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Author Topic: Putting together a shack...  (Read 844 times)
KD4QWI
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« on: August 22, 2006, 04:05:04 AM »

So after having my ticket for a long time, I'm finally getting to the point where I have the resources needed to put together a shack, though, its going to be a rather small one.

I'm looking for suggestions for a good multi purpose rig (something that will cover the HF as well as 2m/70cm), antenna's (the neighborhood HOA prohibits visible antenna's) and what not.

I've been looking at the IC-706MKIIG, as that seems to be a decent rig in the sub 1k price range.

I'm currently a Tech, working on upgrading the license and getting the code done before it disappears forever and I'd love any suggestions/recomendations/ideas that anyone has.

Thanks!

Mark
KD4QWI
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K8GU
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 08:47:45 AM »

The IC-706 series is popular rig for just the reasons you mentioned.  Beware that, like many DC-to-daylight radios, it's a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.  I believe it will serve you well as long as you don't ask too much of it (think receiver in a crowded HF band).  
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2006, 11:18:40 AM »

>Putting together a shack...       Reply
by KD4QWI on August 22, 2006    Mail this to a friend!
So after having my ticket for a long time, I'm finally getting to the point where I have the resources needed to put together a shack, though, its going to be a rather small one.

I'm looking for suggestions for a good multi purpose rig (something that will cover the HF as well as 2m/70cm), antenna's (the neighborhood HOA prohibits visible antenna's) and what not.<

::THIS is the major issue.  Antennas, operators and propagation do all the work and the actual station equipment ("rig") isn't nearly as important.  Of the things you can control, the antenna is the most important element of any station and I'd focus heavily on that.  If you're restricted by CC&Rs/HOA, think long and heavily about what you can do.  If you have a large attic, you might install antennas there.  If not, you just have to get them outside, somehow, and make them as "invisible" as possible.  This can take time, effort, ingenuity and possibly money.  "Hidden" antennas, to be effective, can cost more than highly visible ones.

>I've been looking at the IC-706MKIIG, as that seems to be a decent rig in the sub 1k price range.<

::It is.  Don't forget a power supply and HF antenna tuner, which it does not include.

>I'm currently a Tech, working on upgrading the license and getting the code done before it disappears forever and I'd love any suggestions/recomendations/ideas that anyone has.<

::Code won't disappear forever.  It will remain in very popular use whether it's "required" or not.  The requirement hasn't gone anywhere yet, either -- and maybe won't for years, so you've got the right idea.

WB2WIK/6
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K1KAA
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 06:47:06 PM »

Another good option is the IC746.  ProI or ProII doesn't really matter, they both are good radios with good autotuners.  The filters are a little wide, but that is my only problem with them.  They also have two HF antenna ports and a VHF antenna port.  Saves money on a switch and tuner.  A little cheaper than the 756, as well.  Hope to hear you on.
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KI4PEQ
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 07:34:47 PM »

I second the suggestion for the Yaesu FT-100D. It's a great first radio, and there are software programs that handle the operation of the radio from the computer keyboard.
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N0MUD
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 10:56:41 PM »

I'm NOT an Icom fan and thats just my personal opinion so I will recommend the Yaesu FT-857D.  It's small, will work both mobile and base and does it all except satellite work and if you want to do that mode then it's a bigger radio and a tad bit more money out of your pocket.  I have two of the FT-857D's, one in my pickup and one in my travel trailer and extremely pleased at the ease of operation and the ease of programming the radio with all the repeater and simplex freqs that you can put in the radio.

So go to your local HAM radio store, take a look at the FT-857D, operate it and then buy one, you won't go wrong.

de NØmud

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N0MUD
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 10:56:56 PM »

I'm NOT an Icom fan and thats just my personal opinion so I will recommend the Yaesu FT-857D.  It's small, will work both mobile and base and does it all except satellite work and if you want to do that mode then it's a bigger radio and a tad bit more money out of your pocket.  I have two of the FT-857D's, one in my pickup and one in my travel trailer and extremely pleased at the ease of operation and the ease of programming the radio with all the repeater and simplex freqs that you can put in the radio.

So go to your local HAM radio store, take a look at the FT-857D, operate it and then buy one, you won't go wrong.

de NØmud

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VE3VID
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 02:13:15 AM »

Maybe the camper/trailer idea might be a good one for you - then the HOA wont be after you.  HOA or Strata are ussually control freqs.....so even an invisible antenna will keep them up nights.......cheers!  ;-)
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KF4HR
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2006, 06:25:44 PM »

Hi Mark.  I've owned both the FT-857D and the IC-706IIg for over a year.  Without a doubt I liked the IC-706IIg much better.  Granted the 857D is smaller, but I found the display to be too small.  Both rigs are approximately the same size, but the display on the 706IIg is larger and easier to read (especially when mobile).

With the advent of the Turbo Tuner, the 706IIg can auto-tune any of the popular screwdriver antennas (Tarheel, Hi-Q), in the same way the 857D auto-tunes its ATAS-120A antenna, so no advantage to the 857D in that department.

ICOM wins hands down when it comes to mounting the control head too.  The 857D's plastic control head mount is not fun to deal with in a mobile invironment (assuming you have to take the head in and out occasionally).  On the other hand the 706 head pops in and out with ease.  And even when you use the rig as a base, the 706IIg remote head snaps on the rig without any cabling (unlike the 857D).

As for doing satellite work, neither the 706IIg or the 857D provides full duplex capbability (capability to receive two bands at once).  That's a serious drawback if you're planning to work satellites.  (If working satellites are your goal I'd highly recommend the Kenwood TS-2000.)  

But if you're looking for a small do-it-all rig, take it from someone that's owned both of them... my advice is to get a IC-706IIg, (or better yet the IC-7000).  You won't regret it.
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N1EY
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2006, 02:09:34 PM »

Get the 857.  It hears better!  It is easier to program.
It doesn't heat up like the 706.  The separation kit is
also very easy to do and better than the ICOM system.
I would not recommend anyone to buy a overtired piece of
equipment that costs $300 more than three years ago.

N1EY
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