New Radio but which one?

It has been over 30 years since I invested in a big Amateur base station radio, that being the good old FT-736R which has certainly stood the test of time, and is still in good use today, doesn't that say something how well these radios were made. However HF, I have always managed with secondhand offerings, apart from a new Yaesu FT-817 I bought several years ago, and few QRP kit built projects, nothing has really taken my interest, until now!

                                                                     Good old trusty                                          

                                                               Unparalleled FT-817                                            

A major new rig purchase every 10 years I guess is not going to break the bank.

Yaesu have started off the New Year with slashing the price of FTDX1200 making it  quite affordable, and within budget, plus a little free option thrown in on top, thus making this radio quite an attractive buy. But there is also the new Yaesu FT-991 to consider, which is also priced around the same, but also offering 2m/70cm on top. Then along has come this new wild card, to throw my decison off course. The ICOM IC-7300 SDR is the new kid on the block, but there is not much to be seen in the flesh with this radio at the moment, apart from a few video's and snap shots.

Is it best play safe and stick with the name that has always served me well over the years?

Decision time, is not always easy, when there are a lot of good products on the market to tempt the money away from the purse, one can only afford to buy one, but which one?

Steve, G1KQH, is a regular contributor to and writes from England. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “New Radio but which one?”

  • Terry NE4AM:

    I really depends on WHAT you do in the hobby . Are you into cw? Digital? I am into cw and chose the icom 7200 and am very happy with it I also have the 817 with all the filters and the 857 with all the filters. and the you kits 4 band .
    focus on what your main interests are and narrow it down.
    73 de ne4am

  • jeff n1kdo:

    IMHO, the Kenwood TS-590SG is the best bang-for-the-buck on the market.

    I don’t own one. I’ve used the TS-590S a couple times during Field Day. They have the best-in-class (and by class I mean <$2000) receiver (according to NC0B) and a low-noise transmitter. The TS-590SG is supposed to be even better.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Since you are across the pond, I am aware of the VAT tax, thus making radios from Elecraft too expensive. I have the FT-991. Second owner. The first owner got his radio out of the first batch.. Although he never had a major failure, he did have enough issues to send the radio in and then trade me for it. I had a IC-7100 and live in a area that is all Yaesu Fusion and not D-Star so I traded. So far the radio has worked great. A lot of radio in a small box. But be aware that it has a joke of a ATU..Only 3:1 so plan on buying a MFJ-939Y or similar. The IC-7100 is really another nice radio. Great features, small foot print. USB CAT and audio just like the FT-991. A very good value and I feel a outstanding all around radio. The IC-7200 I had a few years ago. Build like a tank. USB CAT and audio also. Great DSP features like the IC-7100, which I feel is a bit better. I am sure I can come up with one or two more, but those are my 3 choices…

  • Stephen G0PQB:

    Not good asking me, I am a dedicated Yaesu user and I still have my FT990 which is twenty years old and a FT897D which you can’t buy new anymore but is three years old. And an FT817ND and an FT7900 and a VX170 and an FT60. I have other makes of radio but they are either old handhelds or an ex-PMR rig for the UK four metre band so no good asking me as I said!!!!

  • Phil, K7SHL:

    Take a look at the Flexradio 6300. It is SDR and is a very serious competitor with and beats out many of the old box transceivers. I won’t go into detail, but you will be pleasantly surprised in what it is able to do.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Phil, Problem with the K3 and Flex 6300 is the same. Value Added Tax (VAT) on imports…. So Steve needs something good that as a low VAT… Not sure how big there used radio market is there… If it were not for that, mostly trading, I would have a pretty simple setup instead of more then I ever dared to dream of for retirement… Just 2 cents.. Flex and ELecraft are the top two in Sherwood Engineerings list..But I will say that the FT-991 does a great job when compared to my K3 in about 90% of the cases and a whole lot less. Something cash strapped people have to keep in mind…

  • David WB4ONA:

    IC7300 hands-down, provided they don’t price it through the roof then nickle-and-dime you to death with “options”.

  • Steve G1KQH:

    Thanks Lads, for the input! I have now made my decision and I will write some more on my Blog during the next few days. Certainly Elecraft is a no brainer here in the UK, with VAT & crank up of price! Unless you have a deep pocket or a spoilt boy, non which apply to me:-( I am sure they are a good radio though.

    Pounds for the Buck, one has to go with the dealer that throws a bit of discount in, and something is thrown in with the rig too!

    All will be revealed soon!


  • william greer:

    i have had a icom 7300 now for 9 months its now sold and i have bought another kenwood 590 SG ILL SAY NO MORE time will tell about sdr not for me

  • Steve:

    It’s very interesting 12 months on this is still read.

    What didn’t you like about the 7300 Bill?

    In the end I went for the FTDX1200.

    73 Steve

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