Author Topic: Which HF radio  (Read 9614 times)

  • Guest
Which HF radio
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:30:28 AM »
As a new general I am looking at HF rigs.

The Kenwood TS 2000
Yaesu 450D
Yaesu 897D
or Yaesu FT dx 1200

At Universal Radio they range generally from 1000 to 1600

I know we have a review on the 450D that is favorable.

I will hopefully only purchase one radio (like buying only one rifle?) so which should I consider.

Offline Jerry D Young

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 95
  • Karma: 8
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 02:10:11 PM »
Yaesu FT-897D 

Might equal it, but I don't think you can better it.

It is on my list to get when I can get my license. Maybe before, just for the monitoring capability.

Just my opinion.

Offline Jack Crabb

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
  • Karma: 39
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 03:24:35 PM »
Beyond just the radio, look at what supporting equipment is available. I went with the Yaesu FT-897D because cables, tuners, batteries, etc. are widely available from a variety of vendors.

It is sort of like Glock vs. another pistol. The other pistol may be as good, but finding holsters, magazines, sights, etc. can be difficult because it is not as popular and as widely supported as the Glock is.

Offline FreeMan

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • Karma: 1
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 03:42:30 PM »
I bought my first radio a few months ago.  I would advise you to go look at them in person before you decide.  I was looking at the TS2000 and FT897D among a couple others but found when I saw them in person the Yaesu was way too small for me and the TS2000 was smaller than I expected as well.  I have no interest in digging through menus or trying to hit small buttons, so out of your list FT450 or FT DX1200 would be my choice.  (The FT897D has tiny buttons IMHO.)  If you were using software to control it or really wanted to take it mobile, maybe one of the smaller ones would make sense.  I ended up going with a Kenwood TS590 and am happy with that.  They are all good radios so I think the form factor is important in deciding.  I really wanted to get a TS2000 and have it all in one box, but I don't regret getting a HF specific radio because around here VHF/UHF is dead and you can buy a little Baofeng radio to do some of that for $40-50.

If you haven't found it yet you can find endless reviews on all things ham radio at

Offline Alan Georges

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4593
  • Karma: 210
  • Still trying to reason with hurricane season.
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 07:25:34 PM »
I know we have a review on the 450D that is favorable.
Yes indeed!
After three months I still really like this radio, and learn a little more about it every week.  But again, your focus may be completely different than mine, and there are no wrong choices here.  Whatever you buy, please post a review.

One more thing before you buy, and I really hated posting this but I'm still going to point it out, I had not-so-great experience with one retailer:

Anyway, keep us posted on what you decide and how you like it.

Offline chezrad

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 198
  • Karma: 10
    • Brush n Soap n Blade
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 04:20:40 AM »
I've got a TS-480 which has been a joy. I would lean toward a kenwood anything based on my experiences. Reception is great and audio quality is beautiful.

Just my 2 cents worth.

  • Guest
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 12:08:32 PM »
Thanks to all who responded +1 to all.

I'll take the trip to Oakland CA and Ham Radio Outlet and take a look at all and do a review on the purchase.  May be a while though as I work through the choice.


Offline Pukwudji

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
  • Karma: 11
Re: Which HF radio
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 10:09:44 AM »
Don't discount the IC-7000 or IC-7100.  larger display and the 7100 has a touch screen making navigating the menus easier.  A little more $, but might be worth it.  I'm thinking of either the FT-857d or one of these two ICs.  The 857 is much cheaper, but end cost by the time you buy filters and such are pretty close to the ICOM radios. On the other hand, I think a lot of those 'extra' filters aren't really required for at least partial use of the radio, so its a cheaper entry point and you could continue to invest in the radio (if you can't come up with the $ for the ICOM radios all at once).

Another thought is it is very easy to build a bluetooth CAT interface for the FT-817/857/897 radios that you would let you use a tablet or laptop with bluetooth and possibly even a touch screen to control the radio.  This would make the small screen and deep menu issues moot...

Just some random thoughts for you,
Brian in Oregon