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  #1  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:43 PM
Bill R Bill R is offline
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Hf rig recomendations

I would like to find an inexpensive HF transceiver for my study. Looking for the most bang for the buck around $200. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:56 PM
bob91343 bob91343 is offline
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I have a Heath HW-101 with manual, power supply and CW filter for sale for $150. Shipping from California would be expensive though.

This is a 100W SSB and CW transceiver with a pair of 6146 tubes in the final. It covers 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. It is very similar in appearance and function as the venerable Collins KWM-2A, as well as many others of its time.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:27 PM
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IsthmusTV IsthmusTV is offline
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Hi Bill,

I think Bob's suggestion is a good one. If you're looking for something a little newer, the Kenwood TS-520 would be a good choice. There is also the later TS-520S which adds 160 meters. Similarly, a Yaesu FT-101 or 101B would be good choices, but be careful to avoid ones that have been used and abused on 11 meters.

Good luck & 73,

Clark, K9OA
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:06 PM
Bill R Bill R is offline
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Had a chance to get a ts-430 for $270. That's a little more than I wanted, but it does have some advantages. I am still thinking about it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:08 PM
bob91343 bob91343 is offline
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Yeah all of Isthmus' suggestions are out of your price range.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2011, 08:42 PM
Bill R Bill R is offline
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My price range is not really carved in stone. I have seen examples of all the suggested radios for under $300. Also some icoms in that range. I don't even mind doing some repair work if the price is right.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2011, 04:57 PM
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electronjohn electronjohn is offline
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Go vintage...really vintage: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NATIONAL-NCX...item25693581e8

All you need is the matching power supply (ACX?). Only problem is the NCX-3 is just 80/40/20. Good rigs, though. I have a National 200...a 5 bander closely related to the NCX-5.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:47 PM
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ChrisW6ATV ChrisW6ATV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill R View Post
My price range is not really carved in stone. I have seen examples of all the suggested radios for under $300. Also some icoms in that range. I don't even mind doing some repair work if the price is right.
You should decide if you want an older (tube output) radio or a solid-state one. Tube transceivers require tune-up at least each time you change bands, and to some degree within some bands as well. (You may actually prefer or enjoy that kind of hands-on operating.) Newer rigs are an order of magnitude simpler to use-just pick a band, tune the dial, and hit the key or microphone button (assuming you have a resonant multi-band antenna).

If you want a solid-state but relatively inexpensive radio, look for a Kenwood TS-140, or 430 as you mentioned, or an Icom IC-725/726/735, or a Yaesu FT-747/757 perhaps. All are easy-to-use rigs with full-coverage HF receive as well.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:50 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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If you are in a situation (e. g. if you live in an apartment building, as I do) in which you cannot erect outdoor antennas for an amateur station, one solution is Echolink. This is a program that allows you to contact other amateurs via VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. It is not a glorified chat room; it is a system that allows licensed amateurs to connect to actual amateur stations in real time, just as if they were communicating via the amateur airwaves. Echolink requires no outdoor antennas and will work with any computer running at least Windows 98 or Win98SE, although for best results Win XP or higher is preferred. I have successfully run Echolink on an old Win98SE system, and presently use the program on my Windows XP box; needless to say, the software runs much faster and smoother on the latter system, and it also allows me to use EQ-100, an Echolink add-on that, among other things, gives the software the look and feel of a hardware HF amateur transceiver.

The Echolink software is available as a 100 percent free download at www.echolink.org. The EQ-100 addon is optional and is not necessary to allow the Echolink software to operate properly. The download link for this addon is available at www.hfremote.us. However, to get started with Echolink, the EL software and a microphone (plus your computer, of course) are all that's necessary.

Note that Echolink is intended for voice operation only, not CW or any other mode authorized to amateurs. If you want to operate CW using your computer, use VE3EFC's CQ-100 software. This software will allow use of CW via your keyboard and is also a free download at www.qsonet.com. However, unlike Echolink, CQ-100 is little more than a glorified chat room for use only by licensed amateurs, and it requires a $34 annual fee to access its servers. Echolink, on the other hand, is 100 percent free, no strings attached.

Some amateurs are dead-set against anything having to do with communications systems that are not RF-based ("if it doesn't use radio waves, it's not amateur radio") and will not have a thing to do with Echolink; I must admit that I was once of that mindset myself, until I realized that EL would allow me to get back into ham radio in much the same manner as I was involved in the hobby back at my former home. I operated mostly CW in those days (June 1972-November 1999) from my 100-watt station in a small Cleveland suburb, worked 49 states and a handful of foreign countries, but when I found out I would have to move I thought my hamming days had ended for good. I was able to remain active after a fashion on 2-meter FM (I'm a member of a local radio club, the Lake County Amateur Radio Association of Painesville, Ohio, near Cleveland) after I moved here, but I missed operating HF, so I was very glad to find out, some years later, about Echolink. My EL node number appears after my profile signature.

Happy New Year and 73,
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 01-01-2012 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Corrected a problem with an Internet URL
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2012, 09:56 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
<----Zenith C845
 
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If you are in a situation (e. g. if you live in an apartment building, as I do) in which you cannot erect outdoor antennas for an amateur station, one solution is Echolink. This is a program that allows you to contact other amateurs via VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. It is not a glorified chat room; it is a system that allows licensed amateurs to connect to actual amateur stations in real time, just as if they were communicating via the amateur airwaves. Echolink requires no outdoor antennas and will work with any computer running at least Windows 98 or Win98SE, although for best results Win XP or higher is preferred. I have successfully run Echolink on an old Win98SE system, and presently use the program on my Windows XP box; needless to say, the software runs much faster and smoother on the latter system, and it also allows me to use EQ-100, an Echolink add-on that, among other things, gives the software the look and feel of a hardware HF amateur transceiver.

The Echolink software is available as a 100 percent free download at www.echolink.org. The EQ-100 addon is optional and is not necessary to allow the Echolink software to operate properly. The download link for this addon is available at www.hfremote.us. However, to get started with Echolink, the EL software and a microphone (plus your computer, of course) are all that's necessary.

Note that Echolink is intended for voice operation only, not CW or any other mode authorized to amateurs. If you want to operate CW using your computer, use VE3EFC's CQ-100 software. This software will allow use of CW via your keyboard and is also a free download at www.qsonet.com. However, unlike Echolink, CQ-100 is little more than a glorified chat room for use only by licensed amateurs, and it requires a $34 annual fee to access its servers. Echolink, on the other hand, is 100 percent free, no strings attached.

Some amateurs are dead-set against anything having to do with communications systems that are not RF-based ("if it doesn't use radio waves, it's not amateur radio") and will not have a thing to do with Echolink; I must admit that I was once of that mindset myself, until I realized that EL would allow me to get back into ham radio in much the same manner as I was involved in the hobby back at my former home. I operated mostly CW in those days (June 1972-November 1999) from my 100-watt station in a small Cleveland suburb, worked 49 states and a handful of foreign countries, but when I found out I would have to move I thought my hamming days had ended for good. I was able to remain active after a fashion on 2-meter FM (I'm a member of a local radio club, the Lake County Amateur Radio Association of Painesville, Ohio, near Cleveland) after I moved here, but I missed operating HF, so I was very glad to find out, some years later, about Echolink. My EL node number appears after my profile signature.

73,
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Jeff, WB8NHV

Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Zenith radios since 2002

Zenith. Gone, but not forgotten.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:23 PM
Bill R Bill R is offline
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Well, here it is a new year and I still haven't got that radio yet. I am also looking for an all mode 2 meter rig. Antennas here are not a problem. I have used the Echolink system. It's a good alternative, but I will have to do some port redirection on the new router.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2012, 11:00 PM
Bill R Bill R is offline
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Ok, heck with the budget. Found a kenwood ts-440sat at an acceptable price. Now will need a good 20 amp power supply.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2012, 11:46 PM
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ChrisW6ATV ChrisW6ATV is offline
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Excellent. If you can spend another $100 or so any time soon, the Astron power supplies are solidly built and very reliable. Mine have never had any problems in 15-20 years of use.
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2012, 01:28 PM
bob91343 bob91343 is offline
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That Kenwood is arguably one of the best radios ever made. I have owned two of them and used one mobile on a trip a few years ago. I just pulled it off the shelf and ran it; it works like new. Transmit and receive are general coverage, 100W output, AM, FM, CW, SSB, FSK. CW filter. Auto antenna tuner. Speech processor. Passband tuning. RIT and XIT. Good noise gate. Drives an amplifier perfectly. It's my backup to the TS-940S, which is pretty damned good in its own right.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2012, 03:03 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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Even though I live in an apartment and use Echolink as my primary amateur radio station installation (for HF), I still have an Icom IC-725 100-watt nine-band rig, now in storage. This transceiver is about the size of an overgrown cigar box, has a general-coverage receiver (0.5-30 MHz) and can operate CW, USB, LSB, and, with an optional module, FM (on the 29-MHz ten-meter repeater segment). The rig receives AM out of the box but requires another optional module to transmit in that mode. For CW, the rig will work well out of the box, but for the best experience I suggest getting the optional 500-Hz CW filter. I got the filter for mine because I was an avid CW operator at my former home; the filter is still installed, so if I should ever decide to sell the rig it will be all set for CW, with the 0.5-kHz filter and 100 watts input. I worked many states and a handful of countries with this radio, into a 70-foot all-band dipole in my back yard, and I miss it.

Echolink is fine -- it keeps me on the air on HF, but I still miss working CW with the Icom rig. However, since I made up my mind long ago that I would never own a home (long story) and cannot ground my HF rig for DC in my apartment due to almost all-plastic piping and no access to the copper water pipes in the basement of the apartment building (I have a 10-40-meter indoor antenna by Barker and Williamson, so antennas are not an issue), a standard HF station is out of the question, which is why my HF rig is now in a large box in a corner of my bedroom.

For Bill R.: Glad to hear you are so close to getting on the air. In almost four decades in ham radio (got my Novice license in 1972, Tech in 1975, General 1985 to now), I've heard and read a lot of good things about the rig you have, and the Astron power supplies are a good match for them as well. I have an Astron RS-35 supply I use with my Icom rig, and never had five minutes worth of trouble with it -- except for one time when I had to replace the power cord because my cat chewed it up. AFAIK, the supply still works, although since it has been largely unused the last 12 years I am beginning to wonder how good the filter caps are anymore. One of the last things I want or need is to get an Official Observer notice, or worse, an FCC citation, because my signal had 60-Hz hum caused, yup, you guessed it, by failing or already defective 12-year-old filters.
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 01-16-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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