[VHFcontesting] Downsizing my Rover station

Tom Carney tomc7 at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 24 15:11:23 EST 2005

Dan K9ZF wrote:
> Hello All,
> I've been giving a lot of thought to down sizing my VHF Contesting / 
> Rover station.  I currently use an Icom 746 with transverters for 222 
> and 432, which has performed very well.  But, I'm seriously considering 
> going to one of the "DC to daylight" mobile rigs to simplify my setup.
> Now the question, which one?
> I was planning to buy [probably used] an Icom 706Mk2G, or possibly an 
> FT100D.  Going over some of the product reviews has left me wondering.   
> The reviews are pretty much an even split half say each rig is 
> wonderful, half say that each is crap...  Maybe there is a better choice 
> out there?
> I have always been an Icom fan, but some of the reviews were pretty 
> critical of the 706's receiver.  I have nothing against Yaesu, but there 
> were enough reports of failures to make me wonder.
> Maybe I should stick to my transverters...
> I hope all of the Christians on the list have a wonderful Christmas, and 
> all of the others have a great holiday.  There, hope that didn't offend 
> anyone;-)

I went through the same analysis several years ago before settling on an 
FT-100D.  Here's what I remember about the comparison.  First, I'm sure 
you realize that neither rig has a transmitter for 222.  The FT-100D 
does receive 222 but it pretty dead on there. I've not found it of much 
value.  The FT-100D receiver cross mod number were definitely better 
than the IC-706 but that's mainly a HF concern, at least out here.  I 
planned on using it for HF also so it counted for me.  Early FT-100Ds 
have a RF feedback problem on HF.  It mainly shows up with mobile 
antennas such as a mag mounted vertical.  I've had a number of problems 
on 6M.  The separation kit for the IC-706 was often bundled in the price 
of the radio.  If you need one, I suspect, it will be easier to find an 
ICOM with one.  I found the ICOM display easier to read than the 
FT-100D.  The 432 receiver for the FT-100D is low of overall gain on 
SSB.  You will have to crank the audio all the way up and even then it's 
weak.  As best I can tell, however, this is an overall gain problem not 
a noise figure one.  Accessories for the ICOM seems more readily 
available.  Likewise if you use computer logging, the ICOM is more 
likely to be supported.

Both are nice compact radios and great for a low key rover rig. If I had 
to do it again, I suspect I'd go with the FT-100D but look for one with 
a high serial number to avoid the RF feedback issue.

73,  Tom K6EU/r

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