HR2.0 - Best HF Ham Radio Under $1000 - 6 Best HF Transceivers 2020

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KC5HWB, Oct 29, 2020.

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  1. AF5CC

    AF5CC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 7100 has a built in soundcard-you can interface it and run digital modes on it using just a USB cable.

    73 John AF5CC
    K2NCC likes this.
  2. K9UR

    K9UR Subscriber QRZ Page

    silly post. "Best" is totally subjective to the user's need.

    The 7300 receiver is great, but overloads on strong signals.
    The 891 peak size is nice, audio filter really brightens the receiver, but flaky ALC & all the menus are terrible
    The 7100 is nice, a shack in the box but you can not key the radio via DTR/RTS (USB) for CW computer keying
    The TS590SG is a nice radio, but no spectrum display,
    FTDX1200 isn't bad, nor is the FT-991A although tuner problems plague this radio.

    All require a separate 25 amp 13.8V power supply. Some have built in ATU, some don't

    I think the old Kenwood TS-520S is great. I can have four or five of them for one of the above. built in power supply. tubes and no WARC

    you get the idea.

    They all have plus and minus. For $1000 you sure get a lot for your money now days.
    WD4IGX, G7DAZ, NL7W and 4 others like this.
  3. AA4MB

    AA4MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    They are all nice radios, for sure. $1,000 gets you an incredibly capable rig, particularly when you factor in inflation from just 20 years ago to today. I have always heard about the IC-7300 overload but never experienced it, myself - and I live in an urban area and check into the occasional 80/75 meter nets with some darned strong signals. Of course if you're on 7 Mhz and below and run the preamp(s), all bets are off - but why would you do that anyway? I've even seen a trailer at Field Day with 2 of them in it and other transmitters/antennas within 200 feet and they said they had no issues, either. But I'll climb off of the IC-7300 soapbox to say that I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the radios mentioned - depending upon where you start and how much (and what type of) operating you'll be doing.

    - Matt, AA4MB
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
    WB4NQF and N3FAA like this.
  4. AA4MB

    AA4MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    John is absolutely correct. The IC-7100 certainly does have a sound card built in. Plug your laptop directly in and go on the digital modes. Yeah, if you're a dunce, you can certainly plug in a Signal Link box into it - but why? Whatever vendors told you that it didn't have one - well, let's just say they need to sit down and learn the products they have for sale a bit better. I was blown away by what a truly capable CW radio it was as well. The really big shortcoming to it vs the 7300 is the lack of a real time band scope and waterfall. I always laugh at folks that say, "How can you mount that cumbersome control head in a car?" There are a lot of different ways, but any way you slice it the control head is way smaller than anyone else's 100 watt radio that doesn't have a control head, so in my opinion it's a weird thing to bemoan.

    - Matt, AA4MB
    N0YPD and W9CO like this.
  5. KJ7OMD

    KJ7OMD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I watched this video and the Ham Radio Crash Course version of the same thing. Not trying to stir the pot, but a lot of folks are wanting to get into this hobby simply do not have $1000.00. I believe these videos do as much harm as good when they set the bar to high. Those that don't have $1000.00 see it and close their book because it is to expensive. I think you should have highlighted more avenues to get used equipment and maybe some idea's of what used equipment is worth buying.

    I know this is about HF, and it may not meet with any approval here, but with a $100 Pi-Star and a $100 Chinese radio, my friend can reach 90% of the world. I spent 20x more than him on my computer, Yaesu FT-991a radio, cables, antennas, and can get no where with 10 meter & a technician license. I will take the General and get to 20 meters, about the time the sun spots return. Meanwhile my friend is still reaching the world.

    I am a subscriber on the Youtube channels and do enjoy the material. Hoping to spark interest in your next video. :)
    N7BWB and N3FAA like this.
  6. 2E0TWD

    2E0TWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No different than the News really.
    WD4IGX and W4HWD like this.
  7. N7JI

    N7JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 7300 has a superb receiver. Incredible tools for contesting and DXing in a small and affordable package. I've been on the air for 35 years and used dozens of different HF radios for a variety of reasons (contesting, casual operating, DXing, Field Day). The only receivers I have used that I liked more were the K3, Omni V, and Omni VI. Then you add the fact that this radio includes a useful waterfall display, covers HF through 6 meters, easily connects through USB to a computer, takes up only as much room as the venerable IC-735, and costs under $1000 new, and you have a hands-down winner.
    KB5UKT likes this.
  8. N3FAA

    N3FAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The majority of people having overload issues have no clue what they're doing, I hate to say. We added a mix of 7610s and 7300s to our Field Day aresenal the past couple years, and didn't have a single issue, even using amps. But then again, we also use good coax, bandpass filters, etc. That concept is lost on a lot of people. As far as in-band signals, never experienced that either. I regularly get some of the big guns at S9+40 and WWV, for example, pegs the meter between +50 to +60 on a good day, and there is absolutely no overload, no distortion, nothing. My neighbor a few blocks away lights my waterfall right up with a +40 signal. No overload. So I don't know. At $800 or so on the used market, it would certainly be my choice if I were a new ham.

    It certainly meets my approval! :D This is exactly what I have been saying for years. HF is no longer the holy grail of ham radio that it used to be. Your friend is spending hours working the world, while you spend hours listening to static. That will change with the sunspot cycle, and getting your general won't hurt. 20m and 40m are fantastic for DX, and you're going to have a great time once you get there! HF is a whole lot of fun. But as a new do we keep you interested? You're motivated to get your General ticket, but how many hams listen to static on 10m for days, and just say, "This is stupid, I'm getting out of ham radio" and never come back? This is why I'm a big proponent of giving Techs. a voice segment on every HF band. But I won't derail the thread any further. Welcome to the hobby, and good luck on the General!!

    My top choices would be the 7300 and 7100. I like the 7100 a lot because it offers VHF and UHF as well, and when you figure you're going to spend a couple hundred bucks on a VHF/UHF handheld anyway, deduct that from the price and get a 7100 instead. I also like the ease of operating the 7300 and 7100 remotely. I don't know how many newer hams do that, but I do it all the time. And I'm not talking about operating remotely across the country or anything all the time. But my shack is downstairs, my bedroom is upstairs. I routinely operate from my bedroom while laying in bed watching my favorite TV show. It's fantastic! And of course, you get FT8 and the various digital modes that a lot of newer hams are into these days. SO simple with the 7300 and 7100. Not so much with others on the list, and some not at all, without buying other equipment.
    KJ7OMD likes this.
  9. N7JI

    N7JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you have $500 to spend, you can find a used HF radio, antenna tuner, and power supply. Find yourself an elmer who is willing to advise you, and find something in decent shape that's a few years old. You will have a blast with it.
    KJ7MX, WB2JIX, W2TH and 1 other person like this.
  10. KG7HVR

    KG7HVR Ham Member QRZ Page

    But how will i make you tube clicks?
    I love my $75 ts830 Joe. Even came with the fancy knob!
    Got $100ft101zd also. And ft102 for $150. All better than my 7300 and 891 in my opinion but its all subjective.
    People really dont need inexperienced you tube experts explaining to the masses why everyone should follow their que.
    I look to older hams and take it with a grain of salt.
    FYI, I sat in on a few of your talks in grants pass. Always good.
    Got my general and extra there to.
    W2TH likes this.

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