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Author Topic: ? too much rig.  (Read 1643 times)

Posts: 646


« on: January 14, 2005, 04:09:08 PM »

The FT-897, and the FT-817 are virtually the same radio. The 897 has better power, and probably a bit better receiver. Beyond that there is not a great difference.

I would like to see you look at something like the
FT-847 but, you will probably do Ok with the 897.

Posts: 14

« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2005, 09:49:48 AM »

Guess I just need a little handholding.  Have been a General since 8/65. (WA7CUJ).  Virtually no activity since then except for a few months in the 80's with a Swan 500 that I inherited.  A good neighbor has me plugged in again and my code speed is back up to 15 and climbing.  Found a nice deal on an original Yaseau 897 at AES and it's on the way.  I'm an MD so I'm not stupid but as I read about all of the new technology, menus, packets, digital modes, etc...I wonder if I'm in over my head and might do better with something like an ICOM 817.
Is the learning curve worth a sophisticated machine like the 897?  How smart do I have to be?  Appreciate your thoughts.  Bart

Posts: 265

« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2005, 10:17:04 AM »

You'll be fine with the new rig. The technology is no more different or intimidating than what you'd find in a hospital operating room or ICU. The fundamentals stay the same, microprocessors have evolved it. The good news is that the learning curve is easy and unlike a jet plane or patient, you can't crash, maim or kill the radio. Mistakes cost nothing.  A little bit of light reading should bring you up to speed.

"I'm an MD so I'm not stupid"..... With all due respect, I know many stupid MD's. I'm sure you've heard about the ones that, "bury their mistakes".....

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2005, 02:09:42 PM »

I think if you can handle a PC and use the internet, you're most of the way there, with the new ham technology.  Reason is: New ham gear is closer to using computers than it is to using radio equipment (from an operating perspective).  

Of course, the "radio" part still comes in with interference, noise, lingo, propagation and the fact that antennas are today, as in 1965, still the most important part of the station -- and those haven't changed in 40 years.

In response to the previous post, I'll recall what my brother-in-law (an MD) told me many years ago:  What do you call the guy who graduated dead last from his medical school?  "Doctor."

Anyway, welcome back!  

Here's one personal viewpoint on the Icoms you mentioned: The more complex, menu-driven and higher-tech rigs are a little bit more daunting; however, I think you'd have a lot of fun with an IC-718 (you wrote IC-817, I think that was a typo).  The IC-718 is extremely popular, and very "plug & play."  Without ever glancing at its owner manual, I tried one out at HRO a couple of years ago and started using it on the air immediately -- very intuitive, no instructions needed.  The '857 and '897 aren't quite like that.

73 & have fun!

Steve WB2WIK/6

Posts: 14

« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2005, 04:01:05 PM »

Thanks for the advice. Very bad to use the word dead and doctor in the same sentence.  I have found that doctors are a lot like hams.  Just because you have the license, doesn't make you one.  I would also be just as afraid of some of the top guys in my class as the ones at the bottom.  I'm sure I've scared my share of folks too.  Looking forward to getting back.  CW is a lot of fun as my speed climbs.  As soon as I can start hearing words I'll be happy.  73's.  Bart

Posts: 173

« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2005, 05:49:04 AM »

Hi Bart, and welcome back -- from another lapsed ham.  I was licensed in 1962 and was very active until around 1985, then the arrival of a new baby took all the time.  Just recently I've re-entered the hobby and I was also a bit concerned about all the menu-driven radios, having read somewhere that one of the top-end Icom's had some 91 menus. . .

Also, I was always a boat-anchor operator, using older gear purchased used.  This time I bought my first-ever brand new rig (also from AES) -- a Yaesu FT-840.  Just got it, not hooked up yet, but sure looks like a great little rig that "even I" can figure out quickly.

Hope to see you on 40 CW!


Posts: 13

« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2005, 07:43:48 PM »

Bart, I understand your worry. Logic is my business (programming). I am a fairly new tech. Just got an FT897 myself and hope to do some EM Comm work with it. I am however finding a few quirks with the rig and finding I am usually the source. Lots to learn. It's a little frustrating once in a while but worth it. Hang in there. By the way I got the 897 because it has all the bells and whistles I'll need for a long time to come and is basically a portable self contained battery operable base unit. What is the attraction for you?
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