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Author Topic: 706 vs 480  (Read 3926 times)
AC4RD
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« on: January 08, 2012, 06:21:53 AM »

Well, THIS is about as subjective as a topic gets, but I've been wondering if I should replace the 706IIG in my car with the TS-480SAT that I bought but never use.   I've had the 706 for nearly 10 years, I think, and it's been a world of fun--and a reliable workhorse besides.

But I'm about to need a new battery in that car, and if I'm doing that, I may as well also run the power lines from the battery a little neater than I did when I first put the radio in that car.  And if I'm doing THAT, I wonder if I might be better off putting the 480 in the car and giving the 706 a rest.   I've only used that 480 a dozen or so times, mostly for PSK.   I don't dislike the 480, it's just that I rarely find time to use that setup.  

So I'm scratching my head: better DSP on the 480, versus the 706 that's pretty old technology now, though I'm darned sure USED to it.   Opinions?
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 06:53:12 AM »

I've owned both (480Hx). I'm not sure the difference is worth the trouble. The only question mark, is the finals in the 706.

Over its lifespan, the 706 has used several different ones. The last I heard was, that only complete PA boards were available. So if it goes south, it may or may not be repairable. All considering, I'd run it until is dies.
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 11:11:08 AM »

I have both the 706 (MKIIG) and the TS-480SAT. The 706 lives in my
Dodge pickup. And the 480SAT is in a 2007 Kenworth (day cab) diesel
rig. Both are fine radios and I would be hard pressed if I had to decide
on taking the 706 out of my pickup. I will say this, the 706's Noise Blanker
is not as good as the one in the 480SAT. Since my pickup is an older diesel
model with the mechanical fuel injector system,that is not an issue. Of course,
if someone drives by me with a noisy ignition system, I can hear it. Even with
the noise blanker on. But, everyone I talk to with the 706 comments on the
voice quality from the transmitted audio. (using the stock mic) And it is an easy
radio to use.
   The 480SAT in the Kenworth is a great radio too. I like it's filtering and Noise
Blanker as well. The fuel injection system in the truck (Caterpillar engine) is electronic and VERY noisy. The Noise Blanker works pretty good compared to the one in the
706. (I have an ICOM 7000 as well, that is better than both radios as far as handling
noise issues, just cannot bring myself to put it in a rock truck!!!)
The main thing I like about the 480SAT other than the noise handling & filtering, is
the HUGE display!! I can see it clearly in any lighting situation. The 706 and the 7000
cannot top it. (well, I guess, I could put a remote video display in the truck for the 7000
but, that would be too much of a distraction) And the most used functions while mobile
are easy to use (buttons) without having to look at the display and away from driving.
(I try not to make changes while driving anyway......too dangerous)
 The only real downside for the 480SAT, is the fact that the microphone can only be
connected to the body of the radio and not the remote head. Depending on where you
mount the body, that may or may not be an issue.
 If you can easily switch out radios, I'd give the 480 a run in the mobile. It is a fun radio
and it too has great audio. And you can adjust the output audio quite a bit too.
Either way, you cannot go wrong with either rig. Since you have both, I'd  say give it a
try!
james
WD5GWY
 
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AC4RD
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 11:51:17 AM »

If you can easily switch out radios, I'd give the 480 a run in the mobile. It is a fun radio
and it too has great audio. And you can adjust the output audio quite a bit too.
Either way, you cannot go wrong with either rig. Since you have both, I'd  say give it a
try!

Wow--thank you, Alan and James!  That's the sort of hands-on insight that makes eham so helpful!   It doesn't make it that much easier to decide.   :-)  But it's very helpful to know what you two think.  :-)

The new battery may be next weekend ... and the guys who install them often seem puzzled by the 8-ga red/black pair running from the battery through the firewall.  :-)  I often find it helpful to tell the installer just to leave the radio wires hanging.  So I'll think more about it this week, and by Saturday I'll know what to do.

The TS-480 seems nice, but I'm VERY used to the 706 in the car.  I'll decide RSN.  :-)  One thing I did this afternoon was to set up a resonator/whip for 40 meters from the car.  I've never worked 40 mobile, and I've never used 40 much, either, but since 20-15 often aren't open when I'm headed to work in the morning, I thought I might give 40 a shot this week  :-) 

Thanks!  --ken ac4rd
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 02:10:10 PM »

I've owned both (480Hx). I'm not sure the difference is worth the trouble. The only question mark, is the finals in the 706.

Well I think you never really used 480 properly or understood it. It is a newer generation radio worth much better noise reduction than a 706 has. (4 different methods of noise reduction)  A 480 is a VERY capable rig and a big step up over a 706 but it does not do it best right out of box. You have to take the time to learn it and tweak it. Many do not even know it has a mic gain, processor in and processor out setting on it. You can also tailor xmit audio and make a custom xmit audio bandpass too.
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K0BG
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 02:30:56 PM »

Have you owned them both? Have you tried them side by side?
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 03:52:32 PM »

I have used 706 a  when they first came on and many times since. I  have owned a 480 for over 2 years. The 706 is a dated design and a compromise rig at best. Anytime you try to package  VHF/UHF/HF and keep price down you have to make a lot of compromises and there is a lot with 706. Kenwood could have packaged 2m and 440 in 480 but they would have had to leave out tuner and 200 watts option and compromise HF performance if they want to stay in same target price range. Then there is size with is its thermal mass and ability to dissipate heat. Some seem to believe that you can make a 100 watt rig small and it will run as cool as a bigger one. The 480 chassis has more thermal mass and better cooling  and a 200 watt option (name another 200 watt mobile) Much bigger display and less menu dependent and easy to read in a mobile verse smaller display of 706.  Also, 706 has no built in tuner like 100 watt 480 does nor does it have AF DSP standard and does not have the ability to tweak audio and tailor its audio bandpass like 480 can. (many never read manual and do not know how to do this or other things.) And while there is no 2m or 440 FM in 480 I do not see that as a problem because I would rather have a separate rig for that and as far as no 2m or 440 SSB this way, those modes are not very popular and basically non existent in a mobile. The 706 is a nice toy but I would not choose it over a 480 any day.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 04:49:04 PM by W8JX » Logged

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WD5GWY
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 05:33:52 PM »



Wow--thank you, Alan and James!  That's the sort of hands-on insight that makes eham so helpful!   It doesn't make it that much easier to decide.   :-)  But it's very helpful to know what you two think.  :-)

The new battery may be next weekend ... and the guys who install them often seem puzzled by the 8-ga red/black pair running from the battery through the firewall.  :-)  I often find it helpful to tell the installer just to leave the radio wires hanging.  So I'll think more about it this week, and by Saturday I'll know what to do.

The TS-480 seems nice, but I'm VERY used to the 706 in the car.  I'll decide RSN.  :-)  One thing I did this afternoon was to set up a resonator/whip for 40 meters from the car.  I've never worked 40 mobile, and I've never used 40 much, either, but since 20-15 often aren't open when I'm headed to work in the morning, I thought I might give 40 a shot this week  :-) 

Thanks!  --ken ac4rd
40 meters mobile can be lots of fun day or night. I've worked DX at night on 40 while mobile and regional during the day. There is a bunch of guys (some are truckers or retired truckers) that show up on 7.195 during the day that are very laid back and enjoyable to talk to. One guy runs a Flex 3000 from home. If you get a chance to talk to him(W5QI), ask him to give you a signal report. He'll record your audio with the Flex and play it back to you. That really gives you some idea of what others hear.
 I listen to 40 meters during the day (mostly 7.195) and occasionally go up to 17 meters as well. Sitting in line at a rock crusher waiting to get loaded can be boring. Talking to friends on 40 or working DX on 17 makes the time go by much better!
Hope to talk to you on 40 meters sometime!
james
WD5GWY
   
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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 06:51:45 PM »

I really don't mean to be personal about this John, but every time someone comes to a conclusion, you disagree even though you have no one on one personal comparison. It doesn't make much difference if we're talking about antennas, radios, or whatever.

The question I ask was, have you ever compared the two radios side by side? You didn't answer that question. Rather, you said you owned them both. I have, at the same time, and tested them side by side! In fact, I owned the TS-480Hx, FT-450, IC706MkIIg, IC-7000 (an earlier mode without the upgraded DSP), and a borrowed TS-2000. I didn't care about any on-line test results, what the ARRL lab, or Rob Sherwood had to say about their specs, but a side by side, subjective comparison, both listening, and transmitting.

The 480 has somewhat better close-in specs than the 706. However, if you equip them both with 1.8 kHz filters, you can't tell the difference. The noise blanker on the 480 is a bit better, but not all of the time. I do agree the 480 has a bit better audio-based DSP, until you have someone less than 5 kHz away, and then the 706 reigns supreme.

The FT-450 is a joke! The microphone gain control is as bad as it gets. Even if you get into the maintenance menu, and set the real gain, there is no setting that give decent audio. It is either over, or under driven. The D model isn't any better. It is probably Yaesu's worse effort! Anyone who likes this radio, hasn't compared it, side by side, with anything else!

The IC-7000 had is problems, not the least of which is its AGC loop. It is heads above the 480 (except for close in response with the stock SSB filter), works as well as the 706 in most categories, and is a lot smaller physically. The later DSP firmware corrects some of the earlier problems, but it still pops occasionally due to the AGC design.

If you're going to be subjective, do so. But this constant you know better than anyone else, just prove where you're coming from.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 03:44:47 PM »


The IC-7000 had is problems, not the least of which is its AGC loop. It is heads above the 480 (except for close in response with the stock SSB filter), works as well as the 706 in most categories, and is a lot smaller physically. The later DSP firmware corrects some of the earlier problems, but it still pops occasionally due to the AGC design.


I can only guess you've never driven anywhere with a low noise floor. The TS480 will hear clearly signals that don't even register on the S meter. The Icom 7000 needs the pre-amp on to even be aware they're there and they'll be a harder copy due to the receiver noise of the 7000.
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K0CWO
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 06:46:45 PM »

I have used both the 706 and the 200 watt 480 using the same antenna.  Reception wise they seem to be close.  If my aim was to operate HF mobile primarily, I would prefer the 200 watt 480.
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 07:22:51 AM »

I really don't mean to be personal about this John, but every time someone comes to a conclusion, you disagree even though you have no one on one personal comparison. It doesn't make much difference if we're talking about antennas, radios, or whatever.

The question I ask was, have you ever compared the two radios side by side? You didn't answer that question. Rather, you said you owned them both. I have, at the same time, and tested them side by side! In fact, I owned the TS-480Hx, FT-450, IC706MkIIg, IC-7000 (an earlier mode without the upgraded DSP), and a borrowed TS-2000. I didn't care about any on-line test results, what the ARRL lab, or Rob Sherwood had to say about their specs, but a side by side, subjective comparison, both listening, and transmitting.

The 480 has somewhat better close-in specs than the 706. However, if you equip them both with 1.8 kHz filters, you can't tell the difference. The noise blanker on the 480 is a bit better, but not all of the time. I do agree the 480 has a bit better audio-based DSP, until you have someone less than 5 kHz away, and then the 706 reigns supreme.

The FT-450 is a joke! The microphone gain control is as bad as it gets. Even if you get into the maintenance menu, and set the real gain, there is no setting that give decent audio. It is either over, or under driven. The D model isn't any better. It is probably Yaesu's worse effort! Anyone who likes this radio, hasn't compared it, side by side, with anything else!

The IC-7000 had is problems, not the least of which is its AGC loop. It is heads above the 480 (except for close in response with the stock SSB filter), works as well as the 706 in most categories, and is a lot smaller physically. The later DSP firmware corrects some of the earlier problems, but it still pops occasionally due to the AGC design.

If you're going to be subjective, do so. But this constant you know better than anyone else, just prove where you're coming from.

Once again a point you seem to miss or not understand is that when you put out/make a radio with all those features in a small box and price too you have to cut corners. And the mere presence of IF DSP does not mean good performance because it costs money for good IF DSP and it is only recently in last few years that better IF DSP chips are available at more reasonable prices to make radios like K3 and TS590 possible. The IF DSP is weak at best in a 7000 and lacking in selectivity and S/N ratio (just like TS-2000 built on a nice concept but primitive IF DSP)  

To "suggest" that you can re-flash it to make it a better rig is silly. The hardware design is primitive for IF DSP as whole rig is a compromise. You cannot fix it anymore this way than fix a old laptop or computer with a bios up date and make it in a much better one. The hardware and design sets the limitations. Same with Flex radios. Many imply that you can just keep updating software and have a better radio but its hardware is getting very dated if modern DSP world. Put lipstick on a pig it is still a pig.

I really "liked" the claim about a IC 7000 with primitive if DSP doing better with a strong signal 5kc away that a 480 with a optional 1.8 kc SSB filter. This is really out there as 480 has a very tight front end when used properly and not sloppy like a 7000. As far as getting last word Alan, I think that is more you as you never seem to be wrong.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 08:31:25 AM by W8JX » Logged

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K0BG
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 09:23:35 AM »

You never answered my question: Have you ever compared both radios at the same time?
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M6GOM
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2012, 09:22:25 AM »

You never answered my question: Have you ever compared both radios at the same time?

I have. The receiver of the 480 was way quieter than the 7000 making a weak JA station far easier to copy on phone on 10m from the UK than the 7000. At S5 on the 480 the audio was clear. At S5 on the icom there was a lot of white noise - possibly because I had to have the pre-amp on to bring the receive anywhere near.

I was trying to decide whether to keep the Icom 7000 in the car or put my TS480 in and get a TM-D710 so did a fair bit of side by side testing.

I didn't actually realise how much noisier the Icom 7000 receiver was until I did that test. If you're not doing a lot of weak signal HF work though it won't matter as much.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 09:26:28 AM by M6GOM » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 10:17:33 AM »

You never answered my question: Have you ever compared both radios at the same time?

I have. The receiver of the 480 was way quieter than the 7000 making a weak JA station far easier to copy on phone on 10m from the UK than the 7000. At S5 on the 480 the audio was clear. At S5 on the icom there was a lot of white noise - possibly because I had to have the pre-amp on to bring the receive anywhere near.

I was trying to decide whether to keep the Icom 7000 in the car or put my TS480 in and get a TM-D710 so did a fair bit of side by side testing.

I didn't actually realise how much noisier the Icom 7000 receiver was until I did that test. If you're not doing a lot of weak signal HF work though it won't matter as much.

I always said the 480 had a very clean/low noise receiver. (noticed it first time I heard one!) The primitive IF DSP in 7000 cannot come close to matching it in this regard anymore than a 5 or 10 year old laptop can compete with a new one. Yet they will always be a few like K0BG that want you to believe otherwise.
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