Are export radios really all that bad?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KK6REN, Apr 15, 2015.

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  1. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe I'm bitter about all the money wasted on crap like export rigs when I was yet an unbearded youth of a HAMlette. I could have had a 940 or 751a, real radios, for what I wasted on cb crap.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Really the Crap that is in a CB is better than what a Ham will build.

    The Magic Screwdriver can screw up any radio.

    In the day 11 meter radios were re-purposed and a lot cheaper than a 10 meter radio, The 10 meter radios were no better, they just cost more.

    Make sure you do the Slider Mod. Then you get Slide Band. lol
  3. WD8T

    WD8T XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was worth reading this entire post just for the chuckle I got out of these two sentences. Classic.
  4. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. W4KSL

    W4KSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a legitimate question about 10 meter radios and hopefully I'll get some sincere answers in response to my question without the export is trash backlash. I'm new to ham and I've only been licensed for a few months now. I think that new hams like myself have every intention in the world to do things the way it's supposed to be done. Once we get our license the first thing we do is go look for equipment. In fairness to the ones that buy a 10 meter radio they/we are steered in that direction by the system itself. The reason I wanted my ham ticket is because I love the aspect of propagation. Don't get me wrong 2 meters is great but being able to talk to other countries on HF is what we all desire to do. When you get your tech ticket you are confined to SSB 28.300 to 28.500. For those of you that are like myself how is a thousand dollar HF rig going to benefit a technician just starting out? That's a legitimate question. Now with the thousand dollar rig pretty much out of reach FOR NEW HAMS what real alternative do we have if we want to talk on 10 meters? Not much available out there other than 10 meter radios. One would think that when a box cover plainly states 10 meter radio "Amateur Radio" that is exactly what it is. Now, I'm not trying to play dumb by any means I researched these radios when I got my license I know the galaxy radios of the world are not ham radios by any means but the system in itself kind of forces new hams into buying those radios. Not cber's but new hams. Here is where I'll get lynched by some I'm sure but that's alright I'm new, After reading the article in QST May 2015 Page 51 On 10 meter radios it appears that there is a legitimate 10 meter radio on the market. QST says there is. I didn't like the dx-10 but I did like the president Lincoln 2 which I did indeed purchase and have made a few contacts on 10 meters. I've had no complaints from local hams on check in nights nor any on local chat. I actually had a picture of both my radios on my biography page but after hearing so much negative feedback about these radios I've taken the 10 meter radio out. As I said though I researched before I purchased and I came as close as I could to a legit within budget radio to fit my means. It was sold to me as a 10 meter ham radio and that's how I use it so how could it be wrong to use it in that manner? If yaesu and Kenwood would produce a 10 meter only radio then new hams like myself that do play by the rules wouldn't be forced to buy the ones that are on the market today. I guess the short fix would be just not to allow new (Technician) hams on any HF band. Make all HF bands General Class and above so it would atleast give new hams time to learn and grow and most importantly save money for a more appropriate equipment.

    73 Mark
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mark, that was a bit hard to read because it was one big, long paragraph, but your point is well taken.

    I'd recommend you upgrade as soon as possible because the heyday of 10m is pretty much over for the next several years. It will still open now and then, and contests provide high levels of activity, but you can't fight Mother Nature. Today, 10m is rarely open.

    A few years ago, it was open a lot.

    So, 'most' the the HF activity right now isn't on 10m, it's on 17-20-30-40 meters and of course at night there's always good activity on 80m no matter where we are in the sunspot cycle.

    I would not bother investing 'anything' in a 10m-only rig at this point in the'll be listening to static most of the time, with occasional signals.

    And, you don't need to spend a kilobuckon an HF rig that covers all bands. Great deals abound on used rigs that are fabulous and can be found for 350-400 dollars or less. LOTS of them. And they all cover 80m through 10m, and many cover 1.8 MHz also. Those used multiband rigs are better than any 'single band' 10m rig ever made by anybody.
  7. W4KSL

    W4KSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    It was a bit long. I was trying to give a logical reason why one might buy one of these radios. Everything you said is absolutely correct and I appreciate the open honesty. My goal is to get a "true" HF mobile radio. But first I need a General class license which I have done that now as of last Tuesday. It's not in the database yet as of today but that's one step closer to my goals and to HF frequencies.
  8. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting approach, right there. A lot of folks out there are thinking the exact opposite. Go figure:rolleyes:..

    Now, the offerings out there for 10 meters only vary in quality of the signal. It's not necessarily the on frequency aspects as it is the signals presence off the intended frequency.
    Even for experienced amateur radio operators, this can be a difficult thing to detect until you accidentally stomp on someone else.
    Granted, most of the time it's actually the other guy's receiver but for the times it isn't, I'd want to be as clean as I could.
    Remember, propagation can make a milliwatt signal sound like it's S9+. Locally, you'd probably not detect this but DX can.
    Unless you have sufficient test equipment available, then it would be doubtful you'd know this and even then, not until after purchase.
    You are quite literately at the mercy of the manufacturer. That's one of the reasons to shop for quality from known sources.
    That's also where reviews by knowledgeable folks are very valuable.

    As for why you were leaning towards a 10 meter only rig, it's understandable when your budget is tight. Just remember for a few hundred (I know that's a bunch) you can get an 8 to 10 band unit instead of a single band unit. Also note, it's not that overly complex to upgrade to General and get a freer use of it's capabilities (with more DX possibilities) and gain greater knowledge.
    Also, keep in mind you have access to portions of 80, 40 and 15 meters running CW modes. You also have more access to other portions of 10 meters for CW and Data transmissions. This is where the distortions of a low cost unit are more apparent.
    Another point to remember is, there is no limit to what you can listen in on. That's valuable experience on which bands are doing what in the ways you wish to pursue.

    It's really up to you to do the things that either advance your skills or simply place them in limbo. I'll let you decide which is which.

    Have fun

    ON EDIT: I was typing my post when you answered Steve's post. Anyway, WAY TO GO.
    That wasn't as hard as you thought, was it;)(okay, maybe it was) but you're there and running.
    Good luck and hope to hear you on the bands
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  9. W4KSL

    W4KSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the well wishes. I wish I had became a ham years ago because I enjoy radio communications in general. I guess what really attracted me to radio communications is when public safety first started using trunking systems. Everyone hated it but for some reason it appealed to me even though at the time you couldn't track it on a conventional scanner. It was a challenge. I used to buy scanners from radio shack every time a new one would come out. They had the annual catalog that cost $3.00 but in return you received a $3.00 off coupon. Anyone remember those? I was looking through their catalog one year and I saw a 10 meter mobile radio not far from the scanner section. That was the first time I entertained the idea of getting a license but just never pursued it. I wish I had. Better late than never. I look forward to the road ahead. Any advice and information is always excepted with an open mind.
  10. KB1ILS

    KB1ILS Ham Member QRZ Page


    I had never heard of the President Lincoln 2 and looked it up it one of those marketed as an "export" radio for the CB crowd? I can not tell. Some of the marketing looks legit, other things seem questionable.

    I would consider an affordable mobile 10m-only radio for my "long-trip vehicle" as the antenna size compromise is reasonable and the car already has a dual-bander installed. But I worry about accidentally purchasing something that is essentially a CB with added channels.

    I learned my lesson on cheap "export" radios thanks to QRZ. I bought a package deal of three brand new "Galaxy 99" radios here on the classifieds for $100, thinking I was getting a good deal on what I could use as two mobiles and a base on 10m, however almost everything about the radios seemed like cheap junk. I thought I was getting a deal on real 10m radios...what I received were three of what were probably $25 truck stop specials-- even a WalMart CB would have most likely been better than the Galaxy crap! The lack of a serial number/manufacturer info tags on the back made me a little worried. They worked fine on 11m for the five minutes that I tested them, though probably with illegal power levels (I did not know enough to check), but the radios had no true VFO (their built-in frequency counters were linked to the "channel" knob), all kinds of weird echo and noise effects installed, and the sensitivity was lousy. I gave two of them away to locals and traded the third for a nice power supply. I probably lost only $20 but I learned many lessons.

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