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Author Topic: HF/VHF/UHF radio vs HF/6 radio and VHF/UHF  (Read 7162 times)
OLDWORLDER
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« on: May 19, 2011, 11:10:38 AM »

I am gearing up to take my Generals exam this weekend.  I am doing well on the practice tests I have passed 73/75 test taken. If I pass this weekend I am going to start looking for a new or used radio that has access to HF frequencies.  I haven't been around many transcievers as of yet and I was wondering should I purchace a radio that is an HF/VHF/UHF all mode or should I just buy a HF/6 radio as I already have a VHF/UHF radio.  And please could you compair the general performance of a HF/VHF/UHF all mode to a HF/6 all mode.

Thanks and 73's,

Ki4shr
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 11:32:32 AM »

For mobile work, the HF+VHF+UHF "little" rigs have a lot of functionality and are really handy, albeit small and menu-laden.  Once you get the menus figured out and memories for VHF-UHF FM programmed, it's easier.

But if this is for home station work and you already have VHF FM equipment, and no real interest in VHF-UHF "weak signal" (mostly SSB and CW) work, the HF or HF+6 rigs can be larger, heavier, more feature-rich and easier to use than the little "do it all" mobile-sized rigs.

I'd recommend you visit a store that sells this stuff, or visit some friends or local ham acquaintances who have various rigs, and try some things out.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 04:35:59 PM »

Some swear by them but myself I would rather have a little better performance and features (like built in tuner) and a HF thru 6m rig and a separate rig for VHF/UHF FM. While this may not be a muiltmode solution for VHF/UHF there is very little mobile activity on anything other than FM. Also, with separate rigs you can VHF/UHF rig scanning or playing in background while talking on HF rig.
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K9KJM
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 11:34:28 PM »

The very best "Do it all" bang for the buck radio on the market today is the Kenwood TS 2000.

Which is actually TWO radios in one box.  You can monitor VHF/UHF While working HF, Cross band repeat, etc with one.

The little DC to daylight radios are not capable of that. They are ONE band at a time only. Plus as already pointed out,
They are more "menu" driven than radios with knobs and switches..........

To me, The deciding factor is if you are to be mobil in a cramped space, Or a base station.  
If mobil, Go for one of the little boxes, Like the Icom IC706 series, etc.

If base station, Get a Kenwood TS 2000. Now selling good used in the 900 dollar range, Brand new for less than 1500 bucks.

A high performance HF/6 meter only radio at a good price is a good used Icom IC 756PRO series radio. (PRO, PRO II, PRO III)  Starting good used in the 900 dollar range, On up.   
The advice to try a few radios out is a good one.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 11:38:02 PM by K9KJM » Logged
K9GTJ
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 08:03:22 AM »

Unless you want to work SSB/CW on VHF/UHF, I suggest finding picking up a good used HF (or HF+6) rig.  You can find a good supply of older models that are still solid state and can be had for $350 to $500 at larger hamfests.
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OLDWORLDER
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 10:14:20 AM »

I passed my General yesterday so no the hunt is on.
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K5DE
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 05:28:29 PM »

I passed my General yesterday so no the hunt is on.

Congratulations on your General ticket -- good luck with the hunt.

Rick
K5DE
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 06:52:18 PM »

The very best "Do it all" bang for the buck radio on the market today is the Kenwood TS 2000

While I have used Kenwood radios for close to 25 years I would not give it a best bang for buck. While it was kinda cutting edge in concept 12 years ago it is well behind power curve compared to other DSP radios of similar coverage.
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K9MHZ
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 11:26:38 AM »

Agree.  With no $$ budget given by the discussion author, I'd seriously look at the Kenwood TS-590S, Yaesu FT-450D, or the Icom IC-7410.  They'll only get you up to 6 meters, but all three are very fine, modern rigs. 

The Icom IC-718, Kenwood TS-2000, etc are all good radios, but they've run their course in their life cycle.
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KD5FHW
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 04:26:32 AM »

The very best "Do it all" bang for the buck radio on the market today is the Kenwood TS 2000

While I have used Kenwood radios for close to 25 years I would not give it a best bang for buck. While it was kinda cutting edge in concept 12 years ago it is well behind power curve compared to other DSP radios of similar coverage.

Agree.  With no $$ budget given by the discussion author, I'd seriously look at the Kenwood TS-590S, Yaesu FT-450D, or the Icom IC-7410.  They'll only get you up to 6 meters, but all three are very fine, modern rigs. 

The Icom IC-718, Kenwood TS-2000, etc are all good radios, but they've run their course in their life cycle.

How is it behind the curve or EOL? There's no other radio like it on the market and it still performs well. The closest thing was the older Yaesu FT-847 and now Icom has the $3,700 IC-9100 that probably has a marginally better receive and DSP and looks just as old as the TS-2000 and doesn't crossband repeat.

I love my "ugly", "oudated" little TS-2000. It's not the perfect radio, the perfect radio doesn't exist. Receive could be better, but it's the best radio for my limited space and budget, under $1,500 brand new and I cover all modes on all bands except 220MHz, 900MHz and microwave. I fully recommend it.

If you don't care about VHF/UHF SSB or CW and want a great HF-only value I'd recommend the Yaesu FT-950.
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K6JPA
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 10:36:40 AM »

I personally have a dedicated HF / 6M for everyday use (in my case an IC-7800, but whatever you personally prefer), and have a TS-2000 for my VHF / UHF use.   This way, the TS-2000  acts as a nice backup HF rig as well.  If your budget permits, I find having separate radios with my combination to be a good setup.

If you can only purchase a single radio, I'd suggest the TS-2000 as a stand alone.  Although not the most recent design, you still get a good bang for the buck with it.
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K6AER
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 11:59:01 AM »

I would agree with the other users that the TS-2000 is a great do everything rig that can be had for under $800 used. My primary HF radio is a IC-7600 but the shack in the box is a keeper. I use it on VHF/UHF mostly but I am constantly surprised at how well it does on HF.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 01:44:14 AM »

In my experience, all 160-70cm "shack in a box" radios are deaf on either HF or 2/70 or all bands compared to dedicated HF/6 and dual band sets.
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