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Author Topic: Which are the classic ICOM dual band mobile rigs?  (Read 522 times)
AF6IT
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« on: October 07, 2009, 01:46:17 PM »

After so many years of surviving with just HT's for my mobile needs I am considering looking for a used mobile rig. Simple is great, don't care for multiple nested menus. A sturdy well designed & dependable rig- made BEFORE the stupid RoHS thing took lead out of solder. Have a leaning towards ICOM, dual band would be nice but 70cm is more important than 2m if I must choose. High power is NOT required. Desire just one single antenna connector.

What are the "classics" made before 2004 I should be looking for? Anyone?

Thanks,

Stu AF6IT
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 04:00:33 PM »

Well, for what it is worth, it is very hard to beat the IC-208H. Yes, it is new, and you ask for used. But the truth is, it beats just about everything made (by Icom at the very least), introduced in the last 3 or 4 years. For $289.99 including the rebate, and with full warranty, you really can't go wrong.

If you'd except a Kenwood, the D210A with it's APRS capabilities (you have to add pieces obviously), it is solid as well.

If you're into Yaesu, the FT10R is one of their best offerings, and with Bluetooth, you can be handsfree.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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AF6IT
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 10:23:46 AM »

Thanks Alan. I'm really looking for something I could horse trade for at an upcoming ham swap meet. I have certainly noticed the Icom & Yaesu you mentioned, but a few more knobs and a few less menus would not be all bad. And I am doing my best to boycott anything I can which is made with lead free solder. A nominal five year life span is a ridiculous price to pay for silly politics with little genuine environmental benefit.

How are converted commercial rigs for 70cm looking these days? That would probably be quite acceptable even so long as it is reasonably easy to re-program freqs. I know there'd be no VFO, but I figure if I could throw in a couple simplex freqs along with my favorite repeaters I'd be happy.
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 05:34:10 AM »

I'm not so sure 5 years is a fair estimate. RoHS has been with us for well over 5 years in some industries. If failure rates (MTBF) were as bad as 5 years, we'd all know about it by now.

We have to discount cellphone handset from any life-span equation, as their service life is purposely limited; a fact lost of those folks who track such things.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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AF6IT
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2009, 10:09:42 AM »

Alan,

For significant major purchases I use 5 years as the guesstimate since it represents the worst case scenario. Agreed that cell phones are considered disposable and do not factor in here. If I get 7, 8, or 10 years from a major purchase these days- well that is icing on the cake! You've probably seen NASA's RoHS lead free solder pages. I know my five year figure is not the median number, and for a low end HT I wouldn't worry. Many hundreds of dollars though and I plan for worst case. Some have enough free cash to not have to worry about it, but this is not how I live.  

As to radios, my old TH-46 was the most user friendly HT I ever owned. Had I not killed it good it might still be working today, no doubt with a couple new encoders being installed along the way. I loved it because it had a lot of buttons which meant that most functions were only a couple keystrokes away at most. All the many new wonderful features available today don't impress me enough to make me voluntarily want to give up the user friendliness which used to be designed into the simpler rigs. Used to be we could expect a minimum of ten years use from a radio, and many gave twice that. And I only speak of synthesized transistor architecture. Obviously there is still plenty of even older stuff from when things were easy to repair in the pre-SMT days. Yes, technology has never been smaller, cheaper, and more capable than now. But long lived and user friendly it ain't!

Stu AF6IT
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