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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | NCG 10/160M Help

Reviews Summary for NCG 10/160M
NCG 10/160M Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $885@1987
Description: HF transceiver (from the mid '80s)
Product is not in production.
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KC0UWS Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2005 07:30 Send this review to a friend
Great rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased an NCG 10/160M from another ham and I wanted to report that this rig is well built! If you ever get offered for one, by all means, GRAB IT!
KU4QD Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2003 13:52 Send this review to a friend
Best kept secret on the used market. Brilliant!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had wanted to try out an NCG 10/160M for a while. They are pretty rare, and either the price was prohibitive or else someone else beat me to the rig. Finally, lo and behond, one turned up on eBay, and I got it at the ridiculously low price of $227. I bought it mainly as a curiosity. I had a couple of Ten Tec rigs I was sure were superior, and they were certainly newer technology. Was I ever in for a shock. The NCG 10/160M outperformed them in almost every way and quickly became my primary HF rig. The Ten Tec gear is gone and more NCG gear is on the way. That's how good it is.

On to specifics: The NCG 10/160M was made in Japan by Matsushita (Panasonic) and was marketed as the National RJX-810D there. In the US National Communications Group (NCG) imported a limited number of these rigs and sold them under their own name. IME, the National rigs, whatever the US nameplate, tend to be excellent.

Receiver audio is beautiful, even through the built in speaker. SSB filter bandwidth is a very narrow 1.1kHZ at -6db. I'd love to know how they did that and still provided full sounding audio. The net result is that there is less adjacent channel QRM than there is in the default filter setting of almost any other rig. The CW filter is only 200Hz wide yet doesn't ring. I get to almost always hear one signal at a time. What a pleasure that is! Power can be turned down to QRP levels, which is important to me.

The only real QRM fighting tool is the IF Tune button, which is the same as IF shift. It sure works better with narrow filtering, though, so it really is effective. RF gain can also be reduced if you are copying a strong signal. Both RIT and XIT are available through two push buttons and the delta-F knob. AGC can be switched between fast and slow. There's no AGC off position, but that's a minor quibble. The noise blanker works.

The rig was meant to compete with rigs like the Kenwood TS-930S, and it's that sort of larger sized radio. The knobs and buttons are large, well spaced, and easy to operate. Tuning is available in three steps ranging from 25Hz (what I normally use) to 100Hz for fast tuning across the band. In addition to the main tuning knob there is a three position switch which lets you stay put, automatically tune rapidly up the band, or automatically tune rapidly down the band. I find this feature incredibly convenient. There's a lock button as well to prevent unwanted tuning of the rig when in QSO.

The radio can, of course, do split, and a push button allows you to reverse the transmit and receive frequencies, which can be very helpful when working DX. There are all of four memories, and memories 3 and 4 set the limits of the auto scan function. Scanning on HF is remarkably good: it finds the strong signals on the band easily.

While most '80s synthesized rigs suffered quite a bit from phase and digital noise, a few (notably the Icom IC-740) which were not general coverage managed to have very quiet synthesizers and noise floors which equalled later DDS designs. The NCG 10/160M is one of those rigs. I could pull things out of the mud which I just couldn't with my almost a decade newer Ten Tec Delta II.

Oh, and an AC power supply is built in. You can operate off 12V as well.

Transmit audio reports are excellent, even with the stock hand mic. The speech processor works well and I still get good reports with a fair amount of compression.

The only drawbacks are that the CW keying is typical Japanese semi-QSK. What a gem this rig would have been if it had been full QSK! Also, the receiver is not general coverage and the only modes are SSB and CW. It's stable and does work fine for PSK31 with my RigBlaster M4.

This radio has to be one of the best kept secrets out there. I think NCG simply didn't have the ability to market themselves against the big three. Pity. If you can find one of these at a good price it's well worth picking up. I'm very impressed.
N8DE Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2001 09:39 Send this review to a friend
Great rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned four of these rigs since they first hit the American shores. They receive excellently, and the IF shift takes care of all minor and most major QRM problems. The audio reports are fantastic on SSB, and, with a little 'tweaking' on 10 Meters, this rig will put out full power on all bands. I love the ease with which it can be tuned, and the bandswitching is also quite good.
If National Radio [Japan] was still marketing this box [or it's newest 'cousin'], I'd buy more!
VE2XLT Rating: 4/5 Sep 13, 2001 03:20 Send this review to a friend
a workhorse of rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Single conversion 9Mhz IF receiver is sensitive and quiet. Has 9 bands and most features like IF shift/VOX/split/blanker and feels on par side by side with IC735. Being QRP'er i measured 600mA receive and 4A TX at 5w output...actually ajustable from 0.5w up to 125w
but 28Mhz is lower -60w output.SSB is also ajustable fine down to 300mW:-) Noise blanker removes dimmer pulses from my table lamp easily.AUTOWATCH scanning is impressive for its slowing down on signal- gives time to listen and stop or continue later with higher speed till it finds next signal.....Having optional 200Hz crystal filter installed I enjoy clean audio. Internal switching PS is lightweight and dead quiet/12V terminal is for field operation. For detailed review look up CQ Nov 87 pp61-64. Would give it 5 but fast QSK/CW is missing.

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