I'm looking for an IC-703/706 or similar to get started in the HF frequencies while still being mobile. With a college budget, I'm not looking for anything over $500. Any help or tips would be a big help. Thanks!
Wanting to get into HF
My suggestion: keep reading the posts in Ham Radio Gear "For Sale" and read older posts....There are several rigs for that price range and under....Some older rigs are near the size of the 703/706 but only do "HF"...I could also suggest saving your $$$ and adding to the $500.00 stated and purchase a NEW rig of your own....no one else's headache from misuse/abuse/whatever. Granted you don't want some archaic piece like the TS520SE in your vehicle, because those are AC only....Look for equipment that is newer than an Atlas 210/215x type of rigs...as those are hard to locate new PA decks for. Keep an eye out for like a TS120/140 or even a TS430. The 430 is about the size of an FT840 Yaesu...maybe a smidge larger. Keep in mind, some rigs have provisions for transverters...and some had the optional transverters on the "accessories" lists....when new. RE: Yaesu FT747GX. Or even FT101. Again Keep a sharp eye out...and if you do locate a nice looking piece...have a certified electronics technician look it over for cold solder joints, power output, receiver noise (if any), smoke stains ( cigarrette and burns from accidental lightning strikes) and any thing else you can think of. Good luck!
MX has some good points.. save yer nickles till you can go new in box... NIB comes with guarantee. I'm big on the guarantee. If "anything" doesn't meet specs then you have recourse. Not necessarily so with a used rig.
Can you borrow a rig on a temp basis to get ya on the air till you can afford to make the jump?
It's not the "class of license" that an amateur holds..
It's the "class of the amateur" that holds the license.
IF you look very closely you can find the rig you desire. I just purchased a Yeasu 747 GX for $266.00 plus shipping that is my mobile and only HF rig. It's not real fancy but it works, and works well. Does it have a few quirts being an older radio, yes. For me $800.00 was just simply not an option. I also have a monoband Hustler 40m super resonator. I'm HF mobile for ~$350, any very happy. Look me up here on QRZ and you can at least see the truck and antenna.
The only thing I would add is that you really need a good relationship with someone who can go through the radio piece by piece to make sure everything works correctly if your unable to do so.
Best of luck!