Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

Getting new HF rig--are used HF rigs a good value?

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MarkKn:
Getting a new (to me)  hf rig. Used to do ham stuff maybe 30 years ago, and re-starting the hobby. I have most of my modest steup figured out. There is the question of the transceiver itself. I like the idea of an icom 7300--but it looks like most internet outlets are out of stock. As I look at used rigs, some of them pretty old, it seems like the used rigs are overpriced compared to the value equation of the 7300. Right now I am only interested in CW at 40 meters, so I don't necessarily need something complicated, but maybe I would regret getting a minimal rig if I decide to expand what I am doing. I don't have my finger in the pulse of old hf rigs and what they are worth, like I am with computer gear.

After at least 30 years of looking at want ads and craigslist when I want another computer, I think the sellers have an exaggerated idea of what their older stuff is worth and I almost always build a new computer. I am wondering if its like this with ham gear--the sellers have an inflated idea of what the used gear is compared to what is available new. I don't at all mean to be provocative here, just kind of feeling my way around hf stuff and wondering what the landscape looks like. BTW, I am thinking a 100 watt rig is the power for me. I had a yaesu 757gx back in the day--and I saw one of those used on ebay for $800--that struck me as a bit much. I am more comfortable fixing tube hear, so if I get an older solid state rig, is it common to replace all the electrolytics? I saw a cap kit on ebay for an older hf rig. Thoughts?

bob91343:
I haven't bought a new radio in many decades.  I find that estate sales and such allow me to get some nice stuff at reasonable prices.

My favorite radios are Kenwood.  I now own two TS-940S and a TS-440S and a TS-520S.  The 940s are, to me, the ultimate radio.  These are in the process of upgrading; when that's done the 440 and 520 will be sold.  The 440 is very good and has never hiccupped once in the years I have owned it.  The 520 is dated, and probably would only appeal to a nostalgia freak; mine is nearly pristine, gotten from its original owner who never used it.  All the radios have CW filters.

Any of these radios would satisfy a ham who wants 40 CW.  If you are into bells and whistles, well then you are on your own.  I am not; I prefer a core of a solid radio that will keep going.  Modern radios are far too involved for me, with all the menus and buried features.  If I need to make some adjustment, I want to be able to reach for a knob and adjust it.

tkamiya:
I agree with Bob....

I think new designs depend too much for menus and combination of keystrokes.  I like older radios and have many.  But, one think that is negative for today's operation is stability.  Newer digital modes require TCXO at minimum to maintain stability.  It doesn't matter much for CW, but if you want to expand in future, it'll be an issue.  There is no way FT101 and TS520/820 era radios will be stable enough for FT8, for example.

Having said that, I love my Yaesu FR101/FL101!

ahbushnell:

--- Quote from: bob91343 on April 03, 2022, 04:01:24 am ---I haven't bought a new radio in many decades.  I find that estate sales and such allow me to get some nice stuff at reasonable prices.

--- End quote ---

How do you find estate sales with Ham equipment?  Thx

bob91343:
Good question!  In my case they sort of come to me.  I check Craigslist (that's where I got my TS-520S) often and it's a good idea to get involved with a radio club.  Often they have swap meets, SK sales, and individual items.  Ask for help even if you can get by without it.  Borrow a radio and see how you like it.  Go to a club meeting and let it be known that you want to buy a radio.

Once you get on the air, you make friends who can inform you of extra equipment.  There are swap meets on the air as well and you don't have to transmit to take advantage of them.  Here in California there is a swap net on the air on the weekends on 40 meters.  For the most part, items are a bit overpriced but usually negotiable.  My favorite negotiation phrase is 'do you want to get rid of this or not?'.

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