I have been licensed as Technician Level for a month and am studying the code for future upgrade.
I am generally looking at two categories (and price breaks) for Radios. The lower end being those that will allow me use with my current license, and, those that allow growth (more functionality) longer term.
In searching the Web and advice from fellow Operators, I cannot seem to bridge the Bands I am licensed for as Technician to the probability of future upgrades. I.e. the FT-897 vs. the FT 1000 MP. In other words, the FT-897 seems to be perfect for my needs now, but does not provide for future upgrades to my Ticket.
So... we have the Yaseu FT-897 versus the Icom 746 PRO for example as category I.
Then we have the Yaseu FT-1000MKV versus the Kenwood 2000-X. Not sure what ICOM's model is in this category.
Which Radio is best to provide me with operating privilages now, but allows for future growth? Also, which has the best comparable performance, dollar to dollar?
Thanks in advance,
Every radio you mentioned has all HF bands & modes and would fully cover any "future growth" for any upgrade in license class. The FT-897 and Icom 746 pro are not in the same class at all. The FT-897 is a new 100w "backpacker" and the 746 is a full-sized, full featured rig.
Do look at items for sale - A nicest thing - ICOM-765 is on sale, fully featured. Price is $950 - it' s just almost for free.
I have never seen better rig, being a ham for 30 more years and a radio engineer same time.
I bet the 765 has best ever ergonomics, size for the shack
use, both receiver and tx performance.
Some minor "contras" are, like in every rig, but the are not bothering or cruical ones.
Absence of digital signal processing is NOT a disadvantage!
DSP is just an empty frill which costs a lot of money in late models of ham rigs and misleads most of hams to waste their money for newer and newer rigs.
Only Ten Tec Omin VI receiver and QSK performance can be compared to 765, sometimes exceeding it.
But TT VI is looking as ugly as ancient XVII century Halloween witch. 765 is still state of the art, an elegance, a triumph of design and style thru years.
I went throught the same thing you're doing about this time last year. You didn't mention much about what your preferences are for when you get to 'play' around on the HF bands. For me, I wanted to be able to do PSK31 and some SSB. I'm not much one for CW so rigs with lots of those features didn't interest me.
What I did want was a rig that:
* Had to handle the UHF/VHF bands as well as the HF bands.
* Needed to be at least 100W without a power amp
* Might be able to move the rig into my car if I ultimately decided to get a bigger home rig.
So, I narrowed my choices down to the IC-706 or the FT-100 which meet my requirements. I eventually decided on the 706 primarily because there were many positive comments on the email reflectors and plenty of 3rd party vendors selling little add-ons for it.
I also liked the ability to separate the control head from the main body. I have it sitting on my little desk in the kitchen along with the computer and the power supply.
I also ended up getting the Icom AH-4 wire tuner which works great and is completely integrated into the 706.
I know about the Yaesu ATAS system but I like to play around with wire antennas and this has proven to be a good setup with the 706.
I'm quite happy with the setup and have had lots of fun wiring it up to the computer.
Hope that helps in your thinking.
The TS2000 is as close to the 'Universal Radio' concept as any that I have seen. The Satellite features are great, as are the DSP, dual receive capability, built-in TNC (limited capabilities but very useful), etc..
Dennis R Zabawa / KG4RUL
Berkeley County, SC ARES/RACES - Public Information Officer (PIO)/Webmaster
W4VEC Volunteer Examiner
Trident Amateur Radio Club (TARC), Charleston, SC - Public Information Officer (PIO)/Webmaster
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Charleston, SC - Instructor - Team C9B
I would highly recommend you pull up each product review in QST on the radios in question and make your determination from that or from that with user feedback.
All radios are not created equal. Although a radio like the TT Jupiter is a so so performer, it might be right for your application/needs vs getting teh 746PRO (i.e. do you need 2 meters, 6 meters, internal antenna tuner, etc., or can you get by with a "basic" radio for very slightly less cost).
I could give you my recommendations based upon what I like, use, etc., but they may or may not be applicable to your set up/station.
QST is a good way to start. Then ask around at your ham clubs.