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Bravo and thanks.
glad that you liked it, CA. I hope this will help a lot of folks.
I have my General Ticket now. Any recommendations for a decent used entry level HF rig. I have a 30 amp Astron supply already. Plenty of 60′ Oak trees on my property. Icom 716? Old Ten Tec? Kenwood 520 or stay all solid state? Maybe a marine rig? SSG?
Congrats on ticket.
My two cents are to find an IC 7200 http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6933 .
Or IC 718 http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/947 .
Others should weigh in.
Haunt these places:
Second CA’s suggestion re: IC-7200. Currently my “go-to” rig. Hard to find, but still possible.
Second choice would be IC-7000 (also out of production), a smaller “mobile” rig that is damn near bullet proof. With the IC-7000, you will need a ADC/DAC (i.e. sound card) such as a SignaLink for digital comms.
For digital comms (the penultimate EmComm mode), you need a very stable VFO (Variable Frequency Oscillator), so stick with Solid State.
Yaesu also makes good rigs that are well supported (Ford vs Chevy) but I am a Ford/Icom user.
Personal opinion (kind of like a-holes), but to get started I would just use a “tuned” dipole on your band of choice (should be 80m).
Future would be to get an LDG autotuner for your radio model (IT-100 for Icom) at about $170. Internal tuners are notorious for extremely limited SWR matching. With an 80m dipole you should be good to go on 40m and 20m with the tuner. Without some kind of loading coil, it is extremely difficult to tune a “short” antenna, so get 80m working first.
160m has a lot of advantages but also a lot of challenges. Leave that for a later time, but remember ‘tempus fugit’.
Good deal,on getting your General! You have opened the door to a much wider world.
Echo others suggestions on the IC 7200. Have one as my backup rig; very easy to use w digital modes, good CW rig, good receiver. Good ergonomics and a good portable/Field day rig. Older Ten Tec rigs are also good; the Corsair is a very good rig but not as easy as the 7200 to use for digital, and not as compact; I would not recommend the TenTec rigs for portable use. For portable use up through 50 mhz, the 7200 cannot be beat.
If you want all mode portable performance through 440 mhz, then take a look at either the ft857d or the 897d; the 897 can be run off internal batteries. Yaesu’s menus are not as easy to use as Icom’s, but having the ability to run 160 NVIS or to communicate with other stations using LOS VHF/UHF on the same rig is a distinct advantage. The 857 is probably better suited to mobile ops, but it is smaller and lighter than the 897, and the remote control head can be useful when operating while moving
These days, LDG has autotuners that can be found used in good shape for not much more than a used manual tuner, and are pretty capable. Resonant antennas do eliminate that weight and bulk but also limit you to the frequency bands they are cut for. The “linked dipole” concept is worth a look, too, H/T to the American Hoplite site.
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