[amsat-bb] Hard times for satellite radio buyers?

Ken M va7kbm at outlook.com
Tue Mar 21 19:18:05 UTC 2017

Hello all,

Thanks for all the helpful comments on my earlier post!

Several folks mentioned the IC-9100 which looks like an excellent radio. I left it off my list only because of the higher price-point which makes it less approachable for some. Likewise with Flex. I wonder if ICOM will offer some deals on the IC-9100 soon, when the IC-7610 comes out? It seems they will compete at the same price point.

The points on SDR as the future are well-taken, but sometimes it's nice to simply turn on a device and just have work, without fussing about with computers and software (and I'm an IT guy, which is perhaps all the more reason I think that way). I look forward to acquiring that elusive VHF/UHF all-mode radio (even if it is an "ancient" one). ;-)

Thanks again & 73
Ken - VA7KBM

On 2017-03-18 10:53 PM, Ken M wrote:

Hello all,

Is it not hard times for new and prospective satellite operators (like
me) in terms of equipment choices, at least in terms of the "big three"?
(And, to be clear, I'm talking about current, in-production models only.)

I'm looking for an HF base/mobile radio, and also a VHF/UHF-only
all-mode base/mobile radio that I can use for the linear satellites but
- wait - there are no VHF/UHF-only all mode radios! That means I need to
buy a "shack in a box" but - wait - there are only two choices (at what
I will call moderate prices), the ancient TS-2000 and equally ancient
FT-857D. There is the new and somewhat more expensive FT-991A and,
although that sounds like a very good radio, for HF at that price point
I might prefer the IC-7300 but that would mean no satellite work.

I'm also looking for a portable HF QRP radio, and a portable radio I can
use for the linear satellites. Again the venerable but ancient FT-817ND
is pretty much the only game in town. As with the HF base radios above,
if I am only interested in HF QRP I would probably rather put my money
toward a KX2 or KX3 of newer design but, again, that would mean no
satellite work.

So as a new operator, to get into linear satellites it seems I am forced
to either (1) troll the swap meets for ancient gear; (2) buy new gear of
old design (which in my mind is even worse); or (3) buy new gear of
modern design that works for satellite and HF, but is not necessarily
the radio I would choose for HF alone.

I should add that the situation is not much better for HT/mobile radios
for the FM satellites, but at least there are some cost effective
workarounds including the less expensive Baofeng/Wouxun/Tytera radios
and their clones.

Thanks for indulging my shopping frustrations, and my inexperience, but
I have to think there are others new to the hobby that are having
similar thoughts. Do Amsat members see this as a problem?

Probably off to spend some new money on an old radio...

73 - Ken - VA7KBM

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