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Author Topic: ts-480hx/sat vs. icom 746pro  (Read 1217 times)
FOXBAT426
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« on: May 08, 2009, 02:33:31 PM »

i'm in the market for a new rig - i already have a yaesu and would like to try an icom or kenwood. i think it's between these two. which one would be best for weak signal dx, lowest noise floor and best audio. both get good reviews. has anyone tried them side by side.

sincerely, john
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K6AER
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 03:22:46 PM »

I have used both and for HF, 160-6 meters the Kenwood is better all around. The 746 has two meters which the Kenwood does not. In that respect you have a bit of an apples and oranges comparison depending on needs.

Both radios have a noise floor well below what ever is going to be coming out of you coax so receive phase noise will not be a factor unless your on ten and six meters. If ten and six is of a concern I would go with the Kenwood.

Mind you the Kenwood is a mobile radio and as such its form fit and function is different than the IC-746 Pro.  

If you want to operate the radio as a remote, definitely go with the Kenwood. For internet operation the radio is a snap to set up. Also the TS-480 HX has 200 watts out and that helps a lot in HF operation. You will need a good stiff (35 amp) power supply with the radio.

Enjoy.
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 05:16:28 PM »

Mike's comments are close, however...

A 35 amp supply is not enough for the 480Hx. Even my 50 amp Astron (40 continuous), would kick off occasionally. Although Kenwood says the draw is 41 amps of less, it's closer to 43 amps on dead carrier (13.8 volts).

While the audio based DSP is good, it doesn't hold a candle to the IF based one in the 746 Pro.

The 480 does have a very good noise blanker, although some pumping is evident at the higher level settings.

If it is nothing less, the 480Hx is a good mobile radio. At 200 out, you don't need an amp, but you do need a decent antenna.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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VE7REN
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 03:44:59 PM »

i dont agree with mikes post,
 the icom pro 746 is a better reciever compared to the 480. i did side by side and feel the 746 is much cleaner, or whatever you call it!! i think both radios are amazing,and i like the band scope,antenna tuner,meters, filter settings,vfo weight,steps in mhz on the 746pro better. the nb ,200watts,eq on the rx are all better on the 480.
 all in all look what you want,but i own both and like both for different reasons,however the 480 is cheaper,and is remotable,but, its all what you want/need/like. i rate my 746pros a notch above the 480 series for my purposes
 ve7ren
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HB9PJT
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 01:55:46 AM »

The IC-7400 has still the driver defect problem. Transceivers from new manufacturing lots still have that Problem. Look in the review section here in eham.net.

73, Peter - HB9PJT
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 04:15:59 AM »

"i'm in the market for a new rig - i already have a yaesu..."
So what is the matter with the Yaesu?  What model and what issues do you have?
"which one would be best for weak signal dx"... probably Orion2.
"lowest noise floor"...probably Orion2.
"best audio"...probably Orion2.
So, you have narrowed you choices to two radios that do not match any of your requirements... interesting.
And I will bet that the Orion is not in your price range at this time.
Your interests call for a good antenna.  What model Yaesu do you have and what type antenna are you using with it?  And how can it be improved for what you want to do with it?
Do you just want to justify a new rig?  I can understand that!

-Mike.
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FOXBAT426
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 04:38:55 AM »

hey WA3SKN - your period came early this month eh? your poor kids and wife! i never said anything was wrong with yaesu - although my ft-450 is a bit on the hashy side, sorry to offend you "yaesu guy!" LOL. lighten up and quit being a wuss! life's way too short.

john
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K0BG
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 06:28:56 AM »

Peter, HB9PJT, I can't speak for the IC-7400 in Europe, but the 746 Pro (the exact same radio less the Euro certification), has had the driver problem long since fixed. I purchased a very early 746 Pro, and the IC didn't fail until 3 years later! The new one hasn't done anything wrong.

If I have a complaint, it is that I don't have enough time to use it as often as I would like.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 06:35:56 AM »

Three other comments on the posted question.

One dislike (and it isn't unique to Kenwoods) is the fact the microphone plugs into the main body, rather than the head like an Icom 7000. If you mount the main part in the trunk, and run a mic cable to it, you have to use ferrites on both ends to keep the RF out. Doubly so if you use CAT cables rather than the stock extension cable.

I never have cared about dongles for coax connections, but that's how they do it on the 480.

The head and the main unit of the 480 can't be connected as one unit. Adding in the aforementioned cable comments, it doesn't make a good base radio.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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HB9PJT
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 06:46:43 AM »

Alan, look here for the IC-746Pro problems
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1951. From the last 10 reviews more than 50 % writes about problems with the IC-746Pro.

And the TS-480 has a better RX with better large signal handling, AGC, reliability and for my taste it also has a much better ergonomical design than the Icom. Nothing comes close to the TS-480 or you have to spend at least two or three times the amonut.

73, Peter - HB9PJT
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 06:58:40 AM »

Of your choices, the Icom 746 has the better specs.
There have been some problems with the IC746.  The hams who have had problems hate it, the hams that have not had problems love it.
And in that price range, the FT-950 should be a contender, as well as the Jupiter, for desktop operations anyway.

-Mike.
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