Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Best transceiver/receiver in market today 2012  (Read 19499 times)
W4VKU
Member

Posts: 348




Ignore
« on: February 27, 2012, 04:57:40 AM »

ladies/Gents,
 Greetings.
 Which one is a good transceiver in the market today?
 
 Objective:
 a) HF SSB weak signal work and the ability to pull out weak signals amidst strong
    adjacent signals. A nice low noise floor  Grin
 b) CW work, same as (a)
 c) Spectrum scope will be nice
 d) Atleast a 100w and dual receive capability.
 e) Digital, i use an external computer to do RTTY
 f) Lets assume that a new radio can go as high as $12k
 g) 6meter capable would be a plus

 I have used the kenwoods(440/940/2000), icoms(Pro2, Pro3) and yaesu(990).
 I have tried the K3, but its overloaded menu buttons are a bit hard to use. But won't preclude
   going back to it.

 Please type away.
73s
krish
w4vku
Logged
KY6R
Member

Posts: 3236


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 05:19:54 AM »

I think the Elecraft K-Line is the best I've used in almost 40 years of hamming. I am almost exclusively a DX-er and do a lot of weak signal DX-ing on the low bands.

There are other, larger radios that have "more ergonomic" user interfaces, but for me - weak signal DX-ing is what is most important. I have no issue with the K3's user interface.

I also think the K-Line is the most reasonably priced - even if you add in all of the bells and whistles. Having owned one of the $10K radios - I can tell you that the K-Line is a much better value.

I did have a very good experience with the Ten Tec Orion II in the past, but prefer the K3 now.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 05:30:05 AM by KY6R » Logged
NI0C
Member

Posts: 2408




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 06:20:33 AM »

During my second ham "career," I went through the following rigs: TS-520S, TS-440SAT, TS-850SAT, Omni VI (Option 1), and arrived at the K3.  I hear more DX with the K3, and I'm happy with it.  I've been using it for over three years now.

Concerning the user interface, menus, and the like--  I've found the programmable Macro feature extremely useful for reducing the operations necessary for setting up the rig for split operation and using the APF (audio peak filter for CW).  Using macros on the K3 is comparable to using a programmable calculator. 

For example, it takes only one button push for me to put the K3 in split mode, set the B VFO up one KHz, and set its bandwidth to a wider bandwidth than I normally use for listening to the DX on the A vfo.  This macro is "toggleable," so the K3 can be reset to transceive mode with a second push of the same button.

The APF macro does even more.  With one button push, it turns APF on, turns RIT on, sets the frequency resolution to Fine (1 Hz steps), and shifts the RIT down 20 Hz (so I can peak the signal at a frequency offset from the normal "ringing" frequency of the very narrow APF).  A second macro is needed to turn off the functions enabled by the APF macro.

Anyone using the K3 who hasn't tried using macros is missing out.   I wrote my own APF macros, but I got the toggleable split macro from someone in the Czech Republic who made it available on the Elecraft Reflector. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C   

 
Logged
W6DXO
Member

Posts: 374




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:12:31 AM »

I have been an Icom user for a looong time.

I've owned most of their flagship transceivers over the past 25 years.

Recently I've been using the Elecraft K line at a friend's station.

I agree now with others who say that the K-Line represents a quantum leap forward in technology and performance.

73 de harry, W6DXO
Logged
W4VKU
Member

Posts: 348




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 07:40:52 AM »

Thanks and keep it coming.
I have gone over the sherwood test reports and a few other resources online.

I did read that the IC-7700 has a better receiver than the IC-7800. The missing features
and the "missed promise" on new software release issue with Flex5000.
The K3 is ultra light and doubles up as a good Dxped rig.

I have never had the opportunity to do an A/B/C comparison on a weak signal with the
above. A youtube video comparison would be nice.

krish
w4vku
Logged
K5JZ
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 11:22:29 AM »

Since we are openly discussing opinions… here is mine. It is my personal opinion and this is not to be taken as an attack on anyone or any company or radio. It is my opinion… the opinion of a 40 year Ham and an experienced DX’er/Contester. BTW, my opinion (on the 7800) has been mirrored by comments from K3LR (on the IC-7800 Yahoo group)… who owns and operates one of the finest Contest Stations in North America.

I have used and compared the K3, the 5K and just about every other HF rig on the market today… or any that have been available within the past 10-15 years. My club(s) just finished a joint effort in the CQ 160 meter SSB contest this past weekend, using an Icom 7700. Our location had terrible line noise… that was at least 40-50 DB over S9 on our ¼ wave vertical transmit antenna (suspended by a helium balloon and under a field of copper radials). When we used our Hi-Z 4-Square vertical low noise receive antenna system… aiming in the direction of the noise source, we had an S7 to S9 offending signal. We were able to limit this noise to about S2 to S3 using the NB and NR in the 7700 and bested our last year’s score by about 30,000 points. The DSP filtering in conjunction with the NB and NR, helped us to work WAS in two nights and pull our 17-19 or so DX contacts out of the trashy noise floor and horrible band conditions of Friday night (and it was only slightly better Saturday night).

The K3 is a fine rig… the company is as solid with their customer support as can be… and the performance of their equipment is very impressive. I own both an Icom 7800 and a 7600 (primary six meter rig) and I find that the 7800 is without equal. There is not another radio that I would replace it with today… there just isn’t. While the 7600 is a solid rig… and its basic primary receive performance is fairly close to the 7800 (an amazing feat considering the price difference)… but due to ergonomics and discrete front panel controls as well as the inclusion of TWO IDENTICAL RECEIVERS and the level of their performance, the 7800 is again without equal… IMHO.

Having used the 7700 in the CQ 160 meter SSB contest this past weekend, I can attest that the receiver in the 7700 is identical in performance to the 7800… the DSP chip may be a later, slightly faster variant but receive performance is no better or worse because of it… maybe on the bench it would be but certainly not on the air. 

Our group sorely missed a second receiver and I feel that our score would have been even better had we used a 7800 instead. These comments on a second receiver being missed came from every seasoned operator that we had. Many of them use Yaesu rigs at their home stations. The filtering and the DSP NR and NB worked very well indeed and the transmitter was rock solid… we received many fantastic audio reports and yes… we were using compression and Heil headsets but we adjusted the transmitter correctly and are happy with our transmitter performance results.

If you think that Sherwood’s test results reflect ABSOLUTE real world performance under horrible conditions, then I suggest you go and read some of the current threads on the Yahoo groups Yaesu FT5000 reflector and see the current discussion on an Inrad roofing filter mod for the 5K… this improves performance under conditions such as we experienced during this past weekend’s contest. While nothing can remove a signal that resides within any rigs passband; the DSP based filtering in the high end Icom rigs are BRICK WALL in performance. Twin Passband Tuning/DSP NB/NR and both Notch filters really reduce QRM under the worst of conditions. We worked signals that were just above the noise floor and the receiver filtering allowed us to bring barely discernable SSB signals out of the mud and crud and blossom them into Q5 signal reports and POINTS!

There are many fine radios on the market today… and I have close friends that own most if not all of them. I have friends that are quite happy with all of them. YOU have to decide what is best for YOU. I offer a real world opinion of what I consider to be “best” for me and I offer real world data to back my opinion up. YMMV.

I have also been in the same pileups with local friends using other rigs mentioned here and I have been able to work stations that these other stations cannot hear or hear well enough to make a Q. In some cases,  I do have better antennas… but in other cases ( WARC and low bands for instance,) we are using similar antennas and again I am hearing things at times that the others either do not hear or do not hear well enough to make the QSO. An example is the recent DXpedition to Somalia by Darko 6O3A. I am number one on the leader board for North America. I worked him on 7 of the 8 band slots that he was available on (was not home when he was on 15 SSB the first day). I worked him on local Sunrise openings on 10, 12, 15 and 17 meters. These openings were very weak and very short in duration. The 7800 pulled him out of the European QRM which was present on his calling frequency and the second identical receiver allowed me to find those small openings in the huge European pileups, where I could plant my weaker North American signal where Darko could find it amongst the howling European hoards. I also credit Darko and his outstanding operating talent for at least 50% of my QSO’s. I can reference any number of low band instances where this has played out and I have transmitted my received signal to my friends on our local DX repeater, as many of them could not believe that I could actually copy the DX station in question… so these findings have been heard by others on many occasions. Again, this is JUST my opinion and YMMV.

73,
George K5JZ
Logged
NI0C
Member

Posts: 2408




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 11:43:04 AM »

K5JZ wrote:
Quote
....due to ergonomics and discrete front panel controls as well as the inclusion of TWO IDENTICAL RECEIVERS and the level of their performance, the 7800 is again without equal… IMHO.

The second receiver option in the K3 (which I do not yet have in mine) is an identical receiver to the first receiver.  Unlike many other radios, narrow roofing filters are not an afterthought or "mod" in the K3.  Each receiver can have as many as five five-pole or eight pole crystal roofing filters, with bandwidths as narrow as 200 Hz. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C
Logged
K5JZ
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 11:53:54 AM »

Which is an example of why I posted most positive comments on the K3 and Elecraft's equipment. My personal problem with the K3 is ergonomics and menu related. I cannot fault its performance.

73,
George K5JZ
Logged
N6DZR
Member

Posts: 100




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 12:04:34 PM »

I've been happy with my Icom 7600. For me it had the best combination of price / performance / features. The highlights for me are: good receiver, dual-watch capability, built-in band scope, nice color display with large numbers, and CAT control + audio for digital modes with one USB cable.

You can get better performance in each of those areas on more expensive radios, but for me there was a much larger cost for only a small or moderate improvement.

-Jeff
Logged
K5JZ
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 01:49:06 PM »

I've been happy with my Icom 7600. For me it had the best combination of price / performance / features. The highlights for me are: good receiver, dual-watch capability, built-in band scope, nice color display with large numbers, and CAT control + audio for digital modes with one USB cable.

You can get better performance in each of those areas on more expensive radios, but for me there was a much larger cost for only a small or moderate improvement.

-Jeff


I agree... IMHO it is the best bang for the bucks.

73,
George K5JZ
Logged
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 2523




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 09:30:28 PM »

I am not a fan of the SDR radios on many levels, but they do have great RX until they lock up and you have to reboot Wink

With that said my advice is

If you got cash to blow and the bandscope does not need to be perfect get a ft-5000
but if the bandscope needs to be great get a 7800 or 7700.

The Best value for the dollar is the 7600, it's almost as good as the 7800 and 7700.

K3 IMO does not have enough meat on the bones, it's a great radio with great receive but it's not really any better than a properly tweaked 7600 IMO and the Transmit audio always sounds a bit weak IMO!

I am an Icom man so maybe I am biased but then again I figure just about everyone has a favorite company.
Logged
NN3W
Member

Posts: 147




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 09:17:06 AM »

If we're talking top of the line radios where money is somewhat expendable (although not stupid expendable), I would proffer the follow three radios (alpha order)

Elecraft K3
Icom IC-7800
Yaesu FTDX5000

One notch below would be the

Icom IC-7700
Tentec Orion I/II

I've used all of these radios, and all of them perform well.  Some have quirks that one has to deal with (e.g., the K3 is very fussy with some SSB settings; the Orion is very menu driven).

I used the FTDX5000 at N3HBX in the CQWW SSB last year and made over 5,000 QSOs in a weekend (first USA ham to do that in CQWW).
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 09:19:13 AM by NN3W » Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2558




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2012, 12:18:36 PM »

"The missing features and the "missed promise" on new software release issue with Flex5000."

Whaaaa? What missing features? Hard to fault a Flex except that's it's a bit less than perfect on CW. The new Flex tracking notch is simply amazing. And useful. Does the K3 have that, or the still largely MIA KX3?

The Flex-5000 is test equipment... that can transmit too.
Logged
W4VKU
Member

Posts: 348




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 02:18:38 PM »

My statement about Flex radios were based on reading the comments on the internet from owners of Flex radios. i believe the
venting is happening in a yahoo group for Flex (which i am not a member). That's the impression i got when sifting through
the information on the internet, in doing my due diligence about the different options out there in the market, competing for our $$.

krish
w4vku
Logged
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 2523




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2012, 02:44:34 PM »

" Hard to fault a Flex except that's it's a bit less than perfect on CW. The new Flex tracking notch is simply amazing. And useful. Does the K3 have that, or the still largely MIA KX3?

The Flex-5000 is test equipment... that can transmit too.

I have had a fair share of Flex operators just wink out on me during a QSO only to hear them reappear 5 minutes later apologizing and cussing about a PC lockup.  That's one big fault right there.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!