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Author Topic: Separate hf & vhf vs. all band transceiver  (Read 6356 times)
K6ATT
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Posts: 42




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« on: January 24, 2014, 09:13:50 AM »

This topic was discussed about 3 years ago here at eham.  I'd like to revisit it, since I'm wondering about upgrading my equipment.  I have an Icom IC-706 MkIIG that serves its purpose well enough, but I'm wondering about getting a better all band radio, or whether I should get separate rigs for hf and vhf.  Just a sidenote of interest:  currently, the top 3 radios in terms of reviews under "Transceivers:  HF Amateur" are:  Kenwood TS 2000 - 480 reviews, Icom IC 706 - all flavors 456 reviews, and the Yaesu FT 857 - 428 reviews.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 09:31:07 AM »

Personal preference and operating habits. I like separate VHF/UHF so that I can monitor while working HF and so that I don't have "all my eggs in one basket" in the event of an equipment failure. I also like separate power supplies for that same reason.

Since you already have the 706, you might consider making it your primary VHF/UHF and purchasing another HF rig. That would give you an HF backup as well.
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VE7REN
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 10:40:47 AM »

i too agree with the seperate radio idea.. monitor differnet bands at the same time is a huge benefit.. ive been called many times while talking on another band..haveing a army knife radio opts out this opportunity.. ive owned all the radios you mention,and the 706 series in my opinion is a way better radio then the 857 series..although the 706 is no 746,7410,ft950,etc..you get the idea.. i would recomend a good dual band antenna like a diamond x30 or x50 for 2/440 meter....if you are looking for a better radio,well,thats your option,although i bought a icom 7410 ,and it compares on par with my 756pro 3 for 1/3 the price,- real time band scope... my 2 cents.. i always prefered seperate components with stereos too.....
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K6ATT
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 11:28:05 AM »

Ok, a bit more about my station.  I have the 706 MkIIG with an LDG autotuner attached to it, and a dipole about 65 feet long that I recently put up with a 1:1 current balun in the middle instead of just a center insulator to try to get more efficiency.  Also I have an Elecraft K1 2 bander (40 and 20) that I can hook up to the dipole for very infrequent cw transmissions on 40 meters.  The two meter antenna I use is a magmount 2 meter/440 combo on an attic vent.  My main interest at this point is better HF reception and transmission -so that's why I'm considering a better HF or HF/VHF radio.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 12:06:27 PM »

I don't think any new radio is going to make a huge difference in your HF performance over the IC706mkIIg. Antenna improvements are going to make the most difference (and cost the least), especially on any bands other than 40M where your dipole is resonant and especially if you are feeding the dipole with coax on non-resonant bands.

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KD8MJR
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 04:38:55 PM »

I have personally never heard an all band transceiver that had really good HF Rx like a dedicated HF transceiver of the same quality.  They always seem a bit deaf and that's with me hooking them up to the same antenna.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 04:44:51 PM »

I personally have never heard an HF transceiver of any type that wasn't limited by external noise on any band below 10 Meters. Additional sensitivity makes nice sales numbers but its of no practical use under normal operating conditions.

I'm not trying to say that no transceiver can offer an improvement over the 706, but I am questioning whether an investment in a new HF transceiver is going to make any huge difference in normal operating conditions. I doubt that hooking a $3000 transceiver to his same dipole is going to suddenly yield DX contacts that he has never been able to work before.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 04:52:24 PM by AA4PB » Logged
K6JH
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 04:53:53 PM »

I've got an FT847, but it's real purpose is to be able to get on VHF/UHF in SSB mode.

Yeah, maybe it can do HF, and VHF FM repeaters, but if you want to do that you're much better off with a dual band VHF/UHF FM rig and a separate better HF rig. Let's you monitor and use local repeaters without upsetting the HF radio.

A TS2000 or similar may be all band all mode, but it doesn't really replace separates.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 05:17:18 PM »

I doubt that hooking a $3000 transceiver to his same dipole is going to suddenly yield DX contacts that he has never been able to work before.

Don't know about about a dipole but it has happened to me several times with a beam during CQ contests.  The lower priced receiver got overloaded by adjacent stations while the more expensive receiver had no problems.
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K6ATT
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 05:55:41 PM »

Ok, so among dedicated HF radios - recommendations?
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AF5CC
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 08:28:10 AM »

Kenwood TS850SAT
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K6ATT
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 03:34:57 PM »

Thanks for all the great tips.  I'm still thinking about another radio in the future; for now, I'll probably stick with what I have.  I'm looking to improve my antenna setup at this point.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 08:23:47 PM »

Ok, so among dedicated HF radios - recommendations?
How much are you willing to spend and is a used radio an option?
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K6ATT
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 07:16:01 AM »

A used radio is a possibility, but right now I don't have the $ for one.  I was thinking of up to about $1000 to $1200.
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 10:14:29 AM »

Personal preference and operating habits. I like separate VHF/UHF so that I can monitor while working HF and so that I don't have "all my eggs in one basket" in the event of an equipment failure. I also like separate power supplies for that same reason.

Since you already have the 706, you might consider making it your primary VHF/UHF and purchasing another HF rig. That would give you an HF backup as well.


What about a person who wants to work CW or SSB in the UHF / VHF bands?  I don't know of any dedicated V/U radios that allow this - as far as I know only the shack in a box radios that also do HF allow you to use most of the modes.
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