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CW transceiver question

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KA4NYW, Jun 21, 2020.

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  1. KA4NYW

    KA4NYW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good morning to everyone. I was a novice in the 80's and loved cw. I'm just returning to ham radio with my tech. I am studying for general. I'm asking for input on an affordable solid transceiver that is good for cw (as well as other hf). I am not opposed to used equipment and that would probably be the direction I need to go in. Something like the xiegu g90 is not what I'm looking for, although I don't have a lot of room. I've done some searches but it's been a very long time since I've been the ham radio market. Thanks in advance,
  2. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's a voluminous question. It's like asking what car should I buy, or what house should I buy, or what gun should I buy? For just about everything on the market, you'll find someone who says *that's* the one you should buy. The real answer turns out to be a very personal choice.

    I bought my first Icom in the 80's. Icom has been good to me. All I do are Icoms. Icoms have been all I've ever done. I like Icom.

    This might change when I run out of my current stock of Icoms. (Edit: because my current requirement for new radios is that it does not include D-Star... or Fusion... or DMR.)

    Edit2: in response to the posting below: I'll say Icom has a good reputation for CW (except the 718).
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    W5ESE likes this.
  3. KA4NYW

    KA4NYW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree. Maybe it would be easier if I simply asked which used rigs have a good cw reputation. Thanks for the reply.
    W5ESE likes this.
  4. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    As W5UAA said the Icoms are pretty good. Personally, for someone in your position I'd recommend a Yaesu FT-450D. It's fairly inexpensive and is pretty full featured for the price, but I'm a wee bit prejudiced there because I have a 450D and love it. It has a reasonably good resale value so if you do want to upgrade to a better transceiver later you won't lose a lot of money on it.
  5. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an Icom 7300 as my main rig, and it works pretty well for CW, SSB and data the way I use them. For lower power portable operating I have an Elecraft KX3, and it's very good for that, and definitely the best rig I have for CW. I also have an FT-450AT which I use when I'm in Kenya. It's OK, and saves me the trouble of taking a rig when I travel there (though it doesn't look like I'll be going there again until the present pandemic is over), but it doesn't have a memory keyer. I have an Icom 706MkII in a box somewhere. It was my main rig for quite a while, but wasn't so good for CW unless I wore good enclosed earphones, as its TX relay doesn't so much click as clang.
    WD4ELG and M6GYU like this.
  6. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Icom IC-7410 / Yaesu FT-990 ?
  7. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Steve welcome back. Do you intend to use the rig as a multi purpose one, as in SSB also? Not that it matters to awfully much but some additional features can never hurt. I lean toward Yaesu regarding CW, Kenwood regarding SSB. I do not have much of a valid explanation for that its just how I have been doing it.
    I do hear many Ten Tec's on the air CW, also many Icoms although very few 7300's. That may be from newer OPs buying them. Having never owned either I can not comment on those. Regarding the Yaesu...I currently own a 101d, 2000, 450d. The 2000 is a tad noisy I believe but manageable, those can be picked up very reasonably. The 450d is a great rig for CW also. I use it outside on the deck sometimes summer mornings. It does not have many of the features of the larger rigs but does well. If your budget allows it the 101d is far superior to other Yaesu radios I have owned. I do run across a few FT 990's so I can imagine those might be a good pick as well. 73, RAC
  8. N0XAS

    N0XAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Good" for CW covers a lot of ground. My TS-930 was an awesome CW rig... just a pile of trouble to own, with one of the poorest power supply designs I've ever seen. The TS-850 is pretty nice, too. I started out with a Yaesu FT-757GX, which must have been OK for CW since I used it for CW, mostly QRP, for years.

    My suggestion would be to figure out what your budget (both money and space) is and whether you're looking only at new rigs, only at used, or both. Use those things to develop a list of radios that fall within those limits, and narrow it down from there. Otherwise as has already been pointed out, it's a "what car should I buy?" question.
    W5ESE likes this.
  9. W5ESE

    W5ESE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Ten Tec Omni VI and like it very well; been using it 17 years now (bought it used even back then).

    Extremely smooth QSK, and I particularly like that the keyer speed and transmit power are BOTH ported to front panel controls. (I operate QRP a lot, but sometimes need to be able to EASILY dial the power up, keyer speed up or down, etc). It also has separate jacks on the back for both a straight key and paddles for the keyer.

    Disadvantages are that it is an older rig and doesn't have 60 meters or 6 meters.

    The Ten Tec Argonaut V or Ten Tec Jupiter could also be great choices if you have limited space (they both have a smaller footprint).
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
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  10. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page




    NEW OR USED............



    73 - K1LKP

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