FT480r and FT790r Replace with what?

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by G0KDT, Jan 16, 2020.

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  1. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I came back to amateur radio after a long break called 'pressured employment', that need to pay your way and support. When I retired and had finally got through the long list of jobs that 'She who must be obeyed' had set in train. I thought it would be a good idea.

    I had sold my old FT101ZD MK3 but kept an FT480r, FT790r Mk1 and an FT470r handie. Lured as I was by the hope of getting back in, I picked up a Kenwood TS590SG for HF and 6m rig, which took some getting attuned to, hoping perhaps too hard, that the old FT480 and 790 kit would be ok.

    Both the FT480 and 790 work which is good, but the FT480 is off frequency a bit, perhaps not a surprise for its age and the 790 needs me to change the memory CR2016 cell to get it to fire up properly without defaulting 433.400 and forgetting everything each time its switched off. Neither radio copes with CTCSS for use in FM needed these days.

    With the above, I contacted the Amateur Radio suppliers (Major UK Dealer) who I bought the TS590SG from new to see about getting the VHF/UHF gear checked out and tweaked back into alignment as necessary. They say “We don’t touch old gear…” or words to that effect. Although I have some test kit (Freq Counter, 20Mhz Scope, Audio Sig gen etc.), I don’t have an FM Modulation meter or RF sig gen that works at these frequencies and certainly not one that is recently calibrated.

    So the real reason for this post is to seek views from my fellow radio people about what is best to do. There is a real gap in the VHF/UHF multimode transceiver range. The two primary base rigs appear to be the Icom IC-9700 (Way over priced over here in the UK) or the combined with HF Yaesu FT991A which was for a bit, a contender when I bought the TS590 but it couldn’t do duplex and was really fiddly, and unintuitive to operate.

    I’ve looked around and feel lost and stumped. I'm nervous of buying second hand, as I have experience of helping a friend who has spent countess pounds on gear from dealers that has ultimately been found to be duff that way. Is it worth trying more places to get the old rigs serviced (parts permitting) or what would you buy. Happy to hear your thoughts.

  2. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    37 views in two days and still the tumble weed is blowing across the desert that has formed sucking VHF/UHF transceivers into the quick sands....

    Well there is an ebay advert from Italy selling IC-9700's for C. $2030 (US) which I suppose is offering an inkling of hope that the price over here will fall. I simply can't warrant spending that sort of over what would be $1500 (US) for VHF/UHF here in the UK. Our local repeater is C4FM on 70cms ( so Icom not compatible), and it seems there are a number of shortcomings with the IC-9700. Combine that with the bands pretty darn quiet most of the time here then unless I spend even more on Az/El rotators and more antennas and went big time for satellites to get anything from 23cms I can't validate that sort of spend (sadly). At my age I'm beyond the game of 'he who dies with the most gear wins' or GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) as is often the term given in my other pastime (Guitars).

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