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Old 22-07-2010, 08:31   #1
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Anyone Use a MFJ 9420X MFJ 20W PEP 20M SSB Transceiver W/Mic

MFJ 9420X MFJ 20W PEP 20M SSB XCVR W/MIC
you can get more details here
AES Price list

Just curious if it will do everything you need for cruising - SSB communication, net traffic, email, weather fax ....

thanks guys for your help
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Old 22-07-2010, 09:44   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colo.sail View Post
MFJ 9420X MFJ 20W PEP 20M SSB XCVR W/MIC
Just curious if it will do everything you need for cruising - SSB communication, net traffic, email, weather fax ....
colo.sail,
The short answer is:
NO, it will NOT do what you're asking of it....Not even close....


The long answer is:
It's not a bad low-power (QRP) rig, for taking with you on a business trip (in your briefcase) or vacation (in a backpack), for 20m operation using simple antennas and/or from remote locales where its receiver wouldn't be taxed too much......
And, most of those who buy/use such a rig are experienced in both the above operations and in use of "touchy" (and probably "drifty") analog VFO's etc....


The question I have for you:
Who recommended this rig to you for your cruising communications????
Since it only covers part of one ham band, and no marine freqs, nor any wefax freqs, nor would it be capable of the precion needed for PACTOR operation / nor would it probably even interface with an ext. modem, etc....it surprises me that someone would recommend such a rig for you......(whoever it was, please understand that they may be a good friend / nice guy, but not too informed on radios or communications matters...)


I hope this helps....


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 22-07-2010, 14:57   #3
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M706

I was actually looking at an ICOM-M706, which has been mentioned on several discussions here, as an option when this was suggested.

It didn't seem right and I have absolutely NONE when it comes to SSB experience. Just thinking ahead and building my radio shack on board.

Are there other similar, smaller, full HAM capable radios you might suggest, similar to the 706????

Thanks
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Old 22-07-2010, 16:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colo.sail View Post
I was actually looking at an ICOM-M706, which has been mentioned on several discussions here, as an option when this was suggested.

It didn't seem right and I have absolutely NONE when it comes to SSB experience. Just thinking ahead and building my radio shack on board.

Are there other similar, smaller, full HAM capable radios you might suggest, similar to the 706????

Thanks
colo,sail,
First off, you're welcome....

Now, onto a few points of clarification.....
I'll give you answers based on my 35+ years of experience in ham/marine radio comms.....others may have other opinions......but these are mine....

a) I'm noit sure if you're mixing up radios, or just getting the model #'s mixed up.......but...
An Icom IC-706 is a Ham radio transceiver.....
An Icom M-700 or M-710, are Marine radio transceivers.....
(These are VERY different radios!!!!)
There is no such thing as an Icom M-706.....
Note the "M" designation, denotes "maritime" or "marine"....while most of their ham radios utilize the generic "IC" designation....

b) "smaller, similar, full ham capable radios"
Smaller than which radio.....smaller than the IC-706 radios???
Not really much that's smaller, that would be of any use to you.....(I'm not going to bother to list the "smaller" radios that aren't applicable...)

c) Similar to which radio......the IC-706????
Well, yes there are others, both newer and older.....but in my opinion not many "similar" that are much better....

d) "full ham capable", oh boy, is that a loaded phrase....
And, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by it.....
But, if you mean full HF coverage, for long-range use....then yes, there are many, mnay other radios....
(if you mean Ham HF, Ham VHF, Ham UHF, etc....then you options are more limited...)

e) As for my recommendations......sort-of depend on what you want to do with the radio, and where you will be sailing/cruising, etc....
But, without know too much about your application, and assuming that you're not going to be a "hardcore ham", here are my thoughts....

1) Icom M-700pro (or M-710) Marine HF transceiver.....or if you can afford the extra few hundred dollars, the M-802....
Any of these WILL provide you with hi-quality HF comms, on both ham and Marine frequencies, and are very easy to use, and reliable....

2) Icom IC-718 ham HF transceiver.....which is a good quality, new generation, easy to use, ham radio......(but it is designed for, and only legal for, use on the ham radio bands/frequencies)

Please note that all of these are BIGGER than the IC-706 series radios.....but small, menu-driven, complicated radios (like the IC-706) are NOT what I recommend at all.....


I do hope this helps....


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 22-07-2010, 19:41   #5
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The Icom IC-706 is a great radio (I have one in my ham shack, and each of my vehicles)....but it's more than you may want on a boat....aside from the SSB (HF) frequencies, it also will tune 50-54, 144-148, 440-450 MHz ham frequencies...For those 144-450 Mhz frequencies, a different antenna is required.

The main issue (aside from legality) in using a ham radio is that they generally have a LOT of knobs, switches and settings, that are not needed for marine SSB. Also, some of the settings allow you to set the radio up pretty much opposite of what you need for marine SSB. If you don't know the differences, it can be daunting.

While there are a lot of the IC-706 radios available new (still) and many available used radios, Icom is no longer making them it seems. Yaesu (another quality HAM radio brand) is the FT-857, with similar characteristics to the IC-706.

If you want to get your ham ticket, and a ham radio and learn it's intricacies, good. If not, get a dedicated marine grade SSB like an M700, M710, M802 or similar. It'll be easier to use.
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Old 23-07-2010, 13:40   #6
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Thanks guys

Obviously I'm new to HAM and SSB.
Yes, I had intended to get the tech and general licenses required. And opening up a marine SSB to full Ham would be easy enough.

SIZE and power use are big issues. It's a really small boat with limited power supply (at this time)

I've been trying to learn what I can by reading and the Web ... it would be easier to learn French from a mute.

I have a short list, besides the obvious marine rigs: ICOM 706 or 7000; Kenwood TS-480; Yaesu FT 857 or 897. Suggestions and recommendations are appreciated!

OH - I love the Kenwood TM D700 with GPS/APRS but understand it has limited use for the middle of nowhere I expect to someday visit.
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Old 23-07-2010, 14:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colo.sail View Post
SIZE and power use are big issues. It's a really small boat with limited power supply (at this time)

I've been trying to learn what I can by reading and the Web ... it would be easier to learn French from a mute.
colo.sail,
You're welcome.....and don't get discouraged!!!!
I think you doing the best thing you can do, ask questions.....
No such thing as a dumb question, except for the ones not asked!!!!

As for the specifics.....
1) "SIZE" might be a big issue, but you can deal with that by:
a) planning / organizing your equipment layout....
and/or
b) using a radio with a separate control head / face plate, and main unit / transceiver.....(examples are the M-802 and N-710RT.....and the Icom IC-706 series and IC-7000, etc.)
Using one of these radios means you can mount the radio where you can fit it (within reason, for electrical power and ventilation requirements), and only have the small control head / face plate to find a convenient spot for....

2) As for limited power available on board......
a) There is going to be very little difference in your daily power consumed, no matter which of the radios on your list you choose....
Most of your daily use is receiving, and there's likely to be little difference, in Amp/Hours used per day (A/H's), no matter what rig you're using for a couple hours each day....
Yes, the M-700pro, M-710, and M-802 can draw a bit more on transmit (slightly higher power-out on "Hi-Power") than some of the ham rigs, but this can be controlled by you, with a press of a button....although, in the real-world, even with daily net check-ins and a couple hours of "rag-chewing", there's not likely to be more than a couple A/H's more power used by the Marine rigs, vs. the ham rigs.....(and if that few A/H's is too much, YOU can turn the power down, and reduce your power consumption...)
b) You're a step ahead of most in considering your power consumption on-board.....most find out too late....
But, you're likely to find that simply using a couple of other energy-saving devices will more than make up for any added power used by one radio versus another.....
{Oh, and once you add refrigeration / freezer......the radios will be the least of your power consumption worries!!! }

3) As for radio choices.....
Everyone's got their favs.....and everyone's got an opinion....
So, if you MUST HAVE a "small" radio.....here are my thoughts:
a) IC-7000
or
b) find a used M-710RT....or if you can afford it, a new or used M-802...

My choice would be the M-802, hands-down.....but, if space is so tight that you can't even fit its control head and main unit, you might be able to fit the IC-7000.....but, if can't fit either of those.....you may wish to reconsider your boat choice, since I could fit a full-sized rig on 22 footer....

I hope this helps....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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