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Author Topic: Looking for my frist all mode radio  (Read 1877 times)
PATRICKKOMAR
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« on: February 25, 2013, 04:14:22 AM »

I'm a new tech studying for my general and I'm looking for an all mode base station radio, I started out looking at the kenwood TS-2000 but anther ham had me take a look at the FT-857d and it's predecessor the 897( That might be the wrong model number)but it lacks 2m and 70cm. I like the 857d for it's size but I'm worried that with that small size will come with draw backs in ease of use for a new ham. I have a FT-2900 and a wouxun KG-UV3D, The 2900 I can program fairly easily with a nifty manual and the DTMF mic and I use my laptop to program my HT but with the size of the 857 I still worry about that there might be things I might readily need being burred in menus and sub menus. Is there other radios that are all mode/band In the price range between the TS-2000 and the FT-857D that I should be looking at?
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G8UBJ
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 06:38:33 AM »

Well first decide on a budget and probably what you want to do first? HF? Digital modes, CW? VHF? DX or just rig chewing?
I'm assuming you already have a awesome antenna farm? If not that's the best place to sink your cash for good performance...and buy a S/H rig to get on the bands..

The FT-897 is a nice rig - basically the same as the 857 in a nicer package and of course it covers VHF and UHF. To work CW and digital you will need filters for that rig which cost extra, and of course a 20 amp 13.8V PSU
The TS-2000 is getting a little old, maybe the TS-590 is a better rig with DSP so filters are less necessary but it doesn't have VHF

The IC-9100 does HF/VHF but is pricey,

I guess there's a lot to consider?

VY 73 Rex G8UBJ







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AD5ZC
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 07:05:14 AM »

if I couldn't afford the 9100, I'd have to go with the Yaesu.
Even though the 2000 gets good Eham reviews, it is universally reviled in forum posts by people who I think would be qualified to know plus it is just old although the Yaesu is getting long in the tooth as well.
Main hit on the Yaesu is that it is menu heavy.

All of the above is IMHO as I've never owned any of the radios mentioned but have researched extensively while considering my own purchase of an all band rig.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 09:05:38 AM »

Patrick, you might be better off getting to know some local hams, join your local club if you have one, and start talking to people.  If you ask 10 hams for an opinion on what rig to buy, you'll get 12 different opinions.  (Two will change their minds after the first response.)  ;-)

It will help a bunch if you can get your hands on a few different rigs, see what looks logical and feels good to you.  Personal taste has a lot to do with choosing a rig for HF.  And just about any modern-era HF transceiver will be a good starting point for you, if you can find one in good condition at a good price.  But which one you'll enjoy most is a different question.

By the way, it's also not a huge deal.  You may pick one radio, and by next year you're realizing it isn't great for RTTY, or has poor receive audio on phone, or whatever.  But by then you'll have a better idea of what you like and don't like on HF, and you may be wanting a different radio by then. Wink  You can always sell the old one, or keep it as a backup!

73 GL!  --ken
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K2DC
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 11:24:37 AM »

The first question to ask yourself is - Is there a good reason you really need all bands and all modes in one rig.  Sounds like you already have VHF and UHF covered, at least for FM.  But you really need to think about where your primary interests are and allot your budget to cover them.  For example:  Are you really interested in VHF or UHF CW or SSB and is it necessary to have  them in the same rig as HF?

At one time I thought an all band/all mode rig would be a good idea because I was doing a lot of DX and also playing with satellites, so I bought a TS-2000.  It did OK, but I was not all that satisfied with it's receive performance on HF and many of the good satellites have since gone dark.  I have had a Mark V Field for about 9 years now and its receiver blows the Kenwood away.  I will be replacing it soon with an FT-2000.  The same goes for the IC-706 MKIIG that I've also had (now replaced by the IC-7000).  It did OK for what it was, but HF receive was certainly nothing to write home to Mom about.

I think you will find that several rigs can do all things in one box, but it just isn't possible to do all of them well.  You may be better served with individual rigs for each purpose.  You could still stay within you budget, and get much better performance with them.  Check with your local club, ask around and get as much information as you can before you take the plunge.

73,

Don, K2DC

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N6AJR
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 12:42:51 PM »

I have multiple radios now, and have owned many more over the years. I have an Orion for my main "contest grade " radio and I use a ts 2000 in the shack, mostly for 2m and 440 and sometimes 6 and 10 meters  ssb and cw and rtty. The ts 200 is great for 2m/440 repeater work because it has vox so I don't have to push the button to talk.  The ts 2000 does not have a great receiver on hf, but it works.  IN my car IO run an ft 857 and a kenwood on 900 megs. I n my truck I have 5 radios including a second ft 857 d and a 2m/ 220 mhz/  900mhz/ 1.2 ghz / 440 mhz and some bands are represented 2 times, but on different antennas.  I have 2 antennas on the car ( ATAS 120 and a 900 mhz vert) and I have 8 antennas on the pickup truck.

I would reccommend the ft857 as a real good choice for a multiband radio, and you can still get them new for around $800 and they work with automatic with the ATAS 120 through 40 meters. They have a good menu which is alphabetical and easy to use.  get a nifty book for the main info.  Ts 2000 is larger for a base unit, and still run about $1200 or more, and the ft 847 is equivlent and a bit cheaper ( used, no longer made) but no vox.  So yes get a  rig that will do 2m/440/6m sideband, fm, and cw, psk, rtty, and such. so you are not stuck on 2 m fm repeater only.
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K6AER
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 01:38:49 PM »

You can buy a used IC-7000 for $1000. They work exceptionally will on HF.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 02:37:27 PM »

You can buy a used IC-7000 for $1000. They work exceptionally will on HF.

  Undecided

All I'll say is that as an owner of an Icom 7000 and a TS590 I respectfully disagree. My TS480 worked better than my Icom 7000 does on HF.

If you only want to do FM on VHF and UHF, a TS480 and separate dualbander will give you far better performance for the same money and in addition you can monitor VHF/UHF repeaters etc whilst working HF - something you can't do with a IC7000 or FT857/897.
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PATRICKKOMAR
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 04:09:08 PM »

My back ground is 11 meter so I'm more of a rage chewer/skip chaser, digital interests me and CW is high on my to do list after I obtain my general ticket. My budget for a new radio hovers around 1500.00. My antenna farm Plans include a comet GP-3 (witch I have) and inverted v dipoles for 6 and 10 meter suspend from a mast atop the peak of my garage witch should have them about 35'-40' or so in the air running north to south roughly.
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AD5ZC
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 11:30:45 AM »

You know, I didn't think about the 7000 but that's definitely a radio you should consider if your set on an all band radio.

Be aware that unless you plan on really getting into it and getting some serious beam antenna in the air, 2m/440 ssb are going to seem like a waisteland.  To a lesser extent 6m as well although with a decent horizontally polarized omnidirectional antenna you can work some amazing stuff when 6 is open.

If your only 2m/440 antenna is going to be the Diamond then I have to agree with M6GOM in that your money will be much better spent on a quality HF only rig and a cheap FM dual bander to use on the Diamond.

I might be biased since I use a 480HX as well but for 1500, you could have a 200 watt HF radio that works well with digital, a nice outboard tuner and a 2m/440 dual bander and be hamming it up in fine style.

Also, instead of 2 inverted V's I would make one V for 20 meters, feed it with balanced line and use it all the way up to 6 with that nice outboard tuner your gonna buy.

Don't forget a dummy load.
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PATRICKKOMAR
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 05:49:17 PM »

Back to the drawing board I go! I have no real plans to put up a tower any time soon so a yagi for 2/440 is out of the question, I'm going to start looking in to HF only rigs and a stand alone 2m/440 rig. I really do want a rig that will do 6 meter, work with digital that I can use some sort of software for rig control. The hunt continues!
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KD4LEC
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 11:23:27 AM »

Look for an Icom 746. I have one all mode with 2m and 6m. There are some used ones on eBay. It has 3 antenna connectors one of which is just for 2m. No 440 though.


Back to the drawing board I go! I have no real plans to put up a tower any time soon so a yagi for 2/440 is out of the question, I'm going to start looking in to HF only rigs and a stand alone 2m/440 rig. I really do want a rig that will do 6 meter, work with digital that I can use some sort of software for rig control. The hunt continues!
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