Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Best, most modern transceiver for under $500?  (Read 12354 times)
AG6WT
Member

Posts: 442




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 02:31:41 PM »

If you want something that is definitely serviceable by their manufacturers and your hard limit is $500, I think your choices are limited to the FT-450 (original version) and the IC-718. If you can relax the servicing requirement, consider the IC-735; they are built like tanks.
Logged
KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 342




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2013, 03:55:17 PM »

I want a radio that doesn't have to be babied, due to old age. The 735 was made from 1985 to the early 1990s, and doesn't seem to have switches that can loosen, or tubes to be replaced. That's good enough for me. The bandswitch on my Kenwood 130 is loose, and has to be "jiggled" for a contact to be made. I've used Yaesu rx gear before (FRG-8800) and was unimpressed. The 8800 came out in 1985, and didn't have switches. I don't understand the craze for old tube gear, personally. Lots of elderly hams with too much money wanting to get that Collins rig they dreamed of when they were 12. Tubes are hard to find, and some components may be nearly impossible to find. Electrolytic caps with the farad ratings necessary for tube gear are really difficult to get. I didn't realize how hard it was to find parts and how much rebuilding a tube rig needs until someone gave me a SB-102. If that floats your boat, cool, but some hams just want it to work.
Logged
KA5IPF
Member

Posts: 980


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2013, 05:06:00 PM »

Take your 1.5mm allen wrench and tighten the coupling on the 130. It's loose. It's the one at the back of the bandswitch before the final compartment.

Clif
Logged
K7AAT
Member

Posts: 414




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2013, 06:05:00 PM »

If you truly want a "modern transceiver"  I would not begin to suggest the reliable IC-735.  It was developed only 5 years after your own radio.  As others have suggested,  the IC-718 or Yaesu FT-450 would be my choice.  I have operated both and each has its own merits, but both are certainly modern  ( still in production ).  If you want the better performer, in my opinion, I'd suggest the Yaesu.  If you want the easier to operate I'd suggest the Icom.  I don't think you'd go wrong with either.

Ed   K7AAT
Logged
KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 342




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2013, 06:40:07 PM »

Thanks everybody. It seems that many hams don't like the Icom IC-718 OR the Yaesu FT-450. Each seems to have significant problems. The IC-735 seems to have issues too-some have bad soldering, and the tuning pot tends to seize up. I think I'll just stick with my Kenwood TS-130S for now, and put the money I save towards something else. I have owned Yaesu gear as a SWL (FRG-8800) and I really didn't like it, I had to ship it to Yaesu several times to be serviced. I've heard that Yaesu HT's have lots of problems too. I really don't want to spend $1000 on a used radio.
Logged
W4KVW
Member

Posts: 476




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2013, 09:18:47 PM »

Kenwood TS-50's are easy to find for under $500 & are GREAT little radios.Not a lot of stacked menus either. {:>)   Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
Logged
G3RZP
Member

Posts: 4395




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2013, 03:52:00 AM »

The one thing that worries me is "for how long will spare parts be available?"

That suggests you want a rig that has been on the market for about 6 to 12 months (so the early production bugs have been fixed) or you get enough spares to be able to fix it.
Logged
W4KYR
Member

Posts: 480




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2013, 05:38:21 AM »

Thanks everybody. It seems that many hams don't like the Icom IC-718 OR the Yaesu FT-450. Each seems to have significant problems.  I really don't want to spend $1000 on a used radio.

I have the IC-718 with DSP and have ZERO problems with it and it doesn't cost $1000 new or used.  It is regularly listed from $500 to $550 on E-Bay used. Is the IC-718 the greatest radio in the world? No. But it is modern, still in production, built solidly, has accessory jacks in the back for direct connection to the Tigertronics Signalink USB Interface. For everyday use it works great and is a solid performer.

I don't think I have read any reports of any significant problems with the IC-718. Out of 391 reviews on the eham it is rated at 4.6 out of 5 which it is as good as it gets. It seems many hams do like the IC-718 even though it doesn't have FM, but then again neither does the IC-7200. The 4.8/5 rating of the IC-7200 makes it one of the highest rated rigs out there with the most reviews for its rating, 149 reviews.

Yes you can do better than the IC-718...for more money. We could sit here for hours and discuss the pros and cons of various rigs. What we really need to do is to compare the radio up close and in person, either at another ham's house, at a ham radio store or at a ham radio club.



« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 05:48:43 AM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
WX7G
Member

Posts: 5920




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2013, 05:24:24 PM »

You can get a brand new Alinco DX-SR8T from HRO for $529.95 with free shipping.
Logged
K7AAT
Member

Posts: 414




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2013, 05:51:46 PM »

GOOD POINT !  We tend to forget about the 4th Japanese manufacturer, Alinco....at least I do.

Ed   K7AAT
Logged
AG6WT
Member

Posts: 442




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2013, 06:42:41 AM »

It seems that many hams don't like the Icom IC-718 OR the Yaesu FT-450. Each seems to have significant problems. The IC-735 seems to have issues too-some have bad soldering, and the tuning pot tends to seize up.

Neither the IC-718 nor FT-450 have "significant problems". They have pretty high ratings in the eHam review section for a reason. Being low priced entry level transceivers, however, they do have "significant" limitations compared to rigs in the $2000 and up category. If you read between the lines in the reviews, complaints about the IC-718 and FT-450 are from hams who probably use a FT-1000, IC756ProIII, or K3 as their everyday rig. If you have a good wire antenna high up in the air and aren't working a contest, an IC-718 or FT-450 will serve you just fine.

BTW, the IC-735 can have problems but within the scope of very cheap used rigs, it has fewer problems and the nature of those problems are easy to repair.
Logged
KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 342




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2013, 08:27:55 AM »

It seems that many hams don't like the Icom IC-718 OR the Yaesu FT-450. Each seems to have significant problems. The IC-735 seems to have issues too-some have bad soldering, and the tuning pot tends to seize up.

Neither the IC-718 nor FT-450 have "significant problems". They have pretty high ratings in the eHam review section for a reason. Being low priced entry level transceivers, however, they do have "significant" limitations compared to rigs in the $2000 and up category. If you read between the lines in the reviews, complaints about the IC-718 and FT-450 are from hams who probably use a FT-1000, IC756ProIII, or K3 as their everyday rig. If you have a good wire antenna high up in the air and aren't working a contest, an IC-718 or FT-450 will serve you just fine.

BTW, the IC-735 can have problems but within the scope of very cheap used rigs, it has fewer problems and the nature of those problems are easy to repair.

I think you're right, and I misinterpreted the reviews. The main problem with the 718 seems to be that the internal speaker is overdriven. The 735 seems to have trouble with the tuning pot grease going bad. However, I noticed that repair services are available for these older Icoms, while nobody seems to repair older transistorized Kenwoods, either they fix newer rigs or hybrids. I like the 735 the best, and will probably buy one once I get the money.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5492




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2013, 09:10:09 AM »

Kenwood TS-50's are easy to find for under $500 & are GREAT little radios.Not a lot of stacked menus either. {:>)   Grin

Clayton
W4KVW

Easy to find because they lack a lot of features and many get rid of them. My biggest gripe with it is poor selectivity.
Logged

--------------------------------------
Entered using a  WiFi Win 8.1 RT tablet or a Android tablet using 4G/LTE or WiFi.
KG6BRG
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2013, 11:06:30 AM »

For what it's worth, I've owned an Icom IC-718, IC-735 and currently, the Yaesu FT-450.  I think a nice FT-450 is the best of the three, (about $500.00 for the non-ATU).  The IC-735 was a nice rig too, I sold it and am looking for another to replace it, I miss it.  The IC-718 was my least favorite and I don't miss it at all.  As pointed out the Yaesu is a current model, currently supported by Yaesu, but there are several highly regarded service centers for older Icom's, so service really isn't a problem.  good luck.  cheers.
Logged
K9AIM
Member

Posts: 954




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »

Once I get some debts paid, I'll be looking to upgrade my transceiver. I would ideally like it to not have tubes or electromechanical switches (like band or mode switches are on my TS130) and cost under $500. I know that it will be used. I'm hoping for something that the manufacturer will still be able to fix. Any suggestions?

if you can somehow find $300 or so more, you could pick up a used Ten-Tec Jupiter http://tentecwiki.org/doku.php?id=538 and have a really good rig. As an added bonus Ten-Tec is in America.  There are older Ten-Tec models you could pick up far cheaper ...
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!