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Author Topic: Icom IC-7000 or Kenwood TS-480HX (SAT) for a new HAM  (Read 26265 times)
W8JX
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2011, 03:29:07 PM »


As far as power supply, I don't find that to be $$ question, I converted my ATX PC power supply to a desk power supply with 12V at 25A , my cost was a few bucks for banana plugs, switch etc...
I can buy one at 750W and make the same thing that will give me 50-60amps for $60-70 . I don't see an issue here. It's a clean power too with protection built in. On top of it I get -12V , +5V and -5V as well.

Curious solution but you really want 13.8v not 12v and computer power supplies tend to sag into upper 11v range under load too. Nice for hobby bench power supply but for radio I would get a commercial linear or switching supply.
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KJ6PVR
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2011, 03:49:27 PM »


Curious solution but you really want 13.8v not 12v and computer power supplies tend to sag into upper 11v range under load too. Nice for hobby bench power supply but for radio I would get a commercial linear or switching supply.

I'll have to test it under load for voltage, good point. Another option would be running it from my off grid solar backup, 216 Ah 12V battery, 13.7V fully charged.
But all radio specs I see so far show 13.8V (+-15%) , seems like 12V if it doesn't drop below should be fine. I shouldn't hurt anything at least testing it I think.
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W8JX
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2011, 04:58:20 PM »

But all radio specs I see so far show 13.8V (+-15%) , seems like 12V if it doesn't drop below should be fine. I shouldn't hurt anything at least testing it I think.

Receiver will function fine (main circuit usually run on a lower regulated voltage for stability under voltage changes) but some radios are voltage sensitive on transmitter output (which generally runs on line voltage) and will not develop full rated output on 12 volts. Cooling fan will be effected on some radios too.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2011, 07:26:03 AM »

Quote from: KJ6PVR

Thanks, one more review to read, the more the better. If you look past VHF, do you see it as a pretty good HF starter radio?

In my opinion, the 480 is better for HF and as a beginner radio. I swapped a TS480 for an Icom 7000. I found it deaf on HF compared to the TS480, the TX audio isn't as good, the TS480 is easier to use (no menu diving to change commonly used things such as power, mic gain, agc) and you can see the screen even with the sun shining directly onto it - the Icom 7000 screen becomes hard to read when its bright out, even though the head unit is in a car shaded from the sun. The AGC is also damned annoying on the Icom 7000 - I get like an electrical "tick" that will ping the AGC and then have a slow delay even on medium setting and I have to put the NB on to eliminate it but with the TS480 it is non-existent. The TS480 will also put out more power on 12V when you've turned the engine off - the Icom 7000 drops to 50W and requires the car running or an additional purchase of a battery voltage booster to maintain 100W with the engine off. Oh and if you want to have the head unit seperate from the body, Icom will charge you £70 for the privilege in the UK.

The Icom 7000 is probably the best of the "mobile shack in a box" radios but for HF only the TS480 wins hands down.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 11:13:18 AM by M6GOM » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 08:31:19 AM »

Quote from: KJ6PVR

Thanks, one more review to read, the more the better. If you look past VHF, do you see it as a pretty good HF starter radio?

In my opinion, the 480 is better for HF and as a beginner radio. I swapped a TS480 for an Icom 7000. I found it deaf on HF compared to the TS480, the TX audio isn't as good, the TS480 is easier to use (no menu diving to change commonly used things such as power, mic gain, agc) and you can see the screen even with the sun shining directly onto it - the Icom 7000 screen becomes hard to read when its bright out, even though the head unit is in a car shaded from the sun. The AGC is also damned annoying on the Icom 7000 - I get like an electrical "tick" that will ping the AGC and then have a slow delay even on medium setting and I have to put the NB on to eliminate it but with the TS480 it is non-existent. The TS480 will also put out more power on 12V when you've turned the engine off - the Icom 7000 drops to 50W and requires the car running or an additional purchase of a battery voltage booster to maintain 100W with the engine off. Oh and if you want to have the head unit seperate from the body, Icom will charge you £70 for the privilege in the UK.

The Icom 7000 is probably the best of the "mobile shack in a box" radios but for HF only the TS480 wins hands down.

Deaf, tic etc......so not true!

I have had both side by side both in shack and at home. Many have already mentioned what I would've but if you don't care about 200 watts ,or built in tuner than the IC-7000 is the rig of choice. I wanted a well rounded great transceiver with looks to boot but practical and found it in the IC-7000.

I own a Toyota Prius which is a hybrid gas electric and in there are high voltages that create heavy RFI and EMI interferences in every mobile transceiver. Having both rigs and comparing NR and NB the IC-7000 wins hands down. Of course I went through rigorous grounding efforts to combat these issues with some EMI and RFI left over. Even still the Kenwood TS-480 still couldnt combat the noise like the IC-7K could.

I'll admit the receiver on 2m and 70cm wasn't good but after going into the IC-7000's hidden menu I was able to adjust and increase the receiver making it hotter and was very happy with it after. You of course can do this as well with HF.

The AV output jack for a 7" color monitor is a great addition. An audio mod from AB5N is also a must and awesome improvement. Just look at all the reviews but if you just adjust the transmit audio out of box you should be ok.

SSB mic level - 100
SSB TX LEVEL wide L - 100
"                       " W - 2900

"                  mid" L -  200
"                         H -  2900

                   nar   L - 300
                          H - 2900 or 2700

After the mic mod all transmit EQ adjustments stay the same except mic gain levels.

Small package with appealing cosmetic appearance with practical and useful features like band scope, SWR scope, multi NR/NB features and so much more is incredible. It's not at all difficult to use. Just an excuse for the lazy and maybe not so sharp folks. I run through the menus as quick as using any older ICOM 735 or 781 with features right on face of rig.

The TS-480 is a competitive radio no doubt and agree with what many have said but in the end only one could be used in my Hybrid car. The IC-7K!

For home use the built in tuner and 200 watts goes out the window. In time you will eventually buy an amp and high power tuner for it.

Good luck with your choice!

73!

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KJ6PVR
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2011, 01:44:04 PM »

Oh boy oh boy...
One more pro IC-7000 opinion.  I found out that Kenwood $250 rebate on TS-480 lasts another 2 months, so I still have some time to decide. From the financial point of view, looks like TS-480SAT would be a better candidate. For under $1000 I can have a very good HF starter radio with antenna tuner and still money left to buy a decent antenna. I'll have to think of something suitable for a limited townhouse conditions, I have a balcony and a small patio though. I was thinking of a Buddipole, http://www.buddipole.com/. With this setup I could be in the same price range as IC-7000 without an antenna and tuner. But I wouldn't have any VHF/UHF in it.
Maybe small VHF/UHF amplifier for my handheld ( like Mirage BD-35) or a used mobile radio later on might solve that. I really do want to get more power for 2m and 70cm.

But I'm still open to Icom as well. The bad thing is that even if I go to HRO or other places and look at them both, with my experience I won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2011, 02:10:26 PM »

But I wouldn't have any VHF/UHF in it.
Maybe small VHF/UHF amplifier for my handheld ( like Mirage BD-35) or a used mobile radio later on might solve that. I really do want to get more power for 2m and 70cm.

But I'm still open to Icom as well.

To muddy the waters even further, the 7000 does multi-mode on 2m and 70cm. 2m SSB can be a popular mode in some parts of the country and when the band opens......

I own a Icom 7000 as a backup/vacation radio. I have owned it for 3 years. I replaced a FT-897d with it. The 7000 is a much better radio than the Yaesu.

The 7000 also has a built-in RTTY Reader which can be interesting if you have never experienced the RTTY mode.

The AGC in the Icom could be better especially for mobile use.. All 100 watt radios this size run hot. So what? The Icom is hardly deaf on HF. It has IF DSP which gives it pretty good filtering for the $$. The Kenwood 480 has AF DSP which is not as good as IF DSP.

I had the mic mod done, the audio is as good as any $1000 radio.

I never looked at the Kenwood 480, I hate the fact that the head does not attach to the radio. The Icom 7000 head is detachable OR you can leave the head on the radio body.

Personally I like Kenwoods and own a TS-590s. Yes the TS-590s is a much better radio than the 7000.

Since you live in a townhouse I would spend a little more and get the TS-590s. It is a vastly superior radio to either the 480 or 7000. You are going to be antenna challenged and need the best RX you can afford. The TS-590s is $400 more than a 7000 but has a antenna tuner and many other bells and whistles the other 2 radios do not.

My advice - Flip a coin......  Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 02:30:11 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
KJ6PVR
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2011, 02:27:42 PM »


The AGC in the Icom could be better especially for mobile use.. All 100 watt radios this size run hot. So what?


Hello, thanks for input, what do you mean by "HOT" ? I keep reading it in some reviews. How bad is it?  Is it an issue? Could it be an issue in a hot car or a room?
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2011, 02:39:29 PM »


Hello, thanks for input, what do you mean by "HOT" ? I keep reading it in some reviews. How bad is it?  Is it an issue? Could it be an issue in a hot car or a room?

So many hams complained about the heat on the Icom 706's that Icom put a Temperature Meter in the 7000. The engineers know what the temp ratings are for the components and design the cooling system to accommodate. I have run mine on 10 mtr FM for long periods and yes it gets hot. So what? The radio has never failed. Many hams want to make it an issue. It is only a issue if your radio fails. I owned a 706mkIIg for many years and it ran hot. So what, it never failed.

It is a small radio. It runs 100watts all modes. It is going to get hot. So What?

Stan K9IUQ             
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M6GOM
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2011, 04:49:04 PM »


The AGC in the Icom could be better especially for mobile use.. All 100 watt radios this size run hot. So what?


Hello, thanks for input, what do you mean by "HOT" ? I keep reading it in some reviews. How bad is it?  Is it an issue? Could it be an issue in a hot car or a room?

I have an older one which is basically stock. It is mounted in the trunk of my car on one side on its side with nothing within 3" of the front, back or sides and nothing over the lid. On a 25C sunny day it operated in RX mode for 4hrs constantly (fan only comes on in TX) and the temperature gauge only got to half way. I've operated it on 32C days for a couple of hours and its not got above 1/3.

My TS480 ran a lot cooler but then again, it is a lot bigger with larger heatsinks however in my opinion, the overheating issue of the Icom 7000 is usually self inflicted by the owners stupid decisions on installation locations. I've seen photos of them installed in center console storage cupboards barely bigger than the radio. Where is the heat supposed to go? This idiot puts his radio in the small tray that goes under the seat!!!

http://www.w5nig.com/blogpics/coax/rig1.jpg
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 04:56:06 PM by M6GOM » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2011, 05:58:56 PM »


The AGC in the Icom could be better especially for mobile use.. All 100 watt radios this size run hot. So what?


Hello, thanks for input, what do you mean by "HOT" ? I keep reading it in some reviews. How bad is it?  Is it an issue? Could it be an issue in a hot car or a room?

I have an older one which is basically stock. It is mounted in the trunk of my car on one side on its side with nothing within 3" of the front, back or sides and nothing over the lid. On a 25C sunny day it operated in RX mode for 4hrs constantly (fan only comes on in TX) and the temperature gauge only got to half way. I've operated it on 32C days for a couple of hours and its not got above 1/3.

My TS480 ran a lot cooler but then again, it is a lot bigger with larger heatsinks however in my opinion, the overheating issue of the Icom 7000 is usually self inflicted by the owners stupid decisions on installation locations. I've seen photos of them installed in center console storage cupboards barely bigger than the radio. Where is the heat supposed to go? This idiot puts his radio in the small tray that goes under the seat!!!

http://www.w5nig.com/blogpics/coax/rig1.jpg

Agreed!

I've owned two IC-7000's and a IC-706MK2G and have never had either one of them burn out. The IC-7K does run hotter than the IC-706 but have used them in field, mobile and base operations in all tempetures with no problem.

Just don't stack other crap on it or put it in a tray under your seat.
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W8JX
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2011, 06:07:13 PM »

The AGC in the Icom could be better especially for mobile use.. All 100 watt radios this size run hot. So what? The Icom is hardly deaf on HF. It has IF DSP which gives it pretty good filtering for the $$. The Kenwood 480 has AF DSP which is not as good as IF DSP.

IF DSP does not mean superior performance by default. It depends a lot of the quality and design of implementation. If done poorly and on the cheap it could easily be outperformed by a good modern rig with a good front end, maybe so optional rock filters and decent AF DSP. You are not going to get world class IF DSP for 1000 bucks. And as far as running hot? Why you you want a 100 watt rig that get warms easily in a base setup? If it get hot in SSB it will get toasty in digi modes real quick at much more than QRP levels

I had the mic mod done, the audio is as good as any $1000 radio.

Not a good sign when a rig needs a mic mod to sound better.....

I never looked at the Kenwood 480, I hate the fact that the head does not attach to the radio. The Icom 7000 head is detachable OR you can leave the head on the radio body.

Again there is a MB-480 bracket/carry case that solves this and it ships with radio overseas but is about a 45 buck option in states.

Since you live in a townhouse I would spend a little more and get the TS-590s. It is a vastly superior radio to either the 480 or 7000.

Well by you own admission the IF DSP implementation on 590 is much better than that of more dated 7000 which shows that just having IF DSP does not mean it will work as good as other IF DSP radios. (the 7000 was designed in 2005 and 590 in 2010 and like computers a lot has changed in IF DSP in 5 years and more changes to come while analog IF's, Rock filters and AF DSP is pretty mature now) But, do not be so quick to say a 590 is vastly superior to a 480 because it is not. It is evolutionary not revolutionary over 480. Myself I never had the slightest desire to own/buy a 480 until I got a chance to play with one on a bench for a while and I was totally impressed with the quality/cleaness of the receiver. I have owned one for 2 years now and it is a excellent radio and cannot be matched or exceeded in its price range. Kenwood could have cut corners and costs to include 2m and 440 in one rig but that would have compromise packaging and performance to sell in same general price range but they choose wisely to focus and excellent HF and 6 meter performance and leave out 2m and 440.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 06:09:22 PM by W8JX » Logged

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K9IUQ
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« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2011, 07:06:57 PM »

It is evolutionary not revolutionary over 480.

Not true. The Kenwood TS-590s is a completely different design than the 480. Can you say down conversion? See Sherwoods Rx Tests at http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

Check out where the TS-480, Icom 7000 and the TS-590 are rated. Ultimately tho, just because a radio has a good rating at Sherwoods does not mean it will be a good radio for you. We all have to make radio decisions on our own personal needs. Unfortunately most hams think the best radio in the world is the one they own, and many feel the need to defend their radio against any criticism.

I have never owned a Kenwood 480 so I can not make a direct comparison against a Icom 7000. Certainly the TS-590s is a much better radio than either and holds its own against much more $$ radios.

Is the 7000 a good radio? It depends what you want/need in a radio.

Stan K9IUQ

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W8JX
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« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2011, 08:10:46 PM »

It is evolutionary not revolutionary over 480.

Not true. The Kenwood TS-590s is a completely different design than the 480. Can you say down conversion? See Sherwoods Rx Tests at http://www.sherweng.com/table.html


I am well aware of 590's design (and know about new Kenwood 950 class rig due out in fall too) but until you take a spin with a 480 and learn to use it you will not understand what I mean. 590 has good receiver but 480 is not far behind it in overall performance  and has a very clean receiver. I have optional CW and SSB filters in mine and skirts are much sharper than older generation rigs with xtal filters and it can cut through QRM really well. 480 is all new design that carried nothing forward for older kenwood rigs. It is the roofing filters that help 590 a lot and why 7000 pales next to it. 480 does not have roofing filters but supports optional tight modern design xtal filters in IF.
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K0BG
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« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2011, 08:23:06 AM »

In a mobile scenario, the limiting factor isn't the noise floor of the receiver in question, although close-in signal definition is an important attribute. The real limiting factor is the mobile environment itself. Not only do you have to fight atmospheric noise, you have to fight man made noise as well. Site a 480 beside a 7000 in a typical mobile, and you can't tell the difference. After all, if the lowest strength signal you can decipher is -90 dB, who cares if the noise floor is another 30 dB down!
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