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Author Topic: Best transceiver/receiver in market today 2012  (Read 18221 times)
WD5GWY
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Posts: 392




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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2012, 03:41:16 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.
  Flex users that I have talked to that have had that happen, are usually running the Flex with an under powered computer and trying to run several programs at once along side PowerSDR. I run a Flex 1500 and have not had a problem with reboot even one time.
And for the price, and the performance with PowerSDR, it is a tough combo to beat for QRP.
james
WD5GWY
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4745




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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2012, 07:50:16 PM »

Quote
Not even close to a 7800,7700,7600,Ft-5000,Ft-2000 and a whole host of other radios that give a Ham greater ergonomics, better transmit and a host of other tools.   Yep I am going to get some people mad but it's true, the K3 does one thing very well and falls far short in many other areas.  When I buy a radio I am not buying it solely for that 1% of contacts but for the 99%.

Aside from the FT-2000 (which I heard cannot match the K3 in performance), the other radios are at the least double the cost (or more) of the K3.

Why are we recommending $4,000-12,000 radios? Did he say he had that much money spend?
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2012, 10:39:53 PM »

Aside from the FT-2000 (which I heard cannot match the K3 in performance), the other radios are at the least double the cost (or more) of the K3.

Why are we recommending $4,000-12,000 radios? Did he say he had that much money spend?

1) The title of the post is " Best transceiver/receiver in market today 2012"
2) he did say " f) Lets assume that a new radio can go as high as $12k"

Thats what I based my answer on.
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N4NYY
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2012, 05:43:20 AM »

Quote
1) The title of the post is " Best transceiver/receiver in market today 2012"
2) he did say " f) Lets assume that a new radio can go as high as $12k"

Thats what I based my answer on.

That makes sense then. It is very rare air that people spend $4,000 or more on a rig. I personally do not know anyone nearby or in person. Most of the people I know are hams that I speak to on the air, or people on eham.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2012, 06:34:54 AM »

I know a three guys with 7800s and another few with 7700s and 7600s, all of whom love the rigs. I know four people with K3s, only two of whom love the K3 (CW guys, natch). I can't afford anything at this point, but I'd probably go the K3 route if it was me since I'm all about DXing and contesting more than anything else, and because I'm not frightened by the Elecraft UI. I don't necessarily like it, but I could deal with it and be happy. Just so long as whatever radio I am using has two independent VFOs.

I would love to sit at a desk for a day or two with a K3 and my loaded Mark V and do A/B receiver comparisons. I'd like to hear the difference that the lack of phase noise makes in pulling out weak CW signals on 80 and 160, when the QRN is high; I consider that to be a valid real-world test, not something generated on a lab bench.

I also gotta wonder, can 50-70 YO ears really make the best of a $10k radio versus a $2000 radio?
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AB8MA
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« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2012, 07:02:18 AM »

I know a three guys with 7800s and another few with 7700s and 7600s, all of whom love the rigs. I know four people with K3s, only two of whom love the K3 (CW guys, natch). I can't afford anything at this point, but I'd probably go the K3 route if it was me since I'm all about DXing and contesting more than anything else, and because I'm not frightened by the Elecraft UI. I don't necessarily like it, but I could deal with it and be happy. Just so long as whatever radio I am using has two independent VFOs.

I would love to sit at a desk for a day or two with a K3 and my loaded Mark V and do A/B receiver comparisons. I'd like to hear the difference that the lack of phase noise makes in pulling out weak CW signals on 80 and 160, when the QRN is high; I consider that to be a valid real-world test, not something generated on a lab bench.

I also gotta wonder, can 50-70 YO ears really make the best of a $10k radio versus a $2000 radio?

Please correct me if I am wrong here.

If I were to demand that the radio be New, have 2 independent VFOs, run 200 watts, and be an ICOM, I would only have one choice.

The 7800.

Of the 7700 and 7600, I could get either 200 watts OR 2 independent VFOs. Not both.
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K5JZ
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Posts: 119




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« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2012, 08:28:52 AM »

I know a three guys with 7800s and another few with 7700s and 7600s, all of whom love the rigs. I know four people with K3s, only two of whom love the K3 (CW guys, natch). I can't afford anything at this point, but I'd probably go the K3 route if it was me since I'm all about DXing and contesting more than anything else, and because I'm not frightened by the Elecraft UI. I don't necessarily like it, but I could deal with it and be happy. Just so long as whatever radio I am using has two independent VFOs.

I would love to sit at a desk for a day or two with a K3 and my loaded Mark V and do A/B receiver comparisons. I'd like to hear the difference that the lack of phase noise makes in pulling out weak CW signals on 80 and 160, when the QRN is high; I consider that to be a valid real-world test, not something generated on a lab bench.

I also gotta wonder, can 50-70 YO ears really make the best of a $10k radio versus a $2000 radio?



What age group holds the highest number of DX entities confirmed? Which age group is in the majority amongst those that reside at the Top of the Honor Roll?

Just a week ago, our two clubs operated in the CQ 160 Meter Contest. We had visitors coming through the Comm trailer visiting, as we were promoting Ham Radio to some local non DX clubs, as well as seasoned hams and new licensees. We had a headphone bank set up so that anyone wishing to hear the Contest could. 100% were baffled at how we seasoned citizen DX'ers could hear signals that these Hams could only take our word were there.

K5UR Rick Roderick, Executive VP of the ARRL and a world class DX'er in his own right... has a tape of some 160 Meter QSO's he has had over the years. He plays it at Hamfests from time to time... to see who in the crowd can copy the callsigns... and us crusty old timers ALWAYS win. Age has little to do with it... Joe Butler K5JB , partially deaf and in his mid 80's, can hear better than anyone in either of our clubs... and we have some world class operators ourselves.

73,
George K5JZ
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W2IRT
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« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2012, 08:43:00 AM »

Well, speaking as someone with 60% hearing loss on the left side and 40% on the right, as well as bad tinnitus, I had to ask that question and in my own personal situation, I'd love to know the answer to it. I'm not talking about the brain's ability to interpret the signals' content, I'm talking about ears discerning weak signals out of the noise and surrounded by static crashes (i.e. a real world environment), and how that human variable may (or may not) be a factor in accurately determining a transceiver's worth, or the relative worth of one radio over another.

It's easy to hook two radios up in a lab and determine that A has better bench specs than B. It's entirely another to do real-world tests, in condx that we face daily and then factor in our abilities to hear. A trained DXer/contester with good hearing in his 20s or 30s might possibly have a different evaluation than one is his 70s would.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
N6DZR
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2012, 10:17:01 AM »

...hopefully I'm not straying too far off topic here...

I agree that there is no universal "Best Transceiver". There is a good portion of personal preference involved that can easily make one man's "best" another man's "worst". You also cannot always go by the bench test numbers - those are only part of the story.... in the same way a 36-24-36 gal might not be a good date just because the numbers are good.  Grin (yes, you could draw a lot of parallels between choosing a radio and choosing a spouse)

I think another part of feeling satisfied / happy with your radio is how well you know how to use it. (you should stop thinking about the parallels with women at this point  Wink) Most radios these days have hundreds of features & options with a matching set of knobs, buttons, and menus. Do any of the manufacturers offer classes or tutorial videos on this? For example, "how to use noise reduction on the IC-7600". Many products have these kinds of things nowadays as manufacturers have realized how much it helps customer satisfaction. I bet I am only using my IC-7600 to 60% of its potential. Wow, imagine how much more I would like my radio if I could improve its performance to 90% through education!

-Jeff
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N4RSS
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Posts: 258




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« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2012, 07:47:53 AM »

...hopefully I'm not straying too far off topic here...

I agree that there is no universal "Best Transceiver". There is a good portion of personal preference involved that can easily make one man's "best" another man's "worst". You also cannot always go by the bench test numbers - those are only part of the story.... in the same way a 36-24-36 gal might not be a good date just because the numbers are good.  Grin (yes, you could draw a lot of parallels between choosing a radio and choosing a spouse)

I think another part of feeling satisfied / happy with your radio is how well you know how to use it. (you should stop thinking about the parallels with women at this point  Wink) Most radios these days have hundreds of features & options with a matching set of knobs, buttons, and menus. Do any of the manufacturers offer classes or tutorial videos on this? For example, "how to use noise reduction on the IC-7600". Many products have these kinds of things nowadays as manufacturers have realized how much it helps customer satisfaction. I bet I am only using my IC-7600 to 60% of its potential. Wow, imagine how much more I would like my radio if I could improve its performance to 90% through education!

-Jeff


I totally agree.  I think a lot more could be done educating us on how to use the features than is currently being done.

For example, it took more over a year of owning the 7600 to realize through experimentation that I could use the manual notch to help eliminate adjacent QRM.  It took so long because the manual talks about using it to remove offending carriers...and that's it. 
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WS3N
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« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2012, 09:37:54 AM »

yes, you could draw a lot of parallels between choosing a radio and choosing a spouse

squelch
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RFEXPERT
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2012, 04:29:26 PM »

Interesting topic like politics!

Well I own a K3, ADAT,  FT5000 and  IC7700.

Deciding what is the best rig will purely be a subjective answer depending on what angle you examining the question from.


K3 Has good RX performance.
K3 Has Lousy TX IMD
K3 Has lousy RX IMD
K3 Has terrible ergonomics
K3 Is too small and has too few knobs and buttons to be easy to use radio say for a multi multi station
K3 Is too small
K3 sound on RX is just not right
K3 Has a noisy RX
K3 Ugly duckling radio
K3 AGC is terrible and is to complicated  and has to many settings to make it useful. The K3's real potential is
   killed by the standard AGC that is locked away in the menu. It ruins weak signal copy on CW and SSB. Turning off the AGC is like
   turning on a new radio. The root cause of the noisy receiver and  RX IMD is the lousy AGC whose potential you cant access fast enough.
K3 is fully of birdies especially with the second receiver. The Birdies on 12 meters cant be got rid of using the  birdie removal option.
K3 Has poor RF immunity, poorly shielded and poorly constructed.
P3 Has lots of potential and whose potential is lost because of poor firmware, features and performance. The box could deliver the features if more effort
   was put into better firmware. We told there is plenty of room for features, why is it taking so long?



FT5000 Has good RX performance its better than the K3
FT5000 Has great ergonomics.
FT5000 Is the right size for a contest radio. Dont need chop sticks and dwarf fingers to operate it!
FT5000 Good low RX IMD
FT5000 Quite receiver its excellent
FT5000 Low TX IMD and Class A, it also has 200 watts which serious contest radio should have
FT5000 Looks good
FT5000 Has the best TX audio out of the box with any mic(not the usual sock in the mouth Yaesu audio) Its the best radio out of the box
       and the speech processor is very effective and clean. The FT5000 has the cleanest audio of any radio that I have used. Its audio
       balance is the best  of any radio that I have owned.
FT5000 has excellent construction and high RF immunity to funny antennas like end fed wires and open wire feedline.
FT5000 Bandscope, joke of the century! Totally useless


ADAT  Is the Rolex watch of radios, its a radio thats delivering the future today. It wins the prize for the most outstanding technical
      merit. The person who is designing this radio is clearly a  RF engineering who understands RF and Measurement instruments very well.
      Everything about this radio  leaves others in the dust technically.  While the ADATs features and ergonomics might not impress everyone,
      Its the most technical competent radio here. Its a precision test instrument along with a high accurate measurement receiver.

      The most outstanding feature of the ADAT is its RX, its very quiet. The ADAT will hear signals without DSP that are undetectable on
      any other radio because its noise floor is so low. Directly sampling receivers deliver the most technically perfect receiver. This
      radio sounds so good on SSB  on both RX and TX. If you were locked in a Jail with  ADAT turned all day on SSB you would not go bad
      its receiver is so pure and clean.

      The ADAT has the most advanced  transmitter. The adaptive pre-distortion delivers the worlds cleanest transmit signal. You wont
      find a cleaner transmitter commercially or in the amateur radio market. It delivers a cleaner signal than the Yaesu in MK5.
      Its outstanding. Its so clean you could run it with a 100KW and it would be legal according to the ITU standards!

      The calibrated S-meter is best S-meter ever put on a radio. Its as accurate and will track a 50,000 dollar Agilent Signal generator.
      If you want to be NIST  the bands, you get the ADAT radio. On other radios  will show 3 db as 10 to 20 db. The ADAT will show it as 3db
      Somebody turns on their amplifier it shows exactly what the gain is not the rubbish figures that you get from most ham receivers. This is a
      fantastic feature that you can only get on a Rohde and Schwartz receiver for 10 times the price!

      The current ADAT firmware delivers a spectrum analyzer via the PC. Its the best Spectrum Analyzer/ Bandscope of any radio available today. It has the best dynamic range
      best accuracy and best resolution. It behaves  like spectrum analyzer. The expertise and experience  of the designer in using real RF test instruments shows in the design
      of the ADAT bandscope. Unlike the other ham  band scopes which are just bandscope toys. The Elecraft P3 while it has lots of potential is let down by  ham mentality
      design rather than wanting to make it a useful test instrument for the hamshack like the ADAT is. Having the ability to set peak markers, reference limits, scaling,
      different traces etc etc giving it true spectrum analyzer capabilities  makes the ADAT bandscope the best on the market. Its a real spectrum analyer which you can use for
      IMD measurement of on air signals its so accurate and fast.

      The ADAT's ergonomics are unusual and it takes a bit of getting used to. Its designed from a different perspective than the typical ham radio. The ADAT delivers and exceeds what
      all these other radios try to achieve and which all of them fail in one area or the other. If my house was burning and I had to grab 1 radio it would be the ADAT!
     

IC7700  Lousy receiver performance
IC7700  Poor transmitter IMD for such and expensive radio, especially since it runs 50 volt FETS and is 200 watts. Really poor.
IC7700  Has poor TX phase noise and tons of transmitter crud. Try using 1 IC7700 one on CW and one on  SSB. You will soon know what I mean. Terrible transmitters in Icom radios.
IC7700  The bandscope is  joke. It does nothing really well, its just eye candy to say there is signal over there and thats it. Resultion, size, and accuracy is all poor.
IC7700  Unreliable and expensive radio, returned twice to the factory for problems that are just embarrassing for such an expensive radio. Static damage and PA devices that go south
        randomly. You cant fix this radio yourself its too complicated, if you tried you will have a jar full of screws leftover and a broken radio!

IC7700 Is the most user friendly ergonomic radio. Icom really has its ergonomics right for a bandscope radio.
IC7700 Is a great radio if you using it everyday for ragchewing. Its not a good CW or contesting radio because its receiver performance sucks. It hurst knowing you payed so much
       for this radio  when it has such poor RX and TX performance when compared to the comeptition. If the ADAT radio was in  Icoms design stable it would be the best radio in the world
       using Icoms design flair and ergonomics
IC7700  Has a useless Micky Mouse S-meter that is not even calibrated. You can tell a radio is useless and has no performance when it  is expensive and has a mickey mouse S-meter
       thats not calibrated. Icom spent all its time making the needle dance around and not 1 second was put into the design accuracy of the meter. A true guess meter.

IC7700 A good radio to  buy if you want to be a radio snob,  its technical performance for the price is dismal. I have my IC7700 up for sale now.


Finally I did own a Flex5000 and I got rid of it because  of all the problems  with computers, design bugs, TX spurious products and the many other issues that plague the Flexdesign.
I also decided that I hate computer interfaced radios. My preference is for a box with knobs and buttons for ham radio. I dont mind a computer control as a ancillary function  to the radio.





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AB3CX
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« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2012, 07:35:30 PM »

I know a three guys with 7800s and another few with 7700s and 7600s, all of whom love the rigs. I know four people with K3s, only two of whom love the K3 (CW guys, natch). I can't afford anything at this point, but I'd probably go the K3 route if it was me since I'm all about DXing and contesting more than anything else, and because I'm not frightened by the Elecraft UI. I don't necessarily like it, but I could deal with it and be happy. Just so long as whatever radio I am using has two independent VFOs.

I would love to sit at a desk for a day or two with a K3 and my loaded Mark V and do A/B receiver comparisons. I'd like to hear the difference that the lack of phase noise makes in pulling out weak CW signals on 80 and 160, when the QRN is high; I consider that to be a valid real-world test, not something generated on a lab bench.

I also gotta wonder, can 50-70 YO ears really make the best of a $10k radio versus a $2000 radio?

Please correct me if I am wrong here.

If I were to demand that the radio be New, have 2 independent VFOs, run 200 watts, and be an ICOM, I would only have one choice.

The 7800.

Of the 7700 and 7600, I could get either 200 watts OR 2 independent VFOs. Not both.
I think that includes the FT-5000 if it doesn't need to be an ICOM
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NN3W
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Posts: 147




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« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2012, 10:29:34 PM »

What age group holds the highest number of DX entities confirmed? Which age group is in the majority amongst those that reside at the Top of the Honor Roll?

You've got the most entities, because you've been around longer, not necessarily because you're better.  If I was QRV when KZ5 was on the air, I would have worked it. Same with Baja Nuevo or Ifni.

Just a week ago, our two clubs operated in the CQ 160 Meter Contest. We had visitors coming through the Comm trailer visiting, as we were promoting Ham Radio to some local non DX clubs, as well as seasoned hams and new licensees. We had a headphone bank set up so that anyone wishing to hear the Contest could. 100% were baffled at how we seasoned citizen DX'ers could hear signals that these Hams could only take our word were there.

Some have an ear for QRM detection; others don't.

K5UR Rick Roderick, Executive VP of the ARRL and a world class DX'er in his own right... has a tape of some 160 Meter QSO's he has had over the years. He plays it at Hamfests from time to time... to see who in the crowd can copy the callsigns... and us crusty old timers ALWAYS win. Age has little to do with it... Joe Butler K5JB , partially deaf and in his mid 80's, can hear better than anyone in either of our clubs... and we have some world class operators ourselves.


It'd be interesting to hear that tape.
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N3QE
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« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2012, 04:39:06 AM »

Quote
1) The title of the post is " Best transceiver/receiver in market today 2012"
2) he did say " f) Lets assume that a new radio can go as high as $12k"

Thats what I based my answer on.

That makes sense then. It is very rare air that people spend $4,000 or more on a rig. I personally do not know anyone nearby or in person. Most of the people I know are hams that I speak to on the air, or people on eham.

I think it depends. Most contesters or DX'ers would usually go for a better antenna system with any spare money, or maybe a second cheaper radio. But there are others who do buy the $12K rigs, some of whom upgrade every few years to the latest and greatest model.

There's a guy down the street from me whose only antenna is a G5RV half laying on the ground, and a $8K radio. And he's always saying how he wants a better radio.
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