[CQ-Contest] contest radio

Andrew Faber andrew.faber at gte.net
Fri Feb 6 15:31:33 EST 2004

  I'm sure everyone has an opinion on this topic.  I think used 756 PROs and
PRO IIs are good buys now.  They don't seem to have the transmit problem the
746 PRO does, and have much better displays.  Either would be within your
budget range, and the PRO might even be less. I own both a PRO and  a PRO
II, both of which I bought used, and like them a lot for contesting. As you
have found with your 746, it's nice not to have to buy filters.
 73, andy, ae6y

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Hanlon, Steve" <SHanlon at dnr.state.md.us>
To: <CQ-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 8:26 AM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] contest radio

the Icom IC-746PRO is a great radio for a new ham, which is why i purchased
it.  it's all mode HF, 6m, and 2m  is very appealling to someone who is just
starting the hobby.  with that said, the shortcomings for contesting are
becoming apparent, and from observations and a single contest experience, i
feel this radio is not going to fit my future needs.

coupled with these shortcomings is a possible design flaw that Icom has not
addressed to my satisfaction.  i inquired about the xmit failure that seems
to plague the radio line and received a rather odd response.  they could not
tell me if my radio had the "factory upgrade" installed since they did not
record an official starting serial number for those that had been upgraded.
they suggest i take it to my local repair center and have them take a look.
i find this very unsettling.

so then the question becomes, what radio does a budding contester select.
the defacto standard, from many pictures and statements, is the Yaesu
FT-1000MP line.  this series is not without it's own design problems and the
DSP technology is getting very long in the tooth.  if i commit to the Yaesu
line, it puts me in a better position to guest op since i'll be familiar
with the unit before.  i loose 2 bands and the band sweep function.  the
gains are many and address all of the shortcomings of the 746PRO.  and it
doesn't suffer from a possible xmit flaw!

Icom has the 756PROII.  this radio is subject to the same problems in
dealing with Icom's customer service.  the features are plenty, but how many
contesters and DX'ers are using this radio?  the DSP and design are newer,
so there is no fear that a new model is right around the corner.

my goals for HF operation are chasing DX if there is no contest and working
contests with my stick in the mud.  i am not a very skillful operator as i
am just starting down this path, but i am taking my queues from many sources
including this list.  my main  mode is SSB and eventually hope to increase
my CW skills to a realistic speed.  5wpm is fine and dandy, but i'll never
work a pile up at that speed.

my radio budget is roughly $1500-1800.  this puts me in a used 756PROII or
FT-1000MP.  if i squeeze a little more, i could bring home the MK V Feild
new.  before you tell me to invest in antennas, i am limited to an agreement
with my wife.  i need be active in the hobby and contesting for at least a
year before she'll agree to a tower.  it's far easier to ship a radio to a
buyer than a tower ;)  maybe i'm jumping the gun and should hang onto the
746PRO, but a voice in the back of my head says the longer i keep the
746PRo, the harder it will become to sell.

and so it goes...

-steve hanlon
    The world's top contesters battle it out in Finland!
THE OFFICIAL FILM of WRTC 2002 now on professional DVD and VHS!

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