In search of a new contest transceiver, the decision

In my previous post about this topic I started with a list of available HF-transceivers here in Belgium and afterwards I had narrowed it down to 6:

  • Yaesu FT-2000 €2500
  • Icom IC-7600 €3600
  • Ten Tec Orion II €4300
  • Elecraft K3 €5300
  • Yaesu FT-DX5000MP €5700
  • Icom IC-7700 €6000

Prices are merely an estimation for comparison, they’re based on information found on the internet a few months ago.  Some may have changed by a few hundreds of euros by the time you read this!

I did’nt have the time (or rather did’nt make time) to write more about this in the last few weeks but in the mean time I ordered (and received) an FT-DX5000MP.

The decision was a little less scientific than it started in my previous post however. Let’s say it has been partly emotional also.

These are the reasons why I bought the FT5k: (not necessarily ordered by importance)

  • my FT990 was purchased in 1995 and still works perfectly (well almost, the lightbulb of the S-meter is broken since a few years)
  • some say the K3 is better, some say the FT5k is. So no way to really decide by reading the reviews.
  • the difference in price of the K3 ordered in the US and ordered through their dealer in Germany is HUGE. The only difference is that the German dealer has to give a 2 year warranty and in the US you only get 1 year. I asked Elecraft for an explanation of this price difference and their excuse was pretty lame. (Sorry guys, I’m a businessman too…)
  • a friend who knew I was into purchasing a new transceiver someday told me he’d purchase a FT5k and finally we were 3 to order at the same time which gave us a nice price reduction.
  • Why no Icom? I have no real experience with Icom except for the IC7400 we used when we were at EU099
  • Why no Orion? Why did all contesters get an Orion when they were ‘hot’ and are now already using something else?
  • Why no FT2k? reviews are not that good…
  • @Franki: I prefer a japanese paperweight to an american one 😉

I guess I’ll not take this new toy as carry on luggage for our next dxpedition though:

weight warning label

Last weekend I did my first RTTY contest with the new SO2R setup (FT5k + FT990) but that’s for an other writing!

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