Looking for an HF rig
Hi everyone, looking to get into HF bands as a beginner. Found Yaesu FT-450 and Yaesu Ft-890 for sale, both are priced at $550 each. Any advice on these sales. Should I be looking for something else?
I'm not familiar with either of these rigs - so no real help there...
But I believe there are multiple sub-models of each radio there. Look into specifics of each.
You'll also want to pay attention to the age - older capacitors can be a concern.
Early on, its hard to know what you want out of a radio. But I'll give you my 2¢.
These were my priorities when shopping for my first HF rig.
1. A good receiver
2. A good internal antenna tuner
3. Internal sound card interface
As for the tuner, many rigs have no internal tuner at all, and some are better than others - meaning they can tune a wider range. Nice to have if you'll be using non-resonant antennas.
With the proliferation of digital communication modes (FT8, JS8Call, Q65, etc.) you'll need a way to connect a computer to the rig. This can be done with an external interface box, but it is ~MUCH~ easier if the radio has the interface built in.
Then there are the operating bands... Do you want a rig that can operate on all bands (including 2m/70cm)? Personally, I chose to go the separate route, as I often times monitor HF and local simultaneously.
I'm sure there are many other things that you can get bogged down with when picking a new radio. But these are the things I dealt with when I started out.
What was my first rig? A Kenwood TS-590S. FWIW. Hit all the boxes that I was concerned about at the time.
I added an Icom IC-7300 a few years later. Also a great starter rig. The tuner isn't quite as good as the Kenwood, and the antenna input options are limited, but it's still a great radio.
I'd probably lean towards one of the "Big Three" manufacturers. Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu.
One other thing - I'd suggest ~not~ looking at a QRP (low power) rig to start off with. While fun, QRP generally takes more skill. So go with a 100w radio initially. QRP can come later.
Again, these are my thoughts. YMMV, take it with a grain of salt, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn lately. 🙂 Hope that helps a little.
Best of luck with your quest.
Mike - AD0WB
I will echo everything Mike has said.
while I do not have experience with either radio I know the 450 has been a good radio.
If you decide to go with a radio that does not have an internal soundcard, then plan on adding one to the purchase budget. You can get a simple USB one for $10-15 then another $10 for a cable the goes to your radio.