[VHFcontesting] Info/experience with TS790A and IC820H

Kenneth E. Harker kharker at cs.utexas.edu
Wed Aug 13 12:32:55 EDT 2003

On Wed, Aug 13, 2003 at 11:18:45AM -0500, Todd and Sandy Sprinkmann wrote:
>   Thanks to those who replied with info about the IC471A.  I'm going to let that rig pass me by.
>   I am curious about any opinions or experience any of you have with the Kenwood TS-790A and the Icom IC-820H.  Shoot, you can fire away with any opinions on the Yaesu FT736 and 726, as well.  I keep seeing those rigs pop up too.  Comparisons are encouraged -- I can't get enough info.

In my limited experience, the Yaesu FT736R is really deaf.  The Yaesu FT726R,
despite being an older radio, has a much better receiver.  It is, however,
older, more likely to need attention, it lacks computer control, and you'll
be hard pressed to find anything but the 144 and 432 band modules (they are 
not compatible with the 736R band modules.)  The stock FT726R 70cm band module 
does not cover 440-450 MHz - that was another (now exceedingly rare) optional 
band module - makes working 440 FM contest QSOs interesting.  The stock FT726R
also did not have the satellite full-duplex capability - that was another 
option.  The FT726R cannot do 222 MHz.  Some Yaesu FT736R rigs have been 
improved with a Mutek front end mod, which basically replaces several boards 
in the radio, but these are relatively expensive and rare.

My favorite VHF/UHF setups have been Kenwood TS-850SATs with Downeast Microwave
transverters.  You might also consider an Elecraft K2 plus Elecraft XV 
transverters.  You'd have to build it, but you could get on your first VHF/UHF
band for ~$1000 and add bands ($350 each) as you need them, and have one of
the best ham receivers ever made.  You wouldn't be ready for this September,

Kenneth E. Harker      "Vox Clamantis in Deserto"      kharker at cs.utexas.edu
University of Texas at Austin                   Amateur Radio Callsign: WM5R
Department of the Computer Sciences          Central Texas DX & Contest Club
Taylor Hall TAY 2.124                         Maintainer of Linux on Laptops
Austin, TX 78712-1188 USA            http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/kharker/

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