[amsat-bb] Re: Question about radios

Edward R. Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Tue May 3 12:17:57 PDT 2011

Jerry provides a more complete review and more 
depth (based on his having experience with more 
satellite capable radios).  I should have 
mentioned the FT-837R, as it was the "best" 
before the advent of the new HF-light radios.  I 
traded all my components for the single radio 
concept when I bought the FT-847 (too soon after 
its introduction), but it has done very well.  I 
am still flip-flopping on whether to sell the 
FT-847 as it is still good for satellite use (and 
432-eme).  But my station is building up around 
the Elecraft K3 as core so we will see.

I do question everyone's desire to have 1.2 GHz 
in the same box.  Experienced microwavers all 
know that there is a lot of desirability to 
locate mw units near or at the antenna.  This 
becomes a fact above 1.2 GHz where coax losses 
eat you up.  My FT-847 operates on 2m for 1268 by 
using one of the (rare) DEMI 144/1268 Tx 
upconverters.  It's not installed, at present, 
since repairing wind damage from last fall, I put 
up a reduced-saze array (still not fully 
functional).  That unit produces 15w with about 
1.5w drive on 144-MHz.  It was produced for a 
short time during AO-40, and sales ended with 
AO-40's demise.  I installed it on the elevation 
crossboom with 7-8 foot of LDF4-50 (1/2-inch) hardline to the loop-yagi.

Today, one would have to purchase from db6nt 
(Kuhne Engineering) at higher cost (I think there 
might be a couple other sources for such a 
critter).  So that gives the Icom and Kenwood 
radios an advantage (of sorts).  But to get any 
reasonable RF to the antenna you will be running 
hardline, and if used for 1296, a remote 
preamp.  Well, for satellites you should have 
remote preamps, anyway (this last advice is not 
directed to the hand-waving Arrow/HT crowd).

There debate will continue as long as hams have radios ;-)

Ed - KL7UW

At 10:10 AM 5/3/2011, K5OE wrote:
>I can tell already this is an old thread that 
>will go on for a while
 Money is almost never 
>“not an issue,â” so fitting the radio to the 
>user is always a matter of preferences and 
>priorities.  If you want HF + satellite in one 
>rig, the TS-2000 and the FT-847 work, but not 
>the IC-910.  If you want 23 cm in the rig, the 
>TS-2000 and the IC-910 work, but not the 
>FT-847.  If you want to power your preamp(s) 
>without any external wiring, the FT-847 and 
>IC-910 work, but not the TS-2000.  If you want a 
>built-in antenna tuner (HF), or a built-in TNC, 
>or built-in voice recorder, then only the 
>TS-2000 works.  If you want lots of 3rd party 
>software, then the FT-847 is your best bet.  I 
>agree with Ed, the IC-9100 seems priced 
>outrageously for what it is—reminiscent of the 
>IC-970H.  Maybe  I’ve just lost a sense for 
>the market—look at the priice of new cars!  For 
>a strictly satellite rig, an IC-821H is still a 
>very good radio selling for half the price of a 
>used IC-910 (and just a bit more than a 
>FT-736—the FFT-847 of a previous generation).  A 
>decade ago I bought a TS-2000 for a number of 
>reasons, including the ability to work the HF 
>satellites (RS-12/13 and AO-7) in one rig.  I 
>sold an FT-990 and an IC-820 and had money left 
>over.  I still consider it really good 
>value.  While I have never liked the controls as 
>well as my Yaesu HF rig(s), I came to really 
>appreciate the DSP functions and the CW features 
>and had great fun with the TNC on the ISS, 
>pacsats (especially UO-22, RIP), and APRS.  I 
>added 1.2 GHz when AO-40 was launched.  I scored 
>higher in HF contests with it than I ever had 
>with the non-DSP Yaesu rig.  I wasn’t bothered 
>(too much) by the infamous birdie because I 
>could tune around it with the combination of a 
>high-gain UHF antenna and a preamp, but do 
>consider it a fatal flaw to anyone considering 
>the radio for use on AO-27 or SO-50 with a 
>low-gain antenna system.  I’ll end with an 
>echo of Dee’s comment below:  spend your time 
>and money on the antennas, as almost any radio 
>will work with a good signal. 73, Jerry, K5OE 
>--- original message --- Having the FT-847 since 
>early 1998 and observing the IC-910 I would 
>recommend both over the TS-2000 or new IC-9100 
>on basis of bucks spent.  I realize both the 847 
>and 910 are out of production but good used 
>units are available for <$900. The TS-2000 
>"birdie" issue is unforgivable for the money 
>spent (Unless you are not interested in 
>satellites which the FT-857/897 would then be my 
>choice).  The IC-9100 is outrageously expensive 
>and would only be a choice if you have no HF 
>equipment.  It is still too new for a complete 
>opinion (for what you spend you could have top 
>notch transverters and a new K3*, or buy two 
>FT-817 with amps for a lot less). *Note: the K3 
>is not able to do duplex at this time, but I 
>have an idea how it could by using the dual 
>receiver IF. My K3 with DEMI transverter is much 
>superior to the FT-847 on 2m, but that is only 
>for very weak-signal applications (satellites 
>are on the strong side of weak-signal if you get 
>my drift), and use on HF (which is not the 
>question that was asked). 73, Ed - KL7UW At 
>06:46 AM 5/3/2011, Dee wrote: >Andrew, >Being in 
>this end of the hobby for "many" years, I have 
>learned that >sometimes the choice comes down to 
>what you can afford.  While the TS2000 is >a 
>nice radio, with the birdie problem, it leaves a 
>question.  Ihave had 2 >Icom 910's for many 
>years and even have one of them adapted with the 
>1.2ghz >module.  Both have worked flawless and 
>have been more than adequate.  The >new ICOM 
>9100 (which you ask about) is a bit pricey for 
>the bands provided. >I have been following the 
>production of the 9100 and it has become out of 
>an >average hams price range.  While the specs 
>are very good, you can achieve >the same effect 
>with a TS2000 - Icom 910- Yaesu 847 and even the 
>older icom >820 (?) - >Once again, I have always 
>advised sat ops to spend the money on the 
>antennas >and coax as this is where you'll find 
>the most advantage for your operation. >Good 
>luck and go to the AMSAT website to obtain a 
>truck load of info >pertaining to satellite 
>station construction and operating 
>advice. >73, >Dee, NB2F >NJ AMSAT 
>Coordinator > >-----Original Message----- >From: 
>amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org 
>[mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On >Behalf 
>Of Alvaro Gaviria >Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 
>4:51 PM >To: amsat-bb at amsat.org >Subject: 
>[amsat-bb] Question about radios > >Hello 
>all, > > > >Can someone tell what is better for 
>satellite work, the Kenwood TS-2000X or >the 
>Icom IC- 9100 ?? > > > >Best 
>regards > > > >Andrew >HK4MKE 
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed 
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73, Ed - KL7UW, WD2XSH/45
BP40IQ   500 KHz - 10-GHz   www.kl7uw.com
EME: 50-1.1kW?, 144-1.4kw, 432-100w, 1296-testing*, 3400-?
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