What is the WORST rig you've ever had?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WF7I, Jul 2, 2002.

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  1. WF7I

    WF7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    After years of reading through ham radio bulletin boards, mailing lists, and magazine reviews, I've come to realize one common theme:  few, if any, said anything negative about the rig in question.  How many rig reviews have you read that have been scathing, or at least moderately pessimistic about a new rig offering?  How many hams have you seen lambasting a rig they just bought?  Outside of some minor grumbling, usually followed by a trade at a swapmeet or (rarely) a return to the store, I myself have witnessed few such situations.  Certainly none with the reviews done by the mags.

    So, this begs the question, what IS the absolute WORST ham radio that you have ever purchased or had the misfortune of using?  Something that was new and just out of the box, and just never performed?  Perhaps you purchased a new rig, only to have it immediatly fall apart, and you couldn't get any help from the manufacturer.  Or maybe the thing was so poorly designed and so frustrating, that you tossed the thing into the trash bucket!

    The worst rig I've come across?  I would say it had to be a tie between an Atlas HF rig and a Swan 2-meter.  The Atlas I found to be unpleasant to use, underpowered and flat out UGLY!  The Swan had noisy audio and was prone to any and all intermod from nearby paging towers.  Fortunatly I didn't own the Atlas (belonged to a ham club) and I unloaded the Swan on someone else (I think for free, if I recall).

    Let 'er rip!
  2. K9ROD

    K9ROD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been lucky with all the rigs I've purchased - used and new, but I recently purchased an antenna from Antenna Warehouse in Iowa....had it for a month and it snapped in half. Company told me too bad. I recently found out that they had several such complaints. However, I'm still out the antenna and of course all the work to replace it on my tower. What is sad is that there is really nothing a consumer can do short of filing a law suit in small claims court. Just so happens I live in another state and such action would cost more than it is worth. So I say stick with the big boys to get good quality service. Rod K9ROD [​IMG]
  3. K8DD

    K8DD Ham Member

    SGC 2020 (with and without ADSP)
    I always wanted one of them because it is a really cool looking radio.  
    Ergonomically it's great.  
    On SSB it's great.
    On CW, as a modern day radio, it ranks with the S-38 - not quite that bad, but close.  The radio, even with the SCAF filters, is virtually without selectivity when within a couple kHz of a fairly strong signal.  Since over 90% of my operation is CW ...... it's gone.  Maybe if would have had a crystal filter.
    But it's still a well built cool little SSB radio!
  4. KB9TMP

    KB9TMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    For me the worst has got to be the Yaesu FT-8100 the 50 watt (sometimes), 35 watt 2m, 70cm mobile. It worked fine until it was out of warranty then the "Yaesu TX Virus" struck and if you wanted to be heard you had to use low or medium power because high wouldn't work. It didn't take me long to find a replacement for that 'doorstop'! ;^)

  5. N9KPN

    N9KPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    LOL.  I bought a Kenwood 2M mobile radio off of a guy I worked with.  (I can' recall the model number right now.)  This radio was 2M only, could only "split" +/- 600 KHz, and used a third party PL tone board. There was high (10W) and low (2W) power.   It was built like a battleship and was quite heavy and big.  The heat sink on this thing was bigger than on my HF rig!  The frequency was set with a four position lever for the MHz position and two knobs for the 100 KHz and 10 KHz position (frequency was shown nicely on an LED display).  This thing, when it worked, sounded great on both receive and transmit.  The problem was that the PLL would go out of lock (indicated by a pulsing LED) and make the rig unusable (usually in very cold or warm weather).  The PLL/VFO circuit is made up of a number of discrete components and several ICs.  (Most late '70s CB radios have better PLL circuits than this thing.)  Nearly everyone that was in the hobby for any length of time was surprised that I was using this radio mobile.  They kept referring to the radio as "a great packet station".  

    I still have it somewhere.  It transmits great on high power but not low.  There is no receive signal what so ever.  Back a few years ago I did attempt to find the schematics on the 'net but failed to do so.

    Funny thing is I STILL see these for sale at ham fests.
  6. W5HTW

    W5HTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I didn't own it, I borrowed it ... And gave it back rather quickly ... From that experience, and what I have heard from others, the Eico 753 may have been the worst SSB rig ever produced. Eico, though, produced some very nice CW rigs and a nice AM modulator.

    Some rank the SBE33 near the bottom of the list. I used one of those and found it acceptable for what it was intended to do. I would have hated for it to be my only rig, though. Operated mobile, it was OK.

  7. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been a ham for 33 years and except for early on when I bought Ameco equipment, I do not recall ever having a "Worst" rig.  Of course back then, there wasn't much to compare rigs to except home brew stuff.

    For the past 20 years or so, I have only bought ICOM equipment and to tell you the truth, they all worked as advertised.  I am somewhat puzzled by the posting though.  When you say worst rig, I say worst compared to what?  Most hams do not know how to compare rigs or, have only 1 rig and to them that is the very best rig because they haven't heard anything better.

    Personnaly, I think todays ham is too demanding of amateur equipment.  There are so many sites that compare or review equipment that it is all a little overwhelming.  Owners of equipment complain about the color, the heat, the audio, programmability, flexibility  etc.  Apparently hams know whats best for hams not the manufacturers.

    I recently purchased the Kenwood TH-F6A handie talkie and I think it is the best HT on the market.  Go to Yahoo.com TH-F6A group though, and all they do is bitch about what the radio is lacking or some other nebulous short coming.  I personnaly have never compared one rig to the other, and when I buy a new rig, it is the best rig I ever owned, the worst rig doesn't exist.

  8. W8QF

    W8QF Guest

    In the old days the manufactured rigs tended to be a bit ugly at times.And the best part was we got to work on them alot.If you sent them a note on what and how you repaired it you usualy got a nice TNX letter and mabe a discount coupon for you next purchase.Today it's a lot diffrent,even though the price of enjoying the hobby is still about the same as it was 30 years ago there seem to be more junk.Perhaps the worst rig I have come acrossed was a FT8100.Worked fine every where except on 145 Mhz on split for the repeters.When in ofset it stayed 3kc off freq.but in simplex it was dead on.All this was confermed testing with a Cushman CE50.Yeasu said there was absolutly nothing wrong with the radio.However the service tech at Universal Radio in Columbus,Oh had a firm wear update for that very problem that he was sent from Yeasu.Dont figure does it,no problem but we created a fix for that problem anyway's.My worst antenna was a comet HFV7.It broke at the base at 3 months old and Comet said their warrenty did'nt cover brakage.TNX for reading all my bellyaiking.Dave AE8U
  9. NN6EE

    NN6EE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Del,

    Yah I've got to agree with you about the 2m. SWAN, whadda piece of proverbial garbage!!! I think it's nomenclature was the "FM2X"!!! I had owned one of them for a few months back in the mid-70's, but when I had spent a night at my then-Girl Friend's apartment and that next morning when I went back out to my car Lo and Behold some individual of unknown origin STOLE IT!!!
    Now mind you under NORMAL circumstances we'd be PISSED right??? But this rig was'nt normal, so my reaction was one of utter and complete JOY and satisfaction, because that damn Car Burglar got what he deserved, a completely USELESS PIECE OF JUNK!!!

    [​IMG] es 3s,

  10. K5YY

    K5YY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Galaxy followed by early Swan's were worst rigs made. Simple designs, no rejection of nearby signals, horrible audio and bad power supply problems, not to mention 10kc drifting for an hour. I am sure this answer is tainted by how long I have been a ham. More recent yrs have seen poorly designed Icoms and Yaesu and Kenwood rigs of all sorts, too many to name, mainly early to mid 1970s... Overall, I just thought of one other BAD rig, the ALDA out of California in the 1980s. Literally fell apart, junk throughout and worthless in all respects. I will take Collins and Drake anyday for reliability and function along with Icom 781 and perhaps FT1000D.... CU
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