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Author Topic: Buying a used HF radio  (Read 1187 times)
9K2UP
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Posts: 2




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« on: October 18, 2008, 05:37:03 AM »

I am looking for a used HF-VHF and UHF radio three in one
what are the things that i have to look for and things that i can check to know if it good or not as i used radio


Thanks
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N4CQR
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Posts: 566




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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 01:15:30 PM »

I can't directly answer your question. And I would venture to say that no one else on here can with any degree of accuricy.

Your requirments seem to point to a Yaesu FT-897D, FT-857 or Icom 706mkIIG, Icom 7000 or something a bit more vintage.

The only sure way is to test the radio, extensively, in your own environment.

Sometimes when I am looking at a rig, I look for scuffs in unusual places. I also feel of the case screws. If the screws (typically phillip (or cross point)) feel rough or have a sharp spot, that leads me to feel they have been removed for one reason or another. If a close look with a magnifying glass shows the screws have been painted or touched up with a magic marker, I assume someone, and not necessarly the seller, intended to hide something.

Be cautious but by all means enjoy looking for a rig!.

C r a i g  
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 192




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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 08:59:37 PM »

If import duties and shipping are not a big problem, consider ordering a used/reconditioned/warranteed rig from one of the reputable dealers. R&L are very close to my QTH, and have always been helpful and scrupulously honest to me. There are, of course, other good ones as well.

What about eBay? As for me, I am cantankerous and paranoid and would not make such a purchase over eBay. And I dont recommend it to you if you are new to this stuff. You DO NOT need hassles - you need to get on the air!

73,
Bill
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 11:48:23 PM »

A Kenwood TS 2000 is a GREAT "do it all" radio that includes cross band repeat between HF and VHF/UHF, A feature no other radio on the market can do.  If you can afford one, Otherwise, something like an Icom 706 series, But remember, Those radios are mostly menu driven, And not nearly as user friendly.........

I would also not be afraid of a reconditioned radio from a dealer, and I too would avoid places like Ebay to buy an expensive thing like a radio!

Also do check out the used classified ads right here on Eham.

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N8TCZ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 06:21:56 PM »

I've followed an in depth study of ham transceivers on Ebay for several months.  My conclusion is spend a couple hundred bucks more and get a NEW - UNUSED - UP TO DATE radio rather than risk you money on something that may or may not work or is obsolete and unrepairable. There don't seem to be many if any good deals on ham radios on Ebay.  My brother-in-law and my son both have had bad experiences on Ebay radio purchases.  My brother-in-law got lucky and the seller made the sale right.  My son got taken by a guy that didn't deliver.  He did a background on the guy and he had a rap sheet 20 pages long.  Needless to say my son lost $178 over the $200 buyer protection on Ebay.  Then to top it off the guy had the balls to get a new seller ID and listed the same thing again which my son reported to Ebay and it was immediately removed.  He has since filled a claim with the FBI for internet fraud (He knew the sellers name and the name of his girlfriend).  I also had a less than stellar experiece in buying a antenna on Ebay.  The seller claims he sent the antenna but it came back for insufficent postage when the PayPal tracking label indicated it was never mailed.  I eventually got the antenna but am missing a couple minor parts which I can live with.  I keep my Ebay purchases limited to non-electrical items.  A safer place to buy might be Craigs List where you can actually put you hand on the radio before you fork over any money.  All I can say is "Cavert Emptor" (let the buyer beware)!!!
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N8TCZ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 06:47:52 PM »

I guess I don't know when to stop.  A few other things about used radio's.  I'm talking of myself now.  I would avoid hybrid radios.  Tubes wear out and will be more and more difficult to obtain.  Of course solid state is harder to work on unless you have good test equipment.  My father-in-law's Globe King was easier to trouble shoot than todays rigs unless you are a card swapper.  My son worked for ICOM USA in the early 90's in regional sales and told me to avoid some of the Icoms 20-30 years old because of the wafer switchs they used (which is a wear item).  He said ICOM has not made replacement wafer switchs for nearly 30 years i.e IC-751, the IC-751A is OK.  Don't get me wrong, I think ICOM makes great radios but there are a few dogs in the bunch.  There are several others to watch out for and I'm sure that Yaesu and Kenwood have similar issues that someone who doesn't do service on the radios would be unaware of.  I always wondered how a seller could say the radio had no issues and was in great working condition when they can not provide a microphone or power cord with the radio.  HOW DID THEY CHECK IT OUT??  Give me a break!!  By the time you could get a mike and power cord to check it yourself the seller has disappeared or refused a refund because you took to long.  Maybe I'm a little paranoid!  Not DOA, is that the same as 'the checks in the mail'?
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 192




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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 07:25:54 PM »

I agree with pretty much all of this thread..New is definitely better for a beginner - used rigs are an educational activity for the more experienced!

I own both a TS-2000 and an Icom-706MkIIG, and like them both. They both do many things well, especially the Kenwood. Neither of them have the receiver characteristics of the top-level rigs, but both are more than adequate for all but the most rabid DXers or contesters.

My Icom is mobile - beware of battered used models, since the 706 is by far the most commonly used HF mobile rig. The 2000 has been mostly trouble-free, but I did experience a PLL failure that required about $300 in service. I'd still buy another one, though.
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