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Author Topic: Icom HF rig question..  (Read 2467 times)

Posts: 53

« on: March 04, 2007, 05:11:45 PM »

I was wondering if someone could give me some insight on my situation.  I currently have an IC-706MKIIG that I am using for HF.  I bought it when I was just a tech and wanted to listen to HF - motive me to upgrade.  I am still using the G5RV I put up - approx. 18ft at the ends and 14ft in the middle(sag).

Well, it is more of a base station - I don't need it for mobile ops.  I really like the the ic-756 pro - price is a big concern but I want features and not so many menus to scroll thru.  

I was wondering if I did upgrade, what should I expect from the reception features over the MKIIG? How about the DSP?  Is it really worth it to upgrade the MKIIG or just suck it up and use the menus...bottom line, will I see a marked improvement over the MKIIG?

(any other radio suggestions are welcomed but Icom is all I know - never owned a different brand)
Thanks in advance!

Posts: 4283


« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 06:16:18 PM »

approx. 18ft at the ends and 14ft in the middle(sag).

With this type of antenna all you'll be hearing is the ground.  Dont' spend any money on upgrading your rig (yes the pro is way way better than the little 706 could ever be) because your antenna is very limiting.  

ou need to spend your money on upgrading your antenna first.  

Posts: 53

« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 06:43:50 PM »

Yea, I agree...I am not sure that I am able to get a tower up but I have been looking at a vertical.  I have read a bunch of different posts and I have seen many different opinions however it seems that maybe my dipole might be just as good as a vert. I just need to get it higher...I don't know - so many opinions, so little $$$ to try them!

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 09:23:31 AM »

Your antenna will work a lot better if you can get it higher.  That doesn't require trees, it requires ingenuity!

You have a home.  Presumably it has a roof.  Install a tripod on the highest point on the roof, and install 20' to 30' of mast in the tripod.  Use lightweight rope guys (double braided Dacron, 3/16" thick, is perfect for this application -- cheap, light, weatherproof) to guy the mast to the corners of the roof.  Install a SS or brass pulley at the very top of that mast (obviously, before raising it!), with another rope through the pulley: A long enough rope to reach the roof on both ends.

Use that rope to hoist a center insulator up to the top of the mast; use more rope on each end of the doublet so the ends can be "tied off" to whatever you have available (poles, short trees, edges of roof, backyard fence, etc) and now you have the same antenna installed as an inverted vee at least 30' high, and probably higher.  Since the "mast" is only supporting a wire, you can make it quite tall without risk of collapse.

I have one neighbor who has used this scheme with fifty feet (50') of masting to support his 80m inverted vee, the center of which is now almost 70 feet high -- so it actually works on 80 meters!  The whole installation cost maybe $75, including all the masts and ropes.

Money very well invested.


Posts: 2415

« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 10:48:15 PM »

The Icom 756PRO is a GREAT radio!  And a lot nicer to operate than the menu driven 706.... BUT the 756PRO does not do two meters or UHF......... So if you use those bands in the 706 you will be lacking them.
(I paid 900 bucks for the last 756PRO I got, From an ad right here on Eham! I see them advertised frequently for around 1200 bucks)
Also consider the Kenwood TS-2000 radio. I think you would be very happy with one of those. (Includes VHF and UHF AND cross band repeats!)
Improving your antenna situation should also be a high priority as mentioned, But that does not have to cost much. Some wire and good planning can go a long ways.

Posts: 700

« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 05:39:27 AM »

If you can, spend your money now to upgrade your antenna. While your low dipole is efficient, compared to a vertical, its low height is very limiting -- particularly on transmit.

A single mast of any type can transform your low dipole into an inverted vee with the feedpoint several feet higher than in the present configuration. You will benefit tremendously once you begin operating on HF.

But if a vertical is your best option, there are ways to make vertical antennas efficient and they can be great performers and excellent DX antennas. Much has been written about verticals in antenna books so I won't repeat it here.

Meanwhile, back to your original question of the 706 vs. one of the Icom Pros. I have both radios in question. The receiver in the Pro is vastly superior to the 706 receiver. Filtering of all types are much better, the Pros are less prone to adjacent frequency interference, the DSP is much better, and on and on. Don't get me wrong. For what it is and costs, the 706 is a great little radio and I love mine. I run it mobile. But in a direct comparison with any model of Icom Pro, the 706 will finish a very distant second. And yes, the Pros are less menu driven and easier to operate.

Just keep in mind that improving your antenna will always maximize your station performance. That should always be your first priority. Once you have the best antenna you can have, then improve the radio.

73 and good luck,
Dave, N4KZ
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