HF that doesn't need a mortgage loan

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by ND5F, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. VE3LYX

    VE3LYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry no longer helping anyone.
    73, Lisa Anderson - N6QIC

    U shouldn't lie. Ur not really sorry. Remember, No good deed goes unpunished. But I can see U already found that out.
    Re first rig , low cost. If $ are an issue one can always build something. Crystal control and one tube or transistor should cost around $20 and will work several hundred miles.
  2. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    The antenna is the most important part of a radio station--even more important than the radio itself.
  3. N6RGR

    N6RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would recommend an Icom IC-718, or Icom IC-7200. Both can be had for between $600-$800 used. If it is a local ham selling the equipment you may even get to try it out. Check and see if a local amateur radio club is in your area. Often they have equipment in the clubhouse for members to use. Field day is coming soon, your local club will probably have a set-up that can also be used by anyone. I would encourage you to go to a field day site, you will meet great people and get to use some equipment in various modes and bands.

    As stated above, buy a used radio, but invest heavily in the best antenna your budget can bear. Another option is to build a couple of resonant dipoles and set them up for the interim.

    Good luck and enjoy the hobby - it can get addictive once you have logged a couple of DX contacts to countries you likely will never visit.

    Roger KK6IVD
    K2MOB likes this.
  4. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    A used 718 will run $400-450, maybe a little more with the DSP unit installed. However, I can't recommend that rig. Had one. Less than impressed. Sold it. There are better choices out there. For about $100 more you can get a used Yaesu FT-450D, which is much more radio for the money (and you'll get 6 meter capability). A used Alinco DX-8SR will run less than $400, and will give you just about the same feature set and performance as a 718.

    The IC-7200 is a nice performer, but a little pricey given it's feature set. A used IC-7100 is about the same price, and will give you VHF/UHF capability as well. It also has a fantastic receiver. Neither rig has an on-board tuner, so you'll need to budget for that as well, unless you're planning on using resonant antennas.

    If you want a solid, no-frills performer, look for a Kenwood TS-50. They show up (used) in the $400-450 range, and they preform very well.
  5. N6RGR

    N6RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are right, the Yaesu 450D would be a good starter rig since it has an ATU (built in antenna tuner). I have used my Icom IC-7200 for several years with great success. The IC-718 has received good reviews and is considered a decent starter rig. I have seen them sell for between $400-$600. It all depends on what the OPs budget will be, and his interest in what bands and modes he wants to operate on. Everyone will agree, that spending the cash on your antenna system (antenna, coax, grounding, lightning protection) is where you should spend the big bucks.

    Roger KK6IVD
  6. KQ9J

    KQ9J Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I see the FTdx1200 on sale now. With a rebate it is a little over a grand. Brand spankin new!
  7. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yah, I'm still looking for a real example of this "old electrolytic capacitor" phenomenon. Maybe old hollow-state rigs, but I for one have never seen a bad cap in anything built in the last 40ish years... saw a couple go up in smoke because they were in backward.
  8. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, I just fixed my HP 8924C (90's vintage) that had a bad cap in the switching power supply, I have fixed routers, TV's, Ethernet switches, and currently have a Harmon Kardon AV receiver on my bench with a few bad caps, and it's only 4-5 years old. From the late 90's thru the early 2000's there almost wasn't a consumer electronic device that didn't ship with bad caps!


    These failure almost always occurred in the power supply section of a device.
  9. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That article talks about caps from 1999-2007.

    I'm more interested in caps that got old and went bad than in those that were bad when installed. It just seems too much like audiophile golden ears nonsense to me... "I replaced all the caps in my amp and now it sounds so OPEN and AIRY". Maybe... if it's a 1950's tube amp. I have worked in electronic service departments and "replace all the electrolytics" was never something we did.
  10. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    The HV power-supply caps I removed from my 45 year old TS-520 measured about half of what they were rated for, but still worked OK. The new caps I put in are rated about 20% higher IIRC, should help with SSB peaks, but it really shouldn't be anything noticeable. The caps in my Drake AC-4, ripple was getting to be an issue under load. They don't last forever.

    Some of the "plauge" caps would last 10 years before failing, so they weren't "bad" when installed, they were destined to fail sooner than desired. However, consumer electronics might not have a usable life more than 10 years, shorter with computer and TV's of the time, so many of these problems might not have manifested themsleves before the item was retired. But we hams like to use our boat anchors 40, 50, 60 years later!

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