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hf rig or 2 meter?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by rumblefish, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. rumblefish

    rumblefish KD2NDZ

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    I just got my ham ticket. I passed the tech and the general the same night.
    Problem is I have absolutely no amateur gear. I probably did this ass backwards.
    I'm not sure whether I should get a 2 meter rig and get an hf rig later, or should
    I get an hf rig now?
    Would 500 dollars get me a decent used hf rig? If so what radios should I look at
    and which ones to avoid.
    . Thanks steve.


     

  2. weatherman

    weatherman Member

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    Go for the multi band used HF rig like the 706 MKIIG from Icom.
     
  3. 222DBFL

    222DBFL Sr. Member

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    I've seen quite a few 706mk2 and mk2g's for sale as of late. Price is right at $500 mark on the low end. And that is for an MK2. Not an MK2G. Still a nice radio though. That or something like an Icom 746, 756, and so on would fit your needs as well as many other radios. Just have to find one for the price you are looking to spend.
    I would research the radios listed as well as ones that have the same features made by Kenwood and Yaseu. It's about a matter of opinion in some cases. Some cases is how well the radio performs after being as old as some of these radios are getting. Yes it's possibly to find a used radio for $500 currently as many are getting out of the hobby.
    Check your local Craigslist out!! I've seen a bunch of stuff on there locally here for sale.
    Good luck with whatever you do. And remeber to get a good antenna for both HF and 2m as well. And make sure whatever you get a radio you like!!
    73 and God Bless
     
    rumblefish likes this.
  4. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    I rarely use my 2 meter/440 rig. The local operators are a bunch of snobs with tech licenses. Not all of them but there are enough bad eggs to ruin it. I occasionally talk to some friends on 2 meter simplex.

    Most people on HF have been around long enough to let the new wear off of the ham ticket and are friendly people. There's no repeater so you'll have to put some work into a good antenna but I find it more rewarding than vhf/uhf.
     
    rumblefish, binrat and 222DBFL like this.
  5. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    $500, that's almost good enough to find an IC-7000 as well.
     
    222DBFL likes this.
  6. StrangeBrew

    StrangeBrew Sr. Member

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    There's nothing at all wrong with doing the cheap/free part first before dumping money into stuff you can't use yet.;)

    As was already said there's always ham stuff on Craigslist, just see what's available in your area and then check for reviews.
     
    222DBFL likes this.
  7. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker Sr. Member

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    Noooooooooooo....... while that was a good rig "in the day", it is long out of production and there are no replacement parts for the common failure items.

    consider getting a $25 - $50 "throw away" Chinese ht and saving for a little better HF rig.

    YMMV
     
    #7 Road Squawker, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    rumblefish likes this.
  8. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Congrats on passing both the Tech and General!

    HF operation is the good stuff where you can catch some of the good DX and meet other people stateside. Remember in the Amateur world, DX is radio contacts off the US mainland. Right now there are DX-expeditions running in Africa in 2 countries that you could get lucky and make contact to put in your radio log.

    VHF/UHF is mostly repeaters and not very interesting. It's good these are around especially while traveling but most of the day these have no activity on them except in the big cities. I think you will be disappointed if all you have is a 2 meter/440 radio.

    It's usually best to spend the money once and get a nice radio than to keep upgrading, but hardly any of us do that anyway.

    The Yaesu FT450D is a real nice entry level radio and if you want to take it up a level, the new Icom 7300 is one I would look at. You can always add a separate 2M/440 radio later on if you desire. If you want an all in one radio you could go with the Kenwood TS2000 or the newer Yaesu FT991A.

    The antenna is really the most important thing to consider and it could be limited to many variables like costs, available space, trees, and what your neighborhood will allow or the wife.

    The good news is you can get by with a $50 G5RV wire antenna for now that is a good enough multi-band antenna to get you on the air until you decide what you want. All you need is one tree or other support mast and stretch out the 2 dipole wire ends in an inverted Vee configuration or straight out if you have another tree close enough and your on the air working the HF bands from 10 thru 80 meters! However I don't recall if most HF radio's built in tuners have enough range to tune every band for the G5RV. When I used one I was using an external antenna tuner. Someone else here might comment on this.

    Good luck on your decisions and enjoy the bands!

    73
     
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  9. jon666

    jon666 Sr. Member

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    the 450 d is a good starter radio hf and 6 meter radio.
    it can be had in your price range. i have seen a few on ebay under 500.
    or you can go the 2 meter to see if ham radio is good for you.
     
  10. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    The best thing about the G5RV is that if you decide you like ameatur radio you can throw the coax part of it in the garbage, connect it to a balanced tuner and have a good multiband antenna.

    There's more hype surrounding that antenna than any magic CB antenna. It is great on 20 meters though.
     
    rumblefish likes this.
  11. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Mine worked just as good on 40m being 133 ft long with 32ft.of 450 ohm ladder line figured in. Are you referring to the G5RV Jr.?

    It's a simple and good antenna to start with and you can only improve from there.
     
    rumblefish likes this.
  12. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    Worked just as good as what? Im referring to any doublet fed with coax that someone tries to use as a miltiband antenna. You can match anything with a good tuner but the coax loss kills the performance.

    There isn't a really affordable balanced tuner on the market and not many people are willing to build one. The g5rv fans I run across have not had the opportunity to run something better and they settle because everyone else uses one.
     
    Road Squawker likes this.
  13. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Worked just as good on 40m like it did on 20m on the same antenna, the G5RV. These were the only 2 bands that didn't need a tuner.

    I'm not bragging on these antennas, I just think there good for a 1st antenna being they are multiband, inexpensive, and easy to put up.

    Like you said earlier if you are satisfied with the hobby, then you can modify it or better yet, build or buy something more elaborate.

    That's why I suggested the G5RV. A lot of people used these at one time and some still do.

    Remote tuners at the antenna feed point takes care of the majority of the coax losses.
     
  14. 543_Dallas

    543_Dallas Sr. Member

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    That's how I do it. Homebrew balanced tuner, doublet and ladder line. Nothing from the radio catalog compares to it. I've done the g5rv and zs6bkw. They work.
     
    fourstringburn likes this.
  15. rumblefish

    rumblefish KD2NDZ

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    Thanks for the replies folks. I wouldn't mind getting a small 2 meter w.t. Might be useful during emergencies. As for the general coverage rig I'm going to try to be as patient as possible. This isn't going to be easy for me. ........:whistle:
     

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