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

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: HF Rigs With Band Scopes Ranked for Usability/Usefulness and Aesthetics?  (Read 1049 times)
KD6DXA
Member

Posts: 73


WWW

Ignore
« on: July 12, 2019, 03:42:26 PM »

Please provide your own personal ranking of HF rigs with band scopes based on two factors: (1) usability/usefulness and (2) aesthetics, regardless of price or other quality factors.

Thanks!

Zachary, KD6DXA
Logged

Zachary Fruhling, KD6DXA
https://www.zacharyfruhling.com/
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1271




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 09:12:36 AM »

All bandscopes are useful for "seeing" where the signals are, thus eliminating the need for blind tuning around. IMO, the Flex radios have the sharpest, most detailed bandscopes, tied into a larger monitor. Even the Maestro or the ones in their "M" series built into the radio are larger than the other manufacturers. After those, take your pick. Generally, the larger  the better. The Icom 7300 scope is small, but still bright, sharp, clear, and adjustable in many ways...IMO very useful for a great price point. I don't know how useful the FT-101D "3D" scope is...sounds gimmicky to me.

As far as aesthetics and ergonomics of the radio itself, that's purely a personal thing. The Flex "M" radios are great performers, but personally they leave a lot to be desired looks wise. They remind me of a countertop microwave oven Smiley. Icom was the leader in radios with built-in bandscopes, and all the other manufacturers seem to be following their lead in looks with their newer offerings. Take your pick, and good luck with your choice.

73,  Bob K7JQ
Logged
KD6DXA
Member

Posts: 73


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 09:28:17 AM »

After overthinking the decision about which HF rig to get (after having been off the air for some time), I seem to have narrowed it down to two top choices:

(1) The Icom IC-7300 for its simplicity
(2) The Yaesu FTDX101D for the sexiness of its 3D scope

I have been a bit unimpressed with the mid-grade band scopes, as it seems that amateur radio manufacturers are a bit behind the times in terms of graphic design, 3D data rendering and modeling, user-interface design, and frankly aesthetics, all of which are interesting to me from a product design standpoint.

I think what I’m really looking for is something along the lines of the simple elegance of Apple product and user-interface design brought to an HF transceiver, something where the control schema disappears into the background without itself becoming an obstacle, and a sleeker and more beautiful visual rendering of things like band scope data.

The aesthetics of data modeling and rendering may not make a difference, per se, but why not design something beautiful when taking the time to design something in the first place?  Smiley
Logged

Zachary Fruhling, KD6DXA
https://www.zacharyfruhling.com/
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1271




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 09:50:06 AM »

Zach,

I've seen, and replied to, your posts on other threads. Yes...I think you're overthinking your decision Smiley. I know you said "regardless of price", but 4,000 bucks for a sexy 3D scope? Unfortunately, Apple is not in the ham radio business. Your step-daughter will be confused with the complexity of the Yaesu. Why not start with a 7300 for $1,000, and see how you and her like it? If you want more, sell it for $850 (they're retaining their value pretty good), and buy something else.

73, Bob K7JQ
Logged
VK3TEX
Member

Posts: 72




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 02:48:09 PM »

Hi Zachary,

My list of radios I have used with the best band scopes from best to worst.

1: The ICOM 7300. Even though it may be small for some eyes it's very detailed and sharp, with a great range of adjustments. Very fast as well. Not many would argue with this assessment.

2: The ICOM 7700. Similar to the 7300, a bit larger and same amount of adjustment but bit more chunky. About 50% as good as the 7300. Slower and less responsive.

3: The Kenwood TS 990. I was disappointed with this scope on Kenwoods Flagship radio.
Limited amount of adjustments to screen colors and size of scope, nowhere near as sensitive as the 7300, and nowhere near as sharp. Don't buy the 990 for the scope alone...

4: The ICOM 781. Even though it is very old and a tube type display it is very sensitive and can pick up the smallest signals. Ancient by today's standards but 30 years ago was new and the latest technology. Useful but very basic. No waterfall either...

My radio of choice for scope is the 7300.

The Yaesu 101D has a nice scope that I have seen on you tube, but it still needs refinements from firmware updates to the scope averaging to SLOW IT DOWN, as some say it jumps and moves too fast and needs to be slowed down for reduced eye fatigue.
Check the user groups and ask for opinions there.

I think the 101 will be too complex for your daughter as a first radio.... save your money and get the 7300 and put the rest into a great antenna. Any radio is only As good as the antenna it's hooked up to!....

I agree totally with Bob, K7JQ.

Les,
VK3TEX.
Logged
WA2ONH
Member

Posts: 518




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 03:46:02 PM »

At the 2019 Dayton Contest University site under both the FILES and VIDEOS Tabs one session was given by N6TV in which he discussed the various attributes of "Panadapters / Bandscopes / Waterfalls" available with current equipment.

Contest University Home Page
https://www.contestuniversity.com/

FILES: N6TV:  The Advantages of Waterfall Displays for Contesting and DXing (43-pages; 5,954 kb PDF)
https://www.contestuniversity.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/12-N6TV_Dayton_2019_Using_Waterfall_Displays.pdf

VIDEO: Session 6 – Waterfalls, Recordings, and Reverse Beacon Network – N6TV (RunTime approx 25 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ooYG35U_Mk&list=PLRSwUN4qr1LrNqRmwGHgfRVq5T5GxJHej&index=7

In the FILE presentation N6TV compared the aspects of the "views" available noting Advantages / Disadvantages etc..
Logged

73 de WA2ONH  <dit dit> ... Charlie
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Never be satisfied with what you know, only with what more you can find out"
Dr David Fairchild 1869-1954 US Scientist
N8FVJ
Member

Posts: 867




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 04:52:40 AM »

All I need is an easy to read real time spectrum scope showing signals on the band. The multi-color Yaesu FT-991A works fine.
Logged
KC7MF
Member

Posts: 53




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2019, 08:05:37 PM »

The Icom IC-7600 used is in the same rough price range as the 7300 and has a beautiful display.  The old PRO III is even less and a great radio but the band scope is not a waterfall like the 7600.. 

You know you can't go wrong with a 7300.  It is cheap, reliable and feature rich.  It will also be easier for a beginner to use than the $4K radio.  So how about this.  You obviously have $4K to spend.  Buy yourself a 7300.  Buy her another 7300.  Put $2K in the antenna fund.
Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4393




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2019, 10:07:41 PM »

Quote
Buy yourself a 7300.  Buy her another 7300.  Put $2K in the antenna fund.

Now there is a plan. Antennas are where "its at". I have the two 7300's (and a 7610 on extended loan) but some more antennas would be nice. Smiley   

Saw a review of the 101D that said its filters for USB DATA don't work right. Don't know haven't seen one, but this fella was not a happy camper for data modes on the new Yaesu.  And the answer Yaesu gave him was not very encourging.  They said just use USB mode not the data mode.  Sure.. unplug that microphone. yep..

Lets put it this way, you are not going to go wrong with a 7300 (or two) And it is plenty of radio for a bout 99 percent of all users.  They interface on digital modes really fast and easy (just a simple USB cable) and they have great sounding SSB audio with even the provided hand mike, and plenty of audio tailoring functions to fit anyone's voice. They are not the best QSK (full break in) CW rig on the market as their relays make some noise. BUT they can be improved with some plastitac putty over them. The 7610 has it beat for QSK, for the audio peaking filter and in a pileup the 2nd receiver to listen to the pile is a real help at times. But hey, $1000 vs $3000, that is a pretty big delta in price. Let alone $4000 for a rig I am not even sure I would want. My advice is to save your money and buy in to a 7300, it will not disappoint.
Logged

73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1271




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 06:43:36 AM »

The Icom IC-7600 used is in the same rough price range as the 7300 and has a beautiful display. 

Compared to the 7300, the 7600 display (although larger) is nowhere near the resolution, brightness, and speed. I had both side-by-side, and sold the 7600. The 7600 does have APF and Dual Watch, but although close, overall the 7300 is a better radio (IMO). The lowest used price I've seen  on the 7600 is $1,200 shipped.

73, Bob K7JQ
Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4393




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 07:00:17 AM »

The Icom IC-7600 used is in the same rough price range as the 7300 and has a beautiful display. 

Compared to the 7300, the 7600 display (although larger) is nowhere near the resolution, brightness, and speed. I had both side-by-side, and sold the 7600. The 7600 does have APF and Dual Watch, but although close, overall the 7300 is a better radio (IMO). The lowest used price I've seen  on the 7600 is $1,200 shipped.

73, Bob K7JQ

I never had a 7600, but I had its predecessor the 756proIII and I swapped it in for another 7300.  The 7300 was a better receiver, the "fish finder" on the 7300 was much better then the sluggish spectrum display on the 756proIII (no waterfall on it) and as a bonus the 7300 stays much cooler in digital service. Not that the 750proIII is a bad radio because it is not, it is just that the 7300 offers so much for so little money.  That 756proIII cost me $2700 when it was new years ago. And people pine for the "good ole days".  Well the good old days are now when it comes to radio value for the price. The state of the art is advancing and will continue to do so. I don't care what the Collins Collectors Association says.  Smiley
Logged

73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1271




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 08:07:59 AM »

I bought my 7600 "on sale" many years ago for $3,400, $400 off regular price. I was lucky to get $1,500 for my 7600 a couple of years ago. The 7300 killed used prices on many upper-tier radios. It even has people waffling between it and $2,000 more for the 7610, unless they want two receivers. For my money, I'd buy another 7300 (and get two transmitters...and a back-up radio...for the bargain), and use the extra $1,000 for something else. Display monitor output, APF, and more I/O  are not important to me, but YMMV. Choices, choices..... Wink

73, Bob K7JQ
Logged
K7LZR
Member

Posts: 134




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2019, 04:20:48 PM »

I owned & used a Yaesu FT-991A for awhile......IMO on that radio, bandscope was not really useful because only strong signals were visible and no level adjustments, even in firmware. I come from a time when the Heathkit SB-620 was considered the bees knees, and even the SB-620 was more useful then the built-in scope of the FT-991A.

My approach now is to use an SDRPlay RSP1 SDR receiver along with HDSDR software as a panadapter, and it works well. Best thing is that it is very sharp & clear, and very adjustable in terms of resolution bandwidth, video gain, etc.

And I for one am very glad that Apple isn't in the ham radio business. Likely their products would be overpriced, totally controlled by them, and not very rugged. 
Logged
WA8NVW
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2019, 02:29:58 PM »

After overthinking the decision about which HF rig to get (after having been off the air for some time), I seem to have narrowed it down to two top choices:

(1) The Icom IC-7300 for its simplicity
(2) The Yaesu FTDX101D for the sexiness of its 3D scope

I have been a bit unimpressed with the mid-grade band scopes, as it seems that amateur radio manufacturers are a bit behind the times in terms of graphic design, 3D data rendering and modeling, user-interface design, and frankly aesthetics, all of which are interesting to me from a product design standpoint.

I think what I’m really looking for is something along the lines of the simple elegance of Apple product and user-interface design brought to an HF transceiver, something where the control schema disappears into the background without itself becoming an obstacle, and a sleeker and more beautiful visual rendering of things like band scope data.

The aesthetics of data modeling and rendering may not make a difference, per se, but why not design something beautiful when taking the time to design something in the first place?  Smiley


Why not?  Well, the usual reason for hams is that all the fancy graphics circuitry you find attractive radiates tons of RF noise right there, inside the radio cabinet.  When I buy an HF transceiver I want to listen to OTHER people's stations all around the world, and definitely NOT my own!
Logged
K1VSK
Member

Posts: 507




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2019, 07:38:23 PM »



Why not?  Well, the usual reason for hams is that all the fancy graphics circuitry you find attractive radiates tons of RF noise right there, inside the radio cabinet.  When I buy an HF transceiver I want to listen to OTHER people's stations all around the world, and definitely NOT my own!
Good point and another reason to not prioritize form over substance, I.e., buying a radio based on aesthetics. Never a good idea yet lots of people do for inexplicable reasons
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 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!