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Best VHF / UHF All Mode Rigs

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KC8VWM, Aug 22, 2014.

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  1. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to hear about the rigs you are using for VHF/UHF all mode operation.

    How much do they cost?

    How well do they perform?

    How does it compare to others?

    What in your opinion is the best VHF/UHF all mode rig?


    Thanks.
     
  2. K6BBC

    K6BBC Senior Moderator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use an FT 450 into a 3 element Cushcraft beam on 6 and an Icom 7000 on 2 into a 10 element Cushcraft beam. The beams are stacked and turned by a TV rotator.

    bbc
     
  3. W6MVS

    W6MVS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kenwood TS-2000X has my vote. They are around $1,900 new...used around $1,500. I specified the "x" model because it includes the 23cm band. You can also get the TS2000 for about $1,400 and add the 23cm band later.

    Icom IC-9100 is a good choice if you're into D-Star. These run just under $3,000 new and you can add 23cm as an option. It also puts out a few more watts on 70cm and 23cm than the TS-2000X.

    Both of these rigs also cover HF frequencies. Each has its strengths and weaknesses much of which depends on your needs.
     
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The only one I can speak to is my Kenwood TR-9130 2m All-Mode - and I love it!!
    It runs 25 watts (or 5) on all modes - easy to use, compact, good audio reports,
    and works very well on CW as well as SSB. Have never run it on FM but I'm sure
    it's fine there as well.

    The only downside is the tuning dial is a very clicky encoder - it's not a great radio
    for dashing about the band LOL! But for contests (my primary usage) it's great
    to park around 144.200.

    Best part was price - it was only $200 and is in extremely good condition.

    For 6 meters I just use my FT-950.

    But my IDEAL would be a TS-2000 at around $1600 or so used.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    The best VHF/UHF rig, HANDS DOWN is the Yaesu FT-736R. U can have up to 4 modules in it. Mine has 6/2/222/432 in it making it ideal for contests. And it does PLs so it can do FM repeaters, but this is really a SSB/CW rig. Since my FTdx5000MP has 6 in it, I will put the 1296 module in the 736R

    Its an OLD RIG Now, but nothing close has been built since!
    [​IMG]

    Loaded, they still fetch towards $1000!!
     
  6. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is one reason why I keep my 706MKIIG around, and one of these days I will get some decent antennas.

    I had never used VHF/UHF, except for repeater stuff, until Field Day several years ago when I operated the 6M rig for Coronado Emergency Radio Operators, in Coronado, CA where I lived then. It was crazy. There would be signals all over the place for 30 minutes or so, then nothing, then 45 minutes later, the band would be hopping again.

    I've tried some 6 and 2M stuff here, but not much success due to not having proper antennas.

    I doubt the 706MKIIG is the greatest rig for this, but it works for now.
     
  7. K6BBC

    K6BBC Senior Moderator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's a beauty Pat!

     
  8. W6MVS

    W6MVS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  9. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've heard the 736 is quite a rig. Others have suggested using a modern transverter is right there (or better) in performance. Elecraft, SSB Electronic, and Down East Microwave have been mentioned. I'm looking to get on 2m and 6m CW & SSB, using someone's transverter with one of my TS850S HF rigs. I'm in a pretty good VHF location and can easily hang yagis on my tilt/telescoping tower above the trees. :)

    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
     
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am old fashioned! I use transverters.

    For the 3-lowest VHF bands I can use my Heath SB-301/SB-401 combination into a Hallicrafters HA-6 for 6-meters, a HA-2 for 2-meters, and a modified HA-2 for 222 MHz. For 432 MHz I use a Uniden HR-2510 into a Microwave Modules transverter into a single 4CX250B linear amplifier.

    I also have a Yaesu FT690RII into a Heath SB-500 transverter for 2-meters.

    But, my main unit for 6-meters is a Heath SB-110A backed up with the FT690RII.

    Especially on 2-meters, I run into a lot of fairly new Technician Class operators that don't even realize that there is such a thing as a transverter!

    Glen, K9STH
     
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