are you brand specific?

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mparker

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Do you stay with one brand? Between features and styling there are so many radios to pick from.

Is programing about the same for same brand radios? Or do you get features you need/want no matter the brand?

I have a vx7r but I really like the icom mobiles and all mode rigs.
 

fineshot1

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Do you stay with one brand? Between features and styling there are so many radios to pick from.

Is programing about the same for same brand radios? Or do you get features you need/want no matter the brand?

I have a vx7r but I really like the icom mobiles and all mode rigs.
I am partial to icom and kenwood mostly and pretty much steer clear of yeasu/vertex.
 

zz0468

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Do you stay with one brand? Between features and styling there are so many radios to pick from.
No. I have no brand loyalty. I'll pick and chose a specific model based on what features I need.
hat's like comparing
Is programing about the same for same brand radios?
That can be a tough question to answer. For example, I have an Icom IC-746PRO, and an Icom IC-U82. That's like comparing apples and bananas. They're not even the same shape.


Or do you get features you need/want no matter the brand?
I make my selections based on the features I need. I got the 746PRO because I liked it's performance and features based on price and ease of use. I got the U82 because I wanted a single band UHF portable with an alphaneumeric display. I prefer Yaesu dual band mobiles because you can get both channels to operate in the same band. But I once bought an Alinco dual bander because it was cheap and it needed to be expendable. But for FM use, I mostly use older Motorola radios because I can get them dirt cheap (spell that free), and they're bulletproof enough to put up with what I need to do with them.


I have a vx7r but I really like the icom mobiles and all mode rigs.
That's why there are a number of different manufacturers with a number of different models. There's almost something for everyone.
 

newsphotog

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I started out loyal to Yaesu, then D-STAR came along and now I have four Icom radios and one Kenwood. I got the Kenwood just for APRS in the car. Now I want the Yaesu VX-8DR. So, no brand loyalty for me since not one single brand has all the features I need. That'll be the day.
 
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DaveNF2G

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One cannot "buy American" of anything that has more than a couple of parts. You can choose products that are assembled in America, but then you could be buying Toyota cars under that standard.

My current rig is a Yeasu. I have had Icoms in the past. I also choose according to features and price, not brand name.
 

W9BU

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Do you stay with one brand?
Historically, I have owned Kenwood mobiles and Yaesu handhelds. I tried a couple of Icom mobiles and sold them because I didn't like the user interface. I tried a Kenwood handheld and sold it because I didn't care for the performance.

Is programing about the same for same brand radios?
My experience is that the user interface tends to stay the same through various models within a brand. While my Kenwood TM-D710 has a ton more features than the first TM-241 I owned, there have been some similarities through the range of Kenwood mobiles I've owned. I can make the same statement about the range of Yaesu handhelds I've owned from the FT-411 to the FT-60.

Or do you get features you need/want no matter the brand?
I shop features. Though my buying patterns indicate that I look for features similar to radios I've owned in the past, so there is some brand loyalty in my decisions.

Take dual-band mobiles with APRS features, for example. Having owned a Kenwood TM-D700, I was very interested in the TM-D710 when it came out and eventually bought one. If I had known the Yaesu FT-350 was coming when I made my decision, I might have waited. On the other hand, the TM-D710 is an evolutionary step from the TM-D700, so learning the new radio was fairly easy for me. The FT-350 may have more features than the TM-D710, but I'd have to start at the bottom of the learning curve.
 

zz0468

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Ok, that was a Japanese rig, an Icom 275H 100w 2m all mode.
prcguy
Yeah, I'm not aware of any military or commercial surplus radios capable of 2m ssb. And there are precious few American radios that will do that. Ten Tec used to have one, but I think that was discontinued before it ever really got going.
 

prcguy

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Except for SSB mode I use a lot of US made military radios for 2m. 220 and 440MHz FM. I also use US mil radios for 160 through 6m SSB on a regular basis in mobile, base and manpack configurations.

Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood or any other Japanese company will never be able to produce a radio of the quality or workmanship (or cost) as Harris in the US.
prcguy





Yeah, I'm not aware of any military or commercial surplus radios capable of 2m ssb. And there are precious few American radios that will do that. Ten Tec used to have one, but I think that was discontinued before it ever really got going.
 

zz0468

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Except for SSB mode I use a lot of US made military radios for 2m. 220 and 440MHz FM. I also use US mil radios for 160 through 6m SSB on a regular basis in mobile, base and manpack configurations.
I prefer commercial surplus for 440 FM, and would on 2m of I operated that mode. I also use a Motorola Micom on 60m, but some sort of surplus something would be fun to have on the HF bands IF (and that's a BIG if) they had some of the features, like DSP noise reduction, that current amateur grade gear does. I have a very high local noise level, and it takes some extraordinary tactics to be able to receive at all.

I do have an ITT Mackay receiver, but mostly use it below 500 KHz.

Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood or any other Japanese company will never be able to produce a radio of the quality or workmanship (or cost) as Harris in the US.
prcguy
I fully agree with you there.

But then the issue becomes one of affordibility. One can get commercial state-of-the-art performance and features at an affordable price if one is willing to settle on less less rugged construction and lower quality. The 746PRO sits in a rack in an air conditioned room, so it'll do fine in that environment. The Micom sits in the same rack, and even though it's 10 times more rugged than (and probably cost 3 times as much as) the Icom radio, it's completely deaf here because it doesn't have an effective noise blanker and DSP, etc.
 

prcguy

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MY Harris HF rigs are full DSP with IF BW ranging from 340Hz to 6KHz and the AGC and syllabic squelch are DSP derived. These are not grandpa's WWII surplus radios. The transmit RF waveform is also generated through DSP and it beats any other HF rig I have used for blasting through pileups without any audio distortion or artifacts. Even though my Elecraft K3 and Ten Tec Omni VII are much later designs, the Harris RF-5000 series is generally more pleasant to use.

Cost must not have been a consideration because just the DSP chips in the Harris radio would probably run more than the entire Elecraft or Ten Tec radio when the RF-5000 series was in production a few years ago. When new these radios had a staggering price tag and depending on where you get them surplus they can range from ridiculous to very affordable.

The Harris rigs can also live outdoors in a rain or snowstorm and meet full specs, not something you would want to subject an average ham radio to.
prcguy




I prefer commercial surplus for 440 FM, and would on 2m of I operated that mode. I also use a Motorola Micom on 60m, but some sort of surplus something would be fun to have on the HF bands IF (and that's a BIG if) they had some of the features, like DSP noise reduction, that current amateur grade gear does. I have a very high local noise level, and it takes some extraordinary tactics to be able to receive at all.

I do have an ITT Mackay receiver, but mostly use it below 500 KHz.



I fully agree with you there.

But then the issue becomes one of affordibility. One can get commercial state-of-the-art performance and features at an affordable price if one is willing to settle on less less rugged construction and lower quality. The 746PRO sits in a rack in an air conditioned room, so it'll do fine in that environment. The Micom sits in the same rack, and even though it's 10 times more rugged than (and probably cost 3 times as much as) the Icom radio, it's completely deaf here because it doesn't have an effective noise blanker and DSP, etc.
 

N4DES

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Except for my multi-mode radios (Yaesu FT-847 & Icom IC-706MKII), all of my U and V equipment is commercial Motorola gear that is APCO25 capable.
 
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DaveNF2G

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One of my early jobs was as a QC inspector at Harris RF Communications in Rochester, NY. Harris had recently acquired RF Communications at the time, and while I was there they also acquired Amcor and another electronics company from the Syracuse area, I think.

Despite having been employed there and being a new ham at the time, I never owned any of their radios. I did have my eye on the RF-280, but never had the cash to acquire a used one.
 

prcguy

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I have a very nice RF-280 (actually the Navy URC-94 version) which is being gone through and aligned right now. It will be for sale soon if you want to relive your Harris days.
prcguy


One of my early jobs was as a QC inspector at Harris RF Communications in Rochester, NY. Harris had recently acquired RF Communications at the time, and while I was there they also acquired Amcor and another electronics company from the Syracuse area, I think.

Despite having been employed there and being a new ham at the time, I never owned any of their radios. I did have my eye on the RF-280, but never had the cash to acquire a used one.
 

jmp883

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I'm not particularly attached to one brand, though I'm not to keen on Yaesu anymore, even though I own 3 of them. My first radio after getting licensed was a Yaesu FT-60 HT. Nice radio but I wasn't too thrilled with how the manual was written. My next radio was a Yaesu FT-7800. Again, nice radio but the manual was horrible. Learning how to use and program that radio was complicated by the fact that there was a page or two deleted from the manual. Once that issue was resolved it didn't make things any easier. Yaesu manuals just seem to be poorly written. I've learned more about how my Yaesu's work by using aftermarket programming software than from the manuals themselves. It shouldn't be that way.

I have a Kenwood TM-V708A, an Icom 746 Pro and a non-Pro Icom 756 and I love them all. They're all great radios and they all have well-written easy-to-understand manuals

Whatever my next radio purchase will be, regardless of manufacturer, I will go on-line first. Since most manufacturers now post their manuals on-line I'll read the manual first. If it's easy to understand then that radio will be considered for purchase. If it's a poorly written manual then I'll probably bypass that radio unless I know someone who already has one.

By the way this isn't a personal rant against Yaesu radios, or more specifically, their manuals. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way about Yaesu manuals. A friend of mine, who bought the same 2 Yaesu's I did, at the same time, agreed with me about their manuals. I've also read the same sentiments on reviews on eHam.com regarding their manuals.

Oops....sorry for taking this thread slightly off-topic. I do apologize :)
 

KC9AXZ

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No not really partial to any brand. I'll buy any if it fits my specific need. Kenwood is known for APRS. Icom is known for its D-Star. Yaesu was known for it's WIRES. That is on the V/UHF models. As far as HF it's hard to say. HF some models preform better for a specific purpose.
 
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