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Author Topic: Too many radio choices!  (Read 13023 times)

Posts: 5707

« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2013, 12:08:40 PM »

Listening fatigue is real and it would be great if Sherwood or someone could quantify it. Even the K3 has been accused of causing listener fatigue, so yes there is more to it than the Sherwood numbers.


Posts: 5011

« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2013, 01:36:42 PM »

Listening fatigue is real and it would be great if Sherwood or someone could quantify it. Even the K3 has been accused of causing listener fatigue, so yes there is more to it than the Sherwood numbers.

Also fidelity or how it sounds to ones ear is hard to quantify. 

Posts: 503

« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2013, 06:22:11 PM »

Listening fatigue is real and it would be great if Sherwood or someone could quantify it.

Listening fatigue is like pornography. No one can precisely define it, but everyone can recognize it when they see it.

Posts: 16

« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2013, 09:33:15 PM »

Dont know if you've already spent a lot of money on a new whizbang radio but if you haven't, get an old kenwood ts-520 or similar, a tuner, and do like another op said and get an old rig and make some wire antennas. Experiment. Learn how to tune a rig. Use 100 watts or less. Dont be fancy. Give yourself the chance to be blown away by the fact that you can get a good signal out with $500 or less spent, doing code with a guy who has a $30,000 setup and his signal is no better than yours.

It aint about money or the newest thing. It's about learning something and connecting with people you've never met and would never talk to, about having the station on the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor answer your CQ, having hour long CW talks with an 80 year old guy in Arizona who sends beautiful code and who can probably send 30 wpm but who will slow down to 10 wpm and talk to you just because he understands what you're going through. And then 2 months later you find yourself slowing down to talk to some trembling guy who's answering his 1st cq on cw, and you end up being HIS elmer.

When these things happen, the radio you're using doesnt amount to squat. There's no "menu options" for magic. But magic will happen if you just get on the air, learn code, buy a cheap key until you realize a better key is worth it. Make you a google map and put pushpins with your contacts, see how your little "poor man's rig" is getting out there.

It's about tradition, self-discovery, and the realization that the world is full of good people, and some of them send gorgeous code, and some of the others tune on top of your qso or send code with no word spacing, or won't slow down when you're learning. But the good ones are out there.

In the process of all this apparently technical stuff you will learn something about you that no amount of money or menu options will give you.



Posts: 23

« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2013, 07:49:49 AM »

I realize the thread was started awhile ago, and hopefully the OP has gotten a rig on the air by now.

But just in case, my $0.02 worth:

I started out a couple of years ago with a 7000, and upgraded to a K3 (with the 7000 still in use as a second/backup/portable rig).

I've had a lot of fun with my 7000; it's a nice shack-in-a-box, and the filters and processing are OK.   I've worked a lot of DX on it.

I love my K3.  There is a big difference in the receiver sensitivity, and the filters are much, much better, and CW just sounds so d*mn sweet coming from the receiver through my headphones.   With the 7000, my rule of thumb was "if I can hear it, I can work it".  However, with the K3, I hear many more stations, some of which are workable, others which are not.

I live near W1AW.  80m PSK is unusable here on the 7000 when the W1AW CW bulletin is going out because of the dominance of W1AW's signal; I need to tune a few kHz away if I don't want my receiver saturated with W1AW's QRO signal.   However, on my K3, with the a tight filter, I've successfully worked 80m PSK within about 200 Hz of the bulletin frequency.

I'm told the receiver performance in the KX3 is similar to the K3.

When the KX3's 2 meter module comes out, I might sell my 7000 and replace it with the KX3+an amp....or I might not.   There is something to be said for having a self-contained shack-in-a-box.

Aside from receiver sensitivity and filter performance, my main gripe with the 7000 is the need to use menus.  Menus are going to be a necessary evil on most small, portable rigs, but they can be very annoying when you are trying to fiddle to pull a weak one out of the noise.   If portability weren't a consideration, there are a few other radios that ought to be on the list.

All that being said, I agree generally with TRJ's comments.  While I don't regret my path, it might have been more economical to borrow or buy a used rig to get my feet wet, and then have been in a more informed position if/when I wanted to buy a new transceiver.   Any rig and any antenna is better than having no rig and no antenna at all.

(Although, with propagation the past few weeks, one might wonder about that.  Smiley )

Posts: 850

« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2013, 05:38:27 PM »

Sherwood is right.

What he is talking about is audio INBAND IMD. The K3 has horrible audio because its inband IMD  performance was so poor. This was on the old K3 design. The new K3 DSP board update was supposed
to address this issue. I upgraded my 2 X K3's and it did help a lot make the K3 sound a bit sweeter. However the INBAND audio IMD is still measurable and still present.

I just  had a TS990S on loan and its inband audio IMD is not the best. Its not  as good as the legendary TS870S which had excellent inband audio IMD numbers.
unfortunately the ARRL reviews dont publish audio INBAND IMD test numbers with the AGC on and OFF like the old ARRL reviews. So this important aspect of receiver designed
is not mentioned which is a shame. It does not help either when the typical ham transceiver has a crappy 15% distortion over driven audio PA. Its a disgrace what ham manufacturers put
into a ham transceivers. Its the cheapest nastiest possible  design when high power audio PA IC's are so readily available and cheap.

So like the poor transmitter IMD, audio INBAND IMD an important receiver parameter is ignored by all the hot receiver number junkies.  Nobody today would today ride to work in a old T model  or a old Willys Jeep. But in ham radio
we can pay Mercedes prices and get T model specifications and hams like dummies just accept whats dished out to them. We should be more proactive like any other consumer and demand better from the manufacturers.
If the kind of audio systems thats put in ham radios was put into  your car system with 15% distortion there would be a riot. Hams just take the  junk and think I payed 10,000$s for my brandX its all good, its the best.
Being brain washed brand junkies does not deliver well designed equipment, if we complained more we would not have radios with 15% 1 watt over driven audio system with poor IMD. Likewise we would not have expensive radios with TX IMD thats no better than a cheap truck stop CB radio but costs thousands of dollars. So please complain to the manufacturers.

One thing I will say  if you listen to a good SDR radio with a  clean audio chain and then compare it  to a number of expensive ham radio you soon know how bad most ham transceiver audio sections are. A DSP direct sampling receiver
with  low distortion audio PA is just so pleasant, you can sit there and listen to it all day. It reminds me a lot of the old tube receivers like the R390, AR88 and any good tube receiver. Really warm clean audio. Something you dont get on  the latest DSP wonder box radios with their raspy  and noisy front ends. Progress is not always the best thing!

Listening fatigue is real and it would be great if Sherwood or someone could quantify it. Even the K3 has been accused of causing listener fatigue, so yes there is more to it than the Sherwood numbers.


Posts: 165

« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »

I'm not sure if you purchased a rig yet, but as someone who owns a kx3, ic-7000, ft-897, ft-817, and have used the ts-590s. I can tell you one thing. To me filtering is very important. I love the filtering on the kenwood ts-590s, kx3 filtering is top notch. The 7000 has a good nb but is so noisy that I had listener fatigue. The Yaesu radios have poor filtering out of the box, and even with the crystal filters I am spoiled by continuously variable if DSP filter widths and slope.

That being said, things I learned on the ic-7000. Roofing filters make DSP shine, IF DSP without good roofing filters can make the dsp filters ring, cause de-sense on strong adjacent signals. usually have poor close in performance, and the like. While I loved the 7k it suffered from all of these issues.

Second to filters is power. Unless you are going to work CW all the time, and have decent antennas, you will want a full 100 watts to make contacts. For these reasons I recommend 2 radios out of the bunch for a new ham:

1. The ic-7200 for $1200 it has good DSP filters, and easy connectivity to the pc with a single usb interface.
2. The kenwood ts-590s: it has a good low if frequency, great roofing filters, great dsp, and 100 watts. Probably my number 1 choice.
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