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Best rig choices for VHF/UHF upgrade?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KX4AZ, May 26, 2020.

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  1. K7RJB

    K7RJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why has no one mentioned a FT 991A?

    Pretty sure it checks all the boxes.
    N3UPM likes this.
  2. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might want to elaborate on which digital modes are of interest to you. D-Star(tm?) is no longer the exclusive domain of Icom. Kenwood recently introduced a portable radio which includes D-Star, yet that would not produce 25W- unless they now have a mobile. "Sky Command" as in remote DTMF control was a plan since the TM-D700a. Yaesu now does 'DMR', as do others. Motorola has a 'proprietary' MotoTRBO digital mode. These are just a few examples. You might want to search on "Brandmeister' regarding gateway systems.
  3. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is about as clear as mud.

    First off, the D-Star digital mode is not now--nor has it every been--the property of a single manufacturer. It is a completely open standard, and any radio manufacturer could make a D-Star radio if they so desired.

    The first confusing part comes in the fact that Icom trademarked the 'D-Star' name in the US.

    The second confusing part comes in that D-Star uses a proprietary DVSI codec--but DMR and Fusion both use the same proprietary chip as well. So D-Star and DMR are both open standards, with a single patented component. Fusion and the WIRES-X system are completely closed standards.

    If you every see a company advertising in the US that they are releasing a new radio X which has "the JARL's open Digital Voice Standard," that's a D-Star radio.
    AJ5J, AI7PM, N2AMM and 1 other person like this.
  4. KX4AZ

    KX4AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    With respect to digital modes I mainly envision experimenting with some unusual things like WSPR and FT8 modes on VHF/UHF frequencies. And yes, these are not exactly mainstream bands for these two protocols. Beyond that, the "normal" digital protocols like DMR, Fusion, D-Star etc etc are of lower interest to me so far, but that of course that could change once I get more familar with them.
  5. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am unaware of any VHF/UHF radio capable of FM, CW, and SSB on which you would be unable to run WSPR or FT8.

    Even if it did not have a data interface (which would be ludicrous), you could tap the mic and speaker connections and successfully run these modes.
  6. N3UPM

    N3UPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Indeed it does, I love my 991A, very happy with everything I've tried on it, from VHF/UHF, using all modes including with my MMDVM hotspot, to HF and general listening. You can find them used on the Zed all the time, which is where I found mine. It came with the SP-10 speaker, which gets awful reviews but I like it. Certainly not enough bass response when SWL, but it's a tiny speaker, so you have to be realistic. If this radio had a remote head, I'd buy another one for the car. Was on an 80m net last week, everyone complaining about the awful noise floor, I had no idea what they were talking about, until I looked down and saw that I had the DNR turned all the way up to "1"! Turned it off and the noise about melted my eardrums. Had the receive bandwidth all the way open to 3200, no other filters or anything. I can certainly hear signals that I'd never reach with 100 watts. The display is tiny, but sharp, and once you wrap your head around the menus, it's easy to navigate. The USB is the "killer app" for this radio, either for CAT or for digital modes. You can even pipe the audio through software to further process it with the millions of plugins available. Good luck in your search!
    KX4AZ likes this.
  7. KX4AZ

    KX4AZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I noted in a post yesterday, at this point the Yaesu FT991A and Icom 7100 are my top candidates. I like that they both have HF as a bonus and airband receive so I wouldn't have to haul along the 7300 & scanner when traveling. Both look to have similar VHF/UHF sensitivity, and check the boxes in my feature list. The FT991A has the superior display w/waterfall, though the 7100 with its B&W LCD display would be a plus for field use in bright sunshine. The menus on the ICOM would be more familar to me, but OTOH the Yaesu would be a new adventure to learn too. So at this point I'll keep my eye out for used deals, while also waiting to see which one gets back in stock first from the major retailers. Really appreciate all of the informative replies to my original posting, helped me a lot.
  8. K8PG

    K8PG QRZ Lifetime Member #333 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I like the FT 991A
    excellent , the one I have is
    super portable,mobile and as
    a home station. No problems.

    Paul K8PG
  9. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just one other bit of advice: take a little bit of time to look at the cost of different options and the programming software / operating software sets that you might want to use. By options, some of the older rigs do not have DSP or other filters than you might want to add later.
    As to that bit about DStar(tm), be aware that this is considered a digital mode which is not proprietary, yet one manufacturer of the 'big 3' considered to be 'amateur radio' makers has not decided to produce that sort of product. You might also choose to note that many MotoTRBO(tm) systems also involve C4FM, as do the radios from Vertex and some Yaesu. Just because you have a chip, does not mean that you have the firmware for a protocol to match that chip. And that is why I mentioned 'Brandmeister'. Do what you think is right for you and appropriate for use in the geographic area where you operate. Your local club can help you determine which modes are in use.
    The words "DStar (tm) or D-Star(tm), MotoTRBO(tm or R), Vertex(mfr. or tm or R), Yaesu (mfr. or tm or R) and 'Brandmeister' (tm or R or C ) refer to software or hardware manufacturer or service company names which carry Trademark, Copyright, Registered Name, or other legal protection for use. These are used for illustration of various protocols, hardware, and services where the names are protected by legal means. While the information above is expected to be correct as of this date, I am not a representative of: Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, Motorola, nor Brandmeister ( all names protected ). Your experience, especially in the future, may vary.
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Curious what you found when you checked the reviews on sites like Eham ?

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