Best portable hf rig

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N1QWI, May 2, 2015.

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  1. ZS6DX

    ZS6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have plenty to compare it to, if you read my original post you would see that. My statement still stands that if you have not explored all the options on the radio it might well have been miss adjusted! But I suppose it depends on what you are into, from your profile and log it seems you mostly work some local 40m stations, and not CW either so I suppose being DX and having a pile-up, or working a large contest competitively is not your thing, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    I am simply saying I have directly compared the radio to at least 10 other in the shack, next to each other switch radios to the same antenna, I have used the radio during a large contest (with great results, should be in the top 5 in the world in the class I entered) and I have been on the receiving side of a DX-pile more than once with the 991. I am saying it is a great radio and everyone who has been in my shack and used the radio agrees with me.

    I believe my evaluation was more controlled and extensive than yours, "I used it some and it sounded flat and uninteresting" is rather un-technical and un-scientific.........

    Saying that it lacks selectivity is also a joke, have you read the specs? Have you used the radio where there are S9 and S0 stations within the 1khz of each other? Well I have and it performed really well, not as well as my FTdx-5000MP for sure but better than anything in it's class.

    Anyway, no use trying to convince you, to each his own, I just hate it when someone slate a radio and it is obvious there observations are inaccurate.
  2. M0SDB

    M0SDB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You would think so but try running an Icom 7000 off a 12v battery and it does not like it. Will not put out full power and is very current hungry. The 857 ticks along all day just fine on 12v-full power of required and is more frugal than the 7000...
    GM1FLQ likes this.
  3. ZS6DX

    ZS6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I wish the K3 had better audio, maybe the new K3S is better? Have not tried it yet but I want to. The K3 is actually a super radio, but rather expensive.

    I have ordered a second FT-991, planning on using it with the first one in a single operator, 2 radio setup later this year from Namibia during the CQ WW DX contests. It will also be used for some DX'ing and on a safari between the contests from Namibia and Angola. If the they survive that and do well in the contest it will be real proof for me that the FT-991 might well become a classic.
  4. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Spec can be very misleading. You can learn a lot more listening to it than from a spec sheet. Like I said I had high hopes for it but after using it side by side with other rigs it was thumbs down for sure, I could not reject QRM as well as with other rigs that were cheaper. The problem with shack in a box rigs is corners are cut and it shows on this one. HF performance was very disapointing.
  5. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Which other rigs, specifically?
  6. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT450, FT1200, FT3000 and Icom (but I forget model) No 590 in mix but I suspect it was no accident because they were showing 1200 and did not want 590 pulling it down. There is a radio store in Columbus near here that puts different rig out to use on a nice big bench with a beam and antenna switches between rigs. I go up there every month or two to play with them a few hours, As I said I had high hopes for 991 but HF performance was very disapointing, It did not sound good either. Kenwoods can tend to spoil you on receiver audio quality that few other rigs match especailly in price class.
  7. ZS6DX

    ZS6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most Kenwoods have great RX audio, I agree, but the exceptions to that "rule" is the TS-590 and the TS-2000. Yaesu also have great sounding audio, I own most current and recent Yaesu's and I cannot say there is a single one with bad audio. I cannot say the same thing about my Icom collection, the larger models like the IC-756Pro3 and 7600 are ok but I am not impressed with the 706/7000/7100 or 910 models.

    I suppose we will have to agree to disagree:confused:

    Back to DX'ing, the bands are open......

    73. Rudi de ZS6DX/V51VE
  8. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would answer the OP this way: how do you intend to use your radio transceiver?

    This has come out in this thread. I like it.

    I recommend a used market TenTec Scout 555. The audio is a pleasure to listen to. I also get unsolicited compliments on my audio.

    What mic do you have, etc.? I hear that a lot of that talk on-the-air.

    The TenTec Scout 555 has been my only transceiver more than a few years, purchased second-hand at a "hamfest" from the original owner.

    It has run exclusively on solar panels from off-the-grid rural locations for a number of years.

    If you like, lookup my callsign for what I am doing about amateur radio more recently. But nothing, nothing has replaced my TenTec Scout 555.

    It is "fun" to use and the audio is great, as I said.

    Plus, I don't have to "worry" about a "sensitive" electronics board. I do worry.

    If your radio equipment costs a pretty-penny, and easily damaged, maybe it is the wrong choice.

    The TenTec Scout 555 is more "pricy" now, in the used market, no doubt commanding the price because it is so desireable a transceiver. It can be operated portable. I have. It can be your QTH.

    I added a power supply. It has become my QTH.

    That said, I listen more than I talk. In fact, I talk very little.

    I have no interest in contests or awards.

    In fact, the audio is so pleasant, I can listen to the band while waiting for the background noise to change for the band opening.

    This last "feature" is "better" for DX than watching "DX spotters" software with a computer.

    I also think my audio gets thru better than the "punch" on my Yaesu FT817-ND I am using for PSK-31.

    I also don't have the fingernail controls, or, odd front panel controls of the Yaesu FT817-ND.

    I think all these considerations, if possible, should be considered before purchase.

    It is difficult to know, in advance, what part of this "hobby" you will enjoy most.

    I wanted to do S.O.T.A. for example, but announce it online? Go for points? Not my thing.

    I know if I am on a mountaintop. That is good enough for me.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
    N1QWI likes this.
  9. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have tested them all, except for a FT-897D (still need to score one of those) But I will vote for the FT-857D over the ICom IC-706MK2G. It has lower RX battery drain and doesn't suffer from the FMing the Icom does on lower battery voltages. The 897D is probably about the same, but a much larger package.
    I was tickled to nail my 857D, and made it into a GO KIT (ULTIMATE GO KIT VER ONE). It is much more portable than the UGKVER2, not too heavy to carry and easy to operate.
    UGKVER2 is much larger but also with many more features. VER One is always ready to go for any emergency!
  10. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Yaesu FT-857D is my recommendation. I also own an FT-817 but I bought it primarily for receiving satellite downlinks in the field on SSB.

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