Opinions please - best choice for my truck HF

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KF2Q, Dec 7, 2013.

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  1. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    What are your suggestions for an HF rig for my truck?

    This will be strictly living in the pick-up as a permanent installation, while on the road. So of course it will be strictly phone, no CW or other.
    Big truck with massive battery and alternator, so I can go for a 100 watt rig if indicated.

    I already have a nice Kenwood TM-V71A Dual Band in the truck, so I don't need those bands as part of the HF rig.

    And I'm not stuck on brand new, if there is an older rig I might find used that is highly rated.

    Size is a consideration. I don't want some monster base radio sitting on top of the dashboard. And it should be fairly rugged.

    Ideas? And thanks!
  2. N7DMA

    N7DMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi, Kevin:

    See if you can find a used Kenwood TS-50. I had one a few years ago as a mobile, and it worked great! HF only, 100 watts. No longer in production, but I've seen them on the used market for $500 or so. Great rig!

    I've always had a soft spot in my head for the Ten-Tec Scout. Plug in band modules, 50W output. around $400 on the used market. I've never owned or used one; I just think it's a cool little radio.

    Then there are also used IC-706MKII's. Lotsa folks use them, and even after Icom stopped production they remain popular and reliable.

    I now have a Yaesu FT-857D, and its size is pretty similar, but includes 6, 2, and 70cm. New price around $800. I like it, and it works for me!

    Good luck on your search! There are many choices out there.


  3. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might want to read the Miniature Radio article on my web site.
  4. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alan thank you. I always use your site as a reference to expand my research. But I need a starting point in this case. Using your M-R article is not unlike reading the various pages of HRO or other outlet, in other words too many options that don't apply to me. For example the KX3 should not be considered a mobile rig. It extremely fragile and would not survive long at all. It is feather-lite and difficult to operate without being on a solid surface with no motion. Etc. Other radios you review are way too big or too loaded with features.

    So once I get some ideas, and Karl has already provided me with some, I will certainly use your pages to continue my studies. And thanks for the valuable resource you provide!
  5. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kenwood TS 480 SAT hands down based on personal experience with many different HF mobile rigs
  6. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had one, and I have no complaints about it - good rig. I had the 100 watt style and was indeed pleased with it. I sold it because I do tend to go through radios, and didn't need it anymore having acquired something new. So, while I don't disagree with you, I'd like something different rather than buy a radio I have already sold. Still, it may prove to be the best choice, and that head end would look appropriate next to the head end of the V71.
  7. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I tend to agree with the TS480, but only the Hx version.

    The remote of the 480 is a bit less busy than the other offerings, although it is big bigger. While these facts appeal to some folk, I didn't like the overall design. Having the microphone plug into the main body is a drawback.

    Almost everyone buys the SAT version for mobile operation. I suspect, although most won't admit it, they do so because of the tuner. In reality, if you match your antenna correctly, you don't need (or want) a tuner. With 200 watts PEP, the Hx is almost as good as adding an ALS-500 to the mix.

    My biggest issue with the 480 (and the new Iocm 7100) is the way it mounts. Relying on stuck-on mounts, suction cups, and similar mounting schemes, will in the end be a disappointing fact.
  8. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    So let's say I buy the FT-857D, and use it solely, meaning I sell my V71 since the 857 will give me those bands. Am I losing anything dumping the V71 that the 8547 doesn't perform as well?

    Here is some thinking:
    I have a nice roof mount antenna for my V71 now, so I can utilize that directly out the back of a 857. But I will need to add a separation kit and an antenna tuner.
    If I go for a TS480SAT I keep the V71, don't need a separation kit or a tuner.
    Might be the same price in either scenario, but if I keep the V71 and add a 480 I will have two of the best VS the 857.
    Am I missing something?
  9. KG4CNC

    KG4CNC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hiya Ham's !!
    I'm coming into somewhat of the same problem ! This week I'll be getting a ICOM 706MK II , if everything go's right . picking it up on a xmass party road trip -- TX/OK/KY/AR--- and trying to figure out what kind of antenna to put on a SEMI ? morrow mount it has to be !! but I'm worried about the coax.............................. :cool:
  10. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    After not having a separate VHF/UHF unit in my mobile for many years, about a year ago I installed my IC-208H. I find that I could have saved myself the trouble!
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