Looking for a solid rig for current and emergency use

Haven’t been involved in ham radio since 1974. Things have changed alot. Just getting back in and looking to set up a desktop rig with solid HF transmission capabilities so I can send/receive from anywhere in the world. My plan is that in emergency settings - like a major earthquake, it will run off my solar power grid or a solar-powered battery system generating ~ 500 Watts.

Would like to know what people recommend as a setup for a real “base-station” with very strong, high-quality transmit/receive - especially the transceievr and antenna and why. I have been looking at the ICOM IC-7300 transceiver and its associated family of equipment.

FYI, happy to have responses be very detailed. Am looking at all the features and many are new to me- so I don’t understand their impact on the quality of the system.

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Hey there @Hamlet ! I am going to let one of the elmers like @JimARC or @ChuckARC jump in to help here. I have heard ICOM 7300 referred to as the gold standard transceiver for base stations, so I don’t think you can go wrong there.

Hello, @Hamlet and welcome, Arthur, to American Radio Club. From all the comments I have seen in various forums, the IC-7300 won’t do you wrong if that’s in your price class and offers the power you desire. For more portable operation, the IC-705 is QRP with 5 watts, but does the trick nicely in an emergency. I honestly can’t say I have seen many bad reviews of the IC-7300 and if I were shopping for a new HF rig, it probably would be at the top of my list. It has quickly become a popular HF rig for many amateurs. Welcome back to the hobby, too, and always stop by our community here if you have other questions, too! 73

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When I started out, my combination rig was a Yaesu FT-897 and it was terrific because you could pop on a power supply or a battery and lug it most anywhere. My buddies who do Parks on the Air swear by their Yaseu FT-991A which is the successor.

So the question always comes down to “what do you want to do?” I think the ICOM or the Yaesu would be a good choice for your mobile ops. If you said something like “satellite mobile” I might point you toward an older Kenwood or one of the smaller Yaesu’s like the 818, but you seem pretty dialed in to your needs.

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thank you - that is really helpful. I will check all those rigs out. Not dialed in at all - just did some initial research and the ICO-7300 got very high marks and was the only full-on base station I could find. I will look into the ones you recommended.

Thanks so much.

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I would love to hear how the setup goes. I’m keen to get my base station setup and I’m eyeing the 7300 aswell, potentially attic antenna.

for my first 3 ‘proper’ radio’s I picked up the tri-fecta, the 705, 7300 and 9700.

Such a nice set of radio’s, with the 705 I hit Brazil on 40m FT8 using a buddy pole. Connected to a computer these things are awesome, I run the 705 from a jackery with a solar panel, using the 240 explorer I can be on the air for many many hours without needing a charge.

IC-705 + an MS Surface running ubuntu is something magical.

I love the unified operating system as well, learn one - learn them all.

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I know others who have gone the trifecta route. Definite plus in running those radios. I have the IC-R8600, so I guess I need an IC-7300 to pair with it now. :star_struck:

Nice, I need to wait a few months before another DX Engineering box appears at the house :slight_smile:

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Hi hi! Maybe DXE can ship in unmarked boxes like Amazon. :upside_down_face:

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Thanks Chuck. I am looking for a base station for standard vs. mobile operations. So the IC-7300 it is.

Ok, so now that I have that - what are recommendations for:

  1. Omnidirectional, multi-band antenna setup. I live in a narrow valley but on top of a hill about 250’ above the floor with absolutely nothing blocking me in 3 directions - basically no other hill blocks me except the higher part of the hill I am on (the NE side). The other side of the Valley is probably 1/2 mile away on the NW side.

I can set up an antenna that is ground based or roof based, but I prefer ground based to avoid getting in the way of solar panels on my roof.

Here’s one that is recommended: Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band 80m MP1 Antenna

I have zero idea of the latest in antenna tech. So any guidance appreciated

  1. Microphone/Voice and CW input.

  2. What are folks doing for speakers? Obviously from the technician’s exam (I just passed! I’m KN6TTD) I know that we can hook up a computer interface for that - and I certainly have enough computers hanging around to do something like that. But is that the best option?

  3. What other equipment do people recommend? I already have the solar backup power supply to use in the event the power goes out. That’s taken care of. Anything else I should consider?

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If you have the real estate, have you considered a wire antenna, @Hamlet? I never heard of the Super Antenna, but checked it out. The biggest concern there is that it claims to cover all HF bands, plus VHF and UHF, too. That’s a lot of bandwidth for one antenna to not have sacrifices on some bands. I’m guessing it covers only a portion of the full HF bands, too. But then again, with a good antenna tuner, you might get a little extra out of it. You might do better with separate HF and VHF/UHF antennas.

For speakers, consider buying the speaker that Icom sells that goes with the 7300. You won’t go wrong. The 7300 being an SDR device can do a lot of audio processing for you.

For a mic, you’ll never go wrong with Heil. I’ve been pleased with them on my station.

thanks Chuck! Very helpful. I can now go out and get setup and do my first transmission since I was 14 (don’t ask how long that’s been!).

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That’s exciting that you are getting on the air! I first tried getting my ham license when I was in high school and then didn’t try again until a co-worker probably eight years later pushed me into my Novice license, upgrading to Technician a month later. That was back in the day you had to take your exams at an FCC office – 40 years ago this year.

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The super antenna seems to be an aliexpress special that’s being sold in various places, my luck has varied with no-name chinese import antenna like this, I agree with Chuck though, there’s something fishy about an antenna that claims to cover such a wide frequency range.

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Got it. Thanks for the follow-up.

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