PDA

View Full Version : Which radio for a Semi?



W9JAM
09-23-2011, 09:31 PM
I'll be going back to work driving a truck soon and am looking at 3 different radios. They are the Icom IC-7000, Yaesu FT-857D and last but not least, is the Kenwood TS-480HX or the TS-480SAT. What ever one I get I want to be able to connect it to the computer. Any thoughts? Current Radio is a Yaesu ft-817nd. Thank for any help folks.

K7SGJ
09-23-2011, 10:24 PM
I run an 857D mobile and it does okay. I also have an 817 which is fun for QRP, and pretty much like the 857 menu and operation wise. If you know your way around the 817, and chose the 857, you won't have to learn a new box. Don't know much about the other rigs. Good luck.

K6BSO
09-23-2011, 10:33 PM
If the extra money isn't an issue,I'd go for the IC-7000. It's got the best receiver of the bunch by far.

BTW, I'm also a truck driver and am going back on the road again next month after eight years on the the other side of the Qualcomm as a dispatcher.

W9JAM
09-23-2011, 11:29 PM
I had a co-driver who I was also my Elmer but I got tired of getting poked with antennas stored in the bunk so I went to another company after taking care of some Dr stuff and then came off the road to deal with some other medical stuff. Now i'll be going back to driving a truck... I can't wait!

KA9MOT
09-24-2011, 12:08 AM
My pic would be the TS-480. A much better receiver then the others in it's price range and right up there with the IC-7000. The only edge I'd give the IC-7000 is the display and the DSP but I've not owned the IC-7000. Only played with one. If I were going to spend that kind of money on a rig I'd expect much better performance than the sub $1k rigs and it just isn't there.

N8YX
09-24-2011, 09:43 AM
None of the above, because you'll be accused of channel jumping. :whistle:

WTKX
09-24-2011, 10:03 AM
Well, the IC-7000 also has the 144 and 440 bands in it, so it would be my choice.

I don't have one, but I'm thinking about it. I'd sell one of my (two) FT-857's tho. :)

KJ3N
09-24-2011, 12:40 PM
Well, the IC-7000 also has the 144 and 440 bands in it, so it would be my choice.

I don't have one, but I'm thinking about it. I'd sell one of my (two) FT-857's tho. :)

You'll sell the other 857 after you find out how much better the RX is on the 7000. ;)

KA9MOT
09-24-2011, 01:18 PM
You'll sell the other 857 after you find out how much better the RX is on the 7000. ;)

I agree. Much better rig, but it should be, it cost substantially more.

KA9MOT
09-24-2011, 01:24 PM
Well, the IC-7000 also has the 144 and 440 bands in it, so it would be my choice.

I don't have one, but I'm thinking about it. I'd sell one of my (two) FT-857's tho. :)

This is true. When I was trucking I ran my FT-857D for awhile. After a few months, I decided a FT-7800 was a better choice for 2M and 70cm because it has 1000 memories. I purchased the programming cable and software along with the ARRL's Repeater directory on CD. There are over 1700 2M/70cm repeaters between Monmouth, IL and LA, CA if you search a 20 mile radius of the route you'll be taking. You can only program a few into the FT-857D so you'll be programming your radio instead of trucking.

With the FT-7800, I programmed using the software before each trip. It took 5 minutes and I had 1000 memories set up in banks for my trip.

WTKX
09-24-2011, 06:49 PM
I use software to program the FT-857D's and that works pretty good. Doing it from the menu is a PITA.

Ride the RF gain down on them a lot. The front end overloads readily, and the SNR when mobile is usually bad enough that it's a good idea anyway. If I use it like that it's more listenable as well. Radio works great for camping and such, away from the big city... and I kind of like the controls. But I'm used to them.

They don't have the "ears" on 2 meters for really weak signals. My old IC-251A is better.

KA9MOT
09-26-2011, 07:15 AM
I use software to program the FT-857D's and that works pretty good. Doing it from the menu is a PITA.



Yes, but could you load 1000 memories? A trucker is going to need allot of memories.

Happy_Hamer
09-27-2011, 04:40 PM
I have owned all of the radios you asked about. For the truck, you will be better off with the IC-7000. The IC-7000 already has the filtering built in and a mic for remote use. Another option of the IC-7000 is that you can connect an external display to the radio making the mounting of the radio more convenient, combined with the remote mic it would make it a truckers dream for safe operation. The IC-7000, like mentioned, is VHF/UHF so when there is nothing on HF for you, then VHF/UHF is an option.

The only thing lacking of the IC-7000 is a built in antenna tuner which could be solved with an LDG IT-100. In a truck you are not going to be running a mess of antennas so the tuner is a good option with maybe a hamstick for HF, no it's not the most efficient, but all antennas are a compromise, even more so if you do not own the truck :-?

http://www.ldgelectronics.com/c/252/products/1/48/1

I would stay away from the TS-480HX, 200 watts is to large of a current draw in a company vehicle and may require "modifying" a power source into the cab.

The TS-480SAT is a decent radio with a built in tuner. The radio, as you know, is HF/6 meter, which is ok if you are interested in only that.

My choice? The IC-7000

OH, and I would stay away from the "screwdriver" antennas on a big truck, my opinion only but they are a P.I.T.A.

W9JAM
09-27-2011, 09:42 PM
Thank you to everyone for the responses. I actually got an email from Ray Novak, Division Manager for Icom America. He's actually very interested in me getting one of their IC-7000 radios. Not only from a financial standpoint, but he's interested in seeing how the radio hold's up in "that harsh of an environment" as he puts it in the e-mail. This should be fun :) I think once I get the radio I'll do a Video Blog about the radio and how it holds up in the semi. Anyone else interested in a video like that?