Technician reentering the hooby

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KC8CTC, Feb 18, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KC8CTC

    KC8CTC Ham Member

    I have been away from the hobby for awhile but recent death of friend makes me want to get back into the hobby to stay in contact. I am thinking of an Icom IC-7200 or Yaesu FT-897 of 450D...I am limited in funds and would have to save for awile but then I thought that maybe there were some radios I may be overlooking. I know 6 meters was offered on older models but I have no experience with them.

    I located in urban area but I am working on locating wire dipoles or OCF between 2 large oak trees. What I would like is recommendation on the 3 radios above or a really good entry that has 6 meters. I am studying now for general.

    Any help greatly appreciated

    Terry kc8ctc
     
  2. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber

    Make sure and get yourself a degital multimeter.:p
     
  3. AC4RD

    AC4RD Ham Member

    Terry, I have an 897D, and I love it--great little radio. But they're still selling for a fair bit of money, IMO, and I'm thinking you might find a better price-vs-performance ratio with a slightly newer radio. You're getting back to the hobby at a great time--there's a world of fun out there on HF these days! 73 and GL! --ken
     
  4. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member

    I'd go with the 7200. I would rather sit in front of the larger radio with more controls on the front and probably less menus. I don't care about 2 and 440 in an HF rig.
     
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber

    For home use, I don't either. In fact, I much prefer separate VHF-UHF rigs so I can operate HF and listen on VHF at the same time. For mobile use, an "all in one box" rig can be a great idea.

    To that end, I really like rigs that don't rely on menus for normal operating, at all. Menus are fine for "setup," but to have to go back and use them to make common adjustments is really a drag. I like my Ten Tec stuff in this regard: Even the little Jupiter is not menu-reliant and the menu (it only has one and all instructions are displayed in plain English on the big screen) is very easy to work with and normally not needed once you set things up for your station.

    That rig is now discontinued, but they're available on the used market for about $1000-$1200 and it's a good buy at that price.

    I would discourage any HF "home station" rig that doesn't have an automatic antenna tuner built-in, as that feature is a real asset in most situations. The one in the Jupiter is superb, and actually made by LDG, but it's built into the rig. Press a button, and bingo.
     
  6. N8WWM

    N8WWM Ham Member

    Hi Terry,

    This is opinion only, but I would say the most important thing would be to have a gentle learning curve. I have seen more than one HF newbie get twisted over operating a complicated radio. Mind you, complicated is a subjective term. If you are able to master a rig others don't find that easy to operate just go with it.

    The objective should be to enjoy the time on the air. That won't happen if you feel like the radio is adjusting you instead of vice-versa. HF operation has quirks, but quirks aren't necessarily a bad thing, just differences from other modes.

    Get a copy of manuals for various rigs, which can be obtained freely from many sites. I would try mods dot DK and see what they have. They limit how many files per day you can get, but they have a ton of stuff.

    One way to get your file download limit raised on mods dot DK is to contribute a good photo or manual of a relatively obscure piece of ham equipment. This may crack you up laughing, like it did to me, but I found a Satan Electroncs "Brimstone" 2 meter rig on Ebay once. They advertised in 73 magazine about 40 years or more ago. What a name, 'ay? I wonder if Charles Manson was their CEO!! I stole the pic and uploaded it to mods dot DK...instant download upgrade.

    Anyway, wherever you get digital manual copies, study them well. Get those manuals and ask questions about what you don't understand. You started this thread with a good question, so don't stop there!

    73 Doug
     
  7. W7KKK

    W7KKK Ham Member

    I ran an FT-897 in my RV for a little while before I got rid of the RV and 897. The rig was not bad at all but another rig you may wish to consider is the Kenwood TS-480. Take a good look at it.
    I also ran an FT-450D for a little while but like most small rigs I just find that I like a bigger rig with more controls on the face of it rather than sub menus so I upgraded to an FT-950.
    Good luck with your upgrade to general so you can use the new frequencies on the rigs.
     
  8. KD6VM

    KD6VM Ham Member

    Only if he is contemplating the degital aspects of the hooby.
     
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber

    None of those three are really huge radios. I'm an ICOM fan, and the 7200 has a nice IF DSP function in it. The FT-450D (and not the original model) has pretty good performance specs, so I wouldn't turn up my nose at it, but it's also very small. Ham Station has a used IC-7200 on their used page for a lot less than a new one. I hate to say this because I own one I may want to sell some day, but I think they are asking a lot for the IC-746 they've got - that's a pretty old rig - but that would be a good choice for you, too. I'd give them the extra $200 for the 746 PRO they have, though. 100 watts on 2 meters is a nice feature.
     
  10. KC8CTC

    KC8CTC Ham Member

    ***Thinking of buying Kenwood 480 SAT...one for sale on forum...what do you all think????
     
  11. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber

    TS480 is a good radio, and at least on a par with others you're considering. A lot of people just love them.
     
  12. K9ASE

    K9ASE Ham Member

    I just bought a used one less than a week ago and will be selling it. I didn't care for the detectable face.
    I always felt like I was going to break something if I pushed to hard while surfing through the menu.
    I also thought the meter was too hard to read, and the radio just didn't seem to have enough punch.
     
  13. W7KKK

    W7KKK Ham Member

    I think I told you to take a look at one and read the reviews on eham.net.
    Did you???
     
  14. KC8CTC

    KC8CTC Ham Member

    Thanks for all the input...pulled the trigger on a Kenwood TS-480 HX...estate from SK...like new in the box...
     
  15. N8CPA

    N8CPA Premium Subscriber

    Welcome back. Assuming you're used to VHF/UHF, one tip about HF: Noise in the absence of a signal is a good thing, or at least normal for HF. You will learn to listen through it.

    I wonder how many HF newcomers, used to utter quiet listening to FM repeaters and simplex, post here asking why they hear nothing on the new HF rig, when it's just because the squelch is too tight for SSB. You really only need the squelch for FM.
     
  16. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber

    Well done! Remember that:

    - Techs have 10 meter phone privileges so you can get on the air and get your feet wet
    - Techs have CW priv. on 10 and slices of 15, 40, and 80 meters which I found very useful before I upgraded
    - That 480 will easily work for digital modes in the CW/Data portion of 10 meters until you upgrade and of course comes in handy after you upgrade
    - If you don't have one, you'll need to invest in a decent power supply for that sucker (the HX has more interesting uh, food requirements than my SAT)
    - The HX has no internal tuner so you'll want to look for an antenna tuner with the antenna setup you're proposing (there are several that also plug directly into the rig for push-button operation right from the head unit) unless you're going to put up a dipole for each band or build a fan dipole or trapped dipole (I'm sure I'll get crap for that)
    - Kiss your wallet goodbye once you get hooked on HF!

    :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. W7KKK

    W7KKK Ham Member

    Yes you will find more goodies to buy at every turn and many new things to learn too.
    Just keep learning and asking others about purchases before you spend money like you did hear.
    Enjoy!
     
  18. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member

    Don't forget with that radio (I have one the HX) ypu need a large power supply like an Astron RS-70M or A VS modelu might as well get a good supply that will last ypu and not worry about the noise from one of the cheap switchers. Look at this as a long term investment that will last a long time I have 2 of them.

    DO NOT use a small PS supply with this radio you will be sorry trying to use a small 35 amp one, unless it is ment to be used with another one of the same brand to make 70 amps.

    Welcome back to the Hobby and 73,
    Fred/N0AZZ
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

ad: M2Ant-1