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 HF Radios---No Idea!

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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 117
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 12:59 am

Hi All,

I've been looking at HF transceivers these last few days, and simply can't work out what's good, what's not, and what would be a good purchase for an M7?  The latest Icom and Yaesu are both glorious, however there are many more radios out there, either new, or second hand, which could suit my needs, so please do let me know your thoughts?

Many thanks,

Simon.

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Sydthecat
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Call Sign : 2E0VRX
Posts : 583
Times Thanked : 37
Join date : 2019-06-26
QTH or Location : Yorkshire dales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FTdx 101d, MD200 mic ,Mosley 3ele Yagi
Age : 57

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 6:56 am

Hi Simon 

Shack or mobile ?  or both ? 

Top of my list would be the icom 7300 , around £1100 new or £700 ish second hand , it’s such an easy rig to use and has wonderful TX and RX 

Yaesu 450  no longer available new but can be found for around £400 second hand 
Kenwood TS 50  £300 ish 
Alinco dx70  cracking starter rig 

Plenty of others out there but for me this would be my shopping list for a first HF rig 


Good luck in your search , take your time 


Craig CT Admin

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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1508
Times Thanked : 42
Join date : 2019-11-19
QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 7:36 am

I have several well far too many radios.
Old ish one i have is a Yaesu ftdx1200 nice radio but i find it a bit big.
Also have the ft991a the icom 7300 and new yesterday came the yaesu ftdx10.
The 991a is a shack in a box hf-uhf-vhf so does it all and works well.
The icom ic-7300 is an hf radio and very popular works well with good reports.
Yesterdays arrival the ftdx10 well love it so far and the receive is fantastic but also got good reports on it but i am still learning to drive it lol.
A lot of it comes down to your budget and what bands you want to use.

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Victor
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
Posts : 3109
Times Thanked : 209
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 8:25 am

Some great input already given there Simon and helpfully so.


Just don't fall into the, "Yeah Yaesu, Kenwood is cr*p", or, "Icom 'cos Yaesu is cr*p", sort of arguments or even the 'Chinese cr*p' nonsense!

I'd just say be very wary on second hand sales even if it appears to be a bargain and would rather pay a little bit more from a dealer knowing you have some recourse should it not work. (Some try to ask for as much as a dealer's price but obviously without any warranty!)

As for 'bargains', I was given (for free) my old Yaesu FT757gx in good faith from a dear old friend. Damn thing was deaf as a door post, the VFO knob wobbled all over the place and didn't work properly, plus a multitude of other faults that reared their ugly heads!!!  Shocked
Luckily having some electronic skills I was able to slowly but surely fix the faults and restore her to perfect condition, but it took me the best part of a year and that was mostly due to tracking down spares! Rolling Eyes

I'm still grateful to him though, could've landed up buying the same 'junk' for a few hundred silly pounds off a well known auction site and not had the skills to fix it. Wink


There's bound to as many radios advised to buy as there are radio models out there and cause you more confusion, but slowly work through what you want or need from a radio and pick one. Slow yourself up too, don't be clicking that 'buy now' in excitement or sticking it on the 'never-never' and regret it afterwards.

I wish you luck in your search.


As for me, I've started lusting over other 'older' radios that might need fixing up.....'cos I've fixed the 757 now and enjoyed it so much I want to do something similar again!

Some of us, like Alan mentions, can't seem to stop and land up with more radios than we actually need. Others will always be changing theirs in that quest for the next 'best thing'.


Last edited by Victor on Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Damn stupid American English spell check!)

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43CT016
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43CT016


Call Sign : 43-CT-016
Posts : 273
Times Thanked : 20
Join date : 2019-11-17
QTH or Location : Perth
Equipment Used : iCom IC-7610/IC-9700

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 9:27 am

TheReverend wrote:
Hi All,

I've been looking at HF transceivers these last few days, and simply can't work out what's good, what's not, and what would be a good purchase for an M7?  The latest Icom and Yaesu are both glorious, however there are many more radios out there, either new, or second hand, which could suit my needs, so please do let me know your thoughts?

Many thanks,

Simon.

Start with defining what you want (or think you want), then we can help you more.

Do you want home, mobile, or portable?
Are you a contester, DXer, ragchewer, ?
Budget?  You can spend from a few hundred to well over ten thousand....

One piece of advice I would say is don't get hung up on being a foundation license, as this limits your choice and you can grow into a radio even if you don't need it day 1 with a 10w limit.

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Wireless
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Wireless


Call Sign : 26-CT-4345 / M5WJF
Posts : 288
Times Thanked : 12
Join date : 2021-11-19
QTH or Location : Shrewsbury IO82OQ
Equipment Used : PC-ALE/JS8Call: Yaesu FT-847 + HF > SGC SG-235 + 1.81MHz Horizontal Dipole, 6m/2m/70cm > 6m via 4m/6m Diplexer + via 6m/2m/70cm Triplexer > Diamond V-2000 with EAV2000 Radial Kit, 4m > via 4m/6m Diplexer + DPW-X4 Vertical Dipole, 2m/70cm > via 6m/2m/70cm Triplexer > Diamond V-2000 + EAV2000. 40m Pactor: Yaesu FT-77 + 2x Watson HF40 Mobile Whips Horizontal Dipole, 2m Packet: Icom IC-F110 2m + unknown 2m/70cm Co-linear. 2m SSB Voice Nets Yaesu FT-480R + DPW-X2 Vertical Dipole, 2m/70cms FM Simplex: Yaesu FT-90R + Diamond X30 Co-Linear. CB: Albrecht AE5890 EU + Sigma 5/8 Silver Rod, Planned Equipment: 70 cm Repeaters: Icom IC-F210 + DPW-X70 Vertical Dipole. HF + 6m DX: Yaesu FT-991A + Butternut HF-9V + TBR-160 + 20 10m radials
Age : 57

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 12:41 pm

Also, join a Radio Club, they will have a shack established and a range of radios and antennas, probably much bigger than you'll be able to buy initially, you can operate these radios up to 400 Watts (where permissible) using the Radio Club Callsign, my local club is GX3SRT for example.

You'll also make a few new friends in the hobby, and if the club is anything like Salop Amateur Radio Society, the club is based at somewhere with a bar, toilets, meeting rooms, and a dedicated shack, and you'd be able to take advantage of calibration nights, and also meet people who are radio engineers that might be persuaded to repair any faults or at least advise you on what to buy (and more importantly what not to buy) with your budget.

Anyone interested in SARS, we meet on a Thursday at 8pm at the Telepost Club, Railway Lane, Shrewsbury.  We had someone come from Llandrindod Wells last week to join us, over an hours trip each way.

If you are into Radio, or looking to get further into Amateur Radio, then you're welcome to come check us out.  Make sure we're actually meeting there by checking the Club Calendar, as we do Fox Hunts (Direction Finding), and visit other radio clubs or technical sites as club events, as well as hold social events at other locations, such as hosted by club members (BBQ's etc).  We hold Electronics Construction Competitions, enter National Competitions as a Club, and do enter the RSGB National VHF Field Day.

We have lecturers give talks and practical demonstrations, from electronics construction, to computer controls of radios for Digital Communications, even demos on building remote receivers via the Internet.

So something for everyone, from CB to Qualified Radio Engineering and Electronics, practical use to holding a BBQ or Christmas Dinner.  Attend what you want, no pressure.

http://www.salopradiosociety.org/

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Victor
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Call Sign : 26-CT-3228 Ham M7VIC
Posts : 3109
Times Thanked : 209
Join date : 2019-11-10
QTH or Location : Bedford
Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 2:26 pm

Remember that there is also the other end of the scale from the big expensive rig scenarios....

Search out DL2MAN, Manuel Klaerig and his (tr)uSDX software defined radio transceiver.

Not up everyone's street for sure and they've been some awful Chinese/unscrupulous clones but an avenue worthy of exploration nonetheless.

Also don't forget about brands such as Xiegu, etc. I know our Neal, (SanguG), does a rather marvellous job with his little G90. Smile


Just popping in that one for the balance. Wink

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Northern Crusader
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Call Sign : M0GVZ / 26CT1760
Posts : 443
Times Thanked : 32
Join date : 2019-11-13
QTH or Location : IO94SA
Equipment Used : Icom 7300, TS480, President McKinley, Albrecht AE6110, CRT Mike
Age : 51

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeWed Apr 27, 2022 6:19 pm

Icom 7300 is the best bang per buck in the used market. The Kenwood TS590S is a rock solid radio capable of contesting which can now be had for £500.  Both use USB connections which makes doing digital modes a doddle.

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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 117
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeThu Apr 28, 2022 12:21 am

Thanks Gents,

There’s some really great advice there.  I’m enjoying being an M7 and, looking at the RSGB handbook for the Intermediate, I’m likely to stay an M7 for a while yet!!  However, I’d like to have the capability to listen-in to as many bands and modes as possible.

I looked at the combined home base/portable option initially, and it boiled-down to the FT991a because I wanted 2m and 70cm in there as well….that initial urge to spend has now passed, and was the reason I started off with the CRT Electro, very much as a ‘proof of concept’.  The other reason was that I really wanted the option to connect an HF set to a computer monitor when at home and share the waterfall display, and I couldn’t find any evidence that the FT991a could do this.

A very, very interesting point has been raised by Wayne (Wireless), which is ‘joining a club’.  I’ve been listening to the local Swindon 2m/70cm repeaters for a few months now, whether at home or out and about portable.  Being able to access those repeaters properly has been my primary focus in moving from using a UV-5r at home with a mag-mount on a baking tray, to the CRT Electro with an antenna in the loft set-up I have now.  My new set-up however has meant that I can now access and join in with the nets on both the Swindon and Newbury 2m repeaters from home….and there-in lies the question.  I’m absolutely equidistant by car between the meeting points for both clubs and, as such, I haven’t made a decision to join either (or both?) of them yet!!  The Swindon club meets weekly on a Thursday evening, whereby the Newbury club meets monthly on a Wednesday evening according to their website.  True to form, I currently work every Wednesday evening, and Thursday is my day off!!  Any thoughts on this would be gratefully received!

Thanks again,

Simon.
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Alan Pilot
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Alan Pilot


Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1508
Times Thanked : 42
Join date : 2019-11-19
QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeThu Apr 28, 2022 7:40 am

The ft-991a is so easy to connect to a computer as it only needs an old type printer USB a to b cable.
Then pick your software and see the display on the big screen lol.
If you do go that way remember to get the USB driver from Yaesu website and install them before plugging the usb cable in.
The Icom ic-7300 and the Yeasu ftdx10 have the same usb plus there could be many others with it but i have the 3 radios and can say for sure.
The fdx10 can connect directly to a monitor and looks fantastic on a big screen plus it has 2 usb ports for mouse and keyboard so you can see a station on the waterfall anc click the mouse pointer on it and you are there only problem with this radio is the price.

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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 117
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeThu Apr 28, 2022 11:39 pm

Thanks gents,

I'm attracted to a Yaesu because I watched a YT video which demonstrated the filtering capabilities of the home base, which was amazing, however I don't know if this is the same for the portable rigs, any ideas please?

Many thanks,

Simon.
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43CT016
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Call Sign : 43-CT-016
Posts : 273
Times Thanked : 20
Join date : 2019-11-17
QTH or Location : Perth
Equipment Used : iCom IC-7610/IC-9700

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeFri Apr 29, 2022 12:34 am

TheReverend wrote:
Thanks gents,

I'm attracted to a Yaesu because I watched a YT video which demonstrated the filtering capabilities of the home base, which was amazing, however I don't know if this is the same for the portable rigs, any ideas please?

Many thanks,

Simon.


Completely different between several of their radios...the portable ones like the older 857's and 817/818's have very basic filtering, and add-on filters, the newer mobiles like my 891 have advanced DSP type noise reduction that puts older radios to shame, but no advanced filtering, and the newer hybrid radios like the FTDX10 and FTDX101 have very advanced and highly customisable filtering.

Same with iCom - any of the newer SDR radios have incredible filtering, and are easy to use.  The older ones, not so much unless you were looking at the very high end radios, which you're not.

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Call Sign : 26-CT-3921 / M7GDA
Posts : 117
Times Thanked : 6
Join date : 2020-12-22
QTH or Location : Lambourn
Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeFri Apr 29, 2022 11:10 pm

Thanks gents....I'm now drooling over the FTDX10!!
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Alan Pilot
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Alan Pilot


Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1508
Times Thanked : 42
Join date : 2019-11-19
QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.

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PostSubject: Re: HF Radios---No Idea!   HF Radios---No Idea! Icon_minitimeSat Apr 30, 2022 8:04 am

Drooled for months over the ftdx10 but finialey got one on Tuesday.(Station commanders orders she wanted us to stay an extra night in Blackpool so i could go to the rally and buy one)..
Love it and plugged into a monitor and a mouse connected you can change settings and also click on a peek/signal and your there.
The receive is as good as the reviews say slightly better than the ic-7300 and ft991a.
The DNR noise reduction is very good as well.

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