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Author Topic: TS 480SAT -versus- FT857D  (Read 3301 times)
KO1D
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« on: July 29, 2006, 07:35:07 PM »

It looks like I am one sucessful hamfest sale away from getting mobile HF in the car. This will get me at least the rig, the good antenna will have to wait a couple more paychecks I guess. (Sorry Alan and Lon. Unless I hit the lottery its a hamstick until I can afford my HiQ 3/80-RT-S <g>.) So I am torn between the TS480SAT 160-6 good solid rig from what I hear with few issues, and the FT857D, also a pretty good rig in its own right with 2m and 440Mhz all mode though I have heard questionable comments about its receiver on V/UHF. Just kinda wondering if anyone has used both rigs and can give a fairly decent comparison. I have read the reviews of each on here so I am not looking for a review. I am just looking for a side by side comparison if I can.

Thanks in advance.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 06:29:58 AM »

I have to assume the IC-7000 is out of your price bracket. None the less, you shouldn't dismiss a Icom 706Mkiig.

I'm not a kenwood fan, and I won't comment on it. I did have an 857D. The readout is its biggest shortcoming in my opinion. It's a good radio, compares favorably with the 706 in most respects, albeit a little harder to interface with. The price is about the same too.

Later this year, Yaesu's answer to the 7000 will be announced, and I suspect it will be about the same price as the 7000. It's been hinted that it will have a roofing filter as well as IF DSP, so it should be a good mobile radio. Let's just hope they "fix" the tiny display.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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AB2MH
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 02:02:04 PM »

Icom 706/7000 seem to be the de facto standard in miniature mobile rigs.  The only complaint I have about icom radios is that they tend to reduce output power so much when at 12 volts instead of 13.8, or the SWR is even remotely high.
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 03:14:21 PM »

Actually Ryan, the output of EVERY solid state radio falls as the voltage goes down, regardless of brand or model. From my experience, Icom isn't any worse (or better) than any other. I purchased an 857D just to try it out. The output was less than 80 watts with an input voltage of 12.8, and so was the 706 I compared it to. With respect to SWR power fold back, the 857 again wasn't any different than the Icom.

There are variances between radios to be sure, so unless someone tests a large number, any notation with respect to operability or suitability, is at best subjective.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KO1D
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 05:43:44 PM »

Alan,

Actually the 7000 is barely in the price bracket but the thing is I have read so many bad reviews I am turned off. I don't want to blow 1500 USD on a rig that I have to send back for repair about 60-90 days into service. I have also seriously considered the 857D but have heard sketchy reviews off of eHam about is receiver sensativity. What have your experiences been with the 857D receiver? Have you encountered the audio issues, overheating issues, etc. of the 7000?

Dan
KO1D
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W3LK
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 10:42:36 AM »

<< (Sorry Alan and Lon. Unless I hit the lottery its a hamstick until I can afford my HiQ 3/80-RT-S <g>.) >>

Ya' use what ya' gotta use. <g>

Have fun!!!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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AD5TD
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 10:44:39 AM »

I have used the FT-857 (no D) for the last 3 years.  It is a great radio.  All miniature "all band" radios suffer from compromises, the FT-857 is no exception (small screen, small controls, ENDLESS menus).  But when it's all said and done, it has served me well.  Would I try the Kenwood, sure!  I almost bought one.  

One thing else to consider, do you like to listen to VHF/UHF AND HF at the same time?  You can't do that with the FT-857, IC-706, or IC-7000.  If you are going to run a separate VHF/UHF rig, buy all means consider the Kenwood.

One more thing that almost made me buy the Kenwood, the Auto Tuner.  I ended up with a Yeasu FT-900CAT. It has a AT built in.  I had a big Screwdriver antenna and all you needed to do is get it close and hit the AT and Bam!, you were one the air.  
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AB2MH
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 01:29:45 PM »

>One more thing that almost made me buy the Kenwood,
> the Auto Tuner. I ended up with a Yeasu FT-900CAT.
> It has a AT built in. I had a big Screwdriver
> antenna and all you needed to do is get it close
> and hit the AT and Bam!, you were one the air.

Actually the better solution is to get one of those automatic screwdriver controllers such as the N2VZ turbo tuner or W4RT "the boss".  I have the N2VZ unit with my 7000 (temporarily with my 746 because I'm waiting for the 7000 to get back from icom).

With that, You won't have to "get it close" then tune.  You just hit tune, sit back and wait for the confirmation "K" in morse and you're all set.  If your antenna is grounded properly, your SWR is 1:1 or pretty darn close.
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AD5TD
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 02:00:12 PM »

This is true, I have used the W4RT "Antenna Boss", it worked quite well on 6-40m only.   For 80-160M, I had to tune manually anyway.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006, 03:31:10 PM »

My antenna will do 80m and tune with the TT.  It's not a 1:1 match but around 1.3-1.5:1.  

160m - I agree it will not tune no matter how hard you try.

But I mostly operate 80m and up anyway.  Haven't had much of a reason to do top band when mobile.
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KO1D
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 04:38:12 PM »

I agree on the TT and plan on using it with a HiQ 3 RT Short in the future. That would suit the wallet and needs nicely.

Back on topic though. Bill brough up some good points about the radio. I hadn't though about lack of dual VFO on the rigs. I guess that is a strong argument for the Kenwood. If I am going to need more than 1 rig in the car might as well have it a good rig.

I did more research on the 7000 as well by re-reading the QST review of the unit. I am definately not getting it. No computer programming software (480 has 2 free programs), too complicated to adjust the transmit audio to get it right for each mode, too many features just not up to par, and no support network from Icom. They simply rushed that rig out the door too fast. Maybe as we all expect, the MK I will be better than the beta model they have on the sales floor.

At least one person has offered some good views of the 857D so that is pretty good.

Thanks to everyone for the input and I look forward to hearing more.

Dan S
KO1D
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KO1D
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2006, 04:40:09 PM »

AD5TD Bill,

How was the 857 on 6/2/70cm? I know you have the original and not the D but I am curious if the value of the 2 and 70cm bands is worth it or if its just better to use the FM rig I have and maybe get a transverter or something.

Dan S
KO1D
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AD5TD
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2006, 04:54:20 PM »

2M and 70cm is great!  6m, well... lets just say it needs some work.  Now remember, mine is a non-D model.  I think YAESU has fixed the 6M problems.  Mine works in six but just not very well.  I just wish I had room in the car I have now for both my FT-857 and the FT-8800.  I miss the X-band repeat.
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KO1D
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2006, 04:56:30 PM »

So the sensativity for 2m and 440 SSB is there for some light weight fun? Maybe not to par with the big boys but still something where I can toss up a portale antenna and get a couplegrids while on the road?

Dan S
KO1D
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N3OX
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2006, 06:02:19 PM »

I've worked the big guns out at 200 miles + on 2m during VHF contests with my FT-857D and a 5 element yagi at 30 feet.  I've worked about 100 miles on 432 to some mountaintop guys with big stations.  K8GP, W3SO, some others.  Antenna is only a 4 element yagi.

I don't think you're going to win any VHF contests but it's certainly been adequate for VHF fun.  I've made a few satellite contacts on FO-29 but more of that is pending computer control for doppler tracking... it's not a satellite rig, so it doesn't have automatic band tracking or anything but if you can juggle manual tuning and antenna rotator control you can snag a couple Q's... would be a lot more fun with CAT and ham radio deluxe taking care of the frequency control though.

No complaints on 6m either.  Maybe 15 or so countries worked this season with a Moxon rectangle, including several Europeans.  Totally unscientific, of course, because I got nothing to compare to.  I don't hear a lot of stuff on 6m that W3LPL, N3DB etc hear, but I've also only got a 2 element beam at 30 feet compared to their big stations.

I can guarantee you that it's way, way more fun than having nothing on V/UHF SSB/CW ;-)

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
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