What Transceiver to buy?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KI4SDV, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. KI4SDV

    KI4SDV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looking for some advice on buying a new, or new to me radio. Been using a FT920 for 6 years, really liked it but it is starting to have issues. Looking to move it off the #1 slot and use it as a backup only. What I liked about it:

    1. Nice size, not to small or large.
    2. Decent receiver.
    3. Very good on 6 meters.
    4. Easy menu, not layers of menu's.
    5. Nice feel and look.

    What I didn't like:

    1. No band scope.
    2. Squelch hard to get to.
    3. small controls along bottom.
    4. Only 100 watts.

    After looking at whats out there I can't seem to find what I want. I do SSB only at this time, don't have any desire to go digital etc. I'm not into doing contesting though I do like to chase weak DX. I was thinking the FTDX3000 might fit the bill, but I think it may be to small and menu driven for my taste.
    The K3 is also too small. Seems like the FT2000 series have a lot of issues, as does many of the Icoms. The FTDX 5000 is a bit more than I want to spend, and seems pretty complex. Would like to keep cost's around 3.5k. Would prefer buying new to get the warranty and parts availability, but would consider "almost new". I'm not really very familar with the Kenwood or Ten Tec line of radios. Seems up conversion radio's are on their way out, and down conversion offer better receiver quality?

    Any advice on what I should be looking at? I operate a lot on 6 meters with some 10 meter. Will be getting my general in the next month or so, so will be going on 20 and 40 at that time.


  2. WB4JPZ

    WB4JPZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably not exactly where you're looking to go but I keep hearing a lot of positive comments around the Kenwood TS-590s. In fact I was at HRO this past weekend and watched one go out the door while I was there and one person (plus myself) walk out with the sales brochure to add to wish pile. That and a nice guy who was talking about his like it was his latest lady love.

    Also had a somewhat lengthy QSO with a guy in Texas who just got one for Christmas (moved up from a TS-440) and was extremely happy with it and very much recommended it.

    It's well under your budget at about $1600. Would leave you enough cash to pick up an amplifier.

  3. KI4SDV

    KI4SDV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for your input, I checked it out and put it on my "maybe" list. I am also checking out the TenTec's.
  4. KB9LXP

    KB9LXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an Icom 718, easy to us, all bands from 160 - 10 AM SSB CW, cheeper. sorry, no six.
  5. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I too am looking to "move up" from a TS-440SAT and am tring to decide between a TS-480SAT or a TS-590.
    It seems that by the time a find a 480SAT and add filters. I may as well spend the money on a gently used TS-590.
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Ten Tec OrionII would be my first thought, but it doesn't do 6 meters. The Ten Tec Eagle has similar receive performance to the Orion, but it does cover 6. Of course, the Eagle has only one receiver, is smallish, and no bandscope. The Omni VII has good performance, a scope and 6 meters. There are demos of all these radios, including some in-depth ones, on YouTube.

    The cheapest ICOM that fits your bill is double what you want to pay. We have not seen a price on the TS990, yet. A DXer/contester friend of mine likes the TS590 quite a bit in that price range.
  7. N4ST

    N4ST XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am very happy with my Ten-Tec Omni VII. After +35 years with various rice boxes, I feel like I have been wasting my time until I got the O7. It only has a manual one-shot band scope and it isn't very small. But, it has a great receiver and very simple menu system. The problem with a great receiver and 100 watts, is you can hear a lot of stations that you can't work. :)
    I do think the knobs seem pretty cheesy for a $3K radio, but they get the job done.
  8. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been doing a lot of reading on new radios. My interest mainly is receiver performance. IF I bought a rig today it would be a Kenwood 590. It helps I'm a kenwood fan. It's probably not the best radio out there, but for the price and perfromance, it is very hard to beat.
  9. KI4SDV

    KI4SDV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all your input. Any rig must have six meters and be good on it. That's what I liked about the FT920. Seems many manufacturers throw it on as an afterthought, and the rigs performance on 6 suffers. My current short list is as follow:

    TenTec Omni7
    Kenwood 590
    Yaesu FTDX3000
    Used Icom Pro 3
    New FT2000D with DMU2000 (worried about reliability)
    Yaesu FTDX5000D (more than I want to spend but could swing it).

    I tend to hold on to radios a while, 5-7 years. This next one might be my last if it fits the bill and is reliable.
  10. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of our 160m roundtable members said the other night that his TS480 is "right there" with his K3 and he is a big fan of both. I'll take his word for it, so it's an option to consider. I believe his is an SAT as he uses it mobile.
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