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Author Topic: Icom IC-7000 or Kenwood TS-480HX (SAT) for a new HAM  (Read 24880 times)
W8JX
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« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2011, 09:45:42 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!

Very good point.  I never even use preamp in mobile usage unless stationary in a quiet area and engine is off and it is needed too. 
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KE7EOZ
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« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2011, 03:18:48 PM »

So seem I was
Asking the same
Question in a post before and
Nobody pay attention
Maybe here
They would so for
Mobile situation the 480hx and tm710 is a better combination than ic 7000 ?
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W8JX
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« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2011, 03:42:42 PM »

So seem I was
Asking the same
Question in a post before and
Nobody pay attention
Maybe here
They would so for
Mobile situation the 480hx and tm710 is a better combination than ic 7000 ?


No brainier, 200 watts vs 100, SAT/HX is easy to use and less menu dependent. On TM 710. I never could understand why anyone would want to use a HF rig for 2m and 440. With separate rigs you can do VHF/UHF FM in background at same time you are on HF. No so with 7000 and 710 is a dual bander and can listen to 2m and 440 at same time and other goodies. Yes 710 does not support SSB will 700 does but nearly all 2m and 440 work is FM and lot harder to find SSB contacts so supporting it is of questionable value.
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N2RRA
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« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2011, 04:12:06 PM »

It's all a matter of preference but you know what I've learned is a more effective way of finding the answers to some of these questions if feasible. In my case......buy each radio and compare! Smiley

I've purchased a Yaesu FT-950 and sat it side by side with a ICOM pro3. Same with each model 756 original on up to the 7600. Had the Kenwood TS-480 and compared the same with the IC-7000 and so on with many different pieces of gear.

If you ask 20 people your gonna almost get 20 different responses. You really need to just jump in the water and forget about the risk factor. In the end you pick the Kenwood TS-480 and find out for some reason you just don't like it.

Buy the Kenwood and either find someone with an ICOM 7000 or eventually buy both and do the comparisons yourself. It's the only way!!

73 and GL
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 04:13:45 PM by N2RRA » Logged
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1702




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« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2011, 06:29:35 PM »

If you ask 20 people your gonna almost get 20 different responses.

And unfortunately many hams here on eham almost always recommend and push the radio they own. They seem to have a need to justify their radio purchase.

Your advice was excellent. Believe no one especially biased radio owners. Forget eham reviews, they are next to useless. Try the radios out for yourself if at all possible.

The radio which is perfect for me may not be the radio for your needs..

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 06:34:17 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2011, 09:30:44 PM »


And unfortunately many hams here on eham almost always recommend and push the radio they own. They seem to have a need to justify their radio purchase.


Well maybe many call a spade a spade too. Some buy brands just for name. Personally if you are going to buy a radio, get a new one. That means is do not get a radio that has been recycled for last 10 or15 years and pay new price for a old design. Also if you want IF DSP, get as new a radio design as possible as even in 5 years a lot has changed with IF DSP.  You would not pay new price top dollar for a 5 or 10 year old computer design and why do same with a old IF DSP design radio?  BTW, some radios and brands are indeed more user friendly and less dependent on menus for common functions.
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KJ6PVR
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2011, 11:32:19 PM »

Well, I'd like to thank everyone involved in here giving advices. This thread was very helpful. I'm more and more leaning towards 2 units, one HF only and one VHF/UHF.  If more funds appear I might even go for Kenwood TS-590s. Looks like for the money I can't go wrong with it. Not really a mobile thing, but it will get me started and more...
I was limiting myself to those 2 radios, but eventually I'll have to spend more anyway, not even talking about experimenting with antennas etc etc...
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2011, 04:53:57 AM »


Personally if you are going to buy a radio, get a new one. That means is do not get a radio that has been recycled for last 10 or15 years and pay new price for a old design. Also if you want IF DSP, get as new a radio design as possible as even in 5 years a lot has changed with IF DSP.  You would not pay new price top dollar for a 5 or 10 year old computer design and why do same with a old IF DSP design radio? 

Well, by your reasoning the TS-480 should not even be considered since it is an older AF DSP design compared to the newer IF DSP Icom 7000 and TS-590s. The 480 was released 2 or 3 years before the 7000.

Kenwood is known for keeping their radios on the market for a long time. The TS-2000 comes to mind.

Several things bug me about the 480 and none of them concern the performance of the radio.

1. The head is not (easily) attachable to the radio body.
2. The microphone is not attachable to the head, it plugs into the body. This is a terrible design. I own a Kenwood TM-D700 that does the same thing. Extremely inconvenient. The Icom 7000 has 2 mic connectors, one on the head, one on the body of the radio. This is the way to do it.
3. The radio is ugly, designed like a TS-2000.
4. The 200 watt version requires special power supply considerations which add to the cost of the radio and the 200 watt version does not have an ATU.

Stan K9IUQ
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N2RRA
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« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2011, 07:30:57 AM »

Well, I'd like to thank everyone involved in here giving advices. This thread was very helpful. I'm more and more leaning towards 2 units, one HF only and one VHF/UHF.  If more funds appear I might even go for Kenwood TS-590s. Looks like for the money I can't go wrong with it. Not really a mobile thing, but it will get me started and more...
I was limiting myself to those 2 radios, but eventually I'll have to spend more anyway, not even talking about experimenting with antennas etc etc...


Well if your "not leading to a mobile thing" then your asking the difference between apples and oranges. Guess maybe your looking for the option to go mobile and for base ,but if not then for base there are way better options and that changes everything entirely.

73!

BTW: Love my IC-7000 and my YEASU FT-817 for hiking QRP.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 07:33:52 AM by N2RRA » Logged
AK4KZ
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« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2011, 07:53:42 AM »

Too funny watching threads like this. Maybe we should ask about religion or the best operating system next ;-)

Here's what I think you'll find.. both radios are good radios and everything else is going to come down to what's more important to you. I can speak from experience that I'm happy with my IC-7000 and, clearly, others prefer the Kenwood.

In a perfect world, you could try them both out. Instead of that, I wandered over to YouTube and watched a LOT of videos for each of my radio picks.

There's enough info out there on both radios to make sure it's going to do what you want it to do (which is usually the hard part to figure out). Neither one will be perfect but if it meets your needs and you do some homework, you shouldn't have to worry about buyers remorse.

73,
Chris
AK4KZ
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W8JX
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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 10:43:20 AM »

Well, by your reasoning the TS-480 should not even be considered since it is an older AF DSP design compared to the newer IF DSP Icom 7000 and TS-590s. The 480 was released 2 or 3 years before the 7000.

No 480 is based on mature analog IF and rock filters and mature AF DSP. 7000 is based on immature IF DSP technology

Kenwood is known for keeping their radios on the market for a long time. The TS-2000 comes to mind.

TS2000 is very dated and I would never recommend it for a new radio purchase

Several things bug me about the 480 and none of them concern the performance of the radio.

1. The head is not (easily) attachable to the radio body.

Not a issue as MB-480 fixes this

2. The microphone is not attachable to the head, it plugs into the body. This is a terrible design. I own a Kenwood TM-D700 that does the same thing. Extremely inconvenient. The Icom 7000 has 2 mic connectors, one on the head, one on the body of the radio. This is the way to do it.

Not a issue and it simplifies remote mounting head on dash as no mic cords need to dangle from it. Kenwood did this right.

3. The radio is ugly, designed like a TS-2000.

Not at all as one could say same about 7000

4. The 200 watt version requires special power supply considerations which add to the cost of the radio and the 200 watt version does not have an ATU.

Again this is a no brainer. They take out AT for extra final. It is that or make radio bigger. Want a tuner get  SAT. Also HX will work as a 100 rig on one power supply in a pinch.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2011, 10:55:17 AM »


Not a issue as MB-480 fixes this

2. The microphone is not attachable to the head, it plugs into the body. This is a terrible design. I own a Kenwood TM-D700 that does the same thing. Extremely inconvenient. The Icom 7000 has 2 mic connectors, one on the head, one on the body of the radio. This is the way to do it.

Not a issue and it simplifies remote mounting head on dash as no mic cords need to dangle from it. Kenwood did this right.


Your constant defense of the TS-480s proves what I said earlier about owners trying to justify their radios and blunt all criticism of their radio.

The MB-480 is a kludgy $60 option.

How it is better to have the mic connector on the body is beyond me. If you put the body under the seat or trunk then you gotta run a long mic cord to the body. It is much better to give the owner the choice like  the Icom 7000 does, on the head OR on the body for the mic. And that is a NO BRAINER.   Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ




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K0BG
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« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2011, 11:38:29 AM »

Well, we have a big disagreement at this point. Again, I owned both radios! I even had a Yaesu FT-450 at the same time. I played with all three, even having them all operating at the same time from the front seat of my Ridgeline. I just switched the antenna from one to the other Not scientific to be sure, but we're talking real world! Not some imagined, based on specs, comment.

Even with the optional 1.8 kHz filter, the perceived difference between any of the three radios isn't noticeable. When conditions are rally bad, with lots of band noise, the Kenwood takes a back seat to both the 7000, and the 450. The reason is, if you adjust the AF based DSP in the Kenwood to compensate, the readability drops.

I've had the opportunity to compare the 480 and the 2000, side by side. If there is a real world difference, I can't tell.

The MB-480 is an after thought. The radio had been around for almost 2 years before you could buy one.

I installed the 480Hx I have, in the vehicle of the amateur I sold it to. The microphone extension cable had to have a ferrite choke installed to keep the RF out of it. And no, it wasn't some sloppy installation problem! As for no dangling cord, the Kenwood just moves the problem from the dash to, some other location just as cumbersome; the center console in my case.

My comment stands. I don't like the ergonomics, but I suspect you can get used to anything.

Power considerations for a base station installation can become critical. Kenwood openly state the supplies need to be within 5% as I recall. Well, a brand new pair of their base station power supplies wasn't close enough, and the radio kept shutting itself off. I fixed that by using my 70 amp Astron.

There are a few things you didn't mention about the 480. The high stability oscillator is an optional cost item. It is included in the Yaesu, and Icom. If you're mobile, or you use most of the digital modes, you need one. While stable, it isn't as stable under varying DC voltage levels as the other two are.

The voice record function is an option in the 480, and is stock in the other two units. The 450 can also send back a message it recorded off the air. The 480, and 7000 can't do that.

The 7000 has a quirky AGC. In some cases, incoming pops and snaps cause the AGC to close almost dead down. Using the noise blanker covers up the problem. If you play with the AGC decay, and the threshold, you can get it to an acceptable level where you don't need to use the NB. The 480 has basically the same issue, and I never found a good setting for the AGC.

The hokeyest feature of of them all is the 450's absolutely, idiotic microphone gain setup. Almost as bad, is Kenwood verbiage about how to set the mic gain. I hope no one follows their advice!

There is a lot more to all of this. Bob Sherwood, does a very good job of testing receiver specs in modern, and even post modern transceivers. My hat is off to him. But... when you operate mobile, specs do not tell the whole story. From day to day, the background noise level varies all over the place. In 40+ years of mobile operation, I have never heard the band anywhere near the noise floor, of any transceiver, even some of the tube jobs I used to use. What counts is selectivity. The Kenwood is good in this respect, but it isn't any better than the other two, when installed in a mobile.

For my money, the main selection attribute, is one of size, and the ability to have video out puts icing on the cake which puts the 7000 on the top of the pile. The fact its noise floor isn't as good as the Kenwoods, doesn't matter as I've explained.

There are a couple of things I left out, hence the edit:

The 480 uses dongles for the antenna connections. I've owned two icoms, and one Yaesu in the past with dongles, and they can be a big pain for those who R&R the transceivers regularly. Even as small as the 7000 is, both antenna connections are chassis mounted

If you add up the cost of either 480, include the optional 1.8 kHz filter, the mobile mounting kit, the mobile cable kit, mobile extended power cable, voice module, high stability x-tal oscillator, etc., you end up spending over $1,600. That's about $400 more than the 7000, and it comes with all of these.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 12:01:18 PM by K0BG » Logged

K9IUQ
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« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2011, 11:49:12 AM »

Well, we have a big disagreement at this point.

Not really, just differing opinions.

Your post was a breath of fresh air, you actually have owned both radios and have had the opportunity to use both radios. Your opinions seem quite unbiased.

For whatever reason, many hams seem reluctant to criticize the radio they own. They would rather defend their radio against all and any criticism, which has always seemed quite foolish to me.

Thanks for some good info

Stan K9IUQ


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KJ6PVR
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« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2011, 12:46:10 PM »


Well if your "not leading to a mobile thing" then your asking the difference between apples and oranges. Guess maybe your looking for the option to go mobile and for base ,but if not then for base there are way better options and that changes everything entirely.


What I'm after is something that will get me started in HF and something I can possibly take mobile, but I'm not going to have this constantly in my car. IF out,it would be more for a fun day out, field day etc...but most of the time at home on my desk. And while TS-590s is not a mobile rig, it's not big at all and they actually sell brackets to mount it for mobile conditions. Now, I also understand TS-590s is not a starter radio, I don't see myself buying and selling, buying and selling ....or adding more radios anytime soon. That's why I'm somewhat changing my mind (more like shaping opinion) on what I want. I think TS-590s would serve me for a looong time to come. It will probaby make a learning curve a little steeper with the front panel much more busier than IC-7000 or TS-480SAT, but I'll get through it.
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