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KB3SKU
04-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Im saving for the IC-7000 right now and should hopefully have it in about 5 months or less. Im only a Technician and i am studying for the general off and on.

My question is,is the IC-7000 good for DXing once i get my General License? i ask cause i cant really afford those big expensive DX rigs :( . I might want to try DXing sooner or later. DXing sounds very interesting and fun :)

err i think the correct term is DX Contesting sorry :(

Thank you in advance for the help.

N7WR
04-03-2009, 03:47 PM
DX ing is a lot of fun and yes since the IC 7000 covers all the amateur HF bands it is fine for DX ing....so are a whole lot of less expensive rigs both new and used. If $$$ is limited I would consider a less expensive HF rig and put the difference into a good antenna and quality feedline. Especially given the poor propagation at this time in the sunspot cycle a quality antenna will prove to be a big advantage.

WB2WIK
04-03-2009, 03:56 PM
DX ing is a lot of fun and yes since the IC 7000 covers all the amateur HF bands it is fine for DX ing....so are a whole lot of less expensive rigs both new and used. If $$$ is limited I would consider a less expensive HF rig and put the difference into a good antenna and quality feedline. Especially given the poor propagation at this time in the sunspot cycle a quality antenna will prove to be a big advantage.

::Yup.

The IC-7000 is a mobile rig, and a very good one. If you intend to use it only "at home" and not mobile, and are willing to give up the VHF band coverage the IC-7000 offers to focus on just "DXing," there are way better used rigs you could buy for less than the cost of an IC-7000, that will run rings around the little Icom and are also a bit easier to use.

For "DXing," there are a few main ingredients:

1. Timing and propagation (directly related)
2. Operator skill
3. Antenna system

and a very distant fourth is

4. The transceiver or station equipment used.

For "DXing," rather than spend $1500 or so on a new IC-7000, I'd spend about $450 on a used TS-830S, or maybe $600 on a used IC-765 or $750 on a used FT-990, something like that. Take the rest of the money, and more if you have it, to spend on better antennas. Antennas do much more of the actual "work" in DXing than the "rig" does.

After almost 44 years in ham radio I would much rather have a 30 year-old junker rig connected to a good beam on a tower than a brand new $5000 rig with a vertical or dipole. And I think most who have "tried it all" would agree with that.

WB2WIK/6

KB3SKU
04-03-2009, 04:02 PM
Only reason i asked about the IC-7000 is cause i was going to get the TS-2000 instead but i read a review on eham about the TS-2000 and the person said it had a "high noise floor" and it wouldnt beable to hear or pick out the very weak signals.


BTW i do plan to use 2m/70cm also that's why i picked the IC-7000. Wanted a All Band All Mode radio.

I can only have 1 antenna according to my landlord,meh i hate renting id love to have a tower :)

WB2WIK
04-03-2009, 04:07 PM
Only reason i asked about the IC-7000 is cause i was going to get the TS-2000 instead but i read a review on eham about the TS-2000 and the person said it had a "high noise floor" and it wouldnt beable to hear or pick out the very weak signals.


BTW i do plan to use 2m/70cm also that's why i picked the IC-7000. Wanted a All Band All Mode radio.

::If you're using it for "home station" work and not mobile, I'd go for the TS-2000. It's "more bang for the buck." You don't need a lot of receiver sensitivity on HF: As soon as you connect a decent outdoor antenna, atmospheric noise will override any noise generated in the receiver, unless the receiver is absolutely terrible.

The TS-2000 is easier to use with more front-panel controls, and has the ability to cross-band and even operate on 1.2 GHz (optional module) if you wish -- making it more versatile than the IC-7000. Right now, they're a great deal, selling for about $500 less than they originally did.

WB2WIK/6

KB3SKU
04-03-2009, 04:09 PM
Yes it will only be for the home i dont drive.

Is it possable to get that 1.2ghz board for the TS-2000 from someone? I ask cause Universal Radio don't sell it optional anymore :( Does it plug-in or does it need to be soldered?

Id get the standard version of the TS-2000 and pray i can get the 1.2ghz mod from someone. If i get the TS-2000 i mean.

WB2WIK
04-03-2009, 04:18 PM
Yes it will only be for the home i dont drive.

Is it possable to get that 1.2ghz board for the TS-2000 from someone? I ask cause Universal Radio don't sell it optional anymore :( Does it plug-in or does it need to be soldered?

Id get the standard version of the TS-2000 and pray i can get the 1.2ghz mod from someone. If i go that route i mean.

::The model that has 1.2 GHz in it is the TS-2000X, it's factory installed. Otherwise if you have a TS-2000 (non-X), you need to order the UT-20 module and have Kenwood install it. It is not for field installation. However, you can buy the UT-20 as an aftermarket product if you wish and then send it and the radio to Kenwood for the installation. That's not a good deal, economically. If you really want the 1.2 GHz, I'd just get the rig that has it (TX-2000X), because this saves money compared with buying the separately.

WB2WIK/6

KB3SKU
04-03-2009, 04:20 PM
::The model that has 1.2 GHz in it is the TS-2000X, it's factory installed. Otherwise if you have a TS-2000 (non-X), you need to order the UT-20 module and have Kenwood install it. It is not for field installation. However, you can buy the UT-20 as an aftermarket product if you wish and then send it and the radio to Kenwood for the installation. That's not a good deal, economically. If you really want the 1.2 GHz, I'd just get the rig that has it (TX-2000X), because this saves money compared with buying the separately.

WB2WIK/6

Oh ok,thank you.

KB3LAZ
04-03-2009, 04:25 PM
Only reason i asked about the IC-7000 is cause i was going to get the TS-2000 instead but i read a review on eham about the TS-2000 and the person said it had a "high noise floor" and it wouldnt beable to hear or pick out the very weak signals.


BTW i do plan to use 2m/70cm also that's why i picked the IC-7000. Wanted a All Band All Mode radio.

I can only have 1 antenna according to my landlord,meh i hate renting id love to have a tower :)

Honestly I think you will be happy with either radio. I personally like the 7000 better but I know many people with the opposite view. The 7000 has a better receiver, IMO.

KD8GFC
04-03-2009, 04:36 PM
If you want a rig that covers HF/VHF with all modes and you dont wanna spend a ton of cash you might wanna consider the FT-450AT. Also the antenna and conditions will be the biggest factor in DX not so much the radio. Jim !!

KB3SKU
04-03-2009, 04:53 PM
If you want a rig that covers HF/VHF with all modes and you dont wanna spend a ton of cash you might wanna consider the FT-450AT. Also the antenna and conditions will be the biggest factor in DX not so much the radio. Jim !!

I understand its just i have limited room and limited outlets so technically im really trying to find a radio that has all bands and all modes cause eventually i want to learn CW and all the other fun stuff too. I did look at those older radios like the TS-830 etc but i want to get a radio that if something goes wrong i can still find parts for it. Plus im trying to find something that will last me a very long time.

if i had the room and outlets i wouldn't mind having a radio shack like alot of the older hams do with like 10 or so radios :)

Lol i have a hard desision to make the IC-7000 that looks real nice or the TS-2000 that also looks cool :)

KD8GFC
04-03-2009, 05:23 PM
The FT-450AT is a bran new rig goes for like 730.00 covers all you want does 100 watts. All you will need is a good 20 amp plus power supply to run it. This is just a thought the money you will save on the rig you can buy a good antenna and your good to go. Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck. 73, Jim !!!

WB2WIK
04-03-2009, 05:35 PM
If you want a rig that covers HF/VHF with all modes and you dont wanna spend a ton of cash you might wanna consider the FT-450AT. Also the antenna and conditions will be the biggest factor in DX not so much the radio. Jim !!

::You're wrong about the "VHF" coverage. The FT-450 is 160m through 6m only, so it covers one VHF band. The IC-7000 and TS-2000 also cover 2m and 70cm as well, so these are in very different categories...

WB2WIK/6

G1VVP
04-03-2009, 05:38 PM
I have the IC-7000. It is my home rig and I also use it mobile. I am not a rig expert and only have experience of this particular model. The general consensus seems to be that it offers a lot for the money. You certainly won't go wrong with the IC-7000 but, as the others say, you could do better by buying a second hand transciever or two and thus allowing yourself more money to spend on a better antenna.

These days, there does not seem to be much difference in receiver sensitivity between modern transcievers across all price ranges. What swayed me to getting the IC-7000 was its ability to display band 1 TV pictures on the TFT screen. It's a bit small for this I know but I simply feed composite video from the back of the IC-7000 into the PC TV card for a larger picture.

Best wishes!

John
G1VVP

K0RGR
04-03-2009, 05:42 PM
I really like my little IC-7000, but yes, the TS-2000 is actually more versatile. I've never compared the two receivers, but 'noise floor' is usually not much of a consideration on HF, anyway - the atmospheric noise is usually much higher than the internal noise in the radio.

In crowded band conditions, other factors come into play that can have a real effect on you. I've used my 7000 on Field Day, and it stood up to a lot of strong signals very well. I really haven't observed people using the 2000 in a contesting environment, so I can't say what their experience has been.

Sherwood Engineering has published lab test results on a lot of different rigs. I have a problem with their measurements on the IC-7000, because some of them seem really lousy, and that doesn't agree with what I've observed. I don't see any test results for the TS-2000, so I can't compare them head-to-head. QST's reviews seem to give the receive performance edge to the 7000, but here again, it's hard to compare head to head. The
3rd order dynamic range numbers are 68.9 dB for the TS-2000 vs. 95 dB for the IC-7000 - a potentially significant advantage for the 7000, and probably why I found it works well in strong signal environments. However the Blocking Dynamic Range measurements appear to favor the 2000, but they were taken using different bases, so it's not possible to compare directly.

But, I agree with everyone else, for DXing, your antenna is far, far more important than the radio. There are vast differences between antennas at 20 feet, 50 feet and 70 feet.

K3WRV
04-03-2009, 05:50 PM
SKU-

I'd suggest looking for a rig with good strong signal performance (ie, so you can copy the DX when the KW accross town fires up) In the specs, these would be Dynamic Range and IP-3, and so forth. I've heard that the Icom receivers these days lack a bit in that department. Don't know about the TS-2000.

Steve (WIK) is right on point with the TS-830. I'd add some of the TenTec rigs (Omni's and Corsairs) and the Drake TR-7. But those won't get you VHF.

In addition to what Steve said about working DX, let me add - If you can't Hear them, you can't WORK them. 100 W transmitter is 100W, but an older, top of the line rig will likely have a better receiver. And DO consider a good antenna - that's more important than the transmitter!. I've worked a lot of DX with 10W or less on fone.

[RGR and I crossed posts].

KD8GFC
04-03-2009, 05:52 PM
WB2WIK your right. I thought the FT-450 was a 2 m as well I stand corrected sorry about that. Should have checked before I posted. Jim !!

AG3Y
04-03-2009, 08:27 PM
I would be another one to vouch for spending the money on the antenna, rather than the rig. There are BUNCHES of us guys out here that have 15 year old radios that are still going strong, and work stations all over the world, especially when the band conditions are right.

Right now, the Sun is as quiet as it has been for nearly a century by some counts, and as long as that is the case, the best "DX" is going to be found on the lower bands ( 20, 30 , 40 , 75-80 )

With the broadcast stations leaving 40 in great part, that band should be prime for working stations outside of the U.S. But the better an antenna you can erect, the better your results are going to be. The antenna is far more critical than the rig, as many others have pointed out!

Good Luck ! 73, Jim

KB3SKU
04-04-2009, 03:25 AM
Yes i understand about the antenna being the most important part but 1 thing im really worried about is im only aloud 1 antenna on the roof :( So once i do get my General and i can go on the HF bands i think i might have a problem.

i have really thought about this antenna but everyone i ask keeps telling me it will be very hard to tune :( http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamants/2139.html also im not 100% sure the roof vent pipe will be stong enough with a mast and the antenna in the link attached to it. Plus i think i might have to go up and down the roof to tune the thing cause it says radiator element tuning.

i cant have a tower cause i live in a 3 floor apartment building and my land lord said only 1 antenna on the roof :(

So i might get the IC-7000 or the TS-2000,i really wish i didnt rent but my credit sucks so i cant really get a home with alot of property :( So far im having a hell of a time trying to find someone with a ladder plus i do need to get LMR400 coax too. I want to get my radio first than a decent multi-band antenna. I dont have any trees near by so a wire antenna is out of the question.

i would go with a used older radio but like i said i have limited space in my room and limited outlets plus i dont want to get a radio that will be a pain to find parts for.

XU7XXX
04-04-2009, 03:39 AM
i have really thought about this antenna but everyone i ask keeps telling me it will be very hard to tune :( http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamants/2139.html .


Dump that porcupine looking contraption. It's not only expensive, but it looks like a royal pain in many ways.

Go to eHam & take a look at the literally dozens upon dozens of "Vertical & Wire" antennas reviewed there. This will be good food for thought in terms of narrowing the field down to something that might work for you.



Tom XU7XXX

AB8ZL
04-04-2009, 03:48 AM
If youíre only allowed one antenna, consider getting the Icom AH-4 auto tuner to go with the IC-7000. There a great combination and if you have a few trees that you can string a wire too you could make a large loop and work from 160 meters through 6 meters from one antenna. With the AH-4, you can set it up so that it will tune automatically if needed just by keying the Mic and it can be placed outside near the antenna feed point greatly reducing losses on the coax.

The reason I suggest a loop is that you wouldnít need (or want) to ground the tuner; just feed the loop with ladder line. With most antennas on HF you would have problems with RF in the shack if youíre on the 2nd or 3rd floor as itís hard to get a good ground that wonít act like an antenna itself. If youíre on the first floor you could just use a random long wire with the same tuner with a good ground.

No matter what antenna you choose, you generally will need at least two antennas, one for HF/6meters, and one for 2meters/70cm.

KJ3N
04-04-2009, 04:28 AM
::If you're using it for "home station" work and not mobile, I'd go for the TS-2000. It's "more bang for the buck." You don't need a lot of receiver sensitivity on HF:

But you will need the selectivity when the HF bands get crowded and the TS-2000 doesn't have it. The IC-7000 does.

KJ3N
04-04-2009, 04:33 AM
i have really thought about this antenna but everyone i ask keeps telling me it will be very hard to tune :( http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamants/2139.html... Dump that porcupine looking contraption. It's not only expensive, but it looks like a royal pain in many ways.

It's also an overpriced P.O.S. :rolleyes:

Just like the BB-7V and the CHA-250B, BTW.

KB3SKU
04-04-2009, 05:45 AM
No trees are near me and im on the 2nd floor rear.

AB9LZ
04-04-2009, 10:28 AM
The FT-450AT is a bran new rig goes for like 730.00 covers all you want does 100 watts. All you will need is a good 20 amp plus power supply to run it. This is just a thought the money you will save on the rig you can buy a good antenna and your good to go. Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck. 73, Jim !!!

The 450 is horrible little radio, there is something flat out wrong with the DSP code that somehow makes it a very tiresome radio to listen to. Also, the lack of a dedicated RIT control, really makes this a phone only rig, while it claims to do CW, it doesn't do it well.

73 m/4

K8JD
04-04-2009, 01:41 PM
If you are really interested in durability and looks, you need to consider one of the older Hybrid radios. I have had my TS520 for nearly 40 years and so far all I had to do to it was occasional control and switch cleaning and Replacing 2 transistors. the first was due to a near miss of lightning that popped a front end FET and diode. A new radio would blow out every microchip from nearby lightning! 2nd was a relay driver transistor, I used generic parts to fix the problems.
The newer the radio the more complicated microcircuits and computer stuff that is unavailavle in only a few years due to "progress" that is faster and faster .
As for looks, the older rigs were BIG (impressive) compared to new ones and much easier to use!

K8JD
04-04-2009, 01:53 PM
Newbie: "I'm mad as heck and cant take it any more "
Elmer: "What's wrong, is it your brand new radio ?"
Newbie: "It's that doggone Exocraft K-9 that I have spent months assembling the cabinet and plugging in all those modules and now Nobody will answer me when I call, It's a real dog and besides that, my appliances and TV go on and off when I transmit!
Elmer: "What antenna did you put up?"
Newbie: "It's a piece of wire hanging out the window ! Why does that matter? With a $10,000 rig , can't you just use anything handy, since it has a tuner in it !?"
Elmer:"No you have to realize the most importaint link between your rig and the world is a good antenna. Here is a copy of my "Antenna Handbook", read it and come back when we can discuss your options"

KB3SKU
04-04-2009, 09:08 PM
Newbie: "I'm mad as heck and cant take it any more "
Elmer: "What's wrong, is it your brand new radio ?"
Newbie: "It's that doggone Exocraft K-9 that I have spent months assembling the cabinet and plugging in all those modules and now Nobody will answer me when I call, It's a real dog and besides that, my appliances and TV go on and off when I transmit!
Elmer: "What antenna did you put up?"
Newbie: "It's a piece of wire hanging out the window ! Why does that matter? With a $10,000 rig , can't you just use anything handy, since it has a tuner in it !?"
Elmer:"No you have to realize the most important link between your rig and the world is a good antenna. Here is a copy of my "Antenna Handbook", read it and come back when we can discuss your options"

:( I know the antenna is the most important part,no need to keep repeating please.im not that stupid :(. Oh and me a getting a 10k rig will never happen in my lifetime.One other thing before anyone says it,i do know there is no such thing as tuners do it all or magically tune every band on the antenna.

I have checked all these radios you guys keep telling me about but the problem is i cant find them for sale or they arnt all band all mode like i want,i don't want something that is 40 million years old,i want new up to date stuff,i don't want something that runs on tubes etc,id like something i can send out to get repaired when needed and get parts that i am guarentted to find etc.The main reason i want a radio that is all band all mode is casue like i have said about 3 - 6 times now is i am limited on space and limited on outlets.

i cant have more than 1 antenna the landlord made that very clear cause i asked him 3 times to make 100% sure. Having 2 antennas is NOT a option i can only have ONE.There are no trees near me so a wire antenna is not a option.

i think im going to stick with the IC-7000 its the first thing im going to save for. Then ill save for a antenna it will have to be multi-band,if its a pain to tune then so be it.Grounding is also going to be a tick cause i cant be digging on the property and there is no cold water pipes near where my current radio is,there is a hot water pipe in the next room but i have read it is not a good i idea to use it as a ground.

Im coming very close to quitting this hobby cause i really didn't expect to have so many problems i mean with grounding,placing the antenna etc.I don't want to quit HAM cause it seems like it could become a fun,addicting hobby once i get the right antenna and radio :):D. Its just im getting very frustrated,i really wish i could have more than one antenna then i could get a few for all the bands.Ill stick it out,it will work its self out eventually :) .I hate living in a apartment :( .

AB9LZ
04-04-2009, 09:11 PM
For "DXing," rather than spend $1500 or so on a new IC-7000, I'd spend about $450 on a used TS-830S


I spent 20 minutes this morning aligning my $200 TS-830 with the Linux soundcard spectrum analyzer glfer... While it was good before, It is now an awesome DX / Contest rig! Right in there with the TS-850 and maybe a tad better than my K2. The VBT, IF shift and notch, rock on that thing.

My DSP based IC-746pro sees little use these days, too noisy.

73 m/4

AB9LZ
04-04-2009, 09:28 PM
Im coming very close to quitting this hobby cause i really didn't expect to have so many problems i mean with grounding,placing the antenna etc.I don't want to quit HAM cause it seems like it could become a fun,addicting hobby once i get the right antenna and radio :):D. Its just im getting very frustrated,i really wish i could have more than one antenna then i could get a few for all the bands.Ill stick it out,it will work its self out eventually :) .I hate living in a apartment :( .

I often have a blast running beat old radios into really crappy antennas (everyone will tell you the MP-1 is the worlds worst, and I like it!). Don't assume everything has to be perfect before you can start having fun, even DX fun!

When i started 5 years ago, it was with an E-bay special TS-520 ($145) some cable company coax, and a dipole slingshot into a nearby tree. No ground to speak of other than what the house provided, no tuner, no nothing save for a plastic straight key and an old CB mike.

After three days of 4 wpm CW qso's and a few phone contacts on ten meters, I decided to upgrade my stuff (and get some decent lightning protection as not to burn the house down) I bought a used TS-830! Some real coax, a tuner, and a Peter Jones Iambic... I learned early on that phone is waaay overrated ; ) and generally not very effective if you want to do low budget DX.

My point is, get on the air and try it, the radio really doesn't matter that much, as Steve pointed out, it's mostly skill and timing. I will say, that for DX, the 7000 and any mobile rig like it (706, 857D whatever...) , will be a horrible DX rig if only for lack of easy to use controls.

73 m/4

KB3SKU
04-04-2009, 09:35 PM
I often have a blast running beat old radios into really crappy antennas (everyone will tell you the MP-1 is the worlds worst, and I like it!). Don't assume everything has to be perfect before you can start having fun, even DX fun!

When i started 5 years ago, it was with an E-bay special TS-520 ($145) some cable company coax, and a dipole slingshot into a nearby tree. No ground to speak of other than what the house provided, no tuner, no nothing save for a plastic straight key and an old CB mike.

After three days of 4 wpm CW qso's and a few phone contacts on ten meters, I decided to upgrade my stuff (and get some decent lightning protection as not to burn the house down) I bought a used TS-830! Some real coax, a tuner, and a Peter Jones Iambic... I learned early on that phone is waaay overrated ; ) and generally not very effective if you want to do low budget DX.

My point is, get on the air and try it, the radio really doesn't matter that much, as Steve pointed out, it's mostly skill and timing. I will say, that for DX, the 7000 and any mobile rig like it (706, 857D whatever...) , will be a horrible DX rig if only for lack of easy to use controls.

73 m/4

I do understand what ya say but like i said im limited on space and outlets,i can only have 1 radio plugged in. hmm unless there is a way to have both powered at the same time? Would a switching power supply be ok for that or would i need one of those non-switching ones? And useing something like this? http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamps/2231.html

AB9LZ
04-04-2009, 10:00 PM
I have one of those compact 20 amp switchers, works great. I only ever use one rig at a time ; ) but yes, you can have several wired to the supply as long as only one is on at any given time. (that is, you can have several on while in receive mode, but if you are to transmit, you'd better shut off the others).

If you really think DX is your thing, you may want to look at the FT 950, I've never used one (I hated the 450 ) but folks I respect seem to really like it. It has one very important attribute that the 7000 doesn't... big dedicated knobs.

73 m/4

KC8VWM
04-04-2009, 10:20 PM
Im saving for the IC-7000 right now and should hopefully have it in about 5 months or less. Im only a Technician and i am studying for the general off and on.

My question is,is the IC-7000 good for DXing once i get my General License? i ask cause i cant really afford those big expensive DX rigs :( . I might want to try DXing sooner or later. DXing sounds very interesting and fun :)

err i think the correct term is DX Contesting sorry :(

Thank you in advance for the help.

Your money is better spent on improving the antenna system.

In fact, a good antenna system would provide more performance than even the most expensive DX rig could ever possibly provide.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM

AB8ZL
04-04-2009, 10:56 PM
With only having permeation to use one antenna youíre going to have to make some choices. Perhaps you could use an antenna for 2m/70cm inside of your apartment; something like a Twinlead J-pole (http://www.harfordemcomm.org/files/twinlead.pdf) would work and could easily be taken down when not in use. For the antenna that youíre allowed to use outside on the roof, you could run a loop around the parameter of the building suspended off of the roof as high as you can and use an AH-4 on the roof to tune it. That way you can run coax from the tuner down to your apartment. The cost of an AH-4 and some wire is less than the antenna you were considering earlier and is easier to use.
One other thing before anyone says it,i do know there is no such thing as tuners do it all or magically tune every band on the antenna.
Off course tuners arenít magic, there nothing more than a matching network that makes your radio happy by giving it a 50 ohm load. They donít ďtuneĒ the antenna at all. They are a necessary evil when trying to use as many bands as you can from one antenna. The real trick to using one is to place it as close to the antenna as possible as anything after the tuner will still have as poor a SWR as it did without the tuner. High SWR on coax will cause you to lose most of your power heating the coax up instead of radiating from the antenna. Thatís what makes the AH-4 such a nice tuner (besides its wide matching range); itís designed to be used outside near the feedpoint of the antenna allowing most of your power to get where you want it and it couldnít be simpler to use, just key the Mic.

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