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Author Topic: Cheap HF rig with SUPERB receiver?  (Read 8231 times)
K1TWH
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2003, 08:38:29 PM »

Find a good Icom IC-735.  Take out the cheap AM filter and replace it with a KIWA LFH4-S unit.   Very good receiver.  A 500 Hz or 250 Hz CW filter is nice too, but the variable bandwith passband tuning does ok for most applications.  Has a real notch filter too.  PA can run key down on FM w/o trouble.
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N7IOH
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2003, 05:32:42 PM »

I would most likely try and find a radio that does not have an internal supply and avoid ANY switching supplies because of induced noise and birdies.  There are several good radio out there depending on how much you are willing to spend, some with Great Receive Audio.  I like to have IF filters in the radio and if you can find one that also has a good DSP even better.  The Kenwood TS-850S radio with the optional DSP unit comes to mind, I'm sure there are others.  

Al N7IOH
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K7VO
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2003, 04:18:08 PM »

$400-$600 on a used rig?  Why?  I've seen some IC-735s and IC-745s that are now in the $300 price range.  He said CHEAP.  An IC-718 is twice as much money, and frankly, I don't think it's that much better at all.  I see recommendations for FT-990s and TS-850S's.  Lovely EXPENSIVE used rigs.

YMMV...

73,
Caity
K7VO
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K8AG
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Posts: 352




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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2003, 04:04:26 PM »

Yaesu FT-747 or better still, an upgraded FT-80C with all of the buttons and filters.

This receiver was by far hotter than the FT-757 and I find myself responding to QRP stations quite frequently.

The FT-80C is the "hardened" version of the FT-747GX with a metal case.  It is digital so very stable.  The TCXO, available from time to time on EBay, would make it rock solid for stability.  Transmit can be opened up to allow for 60M operation.  It is a very good alll around radio.

Mine is a backup for my FT-920, which has DSP and such so is a bit better as a receiver, but it is also probably 2.5X to 3X the price.

My opinion.

73,

John Pawlicki, K8AG
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VK3HE
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2003, 02:13:02 AM »

I would suggest  the Icom 751A. First its has a very good blocking dynamic range. It also has a good IMD dynamic range. The transmitter IMD is very good and better than most current model radios.

 You can get cheap radios like the 718 and 706, but really as much as i prespect other peoples views these radios are undesirable for many reasons mainly related to performance. I would also second the Drake TR7. If you plan to use a Amp having a clean transmitter is desirable, the IC751A exceeds the IMD requirements of the NTIA for fixed station use.

The only problem with the 751a which is easy fixed is that the VCO trimmer caps failed. Most owners of thos radio would have had it updated. The ROM battery backup is a problem, there are however many third party boards on the market now.

If you analyse all the past models of transceivers using the ARRL reviews you will find there are very few models that fall into the category of ideal receiver and transmitter. Most radios will fail in one area or the other. It is rare to find one that meets
most requirements of fixed station use in receiver  as well as transmitter performance. This is the most annoying aspect of the current batch of modern radios, there is not one that is perfect in all regards.



Craig
VK3HE

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WA5VDM
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2003, 11:03:12 PM »

Do you by any chance know the part numbers to order for adding to the front of a FT-80C to give it the functionality of the FT-747?
Thanks!
Sam, WA5VDM
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AE4X
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2003, 09:56:52 PM »

ICOM 730, 735, 740...
Kenwood TS850


Used to have an IC 735 for years. Great little rig.
IC 718 supposed to be nice although never played with one.

Avoid ebay for buying a cheap HF rig. Deal with a ham upfront in your area or at a hamfest to test the rig out.

Cheap HF rigs have most likely been bounced around to a couple of owners..some who like to take the golden screwdriver to it to make unnecessary mods.

Best bet? Someone you know or trust in ham radio. Or--check into a traders net on HF or VHF/UHF and voice your needs. You'll likely get a number of responses on the spot and maybe even hear how the transmitter sounds if the other end is using the rig they're selling.
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KC7MM
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2003, 10:43:07 AM »

I suggest that you find a late model number Kenwood TS-850S or SAT.  I have both a TS850SAT and an Icom R71a.  The R71a is of course only a general coverage rcvr.  Personnally, I think the receiver in the TS850 knocks holes in the Icom and the audio is better. It is well known for it's selectivity and sensitivity. The 850 will allow you to work anything you want on the HF bands.  I have seen them selling with a filter or two for as low as $750 here on eHam.  Beware of really early versions of 850s as I have heard that they suffer from cold solder joints.

Let us know what you decide. Too bad you didn't set a budget for us to work with, Otherwise, a great question!

Dale KC7MM
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VE7BGP
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2003, 01:49:57 PM »

Hello All Concerned
My vote is for those really good older Icom rigs The great IC-751A topping the list a super rig in many aeras there are not quite as cheap as others but you get your best bang for the under $1000 spent with this old rig. I now have 2 of these I picked up a MINT one with UX-14 and CT-17 for $600 at a recent ham fest. I also add to that list a IC-730, 735 and 740 to that list. The 730 & 740 do not have general coverage RX but their receivers nicely compete with todays higher end rigs at a fraction of the $ bills spent. If you are like me you use your receiver in your shack a lot and want that end of the station to be good and hold up under heavy QRM. The little 735 is still the best radio out there for its size I had one for 9 years of great trouble free operating and yes I used it a lot. I had a IC-730 before the 735 and again I got 9 trouble free years of service the 730 was Icom's original small wonder introduced 22 years ago and still is a great one.  I have a good friend that has a 740 and 720A remember to do the mods and keep that stepper band switch clean on the 720A they are also a good radio for their age. Thats IMHO!
73
Gerry
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WA2JJH
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« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2003, 06:00:31 AM »

ts-850 FOR ABOUT $700 is a popular, cannot go wrong choice.
    The drake TR-7 is excellent too.
The Drake is almost mil spec. If you can get one for $500, you will have a good rig and a superlative RCVR built like a tank.

  The TR-7 uses a direct mixer design.(no rf pre-amp) This makes for an ultra quiet RCVR. The passband tuning
is the best on the market.

73 DE MIKE
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K1TWH
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2004, 05:30:48 PM »

Grant,
__  Most ham transceivers have poorly chosen AM filters (for SWL purposes).  If they have 455kHz IF filters they normally have CFJ455HT filters which can be >9kHz wide.  Not a solution for SWL with stations spaced @ 5kHz.  My best transceiver / SWL Rx would be the Icom IC-735 with the CFJ455HT filter removed and a KIWA LFH-4S 5.5 KHz wide AM filter installed in its place.  This requires removing the standard filter and soldering in the new filter.  My Alinco DX-70T was mod'd by Alinco to contain the KIWA filter and it is outstanding as an SWL filter (but the 735's noise blanker & real notch filter wins hands down).
__ From the current radios available new, almost all would require mod's to change the cheap AM filters that they have installed at the factory.  The Yaesu FT-100D does/did have a nice AM filter available and does a respectable job on AM.  The Yaesu FT-840 also allows installation of a good AM filter actually designed for AM reception as well.  I've not heard the Ten Tec 516 but all reports indicate that this 20W transceiver has a very nice receiver for both Ham & SWL.  The Icom IC-718 has no dedicated AM filter. To change its CFJ455HT to an IT version or the KIWA unit would also impact its already mediocre noise blanker.  
__ My SWL comparison is based on a Drake SPR4 (with 5NB noise blanker) and a Kenwood R-1000 with the 10-20-30 dB attenuator mod as well as new AM filters (KIWA LFH-4S and LFH-2SK {3.7 kHz wide) installed.  It's still hard to touch these SWL radios without spending some serious additional cash.
__  Good luck & hope you can form a consensus from the replies.    Tom Howey  WB1FPA    
<< howey2 AT comcast DOT net >>
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WPE9JRL
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2004, 09:39:40 PM »

Icom 735.  AM and SSB filters built-in.  You can use the SSB filter as a narrow AM filter with a push of the front button.  Extremely sensitive with preamp.  Nice feel to the tuning knob.  Has good track record for reliability.  Remember, this radio was about $1200 new when introduced in the 1980's, had a production run for many years.

Going price:  about $325.00.

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