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Author Topic: Need an opinion  (Read 2596 times)

Posts: 6

« on: July 08, 2006, 06:59:55 PM »

I am getting ready to buy my first HF/6m/2m/440 rig. I have narrowed it down to either a Yaesu FT-857d or an Icom 706MKIIG.

I like them both because of their size, but I also want the best "bang for the buck" I am mainly interested in HF , but I also wanted all mode capabilities on 6/2/440. I have been a ham for over 12 years and this is my first ever HF rig(long story), so I want to make a wise investment as the wife told me that this will be the last thing I can buy for a while Cheesy

So what would be the best buy? They are both comparable in features from what I can tell, does anyone know if one has a feature the other doesn't and vice versa?

Current owners, I would like to hear your opinions/experiences if you have or currently own one of these radios....


Posts: 507

« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 07:52:48 PM »

"so I want to make a wise investment as the wife told me that this will be the last thing I can buy for a while Cheesy"

I like the "ha ha" face at the end there. Anyone in here knows that there will be more rigs added sooner or later.

Opinion or experience (this is a pretty diverse forum, so get ready) I would (opinion) say the MKIIG. Simply to say because the display and buttons are alot easier to read, and are up front where they belong. Sure, the 706 does get a little warm at 100 watts TX while using PSK31 during FD this year and the rig still keeps going.

My experience as a Tech class - I've used all modes on the 706 for my privs. I've one for mobile and one in the QTH. DSP - good, NB - ehh, Menu/functions - easy, Current Draw - a little more on RX, but 2 amps less on TX. The 706MKIIG is my back-up rig and is in good company with a 746Pro & 756Pro (waves Icom flag).

Look at the reviews and decide for yourself. $600 - $700 second hand rigs of this type are fair. I've never operated an 857D, but I don't like to squint either to read it IMHO.

Gud Luck & 73


Posts: 1146

« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 02:52:46 PM »

I have the Icom 706 MkIIG and I bought it brand new in January 2005.  Before my purchase, I looked at all the competing equipment for mobile (HF+VFH/UHF) and narrowed finally to a choice between Yaesu and Icom.

I spent a good amount of time (an hour or so) with each piece of equipment.  Like the previous comment, I found the Yaesu FT-857D to be too small to read easily.  Also, the controls are more tightly squeezed together and a little harder to make adjustments.

I ended up buying the Icom and made my decision mostly on the basis of my time with the rig and working it for awhile.  I did read all the reviews and talked to a few owners of each rig.  Oh, I ruled out the Kenwood early in the game because I heard too many negative comments.    But, another important reason that I ended up buying Icom is that I own other Icom equipment and I have never been disappointed.

Of course, if money is not an object then I would put in two-bits for the Icom 7000.  I will be buying one as soon as I get over the recent purchase of my Icom PW1 solid-state amp.

Posts: 550

« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 08:29:52 AM »

The 706 is a wonderful radio.  I have owned the original as well as the MkIIG.  If I had to get rid of all my radios and could keep one, the 706 would be it.  I have no experience with the 857, but own and have operated the 857's predecessor, an FT-100, for years in both mobile and fixed environments. I place the FT-100 behind the 706, but the FT-100 has a much better noise blanker for mobile environments.  For base station use I would prefer the 706 (although perfectly usable mobile). For mobile use I prefer the FT-100.  The 857 fetches great reviews, I'm not sure if its noise blanker is as good as the FT-100?  Overall, the 706 is hard to beat!

Posts: 4283


« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 10:45:35 AM »

You understand that these are basically mobile rigs right?  Also, how serious are you about HF?  Will the new radio only be used mobile, or base only, or both?

If you need mobile capabilities, then you're right on but understand that the HF reception selectivity and sensitivity, filtering, and CW will be limited.

If you're planning on using it only as a base and HF is where you want to be, I'd be more inclined to recommend purchase of a real HF rig (FT-1000 (any series) or go used like a TS-930/830S, etc).
These rigs are better in all respects on HF.  The multi-band HF/VHF/UHF have compromises.


Posts: 1014

« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 02:05:25 PM »

Of those two I personally prefer the FT-857D.  It's newer technology, I find the menus more intuitive, and it's smaller and a bit lighter weight.  Both radios are just mediocre performers due to a high receiver noise floor, OK for casual operation but not much beyond that.  The IC-706MkIIG is quite prone to front end overload when used on a big antenna (read: HF beam) while the FT-857D stands up in that circumstance just a bit better.  I think the Collins mechanical filters available for the FT-857D are also better than the Icom FL-100/FL-101 CW filters.  Icom moved away from the FL-100/FL-101 in the IC-703 and it made a huge difference in performance.  The FT-857D costs a whole lot less as well.


Posts: 117

« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2006, 01:25:31 PM »

Your chosen rigs are both great.  You might want to consider a new/used Icom 746 Pro.  The receiver and selectivity options are much better on this rig.  Yes it's larger and a bit more expensive but it is a better receiver.  I have the 706 mkII and 746pro, there is quite a difference.  Some have had xmitter problems with some of the 746pro rigs, but I think that is worked out now.

The 706 is a feature packed rig but I've had problems with front end overload and sorting out stations when conditions are crowded.  It also tends to get pretty warm during prolonged operations.

I'm sure you'd be happy with any of the rigs.  Sometimes it's better, in the long run, to swallow hard and spend a bit more up-front.

Good luck

73, Bill

Posts: 352

« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2006, 09:32:11 AM »

I had a 706 MKII (not G) and now have an 857D.  I like the Yaesu better.  Seemed that the Icom was very wide on receive without filters.  They both have menus.  The 857D is smaller and seems to work well for me.

Its also newer technology.

My 2 cents.

73, JP, K8AG
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