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Author Topic: Radio for new MARS station:TS2000,IC7000,IC746PRO?  (Read 2908 times)

Posts: 38

« on: January 02, 2008, 05:36:46 PM »

Hi there,

First a little background:
Where I work there is a push to get our office personal licensed for Army/MARS along with other major offices in our area.

Only two people in my office have Amateur Radio licenses - myself (AExtra), and one with Technician.  We both have government Army/MARS callsigns - no mandatory weekly training.

We will be holding training classes to get all the other people Amateur Technician licenses and then apply for MARS call-signs.

Although MARS use many frequencies, most of the practice seems to be conducted near amateur HF bands.
I want to purchase a good HF tranceiver for personal use, and the offices will also need HF/VHF tranceivers.  I figure that without practice, we will not be effective in an emergency.

Although I have the Amateur Extra license, I have almost no HF experience, and can use your advise.

For home, I figure an 80meter dipole (not center fed) would work best, and I am not certain about the radio.
Antennas for the offices is another area of discussion - for another topic and another time.  At this time I am trying to weigh the radio choices.

1. The TS2000 has some very impressive features, like the ability to listen on HF and re-xmt it on VHF.  This might be very useful for listening to practice sessions - if one airport has the TS2000, and the other offices get cheap and only buy IC2200H vhf radios.  The practice sessions can be retransmitted for them to listen to.  On the negative side, I have read some opinions that the TS2000's HF is good, but not great - and the DSP functions are not up to Icom's capabilities.

2. The IC746Pro - Sounds good.  Though I'd be paying for a power supply I don't need - as I already have a good power supply.  It is much heavier than the IC7000 + LDG tuner.  Makes you wonder why it weighs 10+ pounds more than a 7000.  Might have superior tuner components?  Better coils?  I don't know.  Looks like it has 10 dials and over 30 buttons - this might make it easier to use.  The real concern is whether the reliability problems are truely solved by ICOM.  How does the DSP compare with the IC7000?

3. The IC7000 - the newest of the 3 radios.  Newer might mean the latest and greatest DSP chip and programming?  The only early production problem was a hum - nothing that shuts down the radio.  The MIC needs some components replaced to sound better.  It is lighter, smaler, has 70cm.  Fewer dials and buttons - means more menu navigation.

It is probably rare to find someone who has owned these 3 radios, but hopefully there are people who have experience using these 3 radios.

For MARS use, we don't need to communicate outside of the USA.

So, I will appreciate your input, suggestions, and comments.

Posts: 5639

« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 09:08:14 PM »

Howard, I am a little curious who you work for that is pushing amateur licenses and MARS membership for all the offices/employees.

If you don't want to reply here, send me an email.

As for the rig, any of them will do nicely.


Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 2415

« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 12:52:27 AM »

As you mention, The Kenwood TS-2000 does indeed do some neat functions. I love the crossband repeat from HF to UHF.............    
I have done some direct comparisons between my Kenwood TS-2000 and my Icom IC 756PRO. Although the IC 756PRO IS a better HF radio, I doubt that in casual use, Especially like for MARS service, You would need anything better than The TS 2000. The TS2K would be a great rig.
However, Do check with the MARS group you will be working with to make sure that whatever rig you buy will meet the MARS approved equipment list.......    

Posts: 38

« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 06:29:58 PM »

I have been reading the owner's manuals for the Icom 746pro and the Icom 7000.

It looks like when one saves a 2m frequency into memory, the radio only saves the frequency and mode.  It does not save simplex/duplex-/duplex+, nor the offset, nor the PL-Tone/TSQL.

Is this correct?

Posts: 180


« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 06:18:14 AM »

I have owned two of the rigs you mentioned. The Icom 746PRO and the Kenwood TS-2000. Both of which save ALL the info into memory on 2M's. Based on my experience with them, I would obtain the TS-2000. There is an easy setting for the Low/High Pass Filters that solves the lack of receive sensitivity some complain about. The 746PRO picks up more hash noise than the TS-2000. Both rigs have DNR but the Kenwood's works better. My IC-746PRO was extremely sensitive to ESD.(Electro-Static-Discharge) I actually owned two of the 746PRO's. One was replaced under warranty.(It was lost by Icom after I sent it to them for repair when the transmit went out)The second one died when lightning hit the house four houses from mine and my house got a line surge. The surge went through the Astron Power Supply and the Surge Protector without incident. But the rig was fried at the power plug section of the circuit boards. (My antennas WERE disconnected) The only other device damaged in my home was a DVD player.

Posts: 3203


« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 07:00:38 AM »

TS2000 definitely!  And, it has a handle on the side for portable ops.
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