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Author Topic: New IC-7000, any other rig, or keep my old stuff?  (Read 12557 times)
KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« on: June 27, 2013, 10:08:17 AM »

I'm a new ham as of 2 weeks ago (passed the Tech and missed General by 2 questions, doggone it), and I currently have a little Baofeng UV-B5 HT for UHF/VHF. I bought a couple of my Uncle's older rigs a month ago when he went into a nursing home, and they seem to be nice for 30 year old sets.

One is a Kenwood TS-820 that has a Kenwood external VFO and external speaker with MC-50 mic. It seems to be receiving well, but an Extra friend of mine came over a couple of weeks ago. He has an 830, so he knew a little about the older set, and we tried to transmit with it - but it wouldn't get out at all. I'm in the process of finding someone that could help me out locally to see about replacing components in it to get it up and going without spending an arm and a leg on it.

The other is a Yaesu FT-757GX Mark I with the small Yaesu power supply and Yaesu antenna tuner plus the little MH-1 (I believe that's the model) mic. It seems to be working well - we talked to a couple of guys in West Virginia and Indiana on it, and I'm in South Carolina.

I have a small end fed antenna that I swap between both of these sets, and it's doing okay. I think I'm going to build a good dipole for it, though, and see how high I can get it up in the trees.

ANYWAY - this equipment is pretty cool and I'm learning an awful lot as I go. I'm wondering about selling them both and getting either a new Icom IC-7000 so I could use it as a mobile or a base station. Reading the reviews on here, though, makes me a little worried about getting one, because there are several reports of it just smoking and giving up the ghost. That may be in a few years, but I'm not wanting that to happen to something I have good money in.

What would you do? Would you keep what I have or sell it and put that money into a new unit? And what would you get?

I'm looking forward to your responses. Thanks! And thanks to everybody for such a great resource site that lets new guys like me learn quickly.

Barry
KK4RXN

Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
SMAUG
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 11:00:34 AM »

Those Kenwoods are not mobiles, are they? I thought the TS-series were big HF rigs?

I'd be tempted to send it to Kenwood, and see if they offer a service through which they'll check it out for you and send it back with a clean bill of health. It would be nice to have a "family radio" or two. That's an opportunity not all of us have.
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Jeremy (KC9ZHE)
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln
KK4RXN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 11:39:56 AM »

No, the Kenwood isn't a mobile - it's a big, HEAVY set. I'm probably going to keep it if I can get it economically restored.

The Yaesu can be made to be a mobile - it's not too big, but definitely bigger than modern sets.


Barry
KK4RXN

Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
K0GGC
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 02:34:20 PM »

Icom just released the IC-7100. Basically it is identical to the IC-7000 except that it uses a newer touch screen and has new D-Star technology.

So I would hold off for a little while on your decision because there might be a number of IC-7000's hitting the used market for those looking to upgrade. Also the IC-7100 might kill sales on the IC-7000 forcing price reductions from dealers. Hard to say at this point as the IC-7100 is about $400.00 more in retail price.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 02:39:39 PM »

Both those radios are too old to be serviced by the manufacturer.  Frankly, unless it's something simple, the shipping expense alone for the 830 puts it close to uneconomical to repair.  Not that it's not worth fixing yourself but you could put a ton of money into a 35 year old radio in a hurry paying a tech.  I would keep that on the shelf for now for when you find someone that can help you with it.

With any rig, you pays your money and takes your chances.  I've had radios a few months old fail and I have radios that are 30 years old that have never had a problem.  If you're looking for a sure bet you're probably in the wrong hobby.  Buying new gets you a warranty, and some confidence that even out of warranty the factory will support it for some period of time going forward.  Like anything else in life, don't spend what you can't afford to lose.  Odds are in your favor you'll come out fine.

The plus to the 7000 vs the 757 is it does have some modern bells and whistles that are common to many transceivers nowadays.  It'd be a good way to get your feet wet with these capabilities.  Not that the 757 can't make contacts but it's a rather spartan radio by today's standards.

If HF mobile is in your future, then the 7000 makes that pretty convenient.  I probably wouldn't want this as a sole radio though, because it gets pretty old schlepping the radio back and forth from the car to the house.   Since the 757 doesn't have a lot of intrinsic value, maybe consider keeping it and using it at home might be an option.  It's certainly good enough to use as you study for, and getting your feet wet once you pass your general.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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W5ZL
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 08:58:29 AM »

I have owned an ICOM IC-7000 for about 3 years and have never had one problem with it; however, we all know that I could go into the Shack and turn it on and let all of the smoke out of it.

The only thing I have against the IC-7000 is since it is a "mobile" type of transceiver, there isn't any room for a lot of knobs and buttons; so, to make even a "Power Change" one has to use the 'Menu System.'  That is my "Personal Gripe" about the unit because on a daily basis, I use an ICOM IC-756ProIII, which has me spoiled with all of its features right there on the front panel.

One thing you will like about the IC-7000 us that it will provide you Service from 160M through 70cm, except for the 1.25M band.  That is a lot of Service in such a small package for an "All Right Price."  Plus, it will also allow you to use all of the popular modes, SSB, AM,FM, RTTY, etc. and when using HF, having it coupled to a screwdrive HF Antenna you can work 80M through 6M with the right antenna and Cap. Hat when using the HF Antenna Connection, plus 2M and 70cm with a dual band antenna attached to the IC-7000 using the VHF/UHF Antenna connections.

Perhaps you could find someone locally that has an IC-7000 that you may go visit and do a little hands-on operating of the IC-7000 to see how you can adapt to its small front panel and its menu system.
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KK4RXN
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 09:19:16 AM »

I found out last Saturday at Field Day that a good friend of mine has aN IC-7000. The fact that he said he bought one sparked my interest because I've seen lots of people talk about how good they are.

It is pretty impressive that the 7000 has all those features for a mobile! I'd be tempted to have a 7200, too. I'm curious about other rigs similar to the 7000 or 7200.

Barry
KK4RXN

Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
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Barry
KK4RXN
Jeremiah 29:11-13 / John 3:16
AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 07:24:45 PM »

I would say assess your needs and desires carefully. When we all first entered into this hobby we all thought we wanted everything. We quickly learn we can't have everything - at least most of us can't. I wanted HF mobile at first, but the more I thought about it the more I decided I really didn't need it.  My commute is fairly short and the cost of a good screwdriver antenna is a bit much.  I don't travel that much so my mobile HF work would be sitting in the car in the driveway. So I opted for a VHF/UHF mobile rig that I use for repeaters.  I then decided to go with the Yeasu FT857 all mode/all band transceiver for my base radio.  It is similar to the 7000 but a little less expensive.  You can get a used one for a reasonable price.  The FT897 is a bigger FT857 and also a fine radio.  The ICOMs are good but tend to be  a little higher in price.  If I were buying new today, which I'm not, I would probably go with the Elecraft rigs.  They are solid performers.  I really like the KX3 but that is because I like doing mountain topping.  Unfortunately the 100w amp to go with it puts the total at about $2400 which is a bit much for me at the moment.

So I would not repair the old radios you have unless you want to take it on as a personal project.  Any modern radio is going to serve you well.  Buying used is a risk even if the ad states it is new in the box and never been used.  I am finding that most used prices are a bit high (IMO) as the sellers want to factor in shipping which is pretty much free these days from the main amateur outlets.  I found out that shipping a radio half-way across country cost about $50 so it really is difficult to compete with new these days.

By all means try out as many as you can and good luck with whatever you decide.
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N6JSX
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 01:48:01 PM »

If you want to do mobile HF then the IC-7000 is THEE best choice you can make. I've been doing HF mobile for years starting with the Atlas-210x, then TS-430, then IC706mk2g, and now IC-7000. The IC-7000 was the best upgrade I could have ever made - the variable IF DSP & NB make this mobile rig THEE keeper! Put a good screwdriver (w/+50" stinger) with it and you got the mobile HF world by the tail.

What is also very nice is the IC-7K can do SSB/FM 2m & 70cm off a dedicated antenna port.

If there is a IC-7K draw back (in my opinion) is it does not have a sub-band/2nd RX. While working HF I'd like to be scanning selected memory's (2m/70cm) in the background, the IC-7K cannot do this but then again none of their competitors can either. 

Another plus for the IC-7K is all the switches/knobs/displays are in front of you, the FT competitor puts buttons around the outside of the tuning knob requiring memorization of locations to use while driving as you will not be able to twist you head around to find them while driving. The IC-7K color display is purely a modern day novelty and not really required.

I looked at the IC-7100 and hate the angled display - this angle it will enhance user glare problems and due to how it is made leaves the user with few alternative mounting methods to reduce glare.

One thing that ALL radio makers fail to consider is vehicle bright sunlight and polarized sun glasses make all display hard to impossible to see! 
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WN2C
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2013, 10:13:15 PM »

Barry, I run the 7k in the mobil and in the shack.  Yes I own 2 plus a Kenwood 2k.  Bought them both in 2009.  I like running the 7k in the mobil with a Scorpion screwdriver.  If you are planning on doing HF mobil then go for it, but put the money into it now and not a little at a time.  By this I mean a putting money in to the antenna system (read that as no hamsticks) at first and then decide it is not good enough or that you not happy with the narrow bandwith of that particular antenna. There is a reason I run the Scorpion, and that is it (in my opinion) is the best built screwdriver on the market. It is expensive but worth it if you are serious about HF mobil.
As far as the Kenwood 820 is concerned, I would try Cliff at AAvid or maybe join the Kenwood hybrid users group on Yahoo.  It may be worth fixing and it may be some thing fairly simple.  Good luck and congrats on the license and keep trying for the General, you'll get it.

Rick  WN2C
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M6GOM
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 02:54:30 AM »

If you want to do mobile HF then the IC-7000 is THEE best choice you can make. I've been doing HF mobile for years starting with the Atlas-210x, then TS-430, then IC706mk2g, and now IC-7000. The IC-7000 was the best upgrade I could have ever made - the variable IF DSP & NB make this mobile rig THEE keeper! Put a good screwdriver (w/+50" stinger) with it and you got the mobile HF world by the tail.


For HF only the Kenwood TS480 knocks the socks off an Icom 7000. I've done plenty of side by side testing between the two and the Kenwood has a far better receiver and better TX audio.

When it comes to one that does it all in one radio, HF+V/U then the Icom 7000 is the best of them all.

Quote
If there is a IC-7K draw back (in my opinion) is it does not have a sub-band/2nd RX. While working HF I'd like to be scanning selected memory's (2m/70cm) in the background, the IC-7K cannot do this but then again none of their competitors can either. 

That is why I eventually went back from an Icom 7000 to a TS480/TM-D710 set up in the car.
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W4KVW
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Posts: 484




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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 08:03:54 PM »

I currently run an ICOM 7000 as my mobile rig with a TARHEEL II screwdriver & a LARSON 2/70 NMO.I have had zero issues with the setup.This is the second time I have owned this same IC-7000 & myself or the other 2 prior owners have ever had an issue with the
IC-7000. I have read the same reports & am a member of the Yahoo IC-7000 group where the rig gets plenty of chat.It's an AWESOME rig in my opinion & I have even ran it in my shack a few times with GREAT success & love it either way because it has served me well.You can check out the setups of my BASE & MOBILE on my QRZ.com page if you like.Hope you have success with whatever you choose.I think the DSP in the IC-7000 is far SUPERIOR to the Kenwood or Yaesu.The worst rig I have EVER owned was a Yaesu FT-857D & would not take FREE one if I was required to keep it & use it every day FYI.  {:>)   Grin   Smiley   Cheesy

Clayton
W4KVW
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 08:09:40 PM by W4KVW » Logged
KA7RRA
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Posts: 108




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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2013, 04:32:03 AM »

I got both a ICOM-7000 and the Yaseau 857D  both are very good radios. I have been real happy with the 857D

I use the Yaseau 857D in my Toyota Cam,and what I like about the 857D and the ATAS-120 Antenna system,is all I got to do is it the tune button and I can tune the radio instantly

On the ICOM-7000, I have to old down the toggle switch,and go up or down withthe antenna plus you have to install a few more wires with the screw driver antenna
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SMAUG
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2013, 07:50:53 AM »

I talked to a ham the other day who was using his IC-7000 in 2m. He sounded great, and was thrilled with the radio.

However, doing more than repeater-type talking on a mobile rig seems irressponsible to me; like texting while driving for the kids.
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Jeremy (KC9ZHE)
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-Abraham Lincoln
N5UD
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2013, 09:18:50 PM »

For mobile DXing and contesting I like the Kenwood TS-480. I have 288 mobile countries from Texas since January 2011. I have heard several more.

No IF dsp. For CW I have the customary IF crystal filter installed. I can't recall any receiver overload problems. This is DXing and contesting ! Always get "great audio" even from the DX stations. I find the buttons on the control head easy to use.

73 Tony N5UD /M 
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