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Rigs - My Humble opinion....


Ok, this is going to upset a few people but anyway, in my humble opinion, the best/average/worst rigs ive used.
I say again - rigs I HAVE ACTUALLY USED ON AIR!

Ham international multimode 2 -

Sounds like it should be a half decent rig, but isnt. Awful audio, but good adjacent channel rejection (bleedover). People ask a fortune for them on ebay - for no good reason.

Multimode 3 - see above, and while your at it, see tagra, concorde 3 etc ect.

Belcom LS102. -

Looks the dogs danglies, but suffers from frequency drifting when hot. Our mate had one and he used to dissapear 2 khz off frequency during long overs. How we laughed. Also, what were Belcom thinking of, making a mobile rig with a VFO that you couldnt lock? One speed-hump and you are on another frequency.
Nice rx, nice tx (when it was working)

Cobra 148GTL-DX.

Nice rig, nice audio, no bleedover, tweakable and modifiable. Bit bulky and fragile, and dosent like being bolted into your car very much. Suffers with pa transistors blowing if swr bad, watch out, the trannies are getting harder and harder to get hold of, as are mint un-modded versions.

Superstar 360fm.

See above, the same rig in a slightly different box. (later ones obviously). Can be cheap on ebay. Get the one with the cb/27/81 stamp on the front, you get the old legals as well as all the other stuff as standard AND a roger-bleep.

President Jackson.

Great rig, looks the part, well built - tx audio can be suspect, and i could never work out where i was on frequency - if only they made one with a counter. As Cobra and superstar for build quality. Wished i hadnt sold it.

Albrecht AE485.

Compact, versatile, easy to use in the car, crummy TX audio, gets quite hot in use. Newer ones better. Dont get a very good press these rigs - apparently the newer versions are much nicer in use.

Ranger - theres loads!
VR9000 - brilliant rig, nice layout, doesnt like being mobile mounted. Good bleedover rejection and readily expandable. looks like a blackface cobra with the front of a superstar painted black, and the counter in a different place. I want another one, sell me one somebody!!!

2950-2970 -
awesome radios but i HATE the styling. if you like the look of one, buy one, but make sure its the later upgraded version. why didnt they do one with a blue backlit display?

SS-158EDX.
AWESOME - what a 148 should have been in the first place. If you like your rigs to actually look like a cb rig, this is the kiddie. Seriously, not heard one bad report.

President Adams

A bloody great box full of air. Nice rx and can be good on Tx, but suffers with blowing finals if the aerial isnt spot on. Harder to get spares for nowadays, but defo one to buy if you see one at a boot sale, esp the version with the 'scan' button.

MIDLAND 8001

why oh why did i bother. horrible channel selector (felt like it was loose), suffered terribly with adjacent channel bleedover and was a struggle to get a decent report on. good points, frequency counter and looks, bad points - everything else. Blew up the day i got it. AVOID.

SUPERSTAR 2000

Why does everyone think this rig is brilliant? it SO isnt. Great coverage, and fine if you are a hack cb'er or a lorry driver but to the people that care about things like rx and Tx audio and reliability, its a bit wonky. Lots of units blew the audio chip becuase everyone had to turn the thing up so loud to hear anything. LOl.

Ham internation Jumbo base.

Oh god. Like a huge multimode 2 with exactly the same innards. great on fm for winding up the wallies, but really, this was just a huge box with a lot of crap inside. Sounded better with a decent mike (as with all cybernet rigs) but really, not worth the £300 someone recently tried to sell one on ebay for!!! £50 tops, and thats just becuase i like the VU style meters!!

Hygain 5

Great rig, made a change from the usual rubbish, bit confusing if you had the model that had 50 channels per band (lol) but the one to have is the 8795 version - pll02a chip, 4 banks of 50 channels and that fantastic roger-bleep. pee-wi! Brilliant. Not great on bleedover, but built a damn sight better than some. Think rotel 240 here.

MAGNUM S9.

this radio has the possibility of becoming a classic. It looks nice (except for the newer ones with the bloody stupid looking lit up knobs, honestly) but never really got that popular. great unit with lots of power. Very overpriced on ebay.

SOMMERKAMP TS788 DX 'COFFEE-WARMER'

LOL. That was about all they were good for, which was a shame, as they looked the bomb. Great meter, nice front, but frequency counter bolted on the front looked like a 10 year old had done it. Like the Belcom, prone to drifting off frequency and got VERY HOT in operation. Buy one on ebay and just look at it, dont switch it on, it will make you cry. TS780 was a bit more sober, but not quite as funky.

COLT Black Shadow.

See multimode 2, 3, concorde 2, 3, etc etc and so on. Nice looking rig but not the most funky rig you have ever used. Mine was scratchy, warbly and horrible.

STALKER ST9F DX

I have to say, this was the NICEST rig i have ever used on ssb. My friend Tom had one here in the south east, and he had the most beautiful tx audio i have EVER HEARD. Period.
I havent heard a rig come close since, and that was with the standard mike. Modfiable with a struggle (but its not straightforward) and the ones with the UK stamp are the ones to go for.
Come up very cheaply on EBAY when in my opinion they should go for much more.
Not everyone likes the look of them, all that faux wood front and chrome splined knobs BUT they were a nice rig to use, and worked well in a mobile set-up.
If you buy one, youve probably got a chromed up harley and a gibson les paul!!! You'll spend the same amount of time cleaning it!!!
I've got one here. Nuff said.

COBRA 146 GTL.

A nice little rig, brilliant audio and good rejection. easily modifiable - but getting harder to find. No fm, though.

MAXCOM 4E

Lol. LOL. LOl.
What a total piece of crap. Picked up all 40 channels at once, but tx audio was nice. everyone turned the power up in them to a scorching 7watts (lol) and blew them all up. Good job too. Not worth 50p on ebay.

ROTEL RVC 240

A fantastic legal (27/81) rig. Excellent audio, build quality, bleedover rejection AND it looked like a bit of hi-fi gear. Buy one thats been modded for the mids, you'll have a GREAT dual channel rig. Had mine for YEARS and regret selling it. Had 4 the other day, but as theres not many on air around here, a bit pointless. Beautiful. If only the superstar 2000 was built into the same box.

SUPERSTAR 4900

I had high hopes for this rig, as it looked identical to a Kenwood ham radio rig.
How wrong i was. The insides were the same as our god awful freind, the multimode, and the rx and tx quality (if u can call it that) was very poor indeed. It also suffered drifting and half the buttons didnt really do anyhting, they were just there to make the front look more busy.
RUBBISH/BARGE POLE/ SH**y stick etc

PRESIDENT AR7

am version of a maxcom, but in the old days, it didnt matter. nice audio and small enough to be hidden in dad's old mk3 cortina rear seat armrest aperture. Happy days.

TAGRA PACIFIC 3

see bloody multimode2 and 3 etc etc. rubbish rig - shame as the layout on the front made much sense. ok on bleedover ant rx ok. dont pay more than £30 for one, EVER.

COBRA 200GTL

Oh my LORD what a pile of crap. Loks great, doesnt really cut it as a serious ssb rig though. Just type in cobra 200gtl in google and read what people have said. I had mine a DAY and flogged it. Awful. rubbish tx audio, frequency problems, rx auido a bit wierd.

NATO 2000
as crummy as the superstar 2000.
NATO 40 was a decent fm rig - as most cybernet rigs are.

SUPERSTAR 7000DX

Looked absolutely amazing - but mine got wrecked in the post - ebay farce. never got to try it.

So thats my run down of the rigs ive used - i'll add more as the old grey matter gets sloshed about by more guinness!

Add your experiences of rigs you have used, why dont you?

seeya

Jimmy 26CAT23 / 26FB023





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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


ive got a unmolested mk1 cobra 148 and i love it, the needle dont move much but the audio sounds awsome(astatic). i wont be selling it for a while more and ive owned it for years.

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


Thanks for that, interesting reading, have you had many HF sets? Any views on those? emoticon

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


1st ssb radio colt 1600dx ok typicial cybernet.
corba 148's ad loads brillinant audio(modded)
bit deaf but couple up to a 300p in the mobile.
nato 2000 my dad ad one cack
stalker 9 brill with audio mod & 300p
2950 ok
lincoln ok
1st hf yeasu ft7 bullet proof but only 10 watts & analoge read out?
ft7b 100watts version of above
ft77 digital version of above
ft 707 brill old skool radio still av mine worked the world got a slight prob with now after 15yrs
alinco dx70 ok as a basic hf transiever
icom 706 great little mobile hf/vhf transiever.

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


LOL

Ham Rigs

Ok, here we go.

Yaesu FT77

deaf as a post. Icom ic735 could hear stations where the 77 couldnt. Shame, 'cos it looked very nice.

Yaesu FT707

This could have been SOOOO good. But it wasnt. As deaf as any old Yaesu - but quite funky if you replace all the a/b/c/d/ 10 meter band crystals for naughty 11meter ones. Once you've done that, just sit back and wait for the RIS to give you a visit! LOL.

Icom IC735

What a TERRIFIC RADIO. Easily moddable, nice audio, easy to operate, BUT be careful with the output transistors which WILL blow if you operate out of band too much. Wish i still had one. My second ham rig.

Icom IC729

OOOh. Not quite as funky as the 735 BUT it did have 50mhz. (and all the frequencies inbetween, so i spent a lot of time calling CQ on [sign in to see URL]. Alledgedly. LOL! Nice rx audio, nice tx audio, but said radio got me a visit from the RIS after i interfered with next door neighbours telly.
I'm so glad the pillock engineer didnt even TRY to operate on 27Mhz.... or the cat would have been well and truly out of the bag. LOL! It was clean undies time and a stiff Rum after that visit! Ho HO!

Icom IC2E

2 Meter handheld. Great little rig, spoilt by yukky narrow tx audio. Eats nicads, but great fun at rallies. Everyone had a flippin' 2E at a radio rally. Except me, that walked around with a useless Spitfire 11m ssb handheld, not even manageing to get out past the walls on the 555. ROTFLMAO.

Azden PCS5000

Bought from famous local dealers Walters and ripoff(whoops) stanton.
Worked for about 10 minutes and popped the output module. Checked SWR on another rig, perfect on [sign in to see URL]. Got radio fixed, took weeks, got it back, 2 minutes on air, popped again.
Got my money back!

Yaesu FT101ZD.

Weighed a ton. Dropped the bloody thing on my foot trying to get into the shack. Dislodged a valve in the process (as well as me bloomin' toe nail) but all was well and it proceeded to splatter nicely over about 2mhz of whatever frequency i operated on. even the legal ones for cliff's sake!
Re-tuned it, tried again, much better, but got very hot in operation. Looked better than it worked. Are you seeing a pattern here? LOL.

ICOM IC706 MK1
 great rig, again, easily moddable for naughtiness, but managed to blow mine in six days. ( i really DO use my rigs, man!)Helpful people over at Hernia Bay fixed it and i used it on [sign in to see URL] (allegedly) to talk to my mate from Cumbria using a long wire attached to a cb magmount on the top of our christmas holiday hire transit minibus. 5-9+20db over 9. happy days. Bit nasty on the RX audio side, but better on 2m although power output was woefully small.

MK2 a bit better, but didnt like it and returned to shop - didn't think it was much better than the mark one.

MK2G

At last, a much better rig.
I'm not totally convinced about it, my mate had left his switched on for about 3 years (really, he never switched it off) and it gave out eventually, and never worked again, but mine was fine.
Typical rubbish power drain on recieve (LOL over 2 amps LOL LOL) and if you leave one fitted in your car, it kills the battery in a day. LOL.
You actually have to physically disconnect the power lead to stop the drain. Dear Dear Icom, what WERE you lot thinking of? I wonder if the 7000 is any better, anyone know?
Anyway, ive still got a Mk2G (the third one ive had, 'cos i kept getting poor (spending too much on guinness) and had to sell on ebay, but i have vowed to keep this one) and i find it a brilliant radio - why spend nearly 250 quid on a flippin cb rig when for an extra 50 quid you can have the majority of the radio spectrum? beats me.

ahem!

Alinco DR130

very nice 2 meter rig. i really like ALINCO stuff, it seems to have the build quality of Icom and the prettyness of Kenwood. Great radio on tx and rx, no known faults i can think of when i used it.

thats it for now, perhaps the next thing i'll attack is Antennas? Im selling a sigma 4 on ebay by the way!!!

10-10



Last edited by soundmanjim, 6/Feb/2008, 10:10 pm


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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


ANTENNAS

Im REALLY GOING TO ENJOY BURSTING A FEW BUBBLES HERE!!!

LOL!

(sorry im on my third Guinness)

DV27
Great mobile antenna, top loaded and easy to adjust for swr purposes, but a nightmare to use with a 120 cahnnel rig as the bandwidth isnt quite there. Good for mobile as relatively non-sus and a good performer.

T27.

LOL! ha ha! They were soooo short (about 10") and they DIDNT WORK. Brilliant. A rubber duck was better. LOL.

K27.

Like a slimline, supermodel version of a DV27, but no swr adjust, meaning much cutting then much cursing when you realise you has the swr meter set wrong whilst adjusting.

Firestik (any size)

Oh my word, they looked good but weren't all that - and before you all start crowing - remember when you used one it was connected to a BRL500 linear. remember? Oh yeah you do. LOL!

Cherokee Half-breed.

Oh my god, what an antenna. i used a centre load half breed to talk to a guy in Australia on [sign in to see URL] LSB with 12Watts from a 148, from my Mk1 XR2 (remember them?). THAT'S how good they were, and they were built solidly. Never seen another one since. Sell me one, i have cash NOW!!!!

SUPER MODULATOR

Esp the one with two loading coils - they worked well on ssb and mobile and looked the part - they also annoyed the HELL out of the local hams. LOL. Good tx, rx not as good as the single coil modulator. Im referring to the antennas with the big loading coils, not the cobblers versions with the 't' coils (about an inch long) - what did 't' stand for? I reckon it meant TOILET.

K40

Well - i wasnt convinced about these antennas, as these were base loaded (and we all know that a base loaded antenna isnt as efficient as a middle or top loaded) BUT as the whip was abut 6 feet long it was all a bit academic - these were a GREAT antenna, and if you see one on ebay (theres a few on there now) BUY IT but don't pay a fortune for them, its only a bit of wire and plastic after all. good bandwidth.

HARADA

these were the collapsible non sus disguise antennas we all used to use in the 80's. looked like a bog standard mw car aerial apart from the little swr adjuster on the top. Nearly as good as a DV27 but suffered because every time you collapsed the thing down and pulled it up again the flippin' swr was wrong. great idea though.

what else? erm...

oh yes.

Avanti

they made several mobile antennas, looking a bit like a more funky version of a K40 but im sorry to say, never as good. shame.

Base Antennas (this is where it gets really good)

bear in mind this is from my own personal experience/ findings

ANTRON 99

Oh lord.
This antenna still perplexes the hell out of everyone.
Basically a shunt fed colinear-type bastardisation, it shouldn't really work but it does. caused untold grief with tvi until everyone got cable and sattellite.
Gain figures were optimistic to say the least. LOL.
However, i can report that the Antron 99 was 2 s points down on a sigma 4 from my location to a friend 30 miles away.

SIGMA 4

Bloody great huge aerial with a bit around the bottom that looked like you could hang your washing on. lOl.
took two people to erect (ooer).
Once up, you found the swr was all wrong, so you had to take it all down again. adjust, then put back up (and so on and so forth) until it was ok - by this time, you marked it with a marker pen for next time.

A great antenna, made a horrific noise in a gale, but well built with aircraft grade alloy, not like the cobblers tagra copy that would bend in a breeze. not that wide-band, but still covers 25-30mhz with 2-1 at each end.
 looks good, but tips the neighbours off that you are being very very naughty on the radio. LOL.
I have one for sale on ebay right now.

Shakespeare big stick.

A bit like an antron without all the hyped claims and cobblers - still a good antenna but not as good as a sigma. no swr adjustment so could be awkward to swr. great build quality. Go for the SUPER big stick if you can, its a lot better.

HYGAIN super penetrator.

sounded like something my wife keeps in her bedside cabinet.
Worked even better (well it keeps her quiet LOL)
Had many dx contacts on the groundwave (my record was 70 miles on fm legals) but not as good on dx. If anyone has one I WANT IT!!! Looked fabulous in gold iridium. 5/8th wave vertical and 4 nine foot groundplanes. now THATS an antenna, people.

Thunderpole 3

Brilliant antenna, even though restricted for the old rules, worked fine on dx and local contacts, and not so big as to break your back trying to erect it. LOOOL. That leads me nicely to the

STARDUSTER

oh my LORD what a fantastic antenna - it also worked as an omnidirectional fm aerial. LOL.
Excellent bandwidth, great dx, wish i had one now just to confuse the neighbours. if you see one, steal it.
quarter wave vertical element with 3 sloped 9 foot groundplanes.

Silver Rod.

If you didnt have the kings ransom to spend, the silver rod was the one you loved to tell people you had. 'yeah mate, im runnin' a silver rod this end' - i bet the ladies loved that.
Anyway, strange shunt-fed design that actually WORKED. older ones better.

DPA11VR

Well, what an unusual design, until you realise they nicked the idea off of Ringo Ranger, who had a very similar design. 5/8ths vertical with 2 turns of small loops at the bottom. Mate had one for YEARS and never gave him trouble, he didnt set the dx world alight BUT he still got out.

Half wave vertical

RUBBISH - bent in any wind, better used to snap in half and beat the kids with.

[sign in to see URL] and

PDL2

a ruddy great load of wire and aluminium designed to get you out further - but no-one really knew how much further becuase they spent more time looking at it, beer in hand, than actually using it - and when they did, it was always with 'Bremi 200's mate'.
LOL
A great antenna, basically 2 two element yagis with a circular coupling arrangement. had one, sold it, the local chavs kept climbing into it. LOL!

thats it for now, ill be back if i think of any more to rip into!!

73's

Jimmy the 23!!






Last edited by soundmanjim, 6/Feb/2008, 9:46 pm


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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


Can I defend the Ham International Multimode II?

I've used one for a lot of years, and what you say about the modulation being crap is a valid point, but here's the reason:

It's simply about excessive voltage drop when in transmit. If you power one of these things off a car battery, chances are it's only going to be fed with about 12.5 volts-ish. Take from this voltage drop in the power leads and the input choke and you've dropped below the voltage regulator's ability to regulate, leading to that 'warbly' sound on SSB transmission, so characteristic of these models.

Short out the input choke, fit thicker leads, and run the rig off a 15 volt supply - this sorts it out. I modified mine by supplying the zener from a constant current source (FET) and this stabilizes the rig beautifully - not sure why this mod wasn't incorporated in the design.

So there. emoticon

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


LOL.
15volts.
i bet ham international inc are turning in their graves!!!

if anyones got a multimode2 out there, perhaps they can try that mod? would be interesting to see if the situation improves.

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


The mod I mentioned concerning the constant current supply and shorting the choke does enable the rig to be run off a car battery and still sound fine. I got the wife to fire the thing up yesterday into a dummy load while listend on my SW receiver. The modulation was as good as I'd expect from anything.

The 15 volt suggestion is mainly for those who have a variable power supply but who don't like to get inside the rig - it will take 15 volts without problem; A battery in a car whilst the engine is running will show about 14.2 volts - 15 isn't much higher so it is quite OK.

If anyone's interested I can prepare full details of the simple mod I did - these rigs are vastly underrated and are capable of excellent results. The receive is superb too, unlike the wide filter and poor sensitivity of the Cobra 148, for example.

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Re: Rigs - My Humble opinion....


if only ROTEL made a sideband rig eh?

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