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Author Topic: Station Buidling - Newly Licensed  (Read 2668 times)

Posts: 18

« on: June 29, 2007, 12:35:02 AM »


Finally I have a call sign (VK4MAS) so I am now can go out and build a station.

I'm in the fortunate (or unfortunate depending on how you see it) position of having a few dollars to spend. Thus it complicates matters a bit. Trying to decide between say either an SDR5000 or a ICOM756PROIII. Or looking maybe a little better with a more portable solution like a Yaesu 857D or Icom 7000.

Not quite sure what I want out of radio yet other than to talk and listen to the world.

I see my biggest issue as being limitations on antennas (particularly for chasing DX). I live in a unit block and while I have a goodly amount of outside room (and good views of the sky to the East and South) can't really string up 1/2 wave even 1/4 wave sized antennas. I expect my first antenna will be of random length to an ATU and see what happens. Ideas on antennas, antenna systems would be really appreciated.

I have nothing but a clean slate to start from. Would like to keep the whole thing around AUD4K at the upper end to as little as possible.

Having read eham reviews, ARRL reviews I think that just about any radio built in the last 10 years would be fine.

Suggestions, ideas and comments appreciated.

I have a lot to learn am I'm looking forward to it.


Posts: 64

« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 04:47:03 AM »

Congratulations and welcome!

Any of those radios will perform well.  I'm personally unfamiliar with the Flexradio rigs, but everything I've heard has been overwhelmingly positive.  Other than that, I will not comment on that radio.  

I've used the ProIII on many occasions and I own a 7000; I am very impressed with both.  The '7000 seems to me a miniature version of the ProIII in many ways, though the larger radio will of course outperform the '7000.  Both utilize IF-DSP and have DSP-based filtering (no optional filters to buy).  They hear *very* well indeed; the ProIII hears a bit better than the '7000, especially under crowded band conditions, like contesting.  The '7000, on the other hand, gives you 144 and 432.  

In an apartment setting - and for casual operation - you might be happier with the '7000, because it's a right tiny little thing compared to the ProIII, as well as about half as expensive.  You'll have to add an external autotuner, though, for the '7000 hasn't got one.

The 857D is a good radio, but it just can't compare with any of the above.  Don't get me wrong - it's a nice radio, but it lacks a lot of the features of the Icom rigs.  I'd not include it, unless dosh is a real consideration.

Now, antennas.  You've probably heard it before, but I'll say it once more - the best, most expensive radio in the world isn't worth a pile of wallaby dung if you haven't got a good antenna.  Unfortunately, your domicile seems to prevent installation of even resonant wires.  Have you asked?  One of our local club members just moved into an assisted-living high-rise, and convinced the staff to install a full-sized 80m doublet on the roof for him.  You might try that angle.

Otherwise, it looks like the random-wire antenna for you.  They work, and work quite well, so long as you have a good RF ground, or, lacking that, a system of counterpoise wires.  I used to live on the fourth floor of an apartment building.  I ran a random wire to a convenient tree outside, then connected wires cut to specific frequencies to the ground/earth lug of my antenna tuner.  I still had all sorts of RF in the shack - no possibility of RF ground, you see - but less than NOT using the counterpoise wires.

73 de NQ3X

Posts: 2415

« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 09:26:45 PM »

I suggest the Kenwood TS-2000 as a good "starter" radio. It is the "jack of all trades" radio that will do pretty much anything. And even if you eventually want to upgrade to something better (Like the Icom 756PRO series) the TS-2000 makes a great back up radio that will do cross band repeat between HF and UHF. A really neat feature.
Rather than spend a whole lot on an array of radios, Buy some antenna books and build some HF antennas!
And/or buy a tower for some good VHF/UHF antennas.
(Do use good coax, in lengths as short as possible for VHF/UHF- LMR-400 type)

Posts: 86


« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2007, 07:13:17 AM »

I own a 7000 and its very nice!

I guess it depends on if you ever plan to take the radio mobile or at least want that option in case the situtation presents itself to operate mobile and if 144 and 440 are something you'd ever use.

The Pro 3 is a better radio RX-wise than the 7000 but is also more money.  Does that extra money translate into real world difference?  Maybe to some extent but I am very impressed by the 7000.

The 7000 is a menu driven radio.  Because of its smaller size, you will have to navigate some menus to be able to get to certain settings.  However, most of the commonly used things are VERY accessible.  The Pro 3 on the other hand, has a button for everyone function (or close).  Menu navigation can be frustrating if you need to get to settings in a hurry (Contesting) or are a VERY slow learner.  As you use the radio, the menus become second nature.  I have basically memoried the settings and menus on my 7000 just by using it.

I chose the 7000 because: I didn't have the money for the Pro 3, I didn't want something big on my desk and I also like having the ability to take the radio with me in case of an emergency/disaster.  The car is all set to go.  I just have to unplug the antenna and power cables, drop it into the car, put up the mag mount antenna, plug it all in and I'm set for HF mobile.

73 and best of luck on whatever you decide!
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