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Author Topic: New HF rig for a new Ham  (Read 9931 times)
W8JX
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Posts: 5438




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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2012, 05:14:32 PM »

Go to the Sherwood website and take a look at the receiver numbers.  It will be an education for you. 

While they are good in some respects they are kinda vague in other respects and does not give you a clue about how it "sounds" which is important too.
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KK4JJF
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2012, 07:41:29 AM »

Well so far it looks like it may be the TS-590S, or pay a little more for something like a FT-2000. I'd have to buy new as these nicer Transceivers seem to hold their value very well, making a "online" used purchase not worth the risk to me. Nothing like those are local to me!

As I have some bad timing with some irritatingly large bills due this month it would be at least another month ( perhaps even a bit more)before I could move on one of these rigs.

I do have another option. One of the few local sales I see is a IC-718 for a low price of $400. I Also see a FT-840 for the same price. These I can seen before purchase. It would get me on the air NOW, or at least listening which I'm dieing to do.  It could also be a "back up rig" in case the better 590s rig needs repair?

However, this purchase would push back the purchase of the nicer rig even a bit longer......

What's the verdict on those thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 08:46:25 AM by WMACKY » Logged
AC4RD
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2012, 08:36:57 AM »

One of the few local sales I see is a IC-718 for a low price of $400. This one I can see before purchase. It would get me on the air NOW, ...  What's the verdict on those thoughts?

This is another of the "your choice" decisions.  I've never used a 718 but I've heard they're perfectly decent.   It won't have the kind of DSP you can get with a new next-level-up rig ... but it would also let you have a BUNCH of fun and get your feet wet.  It'll make a fine backup or second rig, too, later on.  And at $400 you could probably sell it later and not lose much money.  That's assuming it's in good working shape--which can be hard for a beginner to be sure about.  If you've got some experienced hams nearby who can help you test it, and/or you can trust the seller (which is also easier if you have some experience), a 718 as a starter rig might work really well for you.   

The good news is that--as I said before--you really can't go far wrong, either way you decide.  If the 718 is in good working shape, it gets you on the air fast at a bargain price, and you can upgrade when YOU feel that you need to.

Either way, I imagine you're in for a world of fun!  :-) 
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2012, 09:24:59 AM »

+1 for what AC4RD said!
Well stated and to me, right on the mark.
Either rig as a starter and later as a back up
to the rig you really want, will be just fine.
james
WD5GWY
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N6AJR
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2012, 11:59:02 AM »

Well I still say to get a reasonably decent radio for a first rig.  They are all about the same  difficulty to learn from the start. most come up usable  right out of the box, and there is always some Elmer to help you out if you ask.

no sense buying radio after radio and wasting money, just buy a good one to start with.  even a pretty good rig, like a 746 pro, and FT 990 or a ten tec eagle or Orion,  or possibly even a shack in a box like a TS 2000, and FT 847, or an FT 857 d will give you lots of options  right from the start. And ask around  and see what is available locally used. get a trusted  Elmer  to go with you and help  make sure the used rig is  working properly.  lots of options my friend.

 I just reccommend you don't start with a " basic " radio like and FT 840, and please don't start with a QRP rig for a starter radio.  They are fun, but you can get frustrated not making  contacts  when using only 5 watts or less.
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KK4JJF
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2012, 02:11:37 PM »

HMMM Lots to consider.

I really like the looks of the FT2000 but it's pretty far off budget wise. One of the posters above liked it's receiver much better than the FT-950. I thought they had the same or equal receivers?  Is the better performance  strictly due to the mentioned filter kit add on? No similar kit for the FT-950?

I'm still leaning towards the TS590S But I have a few reservations:

I don't care for the display ( I prefer light on dark types like the FT 950/ 2000/ 5000.)
I don't care for the compact size / small buttons.
I'm still confused about all the reports of LOW SSB output, and ALC spikes!

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KD8MJR
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 04:35:34 PM »

Go for the $400 Rig and get on the air now!
As I said in my earlier post nothing beats starting out modestly and then getting a better Rig later.  The whole experience teaches you a lot about a good Rig versus a Great Rig.  The best part about it is that when the time comes for purchasing the TS-590 or 2000 just put the bill on your Credit card and as soon as the new baby arrives put your old Rig on EBay and sell it.  Most of the time you will get back just what you paid for it or at worst case 10-15% less. Ham gear is a good investment because the prices never seem to go down by much, the only exception being the really high end equipment which loses a huge chunk of value the moment you open the Box.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 11:01:15 AM by KD8MJR » Logged
KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2012, 06:20:38 PM »

I do have another option. One of the few local sales I see is a IC-718 for a low price of $400. I Also see a FT-840 for the same price. These I can seen before purchase. It would get me on the air NOW, or at least listening which I'm dieing to do.  It could also be a "back up rig" in case the better 590s rig needs repair?

However, this purchase would push back the purchase of the nicer rig even a bit longer......

What's the verdict on those thoughts?

I started out with an FT-840 - I got several years of fun out of that rig with a 6m transverter before I moved on to a Yaesu. As a newbie, you probably aren't going to have an antenna system that will make the lower-priced radio the limiting factor, unless you want to wade into the ARRL International DX contest the first time you get on the air.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2012, 08:57:52 PM »

WMACKY:  Patience my friend!  If you can, wait until you can get what you want.  Settling for second best because of impatience is, in my opinion, a mistake.  First of all, as you pointed out, buying second best now will push your buying of the 1st choice back.  Now you have two rigs, which really isn't a bad thing but there are other things you are going to need that the $400 will get for you.

In the meantime, plan and put up an antenna and think about what you're going to use and or need for the new 1st choice rig.  Like, SWR meter, dummy load..... keyer.... see what I mean?  Use the wait time wisely and plan for the next move after the rig. 
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K9KJM
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2012, 10:01:10 PM »

I agree.  Get the IC 718  (Great radios for the price) and get on the air.

The IC718 is still selling good used for not much less than new cost, So it's value should remain high when you learn more about rigs and go to upgrade some time in the future.

(My favorites for HF at a reasonable cost is the Icom IC756PRO series (PROII, PROIII)  Selling good used for 900 bucks to 1800 or so.)

The best deal on a "Do it all" radio is the Kenwood TS2000, Actually two radios in one box that can cross band repeat.  A really neat feature.  Good used in the 900 dollar range, Less than 1500 brand new.
Not the "hottest" HF radio around, BUT they do the job. Most newer hams can't take advantage of all the features of some of those full feature rigs anyhow.
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N5XM
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2012, 10:14:33 PM »

A friend let me use his 718 for a month or so, and it's a nice little radio.  You can find them used for a decent price.  Get one with the DSP module, and for sure add the SSB and CW filter particulary.  I'm all CW, and without the CW filter you will be very frustrated.  You might now do CW now, but it will be a blessing in the future.  It's a fun little radio.
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W8JX
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 06:05:04 PM »

A friend let me use his 718 for a month or so, and it's a nice little radio.  You can find them used for a decent price.  Get one with the DSP module, and for sure add the SSB and CW filter particulary.  I'm all CW, and without the CW filter you will be very frustrated.  You might now do CW now, but it will be a blessing in the future.  It's a fun little radio.

By nature a 718 has poor selectivity. By time you add a couple of expensive filters and a add on DSP module you could have bought a better radio to begin with that would do better than 718 after its mods too.
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KK4JJF
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 08:26:34 PM »

I decided!

I'm going to get a TS-590S. Thats just the best i'm going to be able to do. I have way too much to buy to pay any more!

Can anyone assure me there is no ALC / SSB output issue?

Anyone know if the current low HRO pricing is a temporary sale?

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W8JX
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 08:52:56 PM »

I decided!

I'm going to get a TS-590S. Thats just the best i'm going to be able to do. I have way too much to buy to pay any more!

Can anyone assure me there is no ALC / SSB output issue?

Anyone know if the current low HRO pricing is a temporary sale?



You made a very fine choice. There was a ALC problem when they first shipped but that was corrected in software long ago. You could pay twice as much and not get a better receiver too. As far as price, wait a few day as this is Hamvention week and there will be sales at show and on line.
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N3DF
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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2012, 01:35:53 PM »

And how much will you be spending on your antenna?
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Neil N3DF
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