Icom IC-718 HF All Band Amateur Base Transceiver / sds200?

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Aircargo

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curious....this monster is about $670,the Icom . looks nice,big,has everything i guess cause im novice. why always about the sds200 units....lots of input and buys. its a $580 unit. which is better....icom. im wanting a sweet base,curious. txs...
 

mmckenna

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Completely different radios, different markets, different usage.

One is an HF transceiver used by amateur radio operators. It will receive up to 30 MHz.

The other is a scanner. Designed for VHF/UHF/700/800MHz.
 

Aircargo

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so....lol. which would u look at with general ham license mostly. i want a nice radio with nice decent screen. can you show me good ones. mobil i might go for pres lincoln 2....txs
 

mmckenna

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so....lol. which would u look at with general ham license mostly. i want a nice radio with nice decent screen. can you show me good ones. mobil i might go for pres lincoln 2....txs
Depends entirely on what you want to do with it.

On the surface, it looks like you picked three totally random radios out of a catalog and want to know which one you should pick.
The three are not really comparable in any way. Yeah, they are both radios, but the do totally different things.


Forgive us if we seemed confused, because we are.

SDS200 is a scanning receiver. You'd use it to LISTEN to police, fire, ambulances, local businesses, etc. It is not a transmitter. It will not transmit on any frequencies.

Icom 718 is an HF amateur radio. It will LISTEN to shortwave and other amateur radio operators from 160 meter band to the 10 meter band. If you have a valid amateur license of the correct grade, you can transmit on the amateur radio frequencies. It will not receive most police, fire or other local public safety agencies.

The President Lincoln is a cheap amateur radio that has been set to transmit and receive on the 12 and 10 meter amateur radio bands. It's not going to be a great amateur radio. It's cleverly disguised as an amateur radio but most people modify them to run on CB. It would not be legal to use in the USA on CB band. It's only legal for amateur radio.

So, what is it you are looking for? Scanning receiver? Short Wave radio? CB radio? VHF/UHF amateur radio? HF Amateur radio?
You are the one who wants the radio, so you must have some idea of what you want to use it for. Telling us what the intended use is would help us give advice. But faced with a seemingly random selection of radios and asking us which one you should buy doesn't really make any sense.
 

Aircargo

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sry....im confused. was thinking money,lmao. ANYWAY...forget scanners i know of them. i got few,i copy, I DID confuse you guys by comparing both of what i wish to do......im mixing the 2 together. thinking about it this second...,its over the top to spend $580 on a scanner when a much nicer HAM receives same at same price almost.. "but"...u need license to transmit.

my INTEREST NOW is the "ham side" of the radio rf world. YES i studied....test is this monday,remote testing. general,technical. wish me luck.

anyway...the icom seems to have EVERYTHING ive studied in as far as ham frequences,range...no fm thou. again...i like nice screen,and range.

txs in advance....$600 or so gets a decent ham i think,dont wanna go used.
 
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Aircargo

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Completely different radios, different markets, different usage.

One is an HF transceiver used by amateur radio operators. It will receive up to 30 MHz.

The other is a scanner. Designed for VHF/UHF/700/800MHz.
understood...i was mixing them up looking to buy. sry. lol
 

mmckenna

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my INTEREST NOW is the "ham side" of the radio rf world. YES i studied....test is this monday,remote testing. general,technical. wish me luck.

anyway...the icom seems to have EVERYTHING ive studied in as far as ham frequences,range...no fm thou. again...i like nice screen,and range.

txs in advance....$600 or so gets a decent ham i think,dont wanna go used.
OK, got it.
Consider a few things...
An HF radio like the IC-718 is going to allow you to contact amateurs across the country and around the world. It's going to require a suitable antenna, so make sure you have the space to do that.
For many new hams, VHF and UHF are an easier first step. VHF/2 meter band and UHF/70 centimeter band will give you access to local communications in your immediate area, as well as ways to connect to gateways for talking to amateurs around the country/world. Antennas will be smaller and easier to install.

Figuring out where you want to go in the hobby is your first step. Unless you have an unlimited budget, picking one or the other may be required.

Whichever way you go, good luck.
 

Aircargo

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k...but we want a radio that has everything. do i want around the world,far far,idk. the smaller antenna idea i like. i have room thou. when you say big you mean tall,high up? btw txs for replys.

thinking 2meter / and uhf as u mentioned. small antenna get going quicker. WAITING on test 1st.lol. i know radio is kinda much...but whatcha think and show me one youd like....curious.

you dont like that mobil i was looking at? u say local....does these radios catch all police scanners do? i know locally id receive hammers...but what about what a scanner does?
 

N8IAA

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k...but we want a radio that has everything. do i want around the world,far far,idk. the smaller antenna idea i like. i have room thou. when you say big you mean tall,high up? btw txs for replys.

thinking 2meter / and uhf as u mentioned. small antenna get going quicker. WAITING on test 1st.lol. i know radio is kinda much...but whatcha think and show me one youd like....curious.

you dont like that mobil i was looking at? u say local....does these radios catch all police scanners do? i know locally id receive hammers...but what about what a scanner does?
The 12/10 meter radio is "Supposed to be for amateur radio", but it is a glorified CB. Not worth your while.

The 718 is only for the low bands. Those between 3.5 MHz and 29.9 MHz. It requires a lot of extras. Antenna and power supply are just two.

None of the HF radios you mentioned will receive your local area police or fire.
Now, a dual band mobile will let you receive your local area. Plus, it's quite a bit cheaper.

You have all the scanners you need to monitor police and fire. Just wondering why you think the SDS200 will be better than what you have?

Get tested, and then let us know what license you achieved. Then we can help you better. (y)
 

N8IAA

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Oh, and a scanner will allow you to hear the local hams on 28, 145, and 440 MHz. Provided that there is activity on those bands.
Hope this helps.
 

Aircargo

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my scanner frequences and the range im fine with. i just mentioned the sds200 by mistake on 1st post,mixed up i was...plus so much money and all i hear is issues,same issues diff owners.... i monitor well and what im interested in...scanners im good. anyway....

HAM: yes your RIGHT and im learning. it needs a power supply on top of price. antenna gotta get anyway. but i see your point in getting other components to get going. guess look for one built in unless the better ones need the external power to better the need.. i just want a home unit thats nice size. im lQQking for now.....ALL MODES ID LIKE....HELP,LOL.

so you dont like those mobil ham radios. low end high end....same frequences more or less depending on your license....no?
 
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mmckenna

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k...but we want a radio that has everything. do i want around the world,far far,idk. the smaller antenna idea i like. i have room thou. when you say big you mean tall,high up? btw txs for replys.

thinking 2meter / and uhf as u mentioned. small antenna get going quicker. WAITING on test 1st.lol. i know radio is kinda much...but whatcha think and show me one youd like....curious.

you dont like that mobil i was looking at? u say local....does these radios catch all police scanners do? i know locally id receive hammers...but what about what a scanner does?
There are some high end amateur base radios that will cover HF, VHF and UHF. But they are expensive. And you still need the antenna systems. You'd need an antenna for the HF side (at least one, maybe more) and they can be big. A tall vertical antenna, a tower with a beam antenna, wire antennas, all are options. Which one you pick will depend on your skill (do you climb radio towers?), budget (can be in the thousands of dollars), and the size of your land (Wire antennas can be 100's of feet long).
On the VHF/UHF side, antennas are smaller, easier to install and less expensive. However, depending on exactly what you want to do, you may need more than one antenna. For local communications, a vertical antenna would be fine. If you want to work SSB on VHF and UHF, you'll probably want a beam antenna on a tower with a rotor. If you want to work satellites, you'll need specific antennas for that.

Add in power supply, coaxial cable, grounding, antenna supports, lighting suppression, etc. and it really becomes a budget issue.

Here's what I'd suggest:
Get your license first. Do that before spending money. Don't be in a rush to start buying equipment. There are just too many options.
Start with a basic VHF/UHF radio and see if you like that part of the hobby. Local communications can be very handy. A decent dual band radio, power supply and antenna can be had pretty cheap.
Get your feet wet, get some experience, talk to others in your area.
Once you do that, then start thinking of where you want to go. Start small, build up.
I've seen several people that rush into the hobby in a hurry to build the "best" station. They spend a ton of money on what they think they want, only to find that their interests change. Nothing wrong with that, but it's an expensive way to do it.

You've got lots of time and a LOT to learn as you go. The license test is just 35 questions, multiple choice and you only have to pass with 70% correct. It in no way makes anyone a radio expert. The license simply opens the door for more learning to happen. Once you get in the door, you have a lot more learning to do. Sort of like a kid turning 16 and getting their drivers license. You wouldn't send that kid into the Indy 500 without a lot of experience and training.

I can understand your enthusiasm, but really, start slow, build up. There are just too many options available to try to do it all in your first few weeks.
 

alcahuete

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Oh this is all so very confusing. @mmckenna you have the patience of Job. LOL!!!

@Aircargo as was already pointed out, why do you want to get into ham radio? Surely you didn't just wake up one morning and say, "Wow, it would be great to have my ham license!" There has to be some reason you wanted your license...something you wanted to accomplish. And that will help guide you to which direction you want to take to start out.

Most people start out with VHF/UHF on the local repeaters and such. The digital modes are very popular now, especially DMR. But that might not interest you. It might be HF, with DX, maybe contesting, etc. But you also have to have the room for antennas, etc. If you live in an apartment, or condo, or HOA restricted house, it's going to be A LOT harder to use HF effectively.

But the big question is still why did you decide to get your ham license? That will hopefully answer a lot.
 

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But the big question is still why did you decide to get your ham license? That will hopefully answer a lot.
I agree.

@Aircargo, this thread is kinda all over the place because you keep throwing out ideas and snippets of information without telling us what you want to do. So, please answer that question before we go all over the place trying to follow your various lines of thinking. You are getting the cart before the horse by talking about equipment before you define your objectives.

What do you want to do in amateur radio? Who do you want to listen to or talk to?

What license are you taking the test for on Monday?

Once we understand where you want to go and what you want to do, we can start talking about how you can get there.
 

Aircargo

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this is my answer 100%:
QUOTE:
Here's what I'd suggest:
Get your license first. Do that before spending money. Don't be in a rush to start buying equipment. There are just too many options.
Start with a basic VHF/UHF radio and see if you like that part of the hobby. Local communications can be very handy. A decent dual band radio, power supply and antenna can be had pretty cheap.
Get your feet wet, get some experience, talk to others in your area.

im in a 1 family with a bi level roof...plenty room and i can get higher then my surroundings by few ft with scanner antenna now...45 ft rooftop im over by 10 ft.
im getting the technical monday night...pass hopefully then ill go for general....remote exam thru zoom.

i wanna start young like mcckenna said. get into it,get feet wet,learn,listen,talk to others...enjoy. want decent unit vhf/uhf ...get involved. SO........what do i "want" PEPS?... is dualband...nice radio...and a decent antenna to go with it. btw...these ham radios,do they all require i get a power supply?

txs for help guys.....hope im clear...lol
 

mmckenna

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Knowing your budget is helpful, or if you have a budget limitation at all….

My choice:
Kenwood dual band mobile radio. D710 will let you do 2 meter and 70 centimeter band, plus it'll support APRS that can be useful.
As for brand choice, it's up to you. This is a hot topic amongst amateurs. Everyone has their own favorite brand, and will fight to the death over it. Your money, you choose.

12 volt 30 amp power supply. More than you need for the above radio, but will support an HF radio down the road if you decide to do that. Amazon.com: Samlex SEC-1235M Desktop 30A Switching Power Supply, Advanced switch-mode technology, Reliable power with minimum weight and size, Circuit innovations minimize output voltage ripple and RFI: Home Audio & Theater
Stay away from the cheap Chinese stuff.

Dual band base antenna. Amazon.com: X50A X50 X50-A Diamond Original 144/440 MHz Dual Band Base Antenna - UHF Connector, 5.6 FT
Again, a hot topic. Your money, you choose. Don't skimp on the antenna. Rookie mistake is to buy a fancy radio then go cheap on the antenna. The antenna will make or break your system.

You'll need a mounting bracket for the antenna. That will depend entirely on your home design. No one can tell you want you need unless they see your home.

National Electric Code -requires- a lightning suppressor where the coaxial cable enters the home. No exceptions. A lot of hobbyists will skip this. No skin off my nose, but cutting corners on safety is just plain stupid.
A good lightning arrestor is PolyPhaser IS-B50LU-CO: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
You'll need to install that where the coaxial cable enters the home. That'll mean you will need two lengths of coaxial cable, one from the antenna to the Polyphaser, one from the Polyphaser to the radio.


You'll need coaxial cable to run from the radio to the antenna. Times-Microwave LMR-400. Not "LMR-400 equivalent". Not "Good as LMR400". Times-Microwave LMR-400 with UHF type connectors on each end. Order the length of cable you need. If you need 20 feet to run from the radio to the antenna, do NOT buy a 100 foot roll of cable and leave it coiled up in the corner. Use just the coaxial cable you need.
You can use other cable, but you need to be aware of the pro's and con's. The type of cable you need will depend on how long the run is. LMR-400 is good for your application and would be suitable for up to around 100 feet or so of cable, but try to design your setup so you use the least amount of cable you can.

The Polyphaser needs to be properly grounded, or it's totally useless. That means a cable run directly down to a ground rod below the antenna, and that ground rod needs to be bonded to your house electrical system. Ideally have a professional do that part. There are a lot of variables regarding conductor size, number of ground rods, how you connect to the house system, etc. That's a whole discussion on it's own.

Once you have it all setup, listen. Listen quite a bit to learn how others in your area use the radio. Don't expect to get an answer the first time you call. Take your time...


You'll get a lot of advice about using digital radios. Digital is becoming popular on amateur radio. Trouble is there are a couple of non-compatible standards. Picking the right one to use will depend entirely on which systems you want to talk on. DMR is very popular, but you'll find D-Star, Fusion and a few others. There are currently no radios that I'm aware of that will do all of them. Analog radio is pretty much standard, and the radio I linked to above will work fine for most of your use. Get some experience, find out what others are using, then make your decision if you want to try digital. I've been using analog only, and have not run into any issues.

The links to Amazon above are only for reference. You can likely find this stuff cheaper at other dealers.
 

Aircargo

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okay...understood. ill check/look at radios and antennas. 1st the license. understand cable lengh on cable,got it. question...power supply. i hook radio up to it yes but what if i get another component..rf amplfier...ant analyzer...do i hook them up to same power supply?

antenna i want ...vertical straight like one u suggesting. but ill look study and look again.....txs people in advance for input....jim
 

N8IAA

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okay...understood. ill check/look at radios and antennas. 1st the license. understand cable lengh on cable,got it. question...power supply. i hook radio up to it yes but what if i get another component..rf amplfier...ant analyzer...do i hook them up to same power supply?

antenna i want ...vertical straight like one u suggesting. but ill look study and look again.....txs people in advance for input....jim
Jim, you are over thinking all of this. No need for an amplifier for 2M /70 cm mobile radios. Most run 50-65 watts of power. But, if you're going to study for your license, you'll learn about all of the questions you're asking.

Don't need an antenna analyzer. And, no, you don't hook them up to the power supply.

I certainly hope that you can find a local amateur radio group to help with your decisions. In person is much better for making up your mind. (y)
 

mmckenna

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okay...understood. ill check/look at radios and antennas. 1st the license. understand cable lengh on cable,got it. question...power supply. i hook radio up to it yes but what if i get another component..rf amplfier...ant analyzer...do i hook them up to same power supply?

antenna i want ...vertical straight like one u suggesting. but ill look study and look again.....txs people in advance for input....jim
The power supply can support more than one radio or other 12 volt accessory as long as you don't exceed the amperage rating of the power supply/fuse.
I agree, you won't need an amplifier for 2 meter/70 centimeter. Since it's mainly a line of sight signal, and a good antenna will make more of a difference, there's no need to run more than 50 watts or so. Actually, with a good antenna, 5 watts will do fine.
But, yes, if you decided to add an HF radio down the road, you could certainly power them off the same power supply. That's why I suggested a 30 amp model. That will easily support a 100 watt HF radio and still run your 2/70 radio at the same time.

Trick is, getting all the connections on there. Usually the power supply will have some manner of binding posts on the back. You can connect directly to those to get started, but if you want to add more radios/accessories, then it makes sense to have a power distribution panel to make connecting/fusing your equipment easier. Something like this overpriced option: https://www.amazon.com/JunoSports-R...=1&keywords=rig+runner&qid=1589693647&sr=8-13
Or a cheaper alternative: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Sys...d=1589693767&sprefix=DC+distri,aps,224&sr=8-4

Happy to help. Good luck on the test.
 
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