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 HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios

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Firetrap
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PostSubject: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2020 12:49 am

I have the opinion that some 11m radio or 10m to 12m radios perform better than some (not all) 0-30mhz HF sets specifically on 11m

Example being, I had a President George which was tuned amazingly by Kuctha Hans in Germany and I'm not kidding, loads of people I spoke to thought I was on a top end HF set, when actually I was doing 20w on a finely tuned radio which was around 8 years old but new.

I also had an Albrecht 485s tuned by Bensens in Germany. This radio also amazed me, and a lot of other people just how nice it sounded. Punchy as you like without distortion, just perfect audio, sure the 485s standard isn't the loudest of radio but if you have them set just right and upgrade the outputs they are up there with some of the best.

The last radio I thought was better on 11m than any HF I've ever owned was my Galaxy dx 95t2 - wow
I mean that radio jumped huge pile ups and the RX was second to none and the TX audio was punchy and crisp and there was no need to have an amp or to have gain settings and power on full. It was a quality radio that did what it was made for and did it well.

I think all 3 of the above radios outperformed my Icom 706mk2g, way better on FM than my Ft840 with FM board and the galaxy and president George were loads better than my ft857d. The cheapest Yaesu I had was the ft450D which was tuned tweaked really well over in Germany was the best HF set on 11m.

I think the yaesus, kenwoods etc are good at what they were made to do and vice versa. 11m sets were made to work on 11m so in theory, set right they should be better on 11m.

Do you think there are any 11m sets that you got better reports on than HF sets or heard any radios that you thought were big radios and turned out to be 11m radios?

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NUBSTER
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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2020 6:27 am

TBH I still get complements  from other stations when using my old original mk1 President Lincoln also using a Astatic D104 (Silver Eagle)microphone, but one of my best radios for getting very good compliments was when I had a old original President Jackson (black facia model) using a Astatic Teardrop microphone and no more than 100watts for DXing, I knew it had been modified in someway  what the mod was  and by who I never found out ,but the amount of people who couldn't believe it was a 11/10m CB radio was quite a few I actually got complements from other CT members on the old forum shoutbox saying they could hear me from miles away ,I shouldn't have sold it really but when someone offers you a good price to buy lol

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2020 8:15 am

This is all going to be a bit subjective.....

"Back in 19-plinkety-plonk my old CB picked up everything and I could transmit around the world, I have the QSL cards to prove it. I had one of them fancy modern radios and it ain't picked up nothing."

Equates to -

I had a radio several solar cycles ago at the peak of sunspot activity. I bought a new one at solar minimum.

Get my point? Wink

But bear me out......


The technology hasn't changed all that much since Marconi and the early pioneers discovered radio, it is after all the same medium. In fact we still even use some of the same circuitry to this day!

Don't believe me?

Let's take something easy in radio, say the audio chain.

In 1941 the first comparator/operational amplifier was built with thermionic valves. By the 1950's Bell Laboratories soaring ahead with semiconductor technology developed the first monolithic integrated circuit, also an op-amp. Come the 1960's they were being mass produced and by the 1970's could be found in most electronic goods.

Rip apart an old stereo/radio from the 1970's and you'll find an eight pin chip, a ubiquitous dual op-amp, the "4558".
Rip apart a modern CB/Ham radio and you'll find that exact same chip!!

You'll find the same thing with the rest of the circuitry. From the superheterodyne receiver still made with transistors much the same as the early valve to transistor superhet, to the modulation and transmitter pathways.


What clever monkeys we are screaming on this ball of rock hurtling through space Wink


The only difference today "technology" wise are surface mount components which can be 'picked and placed' by robots/machinery, (why pay a decent wage/sick pay/holiday pay!), and the cheap microprocessor to replace those expensive knobs and switches.
Profit, profit, profit......

Hams will be screaming about SDR, DSP and other such, all technological "leaps"....but the basic principles remain the same.

Early radio was about 'sensitivity', then as the airwaves got busier 'selectivity' also became important. Increase the selectivity and you reduce the sensitivity and the same vice-versa.....radio operators still wanted both!

On Ham radios you'll find triple conversion superheterodyne circuits, crystal filters and other such in the quest for both sensitivity and selectivity.

CB's? Apart from bolting in a microprocessor the radio circuitry is pretty much the same as CB's from 40 years ago!

So you could argue that with less pathways a CB would be more sensitive, selectivity being less of an issue in these sparse CB transmission days. But Ham radios can be just as sensitive AND with the selectivity, which might be of benefit to a crowded, "Hola-Hola-Coca-Cola" triple 5 Wink



So my point? It's still all subjective.......If you find a "nice" radio, stick with it......until you find another radio that makes you drool Very Happy


All the best,
Victor

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2020 9:41 pm

Having actually tested them with proper test gear CBs don't perform better in regards to sensitivity but they don't perform that much worse either, literally the difference of a few dBm. However when it comes to selectivity then the amateur gear runs rings around CB/11m radios. A CB will typically have something like 60dB adjacent channel selectivity which is 60dB at 10kHz. There's almost nothing at all on Sherwood Engineering's receiver table for amateur radios which is that bad with almost everything that's been on the market in the last 40 years being able to do 60dB or better at just 2kHz spacing, literally it's just the Drake R4C, the Yaesu FT757 and Tentec 340, two of those being just receivers that are comparably poor to CBs when it comes to selectivity.

Selectivity on an Icom 7300 for example is so good you could have a S1 signal you're listening to on say 27.550 USB with a S9+40 signal on 27.555 USB and not even be aware that the S9+40 signal was even there. There's not a single CB that can do that no matter how many Hanses or Klauses do whatever wonderful mods they are apparently capable of to the radio.

Transmit audio is no big secret to get right, just adjust the mic gain properly, don't eat the mike and don't shout - all of which are something many fail to do. Also for communications if you have the ability to adjust tone/EQ then not too much bottom end and peak 2kHz. For CBs that may mean having to go inside and twiddle a pot if the audio is too low and there's not enough adjustment on the front panel (typically new multi-standard radios) but that's literally all there is to it. I get good audio reports on my ham gear using the stock mic, I've just got good audio reports on 11m DXing with the President McKinley I bought from Knights yesterday still using the stock mike. Interesting to note that on my ham gear once I learned how to set up SSB audio correctly the mic gain no matter what radio I've had has never been above 30%. You don't need to have it cranked right over to get decent audio, just enough that using a proper peak hold power meter that when talking normally your radio can reach the power output you've set it to. Anything above that is just waste as the ALC circuit limits the input audio and that limiting can cause distortion. The ALC meter on my radios barely moves other than a little bit on voice peaks, it most certainly isn't hitting the halfway point like many do.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2020 10:38 pm

Nicely put Conor and great input, I agree wholeheartedly with your point about transmission audio too.

It's so nice to hear great audio on a radio transmission and I mean good clear well transmitted audio. Too often operators think that pumping more in obviously means more out with resulting distortions on their transmission signal. There seems to be fashionable trends to it, (boom mic and equaliser rack anyone?), but the main problem is a basic lack of knowledge.

Points made by people like yourself and shared well can often help others fill in the voids. Again, great input.



Putting my technology history soapbox moment to one side for a minute Wink


I think Gary Wilson put something well in another discussion on a similar vein. He said that "it just feels right to use a CB for 27MHz transmission", (or akin to that, can't remember the exact words). I can see the point and how it could make a difference to an operator.
I still miss my old President Madison and weirdly still drool at the sight of a Stalker IX FDX Very Happy For me that's nostalgia at play rather than any technological aspects. I'm pretty sure that if you have the right radio for you, then you may very well be a much better operator for it. A sort of confidence if you will.

From firing up your radio, to selecting the channel/frequency and picking up your favourite mic to key up for the days first transmission.....a flipping wonderful feeling.



Yeah, think I've got to agree with Lee's post and Martin's input too. The right radio for you....and luckily, we're all different Wink

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeThu Jul 09, 2020 9:42 am

Just to add something that's the other way round ,a mate of who is licensed was using his Amateur radio, (sorry cant remember what make or model ) and he wasn't pleased with his modulation with standard mike so brought a upgraded Amateur one and it was better but still not brilliant so he thought sod it I'll try my D104 Silver Eagle which as such is the favourite of CBers 11m , anywaytried it and got so many
complements from other Hams asking what microphone is that your using it sounds excellent, when he told them half of them had never heard of it lol but was surprised it was a CBers favourite.
But I will say I and afew of my mates some licensed some not have a saying CB radios for the 11m Amateur radio for other stuff

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeSat Jul 11, 2020 7:36 am

Victor wrote:


I think Gary Wilson put something well in another discussion on a similar vein. He said that "it just feels right to use a CB for 27MHz transmission", (or akin to that, can't remember the exact words). I can see the point and how it could make a difference to an operator.
Yeah I know what he means. My Icom 7300 I've recently sold I could have decided to use on 11m just by removing a diode, same with my TS480 but it wouldn't be the same. Got to be a channel selector, not a VFO, got to be CB sized and whilst I got a McKinley I do find myself drawn to some of the shiny chrome knob stuff.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeSat Jul 11, 2020 6:28 pm

I raised a similar question topic either here on TM1 or elsewhere.
 
From my perspective I'm thinking of joining certainly the SSB CB camp and also thinking about 11M/freebanding.
 
If I ignore the 11M for the moment and focus of quality SSB CB kit and operation then I'm personally left with the following questions / dilemmas

1) I have an Alinco DR-R8 for which I have written software (DriveR8) that also supports the Alainco DX-SR8 and SR9 transceivers that can easily do CB all modes and 11M all modes.  For CB the Alinco SR9 power is legal but no a CE approved CB device so technically not allowed.
 
2) Using an HF transceiver opens up the future options if/when one gets an amateur license.  Thus you have value for money with Amateur / CB / 11M options for around £500.
 
3) Some quality CB/11M rigs come with SWR meters and I think? in some cases SWR inbuilt tuners.  These cost say £250 to £300.  An antenna tuner/SWR meter would be an additional cost on top of and HF rig.
 
4) And this is the real tricky / difficult point. As a person not currently equipped to do CB SSB, 11M or amateur HF what do you really choose given similar costs in the £250+ to £550+ price ranges?  If you had the money but no multiple equipment space then you might choose the HF rig & tuner to cover all possibilities.  With space, antenna switches, etc, you might choose multiple rigs.
 
For me this little question has been rattling around my head for several years now.  I spend so much time developing Scan125, DriveR8 and other stuff that my "air time window" is limited.  Money is not a big issue but the "choice is".  Getting an SR-9 and using it on CB SSB would be great but technically illegal.  Getting the top of the range CB SSB/11M rig with SWR and antenna tuning would also be great.
 
I post all the above as I'm probably not the only punter out there looking to "go on air" and to be quite honest (given that it now seems that on CB/11M the UK/Ofcom do not give a *hit if you do not cause problems) then the answer to HF rig vs top quality CB/11M rig is a very interesting topic.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeSat Jul 11, 2020 8:41 pm

3) The majority of amateur radios come with a built in ATU. Most will just match a bit over 3:1 but some like the Kenwood TS590 and Flexradios will do 10:1. "CB grade" SWR meters and matchers can be bought well under £100 - the Zetagi MM27 that'll do up to 100W is just £20 and one with a built in power/SWR meter is £55. You can buy manual ATUs up to 300W for amateur gear around £100-£120 used.

4) If you just want to talk on Ch19, sit on 555  or never go anywhere other than 11m get a CB/10m Export radio and save your money.

£250-£550 might be in the same price range but you're not getting the same thing. If you're buying 11m gear you're getting brand new equipment with a warranty and at the lower end of that range can get a brand new radio, power supply and antenna matcher for the same price you'd spend on an old shed of a HF transceiver. For amateur gear you're looking at used gear, some of which will be 10-20 years old or more even at the £550 end, probably not too far off needing a repair (Kenwood TS850 DDS board caps for example) but with some of the components no longer available if they do fail such as the TS850 DDS chips.

The whole of 11m is operated using channels typically with 10kHz spacing so any advantages of amateur gear go straight out the window. If it was like the amateur HF bands and there weren't channels then it is a different story. Using a HF ham radio with a VFO on channels is actually harder than using a CB with a channel selector and because of the spacing there's no advantage from having the higher selectivity of the amateur radio gear.  With the money you save on the radio by spending £150 or so instead of £400+ you can more than afford to buy a £20 antenna tuner or £50 combined 11m SWR/Power ATU if you run 100W or less although you won't need a tuner as pretty much every 11m antenna can cover all of the 11m band without one.

The reason I sold my HF amateur gear is because I've decided to just do 11m with a bit of 10m from time to time and having a £1500 of radios just to sit on channels on 11m is just stupid.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeSun Jul 12, 2020 7:01 am

I think if I was starting from scratch I'd be looking at one of those new CB multimodes.

If money was an objection it'd probably be a second hand rig or even though technically illegal, an old sidebander.
I'd have to weigh that one up though depending on price. The warranty and alignment of a new rig, or the old whore of a rig, don't know where it's been or how many times someone stuck something in it Wink
(Gross analogy I know!)

Sometime we work with what life throws at us and I know I've been quite lucky in that respect. 
I can work around or live with the problems or issues happily.

TBH in a decent QSO I'm just happy if you're on the other end of a radio Smile
The brand and make, microphone, antenna and other accessories are for me nice conversational pieces.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeSun Jul 12, 2020 10:59 am

Well on the scales I'm weighing in on the pucker export CB/11M rig side.  I said cost was not a particular issue but money is money (does not grow on trees) so getting a top Q CB/11M export rig makes sense.  An as always there are all the extras required like PSU, antenna etc.
 
Something I've always done is the choose carefully (can be difficult) and stick with it.  I'm not a rig collector/chaser.  My first SW receiver was a Lowe HF-150 all those years ago and was my only one till I got my DX-R8.  So if when I get a CB/11M rig it will be the only one (well no quite true as I have two CEPT Maxon MX1000s from my motor sport days) I'll have for many many years.

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 1:03 pm

I interesting topic  now i have been  lucky to get a long term loan of a Icom 7300 (widebanded from new), and on 11mtrs it is slightly better than my Stryker 955 only because of the filtering and the extra 20 watts dont make much difference. .
The last good dx i had into Essex i swapped the rigs over and  the guy on the other end told me he could not tell any difference between the two. The waterfall on the 7300 is great as it lets you see whats happening  without having to turn the vfo and the menu is easy to navigate through im not surprised this radio is the best selling hf rig on the market .
Is it any better than my Stryker for 11mtrs then the answer would be no concidering the price difference .The Yeasu 450(widebanded)  i think would be a good option if  thats what floats yir boat and save your self £500 and buy a decent antenna .

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PostSubject: Re: HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios   HF 0-30mhz radios VS dedicated 11m Radios Icon_minitimeThu Sep 17, 2020 5:05 pm

Well I'm still on the 50/50 balance and have not gone either way.  My only reason so far is that 11M/CB is pretty dead where I am unless I want to go out and participate on an even Net from up on a hill. 
 
Were I 40 years younger and independent then mobile evening roaming would not be a problem.  Even now evening "base station" working is not really practical so my operating window being retired is daytime. 

Also spend too much time writing software.  Such is life.  Not complaining.  All just challenging. Laughing

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