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5 watt SDR versus FT817

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KA4VNM, Sep 28, 2017.

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  1. W8NSI

    W8NSI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The SDR Toughbook idea sounds like a winner to me. Years ago I used a toughbook at work with the built in wireless access to log in to do various tasks.

    73 de w8nsi jim
  2. N1GMV

    N1GMV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I sold my 817 for and bought a "Recent 918SSB" and glad I did. First off, I never used the 2 meter or 70 cm on that radio, that is what my dualband DMR ht is for. Second, my operating position is that my head is always much higher than the front of the 817 so always had to tilt the radio way up. The display was so small I needed my glasses and a magnifying glass to see the display. Then when operating CW it is as wide as a barn door, making it nearly impossible to get on the air during busy conditions. I hated the radio, I had it for a year, and every time I used it it worked okay but never enjoyed it.
    I then got this little Recent918SSB SDR radio! First of all, it interfaces to my laptop with just a USB cable bringing both rig control as well as audio into HRD, Winlink or WSJT. The display is great, the filters are great and if I want I can opt out of QRP. Mine on my MFJ portable meter read 35watts on highest power setting, and lowest 100mw.
    The sound on the radio is phenomenal and the features are endless.
    I plan to make up a pelican case to hold everything in one go kit including a small laptop and flexible solar panel. Just love my lil SDR, you just have got to get one of these!
  3. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good choice. I have a Youkits, IC 703, KX2 and a KX3. I have owned an FT 817 and think the 817 is one of the best do all radios. It covers almost everything.
    I could care less about UHF and VHF, but for complete swling and above 6 meters radio, i don't know of anything in a box that compairs to the 817. I am almost sorry i sold it.
    AD0RX likes this.
  4. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just bought an 817 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it. As far as the above drawbacks - my operating position won't put it that much lower than my head and, in any case, I've no intention of operating it from the front panel and menus at home on the desk anyway. That's what the CAT cable and HRD are for. Mine already had the 300hz CW filter - no "wide as a barn door" there. Cable already ordered, and I've been planning a new laptop for the shack anyway, which I will buy next week, most likely.

    That said, my first HF rig way back in the day was a Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 which was and is a cool little rig but I found it absolutely, horribly frustrating. I'd never recommend a 5W or less (Argonaut 509 output was about 2 - 2.5 watts) rig as a first for most people. But step up a bit and that changes. IMHO the best of the Argonaut series was the Argonaut V and that puts out 20W at max setting, and that would be way, WAY different and enough for most people to start on.

    I do like Ten-Tec and in my return to ham radio I've also picked up both the 405 50W amp that was made to match the original Argonaut 505 and 509 back then and also a much more modern 418 100W 160-6. I'll use the 418 with the 817 at home giving me 100W on 160-6. That duplicates my FT-990 on 160-10 the 817 has the TXCO so will be better for digital modes plus has 6M. If I want to take an amp camping or other portable the 405 is a fair bit smaller than the 418, obviously draws less current, and still gives me 50W out on 80-10. An HT for me is no substitute for the 440 and 2m in the 817 because I don't plan to use it, except maybe rarely, on FM at all. VHF/UHF FM was killed dead'er than the proverbial door nail by cell phones for many of us, but I DO plan to use it, with an amp, for V/UHF SSB, maybe without an amp for some mountain topping.

    I think I'm going to really like it.
  5. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    You will. I do mine. You can still score SSB DX on a good day, if that's your thing, even as the sun goes QRP. I've absolutely had a blast with mine: SSB, digital (JT65/Winlink), and CW.

    Recently scored an SG 2020. I think it's going to be a keeper. 20 Watts!

  6. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm watching an Argonaut V now which, as I mentioned is also a 20W radio. I need another radio right now like a hole in the head, what with the FT-990 which is a great radio with a digital SCF that, in return for having to manually adjust it, seems better to me than most DSP, the 817 plus my choice of the two amps, plus a little Peaberry QRP SDR with built in digital interface, no sound card/Signalink required, but...but...but... you can't have too many radios, eh? :D

    The Argonaut V does have fairly high current drain on receive and quite a bit bigger than the 817 making it more of a home station QRP than portable but it's a cool radio in its own right.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still like to use one because they have a real serial port.

    Attached Files:

  8. M3ONL

    M3ONL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Best of both worlds, you can use the 817 with SDR#
  9. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would change my SDR mcHF to your ft-817...


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