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Author Topic: Analog HF transceivers----  (Read 6450 times)
VE3GNU
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Posts: 83




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« on: November 23, 2013, 12:59:40 PM »

Who still makes an analog transceiver?  Or---perhaps part analog and part DSP?  My observation and experience with recent transceivers of the Audio and I.F. DSP designs tells me that none of them sound anywhere as good and comfortable as my aging Icom.  It's not my ears---as my QRP kit-rigs sound just fine, and are a wonderful alternative and 'treat for the ears'---
Any insight and experience is welcome and appreciated.
73---Ernie
VE3GNU
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F8WBD
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Posts: 61




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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 01:53:19 PM »

I may be mistaken, but I think all QRO rigs manufactured today are non-analog. That leaves The QRP soldering-iron-required kit the only option...or, home brewing one's own analog QRO transceiver.

I am amazed how quiet my OHR100A rig is compared to the FT-857 I had. Even my FT-817 is somewhat noisier than the OHR. The OHR has no digital display or DSP. Neither does the MFJ Cub and several other kits.

You might shop around for a decent, vintage Kenwood or Yaesu, though. Even one of the early Ten-Tec rigs.
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KA2FIR
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 02:11:54 PM »

Hi,

I have a FT-950 and FT-920 and prefer the sound of the 920. The hiss is smoother and the sound is just more natural. I tried several IF-DSP radios at HRO and they all have that DSP-type hiss to them. Lately, I've been using the DNR on my 950 and that seems to smooth out the hiss but I still prefer the sound of an analog radio. Besides the Yaesu 8*7 series I think the TS-480 is analog with audio DSP. I don't think there are anymore analog base radios made anymore except for that $20K EU radio.

I listen to radios on Youtube and the IC-7700 has a nice sound to it but I've never tried it at HRO.

Mike
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 03:06:14 PM by KA2FIR » Logged
VE3GNU
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Posts: 83




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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 03:34:15 PM »

Gentlemen---My reason for posting---basically----I have built three QRP kit-rigs---i.e. the OHR 100 for 40 meters, the Ten Tec 1340, and the Wilderness NC-40A---and continue to wonder about their audio quality and the silent keying!  I can only fantasize about how great other QRO rigs must have sounded---if my 'aging Icom 740 (ham band only) is any indication.  I have heard nothing yet that comes close to that wonderful radio---my only classic solid state transceiver since '82---and I just might get it 'updated' next spring---if nothing shows up as a replacement.
73 Ernie
VE3GNU
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W8JX
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Posts: 5483




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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 03:59:56 PM »

Who still makes an analog transceiver?  Or---perhaps part analog and part DSP?  My observation and experience with recent transceivers of the Audio and I.F. DSP designs tells me that none of them sound anywhere as good and comfortable as my aging Icom.  It's not my ears---as my QRP kit-rigs sound just fine, and are a wonderful alternative and 'treat for the ears'---
Any insight and experience is welcome and appreciated.
73---Ernie
VE3GNU


TS 480 is a analog rig with AF DSP that you can use or bypass.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 02:16:07 AM »

The couple that I listened to with DSP IF filtering had what I would describe as 'harsh' audio.
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 11:30:36 AM »

The couple that I listened to with DSP IF filtering had what I would describe as 'harsh' audio.

If has a lot to do with the power/sample rate of IF DSP processors. On lower end rigs they would cut corners here.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »

Having spent over 30 years in RF integrated circuit applications, I've come to the conclusion now I'm retired that if I can't do it with a vacuum tube, it's generally not worth doing!

Not that I have anything against digital stuff - we always called the people who did it bit freaks. If I had a daughter, I wouldn't want her to marry one of them, even though I did!
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 02:19:30 PM »

Having spent over 30 years in RF integrated circuit applications, I've come to the conclusion now I'm retired that if I can't do it with a vacuum tube, it's generally not worth doing!

Not that I have anything against digital stuff - we always called the people who did it bit freaks. If I had a daughter, I wouldn't want her to marry one of them, even though I did!

About the only things bad about a tube rig is size, heat and being a bit fragile. Performance wise they are most capable.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 03:07:41 PM »


[/quote]

TS 480 is a analog rig with AF DSP that you can use or bypass.

[/quote]

That's not really true.  It's not an analog rig in any way:  It uses AF DSP instead of IF DSP, but it's still a fully "digital" radio.  Actually, so was the old IC-740 which has no DSP; still it used digital frequency synthesis, the tuning system is entirely digital (digital encoder tuning dial which steps a synthesizer's frequency as it's rotated), and the "objectionable sound" of modern rigs isn't all due to DSP -- a lot is due to phase noise generated by phase lock loop frequency control systems, which most rigs have had for 35 years or so.

My old Drake TR-7 is entirely analog where it counts: The local oscillator injection is synthesized to reduce crystal count, but the main VFO is fully analog.  It has a digital frequency display, but that's not by virtue of any sort of processor: It's actually a real frequency counter, and nothing in the rig is locked to that: If the rig drifts (and it can), the counter shows the drift, because it's independent from all other circuitry.

Older rigs (Kenwoods from TS-830S and backwards, Yaesus from FT-902 and backwards, Drake TR-4s and backwards, all Swans, all Collins S-lines and backwards, all Hallicrafters and National gear, etc) are truly analog and this is one reason they're so easy to listen to.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 01:54:55 AM »

And, arguably, so easy to repair without specialised equipment.
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VE3GNU
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 04:02:31 PM »

To all those posters who responded---thanks for your contributions.  And it looks as if we will have to continue to look to the QRP kit-rigs to give us that analog sound---which is gradually  becoming a distant memory for us.  A special thanks for WIK for adding his experience and expertise on this subject.
73---Ernie
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N9DG
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 07:03:51 PM »

The most modern mainstream production all analog ~100W radio that you will be able to find is the Ten Tec Corsair II. Unlike the TR7, TS-830 and other PLL/PTO designs that predate the fully synthesized LO designs that became the norm starting in the early 80's, the Corsairs used a crystal mixed all analog VFO LO scheme. The only thing digital in the Corsairs II's is its digital display, a display that can be completely disconnected without too much effort (it makes keeping track of the 100's of kHz a bit tricky though). I think production of the Corsair II's ended about 1989.

As for phase noise, the TR-7 wasn't actually all that good according to Sherwood's chart. It shows the TR-7 at 116 dBc/Hz @ 10 kHz, The Corsair (LO scheme identical to the Corsair II) is listed as being 132 dBc/Hz @5kHz, a pretty big difference. The Corsair is considerably better even at 5 kHz closer to the carrier than the TR-7 is (phase noise is rarely better closer to the carrier).

In general, the fully synthesize LO radios didn't start getting decent for phase noise until the mid 90's or so, and then mostly in the higher end models. The low entry cost radios even after that time period weren't often very good for phase noise performance either.

As far as I know all HF Icoms have been synthesized, in fact the IC-701 was one of the first fully synthesized radios in the ham radio market.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2013, 03:07:18 AM »

I maybe wrong here, but I don't think Icom ever did  a VFO type radio - they were all crystal controlled (very early FM rigs) or synthesised.
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VE3GNU
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 01:35:22 PM »

Soooooo?  Who then manufactures, or what is a currently-available transceiver with a low, very low, or lowest phase-noise?  Not counting the very high-end stuff like the Hilberling, KW 990, etc., but rather the more-affordable stuff around the $2000.00 mark.
Thanks for any and all replies.
Ernie
VE3GNU
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