Used Rig Reccomendations for full M.A.R.S. digital capable operation

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KX4AS, Mar 8, 2017.

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  1. KX4AS

    KX4AS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello to all. I'm wanting to know what sturdy used rigs to consider for digital/HF operation as an Army MARS member. All of my current gear dates from the early 80's and back. If the used rig has to go back to the manufacturer to be modded that's fine. I just want to be able to operate and assist in more areas/ways with a rig that is just for MARS operation.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a bit of an anti-recommendation, but I would stay clear of the FT-897, and any FT-857's that were made before the last couple of years. These radios were rather notorious for having filter failures due to a flaw in the circuit design around the filters. I understand that FT-857's from the last couple of years or so have updated circuits that fix the issue.
  3. KX4AS

    KX4AS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thx for the info. Believe me, I am not going to spend $6,000.00 for a rig to operate on MARS. An adaptable rig in $600.00 or less range is more like what I am looking for.
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Ten Tec Jupiter did all the MARS digital modes with ease.
  5. W7CLO

    W7CLO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alinco DX-SR8T is an easy mod for MARS.
  6. KX4AS

    KX4AS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the responses, they are a good help.
  7. NC5P

    NC5P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look at the NTIA list for radios approved (links at MARS and CAP sites). Sometimes you need to install the optional TCXO board for compliance.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My understanding is that the TCXO is not even accepted for CAP anymore; radios for CAP have to be certificated, and that eliminates any Amateur equipment, modified or not; TCXO or not.

    MARS is less "mission critical," and still seems to allow modified Amateur equipment, but the TCXO would be a desirable addition.

    Would you care to elaborate with actual links as to where equipment acceptance is listed for each? I am not willing to join CAP or MARS at this time to obtain the information you suggest.
    It's a disservice to us all to suggest we go to a site that requires registration with a government agency.
  9. W8NSI

    W8NSI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a Kenwood TS-480SAT for AFMARS operation. Easy to modify, and connecting my USB SignaLink to the data port makes it a snap to use the soundcard digital modes.
    CAT control works great for WINMOR Winlink on the MARS freqs too. You just need a USB to Serial converter.
  10. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am not really a Kenwood man, but I would have to agree. I have heard very little bad about this radio.
    Personally, I like my IC-7000, but people want stupid money for them.


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