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Author Topic: Building a Shack, "Shack In A Box?"  (Read 55884 times)
WX4LTG
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Posts: 15




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« on: November 14, 2014, 07:30:43 AM »

I've been on the air for a few months now with a Baofeng UV-5R connected to an Ed Fong PVC-encased twinlead J-pole. Like so many others, I've got limited space for radio and antenna, and I've been looking VERY hard at something like a Yaesu FT-857D with an antenna tuner to make the best of the space I've got.

I note that Yaesu's FT-991 has been FCC approved a little earlier this week, and it's looking pretty sweet - assuming the announced specs match what actually ships, anyway.

Since I have a fairly solid background in consumer electronics, I tend to make any first purchase of new gear (like my camera, computer, meters, tools, etc.) a "jack of all trades," then figure out what it *won't* do that I want to do, and purchase to fill the gaps.

Thoughts? The FT-991 FCC docs are here - FCC ID K6620575X50 (Grantee K66, Product Code 20575X50) now has FCC approvals listed on the EAS website: https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/repor...ericSearch.cfm (they do not appear to support direct linking to any documents, so you'll want to split the FCC ID into Grantee and Product Codes to run the search.)
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K1WJ
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Posts: 530




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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 07:56:22 AM »

FT-991 should serve you just fine. I have a TS-2000 and enjoy it alot.  -73 -
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WX4LTG
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 08:26:33 AM »

FT-991 should serve you just fine. I have a TS-2000 and enjoy it alot.  -73 -

Specs are right. But at $1700ish retail, I'm also keeping an eye out for used FT-857D's flooding the market from people upgrading...
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 04:20:16 AM »

FT-991 should serve you just fine. I have a TS-2000 and enjoy it alot.  -73 -

Specs are right. But at $1700ish retail, I'm also keeping an eye out for used FT-857D's flooding the market from people upgrading...

A 857 is good for a mobile or portable but I would not build a shack around one.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W9GB
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Posts: 3368




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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2014, 08:25:47 AM »

The Tokyo Ham Fair (late August 2014) regularly introduces new amateur radio products from the Big 3 Japanese manufacturers (Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu).

Normal time table:  Radio shown at Tokyo.  Radio sent for testing to meet FCC approvals (US sales), make any required design changes (IMD, spectral purity, noted issues, etc.); take orders from major US dealers (HRO, AES, etc.); and then ramp up manufacturing.  Shipping usually starts in late November.

I would expect to see the new FT-991 radio to arrive in January 2015 --- UNLESS the Container Dock Worker Slowdown is unresolved (Eastern Asian container ships are now sitting off-shore of USA West Coast).
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 08:28:23 AM by W9GB » Logged
AA4HA
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Posts: 2630




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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »

Whatever you build your shack around today you will want to change slightly next year, or the year after that.

Once you start using pieces of equipment you find little annoyances or pleasant surprises that makes it work for you or makes it intolerable. Sometimes it can be as simple as how much springy-ness there is in a microphone cord or how many sub-menus you need to drill down through to get to a commonly used feature.

The point I am trying to make is that you will not succeed in creating the ultimate station the first time around. Many hams have been doing this for 30,40,50+ years and still are messing around with their setups. Others are happy with their J-38 key, Globe-Scout 680A and a quarter-mile of electric fence wire for an antenna.

Just be ready to evaluate and revise your setup so it is what you are comfortable with. Do not let what someone else is doing dictate how you will enjoy the hobby.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 10:12:19 AM »

Some hams change rigs almost like changing clothes will other stay with same equipment for many years. Point is do not build a ham shack around a light duty mobile rig. All SS rigs need to dissipate about 100 watts or more to make 100 out and a small mobile rig can get very hot quickly in key down modes.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
WX4LTG
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2014, 08:57:32 AM »

Just be ready to evaluate and revise your setup so it is what you are comfortable with. Do not let what someone else is doing dictate how you will enjoy the hobby.

Oh, I get that bit. As mentioned, I tend to make a "first purchase" of electronic gear a "jack of all trades," then start making notes about what features I don't use, or what features I wish it had before replacing it or adding on in the future.

I'm really not on the air much, and my home office is designed with forced-air cooling for my computer equipment. I've also had my hands on the FT-857D, and the only part I'm not thrilled about is the CAT interface as opposed to a built-in USB or real serial interface.
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SCARPAD
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 11:10:31 AM »

The new FT-991 is more of a direct upgrade from the FT-897, it was pretty much an 857 in a box, the 991 is evidently much more despite having the 897's looks. I had an 897 and now have a 857, its a good solid radio but the 991 will a lot more
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N4CR
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 11:27:02 PM »

I've been on the air for a few months now with a Baofeng UV-5R connected to an Ed Fong PVC-encased twinlead J-pole. Like so many others, I've got limited space for radio and antenna, and I've been looking VERY hard at something like a Yaesu FT-857D with an antenna tuner to make the best of the space I've got.

I started with an 857D as my shack radio. Upgrading from it was one of the best things I did. The front ends are easily overwhelmed by strong signals. Which means you won't hear smaller signals anywhere near the big signals.

My suggestion is this... Wait for the TS-590SG to come out in real soon now. A lot of guys will be upgrading from the TS-590S and putting them on the market.

That will be a radio that will cost a little more than an 857D and will last in your shack for many years to come with excellent performance. And it will hold it's value if you need to release it later.

Those guys will be 'unloading' an amazing radio that a lot of people are going to very happily end up with.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
NA4IT
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2014, 04:50:54 AM »

"A 857 is good for a mobile or portable but I would not build a shack around one. "

I've been using one for years and love it...

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WX4LTG
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 01:09:50 PM »

My suggestion is this... Wait for the TS-590SG to come out in real soon now. A lot of guys will be upgrading from the TS-590S and putting them on the market.

I looked at the TS-590S, and unless I missed something in the various docs out there it doesn't do anything at all higher than 6-meter - and I use 2-meter a *lot* for local digital and APRS so far.

Is that correct?
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K0JEG
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Posts: 885




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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 12:41:26 PM »

I have an FT-897d that I bought new 10 years ago. The only complaint I had was the U/I was terrible. However, it was a great first HF radio and I even used it portable once in a while. With the Collins filters it even sounds pretty good. These days just about anything will be better, but because most HF radios hold their value better than other electronics it's a cheap way to get your feet wet and decide if you like operating. If you do, then take the big plunge on something better.
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 1725




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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2014, 10:07:46 PM »

W8JX wrote: "A 857 is good for a mobile or portable but I would not build a shack around one. "

I've been using one for years and love it...


Oh now you've done it. JX will be posting something stupid and and condescending real soon.  
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W9FIB
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Posts: 2498




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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 04:00:16 AM »

W8JX wrote: "A 857 is good for a mobile or portable but I would not build a shack around one. "

I've been using one for years and love it...


Oh now you've done it. JX will be posting something stupid and and condescending real soon. 

LOL Probably will.

Have been using an FT-897 for years as well. For me, it was the ability to use it easily as a portable or as a base. Also have a IC-706 I picked up used. Both do what I want them to do.

And isn't that the point?

Just many have different "do what you want" ideas. Which is fine. That is why there is a variety of radios available. And everyone can choose what radio fits their needs best.
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
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