New Castle, PA
Good portable HF rig? Hi all, glad DSLR is back up and running!
I'm looking for a first HF rig and would like a portable unit that is small enough for a backpack when out in the field, but could also serve as an adequate base station. I looked at the Yaesu FT-817ND and it looks nice, but is limited to 5W. I do like the challenge of QRP and plan on doing a lot of it, but would like to be able to increase power if need be.
Thanks and 73!
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What about the FT-897? It has internal battery capability, so you don't have to carry a big battery, which would be good for backpacking. Yet, when you get it home on AC power (a power supply or whatever), it has (IIRC) 100w on HF....
I was trying to decide between the 897 and the 857. Since my main uses are either going to be mobile or base, I decided with the 857. If I need to use it in the field, I can take a big battery if needed.
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reply to pianotech
If you plain to do allot of QRP work, you can not go wrong with the 817. I use mine with rechargeable AA batteries and a long wire antenna for backpack portability.
You can also use 897 to do the same thing, but it is heavier and does require a bit more battery at the same 5W output then the 817, but it will give you the option of 100W output when you need it. Most of the larger 100W radios will allow you to run at 5W, but they will still require a 12V minimal input to work right, ware most QRP radios will run with a input voltage as low 9V, so keep this in mind when you are looking.
reply to pianotech
+1 on the 817. I've recently worked Brazil, France, and about a dozen spots in between using a G5RV in an inverted V with the center about 40-50' up. I don't use the internal battery pack instead I carry a 12 volt battery meant for a home alarm.
My first HF rig was an 817ND and I really wish that I had picked up an 897D for my first HF rig. Trying HF with 5 watts can be rather frustrating for the beginner.
No matter which rig you pick I highly recommend the DSP and One Big Punch from W4RT.com. Your wife/girl friend/companion will thank you for the DSP and the OBP really helps with your signal as well.