Apples to Oranges

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by VOYAGER57, Jun 15, 2016.

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  1. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    I haven't gotten my license yet...but I can think ahead. I've been looking at HF Radios and here's where my heads at. I really like the idea of owning a TS-480SAT. People seem very satisfied with them. I really like the compact size. I tend to keep things for a while. If it weren't for the old technology I'd just get a 718. Another nice size machine with many years (17, I think) of satisfied customers. But the DSP is lacking and other features outdated. For nearly the same price as the 480SAT the FTDX-1200 is on sale. From what I see the 1200 would give me a better antenna tuner and better DSP and a ton of gadgets that I probably don't need. My question is....would I be giving up a lot going with the little Kenwood vs the behemoth 1200? I really don't like the size, but I could deal with it if it offers that much more in needed performance and features.
  2. KB0HVB

    KB0HVB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like things simple and easy to access. While I'd love a compact and lightweight rig (I like working portable) that is easier to move around, I prefer to not have to dig through menus to find what I need to adjust. I'm sure that many of these smaller rigs have easy button configurations for such things, I'm just not familiar with them.

    I bought a used TS-940S to start with and learn on. It's a behemoth! Well, okay, not really. But it is very difficult to lug it around portable. I've been having some issues with the old 940, so it's begging for bench time... in the mean-time I've added a TS-590SG to my shack (if you can call it that). It's about 2/3rds the size in each dimension as the 940, and 1/3 the weight. It also keeps most of the controls I want at my fingertips, at my fingertips.

    My advice is to perhaps try got get your hands on a few different rigs. And visit a Field Day site near you. You can MAYBE get a bit of an idea into the different things that you may be adjusting on your own rig.

    Whatever you do get, take really good care of it. If you decide it's not the right radio for you, or when you upgrade it in the future, it will be worth more than a similar rig that has been through the wringer.

    Just my experience, preference, and two cents. Good luck!
    VOYAGER57 likes this.
  3. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    All good advice. But more to the point. What exactly are you getting or losing with radios that do roughly the same thing when one weighs in at 8 lbs and the other 21 lbs? The heat sink has much to do with it I'm sure. I just can't think of any other consumer electronic products where the approach to the design is so drastically different.
  4. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No matter what you buy, if you buy it right away, you will regret it.
    US7IGN, W9RDC and VOYAGER57 like this.
  5. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    i would say get your lisence first and then try a lot of rigs at friends and buy what you liked best.

    Nothing wrong with a TS480SAT and the internal tuner of the FTDX1200 has the same limits as the TS480SAT tuner.

    FtDx1200 lots of toys and bells and whistles , but no more and better performance as a TS480SAT.

    73 Jos
    VOYAGER57 likes this.
  6. KB0HVB

    KB0HVB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly! Some sacrifices are made to design for a specific feature or use. Other rigs use newer or older technology. Some have automatic antenna tuners and power supplies built-in to the main rig, while others do not. Some have more features, some have less. Some are contesting powerhouses, others are entry-level radios.

    This is one reason that you want to get something in your budget and with good reviews from experienced users, something that you're comfortable using... and then live with it for a while, to find out what does and doesn't work for you... the way you intend to use it.

    It's why I recommended getting to know local hams, and visit a Field Day (June 25-26... a week and a half away) site. :)
    VOYAGER57 likes this.
  7. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    The correct answer is 13 lbs :) But yours is an good one nevertheless. I'm a day late as the radio for me would be an ICOM IC 7200, now discontinued. Buying used is a possibility, but being new at this, 'used' would be risky. I wouldn't even know if it performs as it should. Yaesu's rebates end June 30 and Kenwoods July 30, so I feel a little pressured as I like to save a buck or two. But I like the Field Day suggestion. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  8. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    Today, I turn 59 years old.....I'll buy right away. Delaying things I should have done years ago is no longer an option. And I may just regret it a little as you say.
  9. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    Thanks, I do feel good about the 480. It's high on the list.
  10. VOYAGER57

    VOYAGER57 QRZ Member

    There's a Hamfest in July here in the Twin Cities. I may have to check things out.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016

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