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The family behind my first HF rig..now which one?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Bearcat, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. Bearcat

    Bearcat
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    so the wife and my family are wanting to help me purchase first HF rig...I'm torn between

    1.The infamous Icom 718
    2.The Yaesu ft 450
    3.The bottom of the barrel Alinco Sr8t



    I have read a little about built in Tuners? And Dsp (I still don't quite understand) ...MARS ECT.

    In short which of these entry level rigs would be best considering I'm a late night rag chew type of operator (I won't ever contest or go out in the field) I like a very good receiver..better than output. HF GURUS HELP!
     

  2. Atlasta

    Atlasta
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    I've the 718 which is a lot more radio than it initially appears to be. Very intuitive- you can sit in front of it and figure out it's basic operations without poring over the extensive manual. All the usual stuff- dual VFOs, 99 memories, good noise reduction, pretty much every level is adjustable- and I'm sure there are a few things that I haven't found yet!

    The receiver isn't bad at all, but as with any receiver can and does benefit from good filtering- which the 718 lacks in it's base form. Plug-in filters are available but can get pricey. I'd suggest using an external DSP such as a Timewave or even the MFJ version- both improve the receivers selectivity tremendously- and that's what you want in a receiver- selectivity!

    Tuners: ICOM makes the matching AT-180 tuner which is a fine piece but consider the LDG Z-100 instead- it tunes over a much wider range and can correct up to a 10:1 SWR according to the data sheet. It's also considerably less expensive than the AT-180

    You will of course need an external power supply for this radio.

    Go check eham.com for reviews on all models you are considering. Naturally there will be some that swear by a certain brand and others that swear at it- such is the nature of things!

    What are you planning on using for antenna? I've just a simple maypole at 30 feet with a 1:1 balun and wires cut for 17, 40 and 75 meters. Will be installing a second pole for 12, 15 and 20m shortly
     
    #2 Atlasta, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  3. Bearcat

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    I don't know much about HF antennas but I think I could throw up a few Dipoles and see what happens
     
  4. Robb

    Robb
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    Yup

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    I've had a 718. Simple,straightforward radio. Can attach it to your PC/laptop via a cable using a special cable - about $25. Software is free.

    Dunno about the Yaesu; except I know it has better features and cost only a little more. Decent reptation from what I can read. I'd go with that. IIRC, it also has 6m too.
     
  5. n8fgb

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    i have had both the Ft 450 and the IC 718. 450 all the way.DSP, digital signal processing, converts th analog signal to digital, allowing to clean it up, then back to analog. Works much better in the IF stage, not AF like the 718.
    Rich
     
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  6. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8
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    Supporting Member, W9WDX ARC Member - WD8T

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    I agree with n8fgb. I had both the 718 and FT-450 at the same time...got rid of the 718 after about a week. It's an incomplete radio compared to the 450. The current model 450D is ever better and Icom has never changed the 718.
     
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  7. 222DBFL

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    In this case although I'm a big Icom fan, the FT450D is a better radio with many more features including a built in tuner along with TXCO crystal and many other sweet features for a radio of its price range. There is a local about 65 miles away that I talk to daily that runs one and it sounds great on air!! JMHO.
     
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  8. camaro1

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    i would not be calling the Alinco " bottom of the barrel" if I had a choice between the icom 718 and the Alinco, id pick the Alinco HANDS DOWN,,, and yes I have owned both radios

    if you wanted to go 1 step above those radios,, find a used Icom 7200, it is also very nice lower budget hf radio with 6 meters, built tough, military style, and small, and super easy to get into digital modes with only a usb cable from the radio to your computer and your done, the 7200 radio has some very nice features found on higher $$ radios
     
    #8 camaro1, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
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  9. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut
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  10. w9cll

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    718
     
  11. Tallman

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    W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    I believe you answered your own question. I would take them in that order. I'm partial to Yaesu myself I changed your list to my preference.
     
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  12. BBB

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  13. Mudfoot

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    Get the Alinco and use your savings on antenna setup. I've owned all 3. The 718 is a clunkish turd, 450 is a menu driven turd and the Alinco is a potent rig for the price. The Alinco smokes both with AM performance.
     
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  14. camaro1

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    there is a used icom 7200 on qrz for $550 shipped,, that's a pretty good deal and wont last long im sure, it was just posted this morning
     
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