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Author Topic: New operator, suggestions on a station?  (Read 653 times)
KD8GEH
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Posts: 464




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« on: May 17, 2007, 12:58:46 PM »

Hello all,

Finally got my ticket. Interested in your input on a best bang for the buck station. (Have some boat anchors but..) I would like to work as many bands as possible (2,440 & HF..maybe 6).  I'm thinking a mobile on a nice sized power supply may be my best option on very limited cash. The FT-857 looks kinda neat although I admit I know nearly nothing about them. I did manage to make a j-pole for my 2 meter HT Smiley and have a Alpha-delta ready to put up.

Heading to the hamvention tommorow hoping to make a good deal.

Any sage advise is much appreciated.

Thanks and 73

Dave KD8GEH
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W3TUA
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Posts: 66




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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 11:23:00 AM »

Since you want an all-in-one type package then you can't go wrong with the Yaesu 857D or Icom IC-706MkIIG. I had the 706 in Iraq and carried it in a backpack.

I have two Samlex 1223 power supplies and they work FB as well. They are small switching supplies and are a good value at just under a hundred bucks.

Good luck on building your station!

73,

Korey--W3TUA
Towanda, PA
Ex-KA5VCQ/YI9VCQ/HL9VC
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 05:32:09 PM »

I have the Icom 706 MkIIG  mobile in my pickup truck and I really like it.  However, it is not the best rig for CW or for VHF/UHF FM (and repeaters and such).   My comments about CW are probably because I am spoiled by my Icom 756 Pro III and can't quite get used to the lack of panel controls or filters on the 706.  And, for VHF/UHF FM work, the hassle of programming the 706 and setting up for repeaters was enough for me to buy a Yaesu FT-7800R for my truck just for the VHF/UHF FM work.
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 09:53:23 AM »

I have the Icom 706 MkIIG  mobile in my pickup truck and I really like it.  However, it is not the best rig for CW or for VHF/UHF FM (and repeaters and such).   My comments about CW are probably because I am spoiled by my Icom 756 Pro III and can't quite get used to the lack of panel controls or filters on the 706.  And, for VHF/UHF FM work, the hassle of programming the 706 and setting up for repeaters was enough for me to buy a Yaesu FT-7800R for my truck just for the VHF/UHF FM work.
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AB3EI
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 04:47:16 AM »

You didn't say how limited is your cash, so that kinda limits the suggestions we can make.

Korey has suggested the FT-857D.  I've used that radio also, and it's nice.  So is the IC-706 series.  

If your funds are *really* limited, have a look at older models of 706, pre-"MarkIIG".  I've seen Mark II models going for hundreds less than the "G" models.  What are you losing?  DSP and 440MHz.  

There are, of course, caveats. Wink  

Small, "DC to daylight" rigs like these have some glaring  compromises inherent to the design.  The most obvious is close-in performance during crowded band conditions.  These radios get *hammered*.  The receivers get overloaded and can just sort of shut down.  They lack the hardware to improve this due to their design parameters.

The size of the cases prevents clearly-labelled, discrete controls.  Things like mic gain and even transmit power are controlled by surfing through layers of menus.  K7PEH has already broadly hinted at how frustrating the menu systems might be for some people.  Me, I don't have a problem with it.  YMMV. Wink

If your available cash is better than mine, have a look at Icom's IC-7000.  Lots of folks in my local club now have them and rave about them.  I'll probably be picking one up before 2008.  Yeah, it's about twice as expensive as a new 857 or used IC706MkIIG, but WORTH EVERY PENNY.  It's no ProIII, but for the price and the size it kicks butt.  IF-DSP and adjustable filters defined in the software.

You'll want an ATU at some point.  I've used products from both MFJ and LDG to accomplish that task with good success - manual tuners from MFJ and autotuners from LDG.  Just make sure to get an ATU that is designed to facilitate growing with your station.  In other words, if you've a vague fantasy of someday getting a 1kw linear amplifier, don't get a 200w tuner, get a 1.2 or 1.5kw model.  (Besides, the larger, more robust ATUs will handle the massive RF voltages of severely mismatched antenna systems with less stress on the internal components.)

Okay, those are my thoughts.  Time for work.

Bob AB3EI
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