Which budget transceiver do you like best?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by WW4LS, Dec 4, 2017.


Which budget transceiver do you like best?

  1. Yaesu ft dx 1200

    5 vote(s)
  2. Yaesu ft 991A

    7 vote(s)
  3. Yaesu ft 891

    11 vote(s)
  4. Kenwood 590

    21 vote(s)
  5. Kenwood 480 hx

    1 vote(s)
  6. Icom 7100

    5 vote(s)
  7. Icom 7300

    51 vote(s)
  8. Alinco DX-SR8T

    6 vote(s)
  9. Other post response below

    21 vote(s)
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  1. KA5ROW

    KA5ROW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I voted for the Kenwood TS-590, I own one. I have not used any others that you listed. But from reports from e-Ham on the IC-7300 have been good.
    PU2OZT and WW4LS like this.
  2. JL1DCA

    JL1DCA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I looked into IC-7300 at a ham shop. Its performance should be excellent, as many users estimate it so, especially when its pricing is taken into account.
    Neverthless, buttons, nobs and chassis used are humble. It looks as if it were a wolf in an appearance of a sheep. VRs are, so far as I took, likely to be easily worn out before a long-term duty over years.

    JL1DCA Dan
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  3. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have to go with the FT450 myself. Yaesu rigs seem most intuitive to me...and the FT450 is certainly budget priced.
    K2CD likes this.
  5. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What is really budget here? The radios in the survey range from $500 for the Alinco up to $1300+ for the Kenwood TS-590SG (I suppose you could get a non SG model cheaper). The radios also vary a bit in if they have 6 meters or not.

    My first HF rig was an IC-718 and I would say that is a good choice for a budget rig. Though for a beginner looking for a bit of both HF and VHF I would actually suggest the FT-857D. I haven't used the FT-450 before, it is a bummer they discontinued the FT-950 though I don't think it would be considered a budget radio anyways.
  6. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I understand the feeling but...

    I got started in 1977. At the time, the Kenwood TS-520 and Yaesu FT-101E(E)(EX) were the big names of the day, and both cost around $600 IIRC. The only two rigs under $300 that I could buy new were the Tempo One and the Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 QRP. I got talked out of the Tempo and thus into the Argonaut (a big mistake - I later found out the Tempo One wasn't nearly as bad as my tube hating mentors said, and that QRP, at least for me, while much fun later on in my ham career was NOT the way to start out.) My Argonaut cost $269. I DO remember that price. The Tempo One was similarly priced though just a bit more, maybe $289, not 100% sure except that it was close.

    Gigaparts currently sells the IC-7300 for $1249. Plug that into an inflation calculator for November (most recent month for which data is available) and calculate backwards to the summer of 1977 when I bought that Argonaut:


    That $1249 today is equivalent to $307 back then. While the Argonaut was a great little QRP rig in its day there's absolutely no comparison with the performance and capability (except maybe in the Ten-Tec QSK) of the IC-7300.

    Drop back to the 450D mentioned above and it sells right now at Gigaparts for $659.95, about the price in real unadjusted dollars of the 520 and 101E back in those days. Put THAT into the inflation calculator and you get $162.40 in June of 1977.


    Ham equipment has never offered so many features and so much performance for so little (actual, adjusted for inflation) money.
    K2HAT likes this.
  7. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have owned or used (a lot) the following: FT 991A, TS 590 S and SG, TS 480 SAT and HX, Icom 7300. Of those I would choose the IC 7300 though I have rarely liked Icoms. Speaking of ICOMS the 718 is really what I would call a budget rig as I would the FT 450. I have used them both and like them equally well
  8. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    IC-7300. I paid $1499.95 the first week they were on the market. I am very happy with mine, I use the stock mic for SSB.

    Nowcheaper than that and at the moment there is a mail in rebate!

    Folks who were wise bought one Black Friday at $1099.95 and then had a $100 mail in rebate!!!!
  9. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    not to be "picky", but, you paid $1500 for a radio that now sells for <$1000 and you are happy?

    When the entry level 7300 first came out, I said it was overpriced and that the correct price should be about $1200,... guess I was wrong too.
  10. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    YES, I choose...MFJ Cub ! Mine cost $99 but inflation has raised this a bit. I just can't call a $1000 - $1500 rig "ECONOMICAL".
    If you have 2 hours and a small tip soldering iron and a little skill, buy the Kit version, (fun to build and easy to align)
    Single band (you can only work one band at a time anyway)
    CW only (it's more efficient than fone and it's a gentleman's mode)
    VFO controlled (you don't have to change Xtals or program any memories)
    Superhet receiver with a good Xtal Filter (tunes between the QRM)
    Easy to operate, just tuning knob, volume knob and power on/off button. (no fussy menus to dig thru)
    Tiny size (easy to pack for camping or vacations)
    With a good large antenna you can work what a 100W rig works with a .Mini Phony, all band antenna !
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    F8WBD likes this.
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