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Author Topic: HF transceiver advice wanted  (Read 309 times)
KJ6CFI
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Posts: 13




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« on: October 16, 2009, 11:57:38 AM »

I am a new ham, just getting my General Class license last month. I am also interested in shortwave listening and am looking for an HF transceiver, with a good general coverage receiver to listen to shortwave broadcast stations from rime to time. The 2 choices that I am leaning towards are the Kenwood TS-850 and Yaesu FT-890. Does anyone either have one of these transceivers or experience with one and also used it to listen to shortwave broadcasts? Any help would be greatly appreciated. 73. Denny Dollahon, KJ6CFI.
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5486




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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 12:57:28 PM »

For good adjustable audio quality, I'd have to lean toward Ten Tec.  Not sure if you are looking for new or used, though.  The Jupiter is now their cheapest rig.  Do you have a budget?

-Mike.
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KA3DNR
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 06:23:35 PM »

I've had the '850; it's a nice rig. But, I would consider the little, Yaesu FT 450. It has a better receiver than the '850, it's smaller, gotten rave reviews, and it's not that expensive.

Marc
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KZ1X
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Posts: 3228




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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 07:02:29 PM »

For SWL (general coverage) use, I think it's important to help remind the newcomer that most of the performance difference will be in the antenna, not the radio.  

That said, you'd probably be looking for a radio with a suitable AM filter.  It's been long enough since I used an '850 that I forget how it handles that mode, but I do recall listening to AM guys on 75 and the rig sounded pretty good.  Both of those rigs, and a few others of similar vintage and genre (think IC-765, TR-7), are truly great bargains today.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 10:53:53 PM »

The Yaesu FT-450 works pretty well as an AM SW receiver.  The "wide" AM filter is about 6 kHz wide (audio output to 3 kHz, rolling off above that).   There's not much bass below 150 Hz.

So it's not hi-fidelity, but it's a general-coverage 100-watt transceiver with plenty of sensitivity and interference-fighting options.  [The IF Notch filter doesn't work on AM, but it works very well on SSB.]

My humble, uneducated opinion is that most general-coverage ham rigs are _more than good enough_ for SW listening.   As long as the rig has a reasonably wide AM filter (or if you listen strictly in SSB), you have a wide choice.

            Charles
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G4AON
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Posts: 534




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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 12:34:28 AM »

You don't mention how much you are planning to spend, however the TS-850 was an excellent radio (I had one), the problem now is leaking capacitors and other problems mainly on the DDS/Carrier board leading to expensive repairs. All TS-850s will suffer from the capacitor problem, old doesn't equal better.

A friend had an older Yaesu (FT-One or 980, not sure which) that had an obscure synthesizer lock problem that none of the repairers he contacted were prepared to even look at as it was too time consuming to be economic to repair and replacement boards were not available.

Bottom line is look for something newer or at least easy to repair if it fails.

73 Dave
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K1WJ
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Posts: 455




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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 04:39:51 AM »

Being new to the hobby, the safest bet would be to get a new or recent production radio.

At this time the Yaesu FT-450 is the best bang for your hard working dollars.

Use resonant antennas & you can get the non antenna tuner version for $650+-.

With a 100 watt radio get a 23amp power suppy.

I have had a FT-450 for about a year now & is fine in AM mode & all others.

I think a great atenna to start out with would be a 20m dipole at 33 feet minimum if possible. And then add to your HF antenna arsenal as you get deeper into the coolest hobby known to man.

For AM bands or SW just put up a 75m dipole (119ft), get the center as high as you can. But even if you can not get the center height above 30ft - it will still work very well for AM/SW & 150khz+- of band width to transmit - No tuner needed. NICE......

If you get a used radio, Hope you know the owner well that may help, over time componets go bad. If you are highly skilled than thats OK.

Catch you on the Airwaves......David K1WJ-8
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