847.

If I were in your shoes, I'd skip the mid-grade and go to the next up, but give yourself a year of operating first to save your money and do more research.  With the sunspot cycle where it is, you don't need the DSP that badly, at least I don't.

I like the looks of the Icom 7700 but I bet it's way pricy so I'm not considering that one myself.

I like Yasesu and when they solve the teething problems with the FT-2000 I have to admit being tempted.

I'd look to Ten Tec if I was a big CW operator, and that new radio with the built in internet control is pretty darn interesting.  Wish someone would write about that radio in remote operation.

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W5GA
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 06:59:26 PM »

You'll be amazed at the difference in your radio if you put up some better antennas.  I'd be willing to bet a substantial number of dollars that you'd think you already had one of the newer semi-fancy rigs.

Save your money, and improve the antennas first.
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K6AER
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2007, 07:41:25 PM »

“The Yaesu is new, relatively untested - and personally I prefer to let someone else discover the bugs.

But why just look at three rigs? Why not look at all the available rigs?”

I agree with Pete. Great used radios are: FT1000MP Mk V, IC-756 Pro II, TS-2000 all of which can be had for under $1500.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2007, 10:08:19 PM »

I agree with the others that your old IC-735 is a fine radio, Some effort on better antennas for it will produce much better results than a new radio.

All that being said, The Kenwood TS-2000 IS a great "Do it all" radio that also cross band repeats. A really neat feature. HF to UHF, VHF to UHF, Or whatever you want to do. Really slick to monitor 6 meters (Or any HF frequency)on your little hand held radio from the TS-2000 crossbanding to UHF!

Sure, The IC-746PRO is a somewhat better radio than your old 735. But I doubt you will really see much of any difference between the two!
And I agree that shopping the classified ads right here on Eham for good used radios is a huge saving!
Dont stop at the IC-746, Search out a good used Icom 756PRO (Or even better the PRO II or PRO III)
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KI8DJ
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2007, 03:02:30 PM »

My suggestion if you have the room is to buy an icom 718 and use the $1000 you save to buy a beam and rotator.It is a real nice little rig and will get you more contacts with the beam than a fancier rig will with wire antennas.    
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W3JJH
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 08:48:21 PM »

Here's another vote for the TenTec Jupiter.

If you are willing to consider a used rig, TenTec takes Omni VIs in as trades on newer radios.  They run them back through the factory checkout, make sure they meet specs, and sell them with a warranty.  You should be able to buy either a VI+ (the last version) or VI Opt. 3 (an older VI updated to + specs) from the factory in your price range.
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