Best Transceiver for CW DXing under $1500 ???

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by WB9LUR, Sep 23, 2014.

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  1. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Save your money if all you want is a more sensitive radio. Every transceiver on the market can hear well below the natural noise floor of anywhere on planet earth. -120dBm is as low as it gets and even CBs can manage below that. Where they do vary is in selectivity, the ability to hear a weak signal next to a strong one. If that isn't the issue you would be better off putting the money into your antennas first and the radio second. Better antennas will bring in those currently weak signals better. A new transceiver won't.
  2. WB9LUR

    WB9LUR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Was gonna wait until next year to upgrade but now I can't put it off - my current rig, the Alinco DX-SR8T, is starting to act up and no TX output power after 20 to 30 minutes of transmitting - warranty runs out in two days - got an RMA to send it back for warranty repair - that will leave me with no rig - so gonna drive to AES Orlando and buy a Kenwood TS-590S Saturday - Can't even try to work FT4TA now until Saturday - UGH - hope the learning curve on the 590S isn't too steep ...

  3. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't spend it on the radio. Instead, I'd first investigate possible noise sources. About 50% of the time, noises which are bad enough to call the ARRL for assistance are located in the ham's own home. Bite the bullet and turn of the mains and listen on a battery powered receiver. If there is a significant drop in noise, you can now turn on breakers selectively help locate the noise. You might also walk around the neighborhood with a receiver.

    I'd then experiment with antennas. While getting a stronger signal on transmit is often hard or impractical, improving receive performance just takes time and effort. I've gotten one of the commercial null cancelling devices to play with--you can use it with a rig that doesn't have a receive input--but I've been far to busy with personal issues to even remember what box I bought...

    Don't assume that a vertical will be noisy--the 80M vertical in my back yard is actually pretty quiet--I've heard lots of Pacific DX on it--W1AW/KH8 had a pretty good signal the other day--though the pileup was too big to break with 100 watts.

    Zack W1VT
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  4. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Turn it on, use it. They're great straight out of the box. Buttons on the front usually have two functions, the second being accessed by a long press. Menu options show a plain english description, not a cryptic abbreviation.
  5. N1EU

    N1EU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hands down, a used Orion I. Pick one up for under $1500 used.

    Barry N1EU
  6. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd cast another vote for the Ten Tec Eagle. Have had one for over a year now and really love it.
  7. WB9LUR

    WB9LUR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Couldn't wait until next year and bought a new Kenwood TS-590 ... still learning all of it's capabilities ... amazing radio that filters out the crap so well ... way past my Alinco DX8-SRT ... I run the bandwidth pretty wide on CW and then if the adjacent frequency QRM gets to be too much, I just narrow it down and - QRM gone!
  8. WB9LUR

    WB9LUR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok, I've had a few months with the Kenwood TS-590 and it is one awesome radio. Very pleased. I'm still learning how to get the very most out of all the filtering/notching/DSP functions but it is great in crowded band - heavy QRM situations. I am totally impressed.

    I may sell my Alinco and get another TS-590 to be a backup rig.
  9. K3LI

    K3LI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Any 1500 dollar Kenyaesicom will do just fine.
  10. W1BG

    W1BG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My 2ยข worth the receiver in the Icom IC-7200 outperforms the FT-1200 Yaesu on CW and will meet or beat the 590 on CW for only $789 through the end of March. You want a good but inexpensive rig for CW, there it is. Also has built-in keyer (Iambic, bug or straight), works QSK, has DSP tunable bandwidth filters, Twin Passband tuning, high stab. TCXO, dual VFO, tunable notch filter, 6k roofing filter, built-in USB port, lots more. what else do you need? Yes, I know the Yaesu is "pretty" but how functional is it? (If it won't run, chrome it)
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