Best entry level HF rig

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD8IEL, Nov 16, 2009.

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  1. KD8IEL

    KD8IEL Ham Member QRZ Page


    Thanks everyone for all the help.


  2. W6CGA

    W6CGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think an ICOM 718 is a very good choice
  3. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought my ICOM 746 in the spring for $650. Then I added the 500hz CW filter for $75. (eBay purchase)

    I like flexibility and it covers 160 to 2Meters with very good built in auto tuner.
  4. KF0X

    KF0X Super Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Hands down, the ICOM 718!

    It is the best bargain out there! Solid, great features, easy to use and best of all, take good care of it and it sells like gold on eBay when it comes time to upgrade. Heck, it is such a good rig, you may not want to upgrade.
  5. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    $400 is gold?

    The IC-718 is a good rig, but it certainly is not that great. My 30 year old non-DSP Kenwood would smack it's receiver down.
    The Yaesu FT-857/897 has a better receiver as well. Plus you get all bands/all mode in a package that doesn't have a stupid looking speaker grill on the front.
    I do think Icom has a better DSP setup.
  6. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    How about the AN/URC-32? Great rig. 500 watts out and mobiles really great. A little heavy at 1200 pounds tho. Comes with a remote coupler with gigantic inductor and vacuum varioable caps. Coupler is even charged with Nitrogen.

  7. K7FDX

    K7FDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Used IC-746

    The IC-746 (non-pro) can be had for a modest investment. I started with a FT-840, which is a nice little rig with a good receiver and is easy to operate.

    The 746 is a nice little rig with a slightly better receiver, 2M all-mode and is also easy to operate. There are things about the 840 I like better, like the RX audio. However, the 746 has much better selectivity, and the ability to turn off the AGC can pull out really weak DX on an otherwise quiet band.

    I paid $700 for mine with two optional filters. I can't think of a better value if you want to work the world on HF.
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you can find a used IC-746 in god condition, I'd second that motion. That's what I've been using for quite a few years, and I find myself going back to it all the time, so there must be something good about it.

    First, though, you need to decide what's important to you. The IC-746 has 100 watts on 6 and 2 meters as well as on HF. That's an important consideration if you want to work 6 or 2 meters SSB. If you aren't interested in these two HF bands, then you can focus on HF only or HF+6 meter rigs.

    Recently, the new IC-7200 was on sale at Gigparts for under $800. Based on the reviews and the advertised functions, I'd say that's quite a bargain. The IC-718 is a very decent little radio, and they've recently been selling for under $500.

    As others have pointed out, there are other things you're going to want right away - in particular antennas or antenna parts, and a good power supply, so you will need to keep that in mind. You'll most likely need an antenna tuner, as well.
  9. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    wasnt the original 746 problematic?
  10. KK7WB

    KK7WB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another vote for the Yeasu FT-450!!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
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