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Author Topic: All Band Transceiver vs. Separate HF & VHF  (Read 8051 times)
W7HDW
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Posts: 34




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« on: December 18, 2010, 10:15:34 AM »

I have been researching the latest radios for my new Ham shack and want HF and VHF capability.

What are the pros and cons of the all mode transceivers covering HF and VHF/UHF bands vs. a separate HF/6M and VHF/UHF transceiver?

Thanks,

Harlen
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KC8AHN
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Posts: 108




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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2010, 10:18:24 AM »

Pros:
only one radio
only one power supply
good for a small shack

cons:
if radio breaks you are out of service totally
you can only listen to one band at a time (think severe weather listening to skywarn while operating HF)

There are a lot more of both, but those came off the top of my head.
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2010, 10:46:01 AM »

I have been researching the latest radios for my new Ham shack and want HF and VHF capability.

What are the pros and cons of the all mode transceivers covering HF and VHF/UHF bands vs. a separate HF/6M and VHF/UHF transceiver?

Thanks,

Harlen


I have gone through this one radio all bands phase and to be honest I did not like it.

Reason being I like to do a lot of listening on HF. I also like to be able to monitor 146.520 because a good friend of mine often chat there.

Could not do both. So I ended up buying a dual band mobile for the shack.

No need for two power supplies as along as the one you have is 30 amps. You can get away with a 20 amp supply because you will not be talking on both rigs at once. My Yaesu FT-950 draws 8 amps for 50 watts FM output. On receive it draws 2 amps.

I have an Icom 7000, it also draws 8 amps for 50 watts output.

So a 20 amp supply will give you enough room to monitor the HF bands with a separate HF rig and talk on a 2 Meter mobile at 50 watts. I have done it many times in the past.

Another con is the receive on the VHF/UHF Bands when they are packed into a HF rig. I find the receive on the Icom 7000 on the VHF/UHF side of the radio to be a lot weaker than a normal dual band radio. If you want to work simplex FM you might think about that.

One pro side is, you have 2 meters and 440 SSB. However with that you need horizontal beams and they need to be up high. Otherwise you will not be able to work too many stations. Plus you really need more than 50 watts for successful transmitting on 2 meter SSB. Sure you can work stations with 50 watts and a beam at 25 feet. I have done that. But you won't work too many!

I think I have a nice combination now. The FT-950 for HF and the Icom 7000 for 6 meters and VHF/UHF. For all I use it for on any of those bands it serves the purpose. If I want to operate portable I have the rig to do that with too.

I use two separate PS, mainly because I have them here.

So now you have my opinion  Smiley

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N4HRA
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 11:56:21 AM »

I have been using a Kenwood TS2000 for several years.
great all around rig. All mode, All band 160 - 6 Meter, 2 Meter 100 Watts out, 440 50 Watts out, optional 23 cm 5 watts
the radio will also do cross band repeat,
and can listen to both HF and VHF/UHF at the same time

always get good audio reports with the stock mike.

Just my 2 cents
 
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N6AJR
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2010, 01:37:32 PM »

I have several of each type.  Herre Is my thoughts and why.  If I only had 1 radio it would probably be the TS 2000. The reason being that it is all mode all band and lets me get  on the air on uhf, vhf and hf.  It has a fair reciever and modest abilitys performance wise, but it is easy to operate and  is big enough for a nice shack rig.

But I can have as many radios as I want so I use the orion for HF, ( best recieve ability and 2 built in recievers, ) for Day to day HF and Contesting and DX. I use the FT990 as a second person radio for contesting because it has a good reciever, is easy to operate and only around $1200 used if someone accidently breaks it. The ft 847 in the truck is a nice big radio I can use and there is lots of room for it in the  truck. It also has a large flat top which is great for holding my lunch when eating in the pickup.  the pegasus and the flex 1500 are mostly fun to play with and both need a computer to operate. The ft 857 is a small radio and fits in the car. not much room there. SO I use a radio for what I find is  its best use, and most fun.

I use my Orion for contesting and dxing and most of my HF use.  I also have a TS 2000 and most of the time I have that set on a local simplex frequency (147.555 and a local repeater.  This is where my local friends can contact me if I am around. I also use it for uhf and vhf contests and as a " monitor" for the other radios to be sure I sound good.

I also have a 746 pro in the shack and it is usually used for my rag chews, and also some 2m ssb  now and then.

In the car I have a Yaesu ft 857d, and most of the time I use it for 2m and 440 mhz stuff while driving. I usually only work HF mobile when I am on a long trip.

I have an FT 847 in the truck which is very similar to a TS2000 but does not have an autotuner or VOX.  Again I mostly use it for 2m/440  mobile and only use HF on long trips.

 I also have in the shack an FT 990 ( HF only) and it is usually used by a second Ham if we are working as a multi op station.

In the shack is also a pegasus, which I don't use very often  but it is also HF only so thats where I use it when its on.

All f my radios in the shack have their own amps  for HF and the TS 2000 also has 2m/440 and 6m amps attached  for those contests bands.

I also have several seperate 2m/440 radios in the shack along with a 6 m radio and a 220mhz radio that are always on listening for openings.

Bottom line is that I use them both.  the orion is my best HF rig followed in order by the FT 990, 746 pro, ts2000, ft 847,  ft 857, Flex 1500,  pegasus, and then all the 6 m and up radios in the shack.

so buy what you want first then add to the shack later.
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2528




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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 04:11:14 PM »

I have a HF rig with dual receiv and some narrow filters for CW and SSB.  The dual receive is for when a DX station operates split.  The narrow filters are to help me find where the DX is listening.  They also come in handy when there is a contest.  The rig has FM--I never use FM.  The rig has a general coverage receiver--I never use the general coverage receiver.  I had a 2 meter mobile rig; after a few months I sold it.  COmpared to HF. it was boring.  I bought a 2 meter HT.  It was fun for a while but I got board with 2 meters.  It is still sitting in a closet gather dust.

I've never had a 6 meter rig.  Since there are so many rigs in use now that cover 6 meters, I will probably reconsider getting on 6 meters once 10 meters is open again, 24 hours a day.

There are a lot of exciting things to do on VHF and UHF.  But exploring them, for me, means less time doing other things I enjoy; plus it involves spending $$$$.  That means giving up something that I currently enjoy.

The way the sunspots are dribbling out, I'm not expecting 10 meters to be Humming BIG time again for 4 or 5 years.  WHo knows?  Maybe the sunspot cycle won't produce conditions for long DX Qs on 6 meters?

This year, I'm installing a 40 meter monobander, replacing the coax while I'm at it, and breaking up the guy wires.  I'm breaking up the guy wires so that next Fall I can install either a 30 meter or 40 meter 4 square on my tower.

73
Bob
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N0AZZ
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Posts: 241




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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2010, 04:54:06 PM »

2 separate radios will serve the purpose better but if you need a VHF all mode try the IC-7000 better receiver and filtering than the TS-2000.
I use the 7000 for a 2m all mode for SSB.digital and a little EME and a backup HF radio.
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AI8P
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Posts: 118




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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2010, 05:49:32 PM »

I had a recent experience with a 2Meter RF survey where some of my people were receiving on dual band VHF/UFH mobiles, and 1 gentleman was receiving on a TS2000.   The TS2000 was significantly poorer reception on 2M.

I think there are some known issues with VHF reception on the TS2000 so I wouldn't recommend it unless you only need to hit nearby repeaters.   

It should not be surprising that dedicated VHF/UHF radios give better performance on their bands.  The "shack in a box" radios always involve certain compromises.

AI8P
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K9KJM
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Posts: 2416




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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2010, 09:43:05 PM »

Ever hear the old saying "Jack of all trades and master of none"?

It is true.

A good choice for different radios for each band could be something like a good used Icom IC756PRO (Or even better the PROII or PROIII) Plus something like an Icom IC910 for VHF/UHF

HOWEVER, All that being said, The Kenwood TS2000 DOES do a great job on all the bands, PLUS the TS2000 is actually two radios in one box. You CAN monitor/scan VHF/UHF While working HF, PLUS it can cross band repeat between the bands!  Really a neat feature.

(The TS 2000 is designed to operate with the VHF preamp ON. Those who complain about its receive apparently never read the owners manual.)  I have put the TS 2000 side by side against the Icom IC910 and the Icom IC756PRO.  The TS2000 comes so close to the same performance as the IC910 I SOLD my IC910!

My advice, UNLESS you are going into something really specialized like contesting, Just get a TS 2000 Kenwood. Now selling good used in the 900 to 1100 dollar range, Brand new for less than 1500 bucks.

Having different radios on each band that will outperform the TS2000 will end up  costing you twice the cost of the TS2000...
While you can save a few bucks getting one of the little mobil radios like an IC706 etc. Those are NOT two radios in the same box like a TS2000 and cannot listen to both VHF and HF at the same time like the TS2K Nor can they cross band repeat.

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K6AER
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 06:57:12 PM »

The narrative of the TS-2000 being numb on 2 meters and 430 MHz is largely just a myth. Many new hams hear stations working DX stations they can't hear and don't realize other stations are running QRO and using beams where they are using simple antennas. This is not a receiver sensitivity problem but a station antenna issue.

I have tested about 6 TS-2000 radios over the years and each time the receive sensitivity is in the -131 to -135 dBm range. In addition, a lot of new hams are using 100 feet of poor coax and don't realize that a little VSWR can add up to 8 dB of loss in no time.

I use a 7600 for HF and the TS-2000 for VHF but I am constally amazed at how well it does on HF when used as a back up HF XCVR or as a spotting receiver. The radio is very well built and has out sold every other transceiver on the market by a large margin.

With so many hams looking for the Holy Grail in new equipment there are terrific bargins out there and the TS-2000. Yes I know the radio could use a face lift but it grows on you like like a faithful old dog.
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W7HDW
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 09:45:01 PM »

Thanks for all of the input. The IC-7000 was also recommended by two Hams from my local club. But, based on input here and elsewhere I have decided to get two radios. For the HF, I was considering the Yaesu FT-450 but it has been discontinued in favor of the FT-450D with some improvements and a $200 price increase. I also liked the more expensive FT-950D and since it is now only $300 more than the 450, I am going to splurge and get that. For VHF/UHF, I like the Yaesu FT-7900R. Reviews for both radios are very good here on eHam.

Harlen
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K9KJM
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2010, 10:28:07 PM »

The Yaesu series of dual band VHF/UHF radios ARE good working radios.  But be aware that they are FM only, NO SSB.......

Do consider the Yaesu FT 8800 if you are looking at such radios, The 8800 is actually two radios in the one box, So you can scan police fire etc While talking on a ham repeater, Plus they will cross band repeat, A really neat feature to have.
The Yaesu 7800/7900 is just one radio in the box, That cannot listen to two systems  at the same time or cross band repeat.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2010, 10:46:09 PM »

Quote
. I also liked the more expensive FT-950D and since it is now only $300 more than the 450, I am going to splurge and get that.

Good idea! <g>    I have an FT-450, and once in a while (always during contests) I mutter

. . . "I should have bought an FT-950! "

            Charles
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5830




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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 04:18:15 AM »

If you get one radio to do all bands, you sacrifice some performance on both the HF bands and the higher bands.  There is no getting away from that one fact.  If you have the room and the budget, and the XYL doesn't have any problems with it, you're better off with at least two radios, one each for HF (plus 6 meters, if you so choose) and another for VHF/UHF work.

If, on the other hand, selectivity and performance is a secondary concern and the primary is keeping your 'shack' down to a small space, (or the XYL wears the pants and puts her foot down) the choice of a 'shack in a box' so you have all band coverage is there for you to have.

It comes down to personal preference--one way or another!
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N4KZ
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Posts: 592




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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 06:40:16 AM »

I agree with K6AER that the TS-2000 not only receives well on VHF but performs better on HF than many think. I've found that on HF CW the TS-2000 does as well or better than my Icom Pro 3. I can consistently dig out very weak CW signals better on the Kenwood than the Pro 3. And the Pro 3 is no slouch of a rig either. It's top-notch but the TS-2000 has great filtering and when I hit NR2, very weak CW signals just pop up out of the noise. But one MUST use the preamp when operating on VHF/UHF on the TS-2000. Otherwise, receive results are disappointing.

73, N4KZ
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