1. In celebration of the launch of the new redesigned site, we just gave away a FREE antenna! Click Here to See Who Won!

BEST & WORST RIGS(HAM/CB RADIO)

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by SIX-SHOOTER, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. SIX-SHOOTER

    SIX-SHOOTER Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well may as well get some more OPINIONS & I'm sure the range of gear will be VERY WIDE but FUN! What was you personal BEST & WORSE rigs for Ham radios as well as CB radios? I'll go ahead & say my BEST ham radio is still my favorite & I still own & use it today which is an ICOM 756 PROII.The worst by far was a Yaesu FT-857D for ham radio.The best CB radio was my first TRAM D-201(hand wired)& I have a second one now that I'm restoring so we will see how it goes.The worst CB was a Lafayette Comstat 25B.I have had many GOOD rigs for ham & CB radio & FEW were really bad other than those I listed.I always wanted a BROWNING GOLDEN EAGLE MK IV & a DAK MK X but so far they have NOT become part of my OWNED list & at the going price for the EAGLE MK IV I "DOUBT" one will EVER make it to my house! :eek:

    SIX-SHOOTER


    #1
  2. unit_399

    unit_399 EL CAPO

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    157
    6 - Shot -

    I've had a few really good rigs and a lot of bad ones. The Worst was a HyGain II 40 channel CB that had a BA521 audio IC chip. This rig was so bad that it couldn't get out of it's own way. The second worst was a Pace 123 ( i think... I've tried to forget it)The best was a Cobra 139XLR. I still have it. Only Ham rig I ever owned was a Yaesu Ft-!01. It was OK, but tended to drift a lot so I sold it.

    - 399
    #2
  3. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    725
    That 'best' and worst' varied by time and experience. A Swan 500 has to have been the worst so far. It defonitely required more knowledge and experience than I had at the time, and had the typical problems, drifting, ate tubes, etc. It was replaced with a TS-440 and I thought it didn't get any better. After an accident, that '440 was replaced with a TS-850. Still think it doesn't get much better than that. Aftr more than 10 years, I finally replaced it with a TS-480. There is a definite improvement there, which I think is really saying something. I think I've had just about all of the Kenwood line (almost), they each were very nice for when they were made. Also had an IC-706, and a Yaesu. They did what they were supposed to do, but were just not as convenient, or easy to use as the Kenwoods. None were the 'top of the line', but were certainly better than average.
    If I could have any of them back, which would I want? All of them naturally! Including that Messenger 100 I started with... and the A/S M-125 antenna.
    - 'Doc
    #3
  4. tracker1962

    tracker1962 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have a worse.
    But my Cobra 135, still have 2 today have been my best CB's
    My Kenwood TH-28A for HAM.
    And my HR2510 for 10 meter.
    I do remember some old 23 channel radios my Father had that were awful.
    My old Galaxiy radios were nice, sold them not knowing the outcome of time.
    tracker.
    #4
  5. office888

    office888 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    500
    Likes Received:
    9
    Assuming nobody monkeyed around with it:

    1.) Assume it takes 15 min to warm up before it'll be steady.
    2.) Make sure the fan is working, and cleaned out
    3.) If you're going to keep the PTT squeezed for 10 min, run at 80%

    Oh, and if you're running AM, make sure you're not running more than 0.15 mV carrier.

    I have yet to find a rig I don't like. Although the Motorola Mocom-10 I had was garbage. I tore it apart, and added it to the parts bin. Wasn't even worth my time to try and convert to ham band.
    #5
  6. W1MSG

    W1MSG Now W1MSG

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    18
    Well I guess the best I have owned is my IC-7000, I use it as a base and it does an awesome job with lots of filters. My FT-847 is my SAT Rig and it also does a Great job but is a bit weak on HF. Most of the other stuff I have owned has been 2m or 2m / 70cm and I cant say that I had any that I would consider bad.
    My Have a FT-350 in the truck for APRS and I dont like the mount, probably the worst mount ever but its a good radio and my FT-857D with the ATAS120 does just fine for mobile HF.
    Havent really messed with any CB stuff but might get one and this topic might help me decide which one..

    Craig
    #6
  7. jazzsinger

    jazzsinger Bullshit Buster

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Likes Received:
    255
    My favourite cb is the president jackson,with the cobra 148 gtl dx/superstar ss360 fm second,

    worst was a tristar 777 (heap of sh!t)

    my favourite ham radio is easily the kenwood ts50s.a whole lot of radio in a small package.sure there is better kenwoods,but none equal it for ease of use in both base and mobile.icom 706 comes a good second best.

    worst was the yaesu ft100 (not the d version) what a heap of sh!te.
    #7
  8. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Ugly

    The absolute worst radio I owned was a Heathkit SW-717 shortwave received I built in 1982. I would have been much better off buying the Radio Shack model I was also eying at the time. I did get plenty of soldering experience but the thing was impossible to use to demodulate CW or SSB even though it had an alleged "BFO" which just reduced the sensitivity and caused a squeal.

    Right next to it was the Heath HW-5400 synthesized 80-10m rig. It had no general coverage receive and had no receive above 20m either. Within a year the knobs started cracking and later on the power supply developed problems so I cut my losses and bought a TS-830S to replace it.

    The bad

    The third worst rig was the HR-2600. My biggest issue was the way a single 15 kHz filter was used for all modes. On CW and SSB a severe loss of sensitivity occurred once the signal was tuned. And then there was no filtering on the other side of the signal for 10 kHz or so. It was too much of a compromise.

    The good

    The first good radio I owned was the aforementioned TS-830S. Yes, it was ham band only with tube finals and it performed quite well as a result. The downside was the tube finals and the lack of ability to operate directly from 12V. Adding the VFO-230 gave it PLL stability which helped a lot.

    Currently in my stable is my FT-890AT. This was offered during a period (the early '90s) when Yaesu leapfrogged to the top of the heap, IMO, with the FT-1000, FT-990, and FT-890 (they've since regressed in several respects). The receiver in the '890 is very good and mine is likely helped by the prior owner installing the 2.4 kHz SSB and 400 Hz CW filters. Mine has been solid and has performed well for me mobile in years past and at Field Day and other field operations. I fell in love with the '890 at Field Day 1992 and finally got my own seven years later.

    The best radio is one I've only had on the air for about six weeks, the Elecraft K3. After slogging through SSB Sweepstakes this weekend, I can honestly say that the K3 lives up to its hype. The radio was simply flawless throughout the competition (the same cannot be said for its operator LOL). The receiver stood up as advertised and I had no out of band artifacts or AGC pumping noticed unlike the FT-920 it replaced. The transmitter ran cool and even spending a few hours "running" on 80m I never heard the fans run at high speed as the PA temp never exceeded 37C. Audio reports were good and using the Lo and Hi cut adjustments allowed me to get 100% copy that would have otherwise been covered by side splatter especially in a contest where 1.5 kHz is often wide spacing amongst stations. I had stopped using VOX years ago and this weekend tried it again with the K3 and my Heil headset. The VOX was smooth and essentially flawless. In short, I'm sold, and the K3 can expect a spot on my desk for a long time.
    #8
  9. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    8,279
    Likes Received:
    510
    Best - K3, no contest.
    Worst - well, let's call it wierdest, LOL: Icom 2720H. That radio had some neat features (crossband repeat was really fast!), but the RX produced a lot of intermod and the user interface was almost unusable.
    #9
  10. KJ6KQE

    KJ6KQE Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    For CB, I think the worst Radio I had was a Teaberry SSB unit (Can't remember the model number), I did not have it for long, somebody released me of it! :eek: Thank God for favors!
    The only think I did not like about my Johnson Whiteface was it was only 5 Channels, so life was better when I got my messenger 223.
    I must say, for that era, the best was my Cobra 132 hand-me-down. peaked, tweaked, and very loud!
    But my all time favorite, is my current, Galaxy DX99V. Lots of bang for the buck on that one.

    For HAM, well, I only have two. an FT-60R, and an FT-857D, which I just got last night, so it has not even been powered up!
    Nary a worry, it will be OTA tonight!
    #10
  11. SIX-SHOOTER

    SIX-SHOOTER Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    4
    I hope you have BETTER "LUCK" from your 857D than I did with mine. ALWAYS had about 6 S-units of NOISE on 6 meters in my pickup pr in my shack & the DSP was USELESS.I HATED it so much I swore I would NOT own another one for FREE if I was required to USE IT!:whistle:

    SIX-SHOOTER
    #11
  12. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,057
    Likes Received:
    2,691
    To each his own I guess. Every installation is different. I have had no problems on the base with my FT-857D on any band (except trash from a switching power supply but that is not the fault of the radio) and only minimal ignition and computer noise in the mobile,both of which were taken care of by the noise blanker. The DSP is not really that great I admit but no different that any other rig using audio DSP. RF, or IF, DSP is definately the way to go.

    Probably the best receiver I have owned was the Icom IC-735. The triple conversion receiver was fantastic for filtering out signals on a crowded band and the transmitter sounded pretty good too. I still love my TS-820S however even if it is 30 years old. The receiver in it is still great and the TX audio is wonderful.
    #12
  13. Ablinkin

    Ablinkin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Guys, first post.

    Worst rig...easily the Swan 350. It drifted so bad the only way to calm it down was to plug the VFO adjustment access holes with aluminum foil to keep the temp steady in the oscillator compartment. Eico 753 almost as bad. Most products from Cubic corporation were of the cheap variety.

    Best? I suppose the Flex radios I've owned. But best knobbly radios is an FT-897 and my TS-2000 (yes high noise floor, but very versatile).
    #13
  14. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, it was known as the Swan "Three Drifty" for a good reason. I recall ops talking about being able to QSO the whole band if the radio was used from a cold power up. Our club has a 350 or 500 (I'm sure exactly which) that we're looking to sell.
    #14


Share This Page