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Author Topic: Passed General, final radio equipment decision.  (Read 4625 times)
W8JX
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Posts: 5489




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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2011, 04:39:55 PM »


Personally, I'd go for a K3... get the basics and build it up as time & the pocketbook allows.

Big price jump over 480 and not that much difference in SSB as from what I have heard the K3's forte is CW. Plus with DSP radio now rapidly evolving why spend more fir K3 and then more yet top add on to it when it will likely be outdated in a few years. Unlike analog/AF DSP hybrid rigs which are mature and proven, full DSP radios are still evolving. Kinda like buying a 2000 grand laptop today whose technology will be worth only 500 in less than 2 years. 
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KC8IUR
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 07:46:36 AM »

I'm still totally new to actually operating on HF. I have a strong background in electronics, and repair thereof. However, when i've had to fix communication receivers, it was just to make them work according to the technical manual. So when an operator would say "my radio isn't letting me do this", I could fix it without fully understanding how it impacted his ability to operate the radio.

I'm likening IF DSP to working with photos shot in the RAW format. You're able to affect the photo as if the camera was doing the work as it captured the image. You can make major changes to things like ISO levels and white balance, whereas with a silver halide process, you can only adjust development in a limited fashion. So when IF DSP is recommended, I can see that it is probably a lot better, but not really necessary. I'm not ever going back to using film, but right now I don't have any practical experience between AF and IF DSP.
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W8JX
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 09:08:06 AM »

You will not be disappointed with 480 by any means based on your comments as it is a good basic analog radio with AF DSP to use if you choose to (you do not have too to use radio) I would suggest 480SAT though because built in tuner is very nice to have at times.
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W5LZ
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2011, 06:17:09 AM »

First, I've never seen a "final" radio decision!  There will always be a 'good' reason to swap for a 'better' radio, doesn't matter who you are or what it is.   Grin
Having said that, I have a TS-480SAT that I'm happy with.  It does what almost any radio in the same 'class' will do, and from using it both 'fixed' and mobile, that tuner really comes in handy, where an 'extra' 100 watts won't. 
I also have a screwdriver antenna and can say it's much more convenient that stopping to change antenna 'taps'.  It's also more expensive.  You have to decide if one is worth it or not.  Not using one of those 'automatic' thingys with that screwdriver isn't all that 'bad', really!  Most of them are easy to tune without them.  I just don't feel they are worth the expense (I ain't that lazy...yet).  And one word about mounting a screwdriver antenna, think 'large'.  If you think a 'typical' antenna mount will work just fine, you may have a rude awakening too!  (Who'da thought an antenna could break a tool box loose from a truck bed??  Ugh, I mean besides me?)
Mounting the antenna in the center of the truck bed means you loose the use of that bed.  Not always the most practical place.  There will be some 'directionality' with mounting the antenna somewhere else, but it won't make -that- much difference really.
And finally, who says you can't change something later to make it 'better'?
Have fun.
Paul / W5LZ

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KC8IUR
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2011, 06:43:07 AM »

Yeah, after reading this thread as well, i'm swinging towards the SAT.

I've seen some of the overbuilt mounts people are using for Scorpions. I've got a friend who welds blast furnaces and heat treat furnaces for a living. He's a pretty skilled fabricator, has the tools and access to raw metal materials. Other than welding and brazing, i've got any tools necessary at my house.

Right now i'm thinking a design something like a miniaturized "5th wheel" or "gooseneck" hitch. Those hitches bolt through the bed into the frame itself. A particularly trick gooseneck hitch I saw actually sat underneath the bed, directly on the frame. You remove the bed, lay the hitch on the frame, cut a hole through the bottom of the bed and then bolt the bed back on, sandwiching the hitch. This particular one had a ball you could remove, flip and reinstall for a completely flat bed. Something like this http://www.popuphitch.com/flipover.htm That would be pretty involved, but I could do something similar. An H or double-H on top of the bed that used the main bed bolts would be robust enough.

I've thought about losing use of the bed, and I have a solution for that. When camping, I can pack most of the stuff around the antenna. Or, if I have larger items, if using a Scorpion, the antenna could be on a quick disconnect. That still leaves a pin sticking up, so if I want to retain the ability to carry plywood or sheet rock (I do), i'll have to make the mount easy-ish to unbolt entirely.

I know there's no final radio purchase, technology will forever march onwards. I try to define uses for my purchases before I buy something. Otherwise i'd be destitute with a garage full of toys.
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