New HAM. Radio advice

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Kegel70

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I'm going to take my technician exam in a few weeks and am looking for a base station. I plan on getting a General class license next. I'm totally new to all of this and have always wanted to get into the hobby. I've been doing tons of research and have narrowed my choices to the following radios:

TS-590sg
IC-7200
IC-7300
FT-450d
Elad FDM-DUO

My budget will be about 1400.00

Main question is about the Elad. It seems like the obvious choice hands down. Am I missing something?

Main interest is the tech behind the hobby but also long range fishing.

Any advice?


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insanity213

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I'm pretty new to the hobby too, but I love my FT450D. Quickly upgraded to it from the old Kenwood TS440SAT I got on the cheap. The DSP is a great feature and was easy to connect to a sound card to do digital modes.

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prcguy

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In my opinion the best choice from your list is the Icom 7300. I have a 7300 and have compared it to a Kenwood 590 series and the 7300 has better critical specs and a spectral display. A friend owns both and prefers the 7300 also. The Icom 7200 is nothing special as is the Yaesu 450, both are in a different (and lower) league than the 7300 or 590.

The Elad is interesting but its a QRP rig putting out 8w max, and for a new ham that would be very frustrating with the current lousy HF band conditions. Otherwise the Elad appears to be a very high performance radio, but in the QRP category I would choose the Elecraft KX3 over it as its been on the market for awhile and is a proven great rig. I also own a KX3 and along with its fantastic specs it puts out nearly twice the power of the Elad at 15W running from 13.8v and it will also run from internal AA batteries.

If you get an Icom 7300 you will be very happy for many years to come.
prcguy
 
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k7ng

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I second prcguy. The IC-7300 is absolutely the best bang for the buck in your budget range, as far as the receive side goes. Transmit is average - virtually all 12V-powered transceivers give within a smidge of each other in terms of transmit performance.

I know several 'professional' radio operators who don't have enough good things to say about the IC-7300.

Don't forget to add in cost of a suitable power supply, possibly an outboard antenna tuner, definitely an accurate watt/VSWR meter to your buying considerations to stay within your budget.
 

prcguy

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Another way to look at the 7300 is, your getting a $3,000 radio for only $1,350 and you can't say that about any other radio on the OPs list. The 7300 also out talks any other HF radio I own, it can get very loud and punchy without any distortion or compression artifacts, it just kicks butt on transmit and with the stock hand mic. I've done lots of transmit audio checks and the 7300 consistantly does better on transmit than radios with a room full of outbord audio processing equipment and expensive mics like the Heil PR40, etc.
prcguy

I second prcguy. The IC-7300 is absolutely the best bang for the buck in your budget range, as far as the receive side goes. Transmit is average - virtually all 12V-powered transceivers give within a smidge of each other in terms of transmit performance.

I know several 'professional' radio operators who don't have enough good things to say about the IC-7300.

Don't forget to add in cost of a suitable power supply, possibly an outboard antenna tuner, definitely an accurate watt/VSWR meter to your buying considerations to stay within your budget.
 

chief21

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Which is better... Ford or Chevy?

I have also been considering a new HF rig for a year or so and, in my mind, it will be either the IC-7300 or the TS-590S(g). Mainly due to it's high(er) tech and it's smaller size, the '7300 is winning (this week, anyway).

Have you read the reviews on eHam? They may give you some good information.

John AC4JK
 

prcguy

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Its not a Ford or Chevy thing like you could compare in old the days, the 7300 is a freakish thing where Icom by accident or whatever, produced a fantastic radio at an entry level price. If you get a chance to operate a 7300 side by side with a 590 it will be obvious. And I didn't need to read the 7300 instruction manual to get it going, its all touch screen and everything makes sense.

I have a lot, and I mean a lot of HF radios and I was not in the market for another radio. But when the 7300 hit the market last year and I heard all the comments and I finally got to play with one, I had to have it. Its that good.
prcguy

Which is better... Ford or Chevy?

I have also been considering a new HF rig for a year or so and, in my mind, it will be either the IC-7300 or the TS-590S(g). Mainly due to it's high(er) tech and it's smaller size, the '7300 is winning (this week, anyway).

Have you read the reviews on eHam? They may give you some good information.

John AC4JK
 

Kegel70

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Thanks for all the input. Anyone have an opinion on the Elad? Seems like the future. What is the downsude of going that route? Not even necessarily the Elad, just SDR in general.


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AK9R

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Take another look at post #3 in this thread.

The Elad is a QRP radio. Most HF radios from Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu put out 100 watts on SSB or CW. The Elad only puts out 8 watts. The difference in power will have a significant impact on how well you are heard by other stations especially given the poor propagation conditions we are currently experiencing right now.

The Icom IC-7300 is an SDR radio and it's architecture, from a high level, is similar to any other SDR radio. The RF comes in through the antenna port and is digitized. From there, it's all software-based signal processing until it's converted back to audio for you to hear.
 

Kegel70

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Absolutely missed that post. Thanks. Sounds like I take that off my list. 7300 it .

Seriously pleased Morse code is no longer required for this test.


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K5MPH

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I agree with prcguy go with the Icom 7300 you wont go wrong good starter radio and a 100 watts out put GigaParts has it for 1,349.95 and free shipping, and by the way good luck on your Ham test.......
 
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Kegel70

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Where are you located? There are probably hams near you with the various radios on your list that would let you test them.

prcguy


Cincinnati. I heard there's a big Ham exhibition mid May near me. Going to check it out.

I stopped in R&L Electronics this weekend. Pretty big ham radio store 20 minutes from my house. The guy there recommended the 7300 as well. Said I might get a good deal if I wait for the show.

Anyone have a rec for a good power supply for it?




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AK9R

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I heard there's a big Ham exhibition mid May near me. Going to check it out.
The Dayton Hamvention. Don't be confused, though, as the 2017 edition will be held at the county fairgrounds in Xenia. www.hamvention.org

I stopped in R&L Electronics this weekend. Pretty big ham radio store 20 minutes from my house. The guy there recommended the 7300 as well. Said I might get a good deal if I wait for the show.

Anyone have a rec for a good power supply for it?
Yeah, R&L is an interesting little hole in the wall. Been run by a man and his wife for years, though the son, Roger, has taken over the day-to-day operations now. I've made many purchases from them. They used to have several radios set at an operating desk and antennas that you could connect to them so you could play touchy-feely with the merchandise. Hopefully, they had a 7300 on display so you could see what you think.

Any 25-30 amp power supply would be fine, but I'd recommend something like an Astron SS-30. There are less expensive power supplies, but I can't vouch for their reliability.
 

prcguy

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I'm also a big fan of the Astron SS series. An SS30 would handle a 100w HF rig while also powering a VHF/UHF radio at the same time. Otherwise the SS25M with meters is a great supply.

Astron has the best customer service in the power supply industry, nobody even comes close. I've taken them old power supplies I bought used, burned them up hooking them backwards to huge batteries and they rebuilt and repaired them for $20.
prcguy


The Dayton Hamvention. Don't be confused, though, as the 2017 edition will be held at the county fairgrounds in Xenia. www.hamvention.org


Yeah, R&L is an interesting little hole in the wall. Been run by a man and his wife for years, though the son, Roger, has taken over the day-to-day operations now. I've made many purchases from them. They used to have several radios set at an operating desk and antennas that you could connect to them so you could play touchy-feely with the merchandise. Hopefully, they had a 7300 on display so you could see what you think.

Any 25-30 amp power supply would be fine, but I'd recommend something like an Astron SS-30. There are less expensive power supplies, but I can't vouch for their reliability.
 

Kegel70

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The Dayton Hamvention. Don't be confused, though, as the 2017 edition will be held at the county fairgrounds in Xenia. www.hamvention.org





Yeah, R&L is an interesting little hole in the wall. Been run by a man and his wife for years, though the son, Roger, has taken over the day-to-day operations now. I've made many purchases from them. They used to have several radios set at an operating desk and antennas that you could connect to them so you could play touchy-feely with the merchandise. Hopefully, they had a 7300 on display so you could see what you think.



Any 25-30 amp power supply would be fine, but I'd recommend something like an Astron SS-30. There are less expensive power supplies, but I can't vouch for their reliability.


They still have the bench set up with a bunch of radios to play with. The 7300 was set up and seemed nice. I kind of prefer the old school look of the kenwood and yaesu but don't plan on buying for looks. Just want a radio I can learn to appreciate once I know what I'm doing. I'm sure any if them would work fine.

I guess the selling point of the 7300 is the purdy graph. Is this more of a gimmick or worth having?


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AK9R

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The spectrum display and waterfall are very useful when looking for signals. My IC-7600 has those features and I definitely miss them when I go back to an older rig.
 
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