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eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: BOOTYMONSTER on July 20, 2014, 11:41:27 PM



Title: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: BOOTYMONSTER on July 20, 2014, 11:41:27 PM
i'm gonna go ahead and get a ham license this fall . been thinking about a RCI 2950DX or 2970DX 10-12 meter radio .... but i've been looking at the icom 718 10-160 meter transceiver and reading comments about getting used ones in great condition for $400 - $450 ....... not too much more than the RCI's new , but with much greater frequency coverage features/modes and stability . FWIU i won't be able to use all the frequencies and modes with a entry level ticket , but it would be cool to have already have them if i progress up the license hierarchy . is this a good choice ? what other radios in that price range would be good options ? if i run a long wire dipole how long will each end need to be so the built in tuner can make it match it over the full 10-160 meters ?


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: ONAIR on July 21, 2014, 01:13:34 AM
i'm gonna go ahead and get a ham license this fall . been thinking about a RCI 2950DX or 2970DX 10-12 meter radio .... but i've been looking at the icom 718 10-160 meter transceiver and reading comments about getting used ones in great condition for $400 - $450 ....... not too much more than the RCI's new , but with much greater frequency coverage features/modes and stability . FWIU i won't be able to use all the frequencies and modes with a entry level ticket , but it would be cool to have already have them if i progress up the license hierarchy . is this a good choice ? what other radios in that price range would be good options ? if i run a long wire dipole how long will each end need to be so the built in tuner can make it match it over the full 10-160 meters ?
    It's an excellent choice!  They are built like a brick and can be had for very reasonable prices!  They are miles above a 2950 or 2970.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: KC7YE on July 21, 2014, 07:02:27 AM
Yes ! Went to a 718 from one of the modern do everything rigs as is much simpler to use. Have had for 5 years, use in contests, DXing, digital, mostly CW(with filter). Use portable also. Not just beginers rig, pushing 50 years here. Good bang for buck. There is no built in tuner on this rig. I feed a random wire or home brew "S9" with a Icom AH4 tuner, sometimes a manual tuner.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: NO2A on July 21, 2014, 08:44:55 AM
By all means stay away from the RCI rigs,they are really just cb radios with no filtering. They may not even have a vfo,probably channelized. The IC-718 is a great choice.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: WB4TJH on July 21, 2014, 10:03:51 AM
Heed the advice of experienced hams and forget the glorified 10/12 meter CB junk. As a licensed radio amateur, you will find little to no reason to deal with anything related to the clown band. If you want CB, get a $50 CB only radio, but spend your money on an Icom 718 or something that offers ham band only coverage. The world of REAL ham radio offers such an unlimited range of possibilities, you will forget about those filthy mouthed knuckle draggers on the Clown Band. It's like someone offering you a choice of a taste  of some cheap ice cream (CB), or offering you a chance to own the whole ice ream factory (Ham Radio), with an unlimited chance to eat all you want of any flavor of the best ice cream in the world.    It's your choice.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: BOOTYMONSTER on July 21, 2014, 10:27:39 AM
i really don't think that the radio someone talks on defines if they are a "filthy mouthed knuckle dragger" or not . it's folks with elitist attitudes like yours that make me (and probably others) question if i really want to invest in better/more expensive equipment and support the amature radio hobby .

thanks to the other folks that have replied .


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K9MHZ on July 22, 2014, 06:55:57 PM
Well, I have to admit to being in the corner of encouraging you to leave the CB world completely.  It's not "elitist" at all....ever go to a hamfest?  It's just that the RCI, Rangers, etc are pure garbage that cost almost as much as full-up amateur gear and aren't even in the same league.....not even close.

For some reason, some hams insist on hanging on to their CB gear, especially is it's "10/12 meter gear".  It's baffling.  Maybe the lure of being a bad boy off of the channels is what does it for some, who knows?

To your question, the 718 is a very good first ham rig choice.  It outclasses ANY CB-like gear by lightyears.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: BOOTYMONSTER on July 22, 2014, 09:29:11 PM
i understand a real ham radio is a much better than a CB radio pretending to be a "export" , even the RCI 29xx series and optimas ...... that's part of the reason for getting a ticket and a real radio . the elitist comment is directed at folks wanting to degrade people purely because they choose to use them .

like it or not this is still America !!!!!
land of the free .......

it's the minority that don't know how to make a on topic reply in a forum thread without badmouthing folks they don't even know that bug me ...

and thanks to you to K9MHZ :)


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K2TPZ on July 23, 2014, 06:33:24 AM
Off the subject comments aside, the IC 718 is an excellent choice for a beginning ham. I've been in the hobby for 56 years and I have owned many radios, even a few CB Radios. Everyone's advice on the IC718 is exactly right. I've advised many new hams to check out that rig.

It will not only work for you when you first get on the bands but will be a good rig for many years after you upgrade. I'm hoping to meet you on the bands one day.

Mike
K2TPZ


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K9MHZ on July 24, 2014, 09:40:08 AM
One other thing, and I hope I'm not veering too much.  I've always been an "Icom guy", owned a 718 once, even before they put in DSP which rocks, BTW.  Anyway, doesn't matter what I like, but I mention it because I saw the Yaesu FTDx-1200 at an AES store recently, and have to report that it's a very, very nice radio, and perfect for a newer ham.  It's more pesos, but it's also a brand-new design that's quite a bit more capable than a 718, which is getting pretty old and nearing its end in lifecycle.  Still a great rig though.

Don't want to spend your money, so just a FWIW.

Best,
Brad, K9MHZ



   


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W5TD on July 24, 2014, 02:53:17 PM
I am going against the rest of the crowd as I don't think the Icom 718 is the best rig out there for a new ham.  I would recommend the Yaesu FT450 or FT450D instead. For one thing, it also gives you 6 meters, which even a Technician class ham has full access to.  Also, may of the features which are optional on the 718 are standard on the FT450.  For example:

Icom 718 $625                 Yaesu FT450D $870
TCXO $80                        TCXO included
SSB Filter $220                 SSB filter included
Total $920                       Total $870

If you want a narrow filter as well for the digital modes (500hz or so) then you have to buy that as well for the 718, as well as an INRAD filter board so you can mount both filters in the 718. Then you need a digital modes interface, which is more money.  The FT450D has both the narrow CW/Digital filter and the narrow SSB filter included, plus all you need for the digital modes is a cable between the computer and rig, no interface is needed. 

In addition, the FT450 comes IF DSP, whereas the DSP in the 718 is AF level.  This makes a big difference on noise reduction, and the 450 has an incredible, manual IF notch filter.  The 718 uses a crummy, AF based autonotch.  The FT450 has a built in voice keyer, built in CW memory keyer, and a built in voice synthesizer (that is more money for the 718).  If you look around much you should be able to find a used Yaesu FT450 for $500 or so.  It is definitely the best value in ham radio transceivers right now.

Good luck on your decision.

73 John AF5CC 


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: SM6XUN on July 25, 2014, 01:16:11 AM
I am going against the rest of the crowd as I don't think the Icom 718 is the best rig out there for a new ham.  I would recommend the Yaesu FT450 or FT450D instead.

I have both right now for portable use and i 100% agree with you that the FT-450 is without doubt the rig that brings you the most bang-for-the-buck right now.
I have also had IC-7200 which has a great receiver and capailities for the price, my main station is a IC-7410 which i consider is the most bang-for-the-buck when it comes to the larger bench-top radios.

IC-718 is a radio of the older generation and has its shortcomings compared to the newer ICOM radios, but still, if you are new to hamradio the IC-718 is a good radio to start with as it is uses a minimum of menus,
and maybe the most important for a new ham unused to all the terms and possibilities of a hyper modern radio: easy to learn to operate.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K9MHZ on July 25, 2014, 07:35:25 AM
Nah, you guys aren't going against the grain at all.  Good inputs from people who actually own those radios.

As with most things, after a new person gets his/her feet wet and really enjoys the hobby, he'll probably eventually want to upgrade his equipment (and license).  I think he'll have a much better time in resale value with a newer generation rig.  Or, if he feels so moved, he could get that "upgrade" right away.  Great that there's good gear to choose from, and he isn't relegated to buying someone else's used junk.

Good luck, enjoy the hobby!





Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W5WSS on July 25, 2014, 01:46:26 PM
I own an Icom 718 that I bought new from HRO in 2008 with a rebate for about $520. Bought an Icom 125 power supply at a ham fest for $100.

 6 months ago I bought an Alinco SR8T $519 and an Alinco 330 MMV for $149

The Icom 718 has more available options than the Alinco.

Either radio is reasonably similar on receive the Alinco can be narrower with the 2.4 filter that can be narrowed to 1.8

helps with QRM

When selecting the narrow 1.8 setting the transmitter is included and is too narrow and affects the audio.

Otherwise they are priced similar and compare reasonably.

73



Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W5TD on July 25, 2014, 09:01:18 PM
The narrow filters are standard in the Alinco but are expensive options in the 718.  Saw a DX-SR9 at the Oklahoma City hamfest today.  Seems like a solidly built rig.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: PA1ZP on July 26, 2014, 01:49:53 AM
Hi

I didn't use a RCI on 10 mtrs but used a Uniden (President Lincoln), untill I had a HF rig.
Tested the Uniden against a FT920.

On RX SSB no difference at all.
TX audio of the Uniden was very good in SSB got lots of compliments, was as good as with the FT920.
Only one diference, the Uniden was on PLL with 100 Hz steps the FT920 was on 1Hz steps.

Also the Uniden needed to warm up for half an hour to become stable on frequency.
But I was realy surprized the quality of the RX of the little Uniden in SSB.

I used a 5 elements monoband beam on both the uniden and the FT920 on 10 mtrs.
 
Had lots of fun with the Uniden in 1990-1999 on CB and lots of fun in 2000 on 10 mtrs , still have it and every now and then I use it on 10 mtrs SSB.
As this uniden (president lincoln) belonged to my father i do not want to part with it.

In CW the Uniden did not have a CW filter, so not very good there.

I used to have a 1979 President Grant 40 channel AM/SSB and that had a nice X-tal filter on SSB, that was not worse as any filter used in hamradio's at all back in 1980.

73 Jos



Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: NI8R on July 26, 2014, 06:26:39 PM
there is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom, every rig from that point will be an upgrade.
Upgrading rigs are just things that happen in the radio hobby , buy a rig , sell a rig. You may never be content.

If you buy a rig , you would be better off with a $100.00 rig  than a $400 ic718, you will get near the same result form the $100 rig and still have 300 saved towards the one you really want and can always get $100 for the one you have. Boat anchors are out there.

Sorry , i had one i took on trade and it was the hardest rig to sell. performance was ok but the front end was as overloaded as a garbage truck on the day after Christmas.
Does it work , yep, not any better than a ft101ee thats from the 60's. ic718 needs a power supply , the 101 just plugs into the wall , worn out tubes make more power.            L C network does away with tuner need if antenna is close.

Food for thought, i loved my 101ee, still feel foolish for selling it 15 years ago.


Greg kc8iir


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W4KYR on July 26, 2014, 07:18:01 PM
My first HF rig was a Icom 730 bought used in 1993. A good starter rig at the time, but it didn't have 160 meters, it only received the ham bands 80 through 10. It has issues with the preamp not working, which is a common problem. If you can pick up a working one up today for next to nothing I would say go for it. Just realize it is over 30 years old.

Otherwise for a few hundred more you can do better. In contrast, the IC-718 is a much better rig in that it covers 160 meters and it receives 30-29.9 MHz. It has a port in the back that you can hook up a Signalink USB for digital communications. It is a good rig for the money.

Here is the ARRL review. 
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/718/IC718_QSTReview.pdf

If you can spend more than go for something better.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: BOOTYMONSTER on July 26, 2014, 11:51:44 PM
thanks again  folks ;)
the Yaesu FT450D is very very interesting .


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: HFHAM2 on July 28, 2014, 09:15:39 PM
The Icom IC-718 is an excellent beginners (and experienced casual ham's) rig.

Very straight-forward in use, very little buried in menus, bulletproof, just plain works and works.

Someone mentioned a TXCO but no-one needs a TXCO for home use; modern rigs like the IC-718 are plenty stable enough without spending all that on what is essentially a farkle.

Another mentioned the Alinco SR8T, I tried one as I was tempted by the "free filters". Well, the (fixed-width audio) filters are pathetic, especially for CW and you can't buy optional filters for that rig even if you wanted to (which you will). I took mine back to the store for a refund the next day.

You can get by quite well with the IC-718 using the IF-Shift and/or CW-R mode to side-step QRM; most also have the audio DSP noise reduction and auto-notch module installed too. Option filters are available (yes, they're expensive but very effective) or you can use an inexpensive outboard audio filter or SCAF type filter (NEScaf, SCAF-1, etc.)

The IC-7200 and FT-450D are supposedly "better" (I don't know), but they're also more complicated and more expensive and less likely to be available on the used market.

You can't go wrong with a new or used IC-718 in my opinion. The Alinco SR8T is fine for SSB, but it's not a CW rig and can't be, due to the filtering (or lack thereof).


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K2MMO on July 29, 2014, 04:57:28 AM
I have one in the shack and have had it since 2006 -A great basic rig I love it  I use it for CW and occassional SSB.Built well and easy to use.A good antenna makes it perform even better.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: AE5J on August 01, 2014, 08:19:55 AM
Without any discussion about other posts here are my thoughts after 41 years of operating.

The 718 is a great little radio. Perfect for a beginner or an advanced ham. I have owned one since they first came out, and I use mine daily on every mode except SSTV. I have the DSP and a CW filter. I don't find, after thousands of hours of CW ops, that I just have to have a narrow CW filter. The crystal filter sometimes amplifies the noise level to the point that it becomes tiring. I like to change and suppress the frequencies of the noise with an AF filter and emphasize the signal. That may just be me though.

The Yaesu 450D is likewise an excellent rig for beginner or experienced op. That rig also comes with a built-in antenna tuner that works pretty well. The filtering is excellent and nothing needs to be bought or added. It is a very capable rig. It also has 6 meters. Cost is a bit more, but then it has some things you'll have to pay extra for with the 718.

The Yaesu 857D is also a great all-in-one radio. You get most of what the 450D has, plus all mode capability on VHF/UHF. The 897D adds a bit more of the same plus the ability to operate self-contained from internal batteries. These two rigs require purchase of filters and a tuner. Some complain of small screens and multiple menus. I just buy a bigger monitor for home use. Very few people drag a Kenwood 990 with them on vacation.

Any of these will serve you for many years. Divide the costs by the number of years and they are very inexpensive over time. All four of these can be computer controlled with something like Ham Radio Deluxe making them super easy to use and offering capabilities you simply will never achieve on non "Ham" equipment.

In defense of cheaper equipment, I will note that these rigs can, and do, work but I think that after the new of ham radio wears off a bit, you will be wishing for more capability. Spend wisely.  73


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K9MHZ on August 03, 2014, 11:13:31 AM
there is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom, every rig from that point will be an upgrade.
Upgrading rigs are just things that happen in the radio hobby , buy a rig , sell a rig. You may never be content.

If you buy a rig , you would be better off with a $100.00 rig  than a $400 ic718, you will get near the same result form the $100 rig and still have 300 saved towards the one you really want and can always get $100 for the one you have. Boat anchors are out there.

Greg kc8iir

Well, in fairness to the thread author, I completely disagree with this.  I've seen many people get taken advantage of and subsequently get discouraged after buying their "starter" rigs.  It's someone else's useless junk most of the time.  I'm not suggesting that he should get an IC-7800, but some good guidance as to what the floor might be, just might help him avoid a very bad experience when he finally takes the plunge.  He's already asking good questions, so he's off to a good start.

Don't buy "vintage" junk that's supposed to be "great for a new ham."  You might see a sad underbelly of this hobby right away.  Get started with a reasonably modern quality radio, and then branch out in your interests from there as your experience develops.  The last thing you want to have to do is to suddenly learn radio repair just to get you started in ham radio.

Good luck,  find a mentor, and enjoy yourself!
 


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: NI8R on August 03, 2014, 05:21:55 PM
Brad, In all fairness, the ic718 out if the box has great audio transmit quality.
If you own a ic7800, I am sure you know the value of a high end rig. All manufactures make flagships and sh**onastick.
I have a flagship currently. I have bought a plethora of rigs in between that don't fit my operating style.

If you operate digital modes and  ssb , this rig will do better than some boat anchor. Some Modern hams don't like to read and tuning instructions can make even experienced
hams frustrated until the process is learned like clock work. To be critical of the boat anchors? not fair , my drake tr3 can hear and take adjacent station interference better than the ic718.
If you work cw , forget it. The keyer runs away and with out the money for the cw filter , its down right challenging. Working split dx and hearing 50 folks at once, no way.

The 450d is a better rig for making reception and filtering more pleasant. The icom receiver is a little hotter, not much. The filters on the 450d drop noise and adjacent chatter much better. I.F. dsp is the only way. The ic718 has dsp , but takes a few steps to work it and is not as adjustable.

I HAVE OWNED BOTH. I am not making assumptions. Yes , I compared them side by side, 450d wins by a mile.

Greg kc8iir


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: WA7SGS on August 04, 2014, 07:07:15 PM
There's a ham truism that the first radio usually winds up being too much or too little radio.  The IC-718 will do fine but for a bit more you can get the IC-7200.  That will get you 6m (sans FM) and better receiving adjustments.  I find it adequate for my casual style of HF QSO'ing so it stays.  A serious contester will want lots of knobs to adjust parameters.  The person who runs mobile will be looking for a compact radio that will be more menu-intensive.  Should QRP portable ops be the path then one would go with a radio which fits those parameters.  A few serious AM'ers out there are going to use boat anchors.  The VHF-UHF DX'ers/space ops will be running dedicated relatively modern all-mode single band rigs that are no longer being produced.  

Once you find the niches of ham radio you like you will have a better idea of what rig (or rigs) plus accessories you really want.  Starting off with the IC-718 or the nicely touted Yaesu that got plenty of mention here will make for a good first step.  Read the eham reviews of the various rigs you would contemplate to know their strong and weak points.  Hams make very good critical reviewers of ham gear you know!

Best wishes for your enjoyment of amateur radio :-)

Rick


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W4FID on August 05, 2014, 03:40:08 AM
Yes. Simple. Reliable. Works well and will get you a lot of QSOs. Works better than the price range it's in.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K4PIH on August 05, 2014, 06:38:39 PM
Been hammin for along time. I like tube gear (Swan). So when I needed to get a nice solid sate rig I went with a 718. Good solid easy to use, not confusing. Also easily modded to MARS if you go that route.

Great first radio,


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: WE1X on August 17, 2014, 03:18:55 PM
Having owned many rigs over the past 25 years, including 2 718s as backups and vacation portable, I can say (a) the 718 is a fine "entry" level rig, but (b) there are far more better options out there today for just a bit more money. Personally, I find the IC-7200 an excellent rig and offering much more value than a 718. Yes, the 7200 is not as "simple" as the 718, but for many of us learning a rig's features and functions is an important part of the hobby. Further, the 7200 offers capabilities that you can grow into without breaking the bank.

As for those suggesting buying a $100 radio as it does the same thing as a newer or more modern rig....yeah, same can be said about a Yugo. When working (and serviceable) it will get you where you want to go...albeit the ride may be less enjoyable.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: WB5JNC on August 21, 2014, 01:36:53 PM
"Is the Icom 718 a good choice for a new ham?" Maybe. The same could be said for "Is a Chevy/Ford/(name your favorite automobile here) the best car?" My suggestion: do some legwork. If you have a chance to get to a reputable ham dealer or a hamfest, do some "hands-on." I would suspect that if you explained that you're a prospective ham and looking for a first rig 1) you'd get plenty more opinions in addition to the ones here and 2) it's very possible that a kind "Elmer" (at a ham dealer, a hamfest, or in your local area) might crank up a rig or rigs and let you talk to someone on the air under his callsign: yes, that is permissible under FCC rules as long as the license holder is present and in control of the station. What you might find, for example, is that you like the front panel layout of rig B over rig A or vice versa, or that rig C (which you hadn't even considered to this point) is really of interest. Sit down first and set a specific budget range if needed, then start looking around as noted. Also, look at the reviews here on eHam and elsewhere: note that there are unfortunately some rigs which may be very good performers, but they have design flaws or quality issues and thus higher than average failure rates. Also be aware there are issues with parts availability in some cases which can render a rig more difficult to repair or possibly unrepairable. (I'm not intending to scare you off here with horror stories, just trying to help you to find a good reliable rig.)

Hope to hear you on the air someday soon. 73 es (Morse Code for "and") GL ("Good Luck"),
Al


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: LB1LF on September 13, 2014, 10:52:09 AM
You really can't go wrong with an IC-718, IMHO. I've been active on and off on the HF bands for the past twelve years or so (A few years on a VHF only licence prior to that), and I have owned and used a number of rigs - the IC-718 being one of them, and to this day one of the favourites.

It starts with the front panel - basic layout, makes it easy to just take it out of the box and start figuring it out, rather than first having to read through a 200+ page manual to find out how to get on the air. It feels rock solid - not the plasticky, cheap feel one could be forgiven for expecting at the price point - it is a pretty rugged piece of kit, and it has got the features you need while not bringing a lot more to the table, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. (Which is kind of funny, seeing as my main rig is an IC-756 ProIII - which has got more menu options and soft keys than you can shake a stick at... :))

Performance is excellent, too - receiver is quiet and sensitive, decent large-signal properties. I'd second WB5JNC's suggestion - try out a number of rigs, just to get a feel for what you like and do not like. (Chances are you'll stick with the 718 in the end, anyway. :)

73 de LB1LF / Odd Erling


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K5TED on September 13, 2014, 03:34:15 PM
Forget the 718. Look for a good used FT450D or AT.

If $100 makes or breaks your radio purchase, save your money, get your finances in order, and be patient.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: SWL2002 on September 14, 2014, 10:20:53 AM
Get an Icom 7200.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: K4PIH on September 17, 2014, 08:52:16 AM
I just went back and read this whole thread from a critical standpoint. Two things jump out to me.

The first being the 718. Seems like some people can only bad mouth others equipment for whatever reason. I personally bought a new 718 and it is a great all-around fun rig that is not too complicated. I look at ham radios like I look at cars. The more crap you add, the more crap that will break. When was the last time your hand-crank car window burned out the electric motor?

The second thing that hit me was the total contempt for CB radio. Yeah I chuckle at all the names people use to illustrate their lack of knowledge about CB. Yeah they have their losers, but you can scan any ham band and find a bunch of them there as well.

Not to drag this into a Ham VS CB debate. So buy a radio that suits you. You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a good servicable radio.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: ONAIR on September 17, 2014, 06:11:18 PM
I just went back and read this whole thread from a critical standpoint. Two things jump out to me.

The first being the 718. Seems like some people can only bad mouth others equipment for whatever reason. I personally bought a new 718 and it is a great all-around fun rig that is not too complicated. I look at ham radios like I look at cars. The more crap you add, the more crap that will break. When was the last time your hand-crank car window burned out the electric motor?

The second thing that hit me was the total contempt for CB radio. Yeah I chuckle at all the names people use to illustrate their lack of knowledge about CB. Yeah they have their losers, but you can scan any ham band and find a bunch of them there as well.

Not to drag this into a Ham VS CB debate. So buy a radio that suits you. You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a good servicable radio.
  Agree on that 718!  Lots of bang for the buck.  And I wonder what percentage of today's hams actually started out on CB?


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: ZENKI on October 10, 2014, 03:12:00 AM
Get the radio with the best measured performance for the dollar.

Radio performance is a science not related to CB  radio experience  or Voodoo.

But if you feel that your ears can assess a radios performance better than a Agilent test instruments,  you should produce the numbers and if one ear or two ears were used. You also need to  tell us what ear is deaf and when your ears were calibrated by a NIST lab. I am all ears for  the hearing test methods if it can be made repeatable.

So far all that I have found is that there are either a lot of deaf hams out their who must buy a lot of faulty equipment.  I have never found a cheap low specification radio with the performance level of a CB radio that outperformed a high performance ham radio. I also have never come across a modern radio that could out hear another  radio. Neither have I come across a radio detecting a  signal that any other radio could not. I would like to buy one of these super hearing radios that out hears everything else, that must have been some special radio that fell out of the UFO in Area 51. Every time  I  visit hams with these special radio brands,  when I get there I find that they have S5 or higher noise levels in their receivers. How their super radios perform and hear these whispering voices in all this noise is beyond my understanding of the laws of physics.

What I will say is that a radio like a IC718 or even a Atlas 210X if not overloaded will hear everything that a IC7800, TS990S or  K3 will hear.  Then when the receiver goes into blocking you will know how crap your radio is. Since most hams who own a IC718 dont own a decent receiver with a  high IM3 dynamic range they will never  know that their radios are blocking. How they determine that this cheap radio is so good is beyond understanding,  its voodoo nonsense.

Lets be realistic the most affordable high performance receiver  in a transceiver that you can buy today is a radio like a TS590S or KX3. What 10,000 dollar radios outperform these 2 radio models? Likewise what cheap radios perform better than   a radio like a TS590S that  can be got for under 1000 dollars? Emotional brand bias and voodoo does not cut it in this day and age. You can use that logic up on the CB band where anything with a macho name and no performance sells.






Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: AF7LT on October 10, 2014, 09:53:47 PM
So at this current time the kenwood  ts 590s and the elecraft kx3 are the best  affordable  hf radios for their price point? Is this purely based for cw or is this advice also good for SSB and digital modes?  I will be upgrading my  license hopefully  on the 15th of October and  I have been reading the manual of the Kenwood ts 590s and  i liked what I read.   I know the Elecraft kx3 is a nice radio but I had thought  it was way out of my price point and would need a lot of optional  accessories too.  I don't have the  option of visiting a ham shop locally to kick in the tires  and test these rigs and  take  what Is said <even if it gets  heated>  to task  from hams that are  experienced  to know .   Would i consider the ts 590 sg  being that now the ts590  is discontinued or   for a first new hf radio   take advantage of the lower price point?


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: KQ4KK on October 14, 2014, 04:37:25 PM
In the same price range. The 450D or AT is a much better HF radio than the 718.

I like ICOM HF radios, have lots of them. But the 450 is better value than the 718.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W8JX on October 14, 2014, 04:58:00 PM
In the same price range. The 450D or AT is a much better HF radio than the 718.

I like ICOM HF radios, have lots of them. But the 450 is better value than the 718.

I would not be so generous with 450. It is a basic entry level rig at best like 718 and nothing more.


Title: RE: is the icom 718 a good choice for a new ham ?
Post by: W5TD on October 14, 2014, 06:26:10 PM
KQ4KK is right, the 450 is a much better rig.  It contains many features as standard that are optional on the 718, or not available at all on the 718.  What is one thing that the 718 does better than the 450?

John AF5CC