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Best Current Mobile HF Tranceiver?

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VE3WTV

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#1
I used to think the Icom IC-7200 was the best home/mobile unit, or at least it was what I wanted. My thinking was that I could spend $3000 or more on a great home rig, but it's not very beneficial if I can't easily put it in a shoulder bag and take it on the road.

The IC-7200 served that purpose, and I'm sure it would be a great base unit in the shack.

Now it's discontinued, and the IC-7300 doesn't look like a valid replacement. It rather looks like an entry level IC-7600. I mean it looks like it's in the same class.

In other brands, I like Yaesu, and I know Kenwood is a great brand. I really want a TH-F6A, but this is not about handhelds.

So in your opinion, what is a good replacement for the discontinued IC-7200?

And btw, I'm really disappointed that Icom didn't just improve the IC-7200 into a new version of the same thing.
 
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#4
If you are new to the Elecraft line of products, give them a good hard look, read, consideration! Been a long time Elecraft fan, for lots of reasons, but #1 was just like you I wanted something that is a good fit both in the shack and portable. The older K2 fit that bill nicely...the new KX2 looks as if it would also. Heck even the KX1 if you are into CW only. I built the KX1 and a K2....you don't really build the K3 but put one of those together...quite enjoyable.

Just my two cents worth.....
 

popnokick

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#5
When you write "mobile" do you mean vehicle mobile, or man-packable mobile? You wrote, "...t's not very beneficial if I can't easily put it in a shoulder bag and take it on the road." That implies man-packable, and is why I'm asking. I'm an Icom aficionado (I have an IC-7100), but I don't think Icom currently has a man-packable / portable HF rig. You should be looking at something like the Yaesu FT-817 or FT-897D, or Elecraft KX-3.
 

VE3WTV

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#7
When you write "mobile" do you mean vehicle mobile, or man-packable mobile? You wrote, "...t's not very beneficial if I can't easily put it in a shoulder bag and take it on the road." That implies man-packable, and is why I'm asking. I'm an Icom aficionado (I have an IC-7100), but I don't think Icom currently has a man-packable / portable HF rig. You should be looking at something like the Yaesu FT-817 or FT-897D, or Elecraft KX-3.
I guess the FT-897D is a top pick (other than an Elecraft, which is super portable), but partly because the IC-7200 is discontinued, but I would be interested in getting a used one.

I really like the rugged military looks of the IC-7200. Radio World in Toronto does not have an FT-897D. They have the FT-857, FT-891, and FT-991. I just read that the FT-897D is discontinued, and replaced by the FT-991.

Edit: I meant to answer that. I'm torn between man-packable and a rig to set up in a fishing or hunting cabin, or on a folding table kept in a truck, and set up in the field, where you might also have a canopy set up and be working off a portable military battery.

What I have in mind is never taking an extended trip by vehicle without such a radio. If I'm gone overnight, and I'm driving, I have more than just a handheld. Whether it's man-packable, or a mobile desk rig, I don't know. I'm leaning more toward the IC-7200 form factor. And just going by looks, the IC-7100 doesn't sit right with me. I think I would consider a used IC-7000 before that. That thing was handsome.
 
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#9
I have an Elecraft KX2 and KX3 and up until recently did not consider them a mobile rig, until the release of mobile mounts for the radio and companion 100w amplifier by Gemsproducts: Side KX – Get a Handle on Your Rig

Now I see these radios as potentially the best performing mobile radios on the planet based on the very small radio being able to sit on a RAM swivel mount like a control head and the 100w amp/antenna tuner can hide under a seat or in the trunk. Plus you can park, remove the radio and run it on internal batteries in the field with its own internal wide range antenna tuner.

The antenna tuner in the 100w amp is very wide range and much wider than most transceivers on the market. The KX3 ranks in the top 6 radios tested by Sherwood Labs meeting difficult contesting specs and its competition there are high end base stations costing many thousands of $$. The only slight drawback I see using a KX2 or KX3 mobile is the internal speakers are small and not intended to fill an entire room, but most newer cars have an audio input jack you can plug into the radio and with that you can use a great feature in the Elecraft radios which is a stereo audio effects mode that you have to hear to appreciate.

I've run quite a few radios mobile over the years including the Yaesu FT-857 and Icom 706MKIIG (my favorite) but there is no radio on the market designed for mobile use that can even come close to the performance specs of the little Elecraft KX2 or KX3 used with its companion 100w amp. And the little Elecraft radios with the Gemsprodcts "SideKX" side panels with little rack handles and the ingenious snap in mobile mount makes it even better.
prcguy
 
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