Upgrade Time - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KF9VV, Aug 30, 2018.

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  1. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got back on the air about one year ago using a Kenwood TS-930 (kept from my last active period) and a low 110' doublet fed by window line. In the time I've been on the air it has become obvious I'm a CW person. I've added CW filtering to the Kenwood, picked up a Logitek keyer, installed a Johnson Matchbox and now have the doublet up around 45 feet.

    Oh yeah, and I have gotten back up to speed on CW enough to have started dabbling in contesting again.

    I'm looking to replace the TS-930 with something able to be integrated to a computer to make logging easier and also move into a rig that will leave some room for technical advancement as my contesting skills grow. I am running Rumlog on a Mac in the shack right now, and am not in a big hurry to replace that part.

    I would like to keep the cost below $1,250 if possible. Radios I've considered are the TS-590SG, Icom IC-7300, IC-756 Pro III.

    OK, I'm all ears!

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Like this guy?

    I'd say, if you can make it over to Milwaukee, visit HRO (which was previously AES) and try out some rigs on the air. The 590SG and 7300 are current models, they should be set up ready to go so you can do a test-drive. The 756PROIII is obviously discontinued. But you might try other stuff also while you're there.

    WA8FOZ and WB5YUZ like this.
  3. NE3R

    NE3R Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you follow the Kenwood line up I think that one turns into the current 990! But that would blow the budget! Really, to get better than what you have now, especially if CW remains your thing, it would take more than your current budget. Is there anything you can do to improve your antennas?
    K7SWT, KI4AX and NH7RO like this.
  4. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate the advice so far. I am afraid of a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes." As much as I can see the advantages of rig and computer integration, if my budget puts me into a rig that doesn't work as well as my 930, it puts me in a worse spot in on air performance. That is not a trade off I'm willing to make.

    Antenna wise, I do have a couple more improvements, putting up a 160 L and getting my old Butternut back in the air. After that, I'm as far as I can go.
  5. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you NEED a pan adaptor, get the IC 7300. If not, get the TS590SG. I played with a 7300 for two weeks and it's a great little radio for its price. I own a TS590SG and have for 2 years. I
    would NEVER trade my 590 for a 7300. That's not to say I don't like the 7300, I just like the 590 more. I've even added a sub receiver to my 590SG. I don't think you can do that with a

    Barry, KU3X
    K7SWT, K2XT, WA8FOZ and 1 other person like this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How many submarines are there to listen to?:)
    K7MH likes this.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    At least consider the TS-590S(G). It should meet your requirements (and then some,) and be within your budget.
    KU3X likes this.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    All the newer (for many years now) HF transceivers have a computer control interface; implementation varies.

    I have five rigs with that feature and don't use it.:p Those five are also HRD compatible, so automatic logging and stuff is a cinch; I don't use that, either.

    In my case, it's because I don't like looking at anything while operating -- especially a computer screen! But "most" probably like it, and it's great for them.
    NH7RO likes this.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our local contest guru evaluated both the 7300 and 590 for contesting, and suggested that the 590 was better for that purpose.

    I'm only a half serious CW contester, and I'm using an IC7410, which works great for me. Obviously, it's been discontinued and replaced by the 7300, but I think it's an under-appreciated radio.
    KP4SX and KK4CUL like this.
  10. KF9VV

    KF9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am just getting back into CW contesting. I was active in the late '90's, but then work took away my time. At that time, I ran N6TR and the 930. I still have the parallel port keyer interface built back then. Obsolete as a buggy whip.

    My logic is I am on the steep end of the curve in terms of developing as an operator, so may as well make the jump to computer confusion as long as I'm learning like mad. Plus, given my low scoring in contests right now, it isn't like it is going to hurt my ego any if I get bit by a big computer melt down. That melt down would pass as "the unexpected lesson of the day." My expectations are pretty low for this season.

    Other than having frequency and mode recorded by the logger, I would like to take advantage of CAT based keying, CW memories built over keyboard, and a pan adapter at some point.

    Thank you for all the help!


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