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Author Topic: Recommendations for Used HF on a BUDGET  (Read 1607 times)
KC0KEC
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Posts: 12




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« on: May 21, 2009, 06:40:51 AM »

Hello,

  I have an FT-817 and would like to augment it with a decent used 50W or 100W HF radio as a permanent base rig.  I NEED this to be less than $300.  That is critical as I've got one kid in college and another one there next year :-(.
  So far I've seen these recommendations:  IC-735, Kenwood 530s, 820s.  Any others I should throw in the mix while I am looking?
  Ideally it would be digital and solid-state, but I'd even cave on those requirements to keep the price low.

Thanks!
KC0KEC
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WA7NCL
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Posts: 625




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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 07:45:24 AM »

See if you can find one of the toyo power amps that will boost your 817 to 50 to 100W.  Then you could use your 817 as your home station rig.

There was also a kit amplifier available from the HF packer people that would do 50W from a QRP rig.  You might look at that as well.
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 12:12:58 AM »

The good old Icom IC 735 is still one of the better low cost rigs to start out with available.

Next up the ladder would be a good used (newer and slightly more expensive) Icom 718.

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K8GU
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 08:17:17 AM »

I agree that the IC-735 is a good choice.  One of the locals here had an FT-840 for sale for $300 (I doubt he has it anymore at that price).  If you're so lucky, that's a decent rig, too.  One thing to remember is that you will need to spend a few bucks on a power supply for the IC-735 (or IC-718 or FT-840), whereas the Kenwoods have the P/S built-in.
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K0RS
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Posts: 740




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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 10:21:42 PM »

Consider a TS-830S.  Built-in power supply and one of the best receivers ever put in a transceiver.  Great transmitted audio.  Just make sure it's been treated well and isn't used up!
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3729




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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 05:47:17 PM »

hi,

I like the ts-530s, also internal power supply
so that saves you money.

easy to use one you practice the tune up procedure,
run great after all these years, also easy to fix
with modern replacement parts, all 'solid state'
except for the driver and final pair tubes.

I learned a lot by using my ts-520 and ts-530
(receive only) before upgrading to General.

join other ts-5xx and 8xx fans

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TS-520_820_530_830/

73 james
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KG6YV
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Posts: 514




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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 11:22:58 AM »

There are some "hybrids" from the late 1980's that are excellent radios.  
Kenwood 530S/830S, although the 830's tend to be a bit over your prive point.
Yaesu FT-101ZD.  Great little radio with digital frequency display, very stable and a great receiver.
FT-101E.  This is the last of the venerable Yaesu FT-101 series.  Its got all the benefit of 10 years of production starting with the original FT-101.  

I agree with others who have suggested the ICOM 735 as well.  Another nice ICOM is the 745....

Good lcuk, I am sure you will find a good fit....

Greg
KG6YV
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N0FPE
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Posts: 369




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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 06:08:50 PM »

The best radio for you on a budget would be a IC-7800. After that the budget no longer is a problem because there will be no money FOR a budget.

Dan
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K3ANG
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 10:48:21 PM »

'KEC
Recommendations are great, but to find what you're looking for, I'd recommend craigslist.  
You may get lucky and find something in your area.  
I find it better than ebay.

You're in MN, so use http://geo.craigslist.org/iso/us/mn

If you want to search ALL of craigslist, use
http://www.searchallcraigs.com/

I've used it many times with good results.
The first question I ask is will they ship.
Most folks don't or won't.
But it doesn't hurt to ask first.

73 & GL
Greg, K3ANG
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2009, 12:07:50 AM »

If you look hard, you might be able to find a used 718 for around $400 or so.
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KD5RGJ
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 07:20:12 AM »

I think a Kenwood Ts 120 or TS 130 is great...no bells/whistles...built like a tank...these radios have BIG knobs and switches...not tiny buttons to push.
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2009, 05:05:54 PM »

The 718 is a nice little radio, but you'd better put a couple of those expensive Icom filters in it or you will be very disappointed.  

If you could figure out a way to spend 400-450 you would be a lot better off.  Is there a Ham Club in your city/town?  I would suggest maybe something like a Ten Tec Corsair II or maybe an Omni D.  They are solid state but many see them as odd birds.  It's an American company and they will work on any radio they ever made.  Do you live anywhere near a large Hamfest?  You would save on shipping that way.
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WA2LUF
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2009, 08:44:24 AM »

another older rig i would consider would be an icom IC- 751A...stay away from the 751, the A model was much inproved in my opinion. I have seen them for sale with the internal power supply
73 Ron
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K7LA
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 04:42:36 PM »

Don't overlook the Kenwood TS440-AT.  There are quite a few out there and are easy to work on.  I've got one sitting in my shack that was picked up at a silent key estate for $300, complete with filters. Best of luck in your search!
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W4FID
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Posts: 133




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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2009, 06:34:48 AM »

TenTec rigs from aout 20 years ago are in your price range and are great. I got a complete Argosy -- 50 watts and analog -- but included matching power supply, CW filter, xtal calibrator, and matching TenTec keyer for that range and it's a great station. Omni Ds or Tritons are also very good rigs. An IC-730 or Kenwood TS-130 or 140 will also do well for that kind of money.

HOWEVER -- accept that none of the rigs in that range or vntage will have much -- probably no -- support from the manufacturer. Realize that failure of a pripority part will mean the rig is dead. Many parts are obsolete and the manufacturers don't even look at their own older stuff. SO BE SURE IT'S WORKING when you buy it and know that you're taking a gamble. I've heard that even the FT-100 -- which isn't all that old -- has obsolete finals that can't be found.

Buy the most popular rig in the best shape you can find for the price you can afford to gamble. If necessary power it off a battery till you can afford a power supply. A battery on a couple folded plastic bags under the desk is an option. Charge it off a cheap charger when you're not operating. Use 100% battery when you do operate. Cheap chargers don't mix well with solid state electronics -- so either charge the battery or use the battery but not both at the same time.
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