[CQ-Contest] IC-706 vs. FT-857

K6VVA dx35 at hilding.com
Sun Jan 23 19:03:50 EST 2005

Kelly, VE4XT:

 > I'm considering these two radios for portable contesting and backup at 
home (or primary if they outperform the 850).
 > But the 706 presents a problem with the mics. My Heil won't work with 
the 706 (according to Mr. Heil, anyway), and the Heil
 > "ic" elements which work with the 706 aren't directly compatible with 
the 850. (Too bad the 706 doesn't have the same mic
 > input stages as the PROs.)
 > If so, how does the 857 stack up to the glowing reports I've heard of 
the 706?
 > Thoughts?

More than "thoughts", Kelly. IMHO, ditch your ICOM plans and get a 
TS-480S...the remote display/control unit is worth the price of admission 
alone!  I've been thrilled with mine & my Heil HC-4 headset plugs directly 
into the rig with a simple adaptor cable ... bought everything at HRO...and 
it works VFB, OM.

My plans are to get a 2nd one and put the control heads side by side (think 
about the minimal eye & hand movement involved)...or even stacked one above 
the other when I get the SO2R configuration nightmares resolved.

Only drawbacks thus far:  The CW sidetone is kinda suck-o, and the internal 
keyer is a bit squirrely (complaints already made about both to Kenwood, of 
course :-), but using a computer logger, the latter is a non-issue.

I would have preferred to have the RIT knob on the lower bottom 
right...more operator-friendly so you don't have to raise your hand/arm off 
the desk.  However, with TR I can tune the RIT with with my X-Keys Macros 
at my fingertips (or with my X-Keys footpedals).

Get a TS-480S !!!

Hope this helps.


Rick, K6VVA

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