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Re: Comparing rigs TS-2000 vs FT-897D --> IC-820H

Art, Emily, Keith, et al,
The IC-820H suffered from a very negative QST review on its debut as well as a much distributed G3RUH review just as damning.  The truth is it is (or was?) a fine satellite rig for its day, but had a few "problem."  None of them were serious, with the most significant at the time related to a pacsat protocol not used in a decade now and of little significance to today's operations.  I owned one for 2 years and through bench testing discovered its receiver was vastly superior to mobile rigs.  All its other "quirks" were overshadowed by the simple fact I could reliably and easily, work AO-27, FO-20, and AO-10 in full duplex mode.  It worked UO-22 (and will work AO-51) just fine with an external TNC.  Yeah, the controls were odd, especially when you were used to Yaesu's view of the front panel, but you got used to it.  My view of that rig is it was overpriced when new, but is a bargain today because of the web-perpetuated negative press.  Oh yeah, the dual receivers is just plain unique in the transceiver world:  I could always hear KK5DO and W5ACM on their uplink frequency even if I could not hear the satellite downlink--very handy on AO-10 and AO-40 :-)

I replaced it with a TS-2000 in late 2000, and it is hard to compare the two because they have different missions.  The comments about the manufacturers not understanding and not testing their new radios with satellite ops is certainly valid.  The TS-2000's failings in that area are unprecendented.  The FT-847, its nearest comtemporary at that time, suffered from a myriad of quality control and technical problems in the first year (which Yaesu addressed and corrected in later production units), but none specific to just plain not knowing beans about satellite operations.  From what I hear, Kenwood is (or has) addressed the TONE issue for AO-51 use (firmware upgrade, a nice feature of the rig), but they have nevered offered anything but silence on the 436.800 birdie issue.  I was always able to get around the birdie on high elevation (meaning high Doppler shift) passes, but was blocked out on low, grazing passes because the S/N was just not big enough.

Perhaps our message to the manufacturers is to offer help in specifying and testing new radios or new radio concepts.  Complaining after they design, produce, and sell the rigs doesn't seem to be working. 
Jerry, VK8OE

> I too have an 820 and its a fine sat rig  but it is a bit hard to get 
> used to. I use my IC 910 all the time now and keep it as a back up rig. 
I have the Japanese  local model the 820 D  which has the display from 
> the 821  so maybe its a bit different to other 820A's

Emily Clarke wrote:

> Hi John,
> There is probably nothing intrinsically wrong with the 820 as a radio, 
> but if you read the QST review of it, and then read the review of the 
> 821, you get the feeling that the satellite functionality on the 820 
> was somewhat flawed and that they made many changes on the 821 to 
> compensate for it.  The one thing that my (old) fingers would object 
> would be the requirement of having to press and hold a button to 
> adjust main/sub band tuning.
> 73,
> Emily
> At 10:29 PM 1/21/2005 -0800, you wrote:
>> So what are the problems with the Icom 820, other than
>> trying to use it on packet satellites at 9600?  That
>> is the only 1 I saw mentioned in the QST review.
>> 73s John NE0P
>> --- Scott Avery WA6LIE <wa6lie@msn.com> wrote:
>> > Art,
>> >
>> > I have an Icom 820H, and I see your problems!
>> > I use HAM Radio Deluxe and use it to control my
>> > FT-857
>> > HRD is pretty nice and it is FREE!
>> > http://www.hb9drv.ch/
>> >
>> > Happy Hunting!
>> >
>> > 73, Scott
>> >
>> >
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: "KC6UQH" <kc6uqh@cox.net>
>> > To: "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga@usna.edu>;
>> > <amsat-bb@amsat.org>;
>> > <drmmckaugh@earthlink.net>
>> > Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 7:33 PM
>> > Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Comparing rigs TS-2000 vs
>> > FT-897D
>> >
>> >
>> > > Hi all,
>> > > I purchased a very clean IC-820 H for $ 500.00 .
>> > It works very well, but
>> > > it
>> > > is also a testimonial to the total ignorance of
>> > satellite operations by
>> > > the
>> > > Icom engineering staff. I haven't heard a lot of
>> > good things about other
>> > > rigs, birdies at 436.000 and problems invoking
>> > CTCSS tones in the
>> > > satellite
>> > > mode. This makes me think Icom's disease has been
>> > transferred to other
>> > > Amateur Radio Manufactures in Japan.
>> > > I am finally able to use it by working everything
>> > in the manual mode, but
>> > > just put it in the satellite mode and watch the
>> > air turn blue! I just wish
>> > > it had two frequency knobs.
>> > > This is the last time I will buy a radio with out
>> > operating it first on
>> > > all
>> > > modes before purchase. I recommend that anyone
>> > purchasing a radio today do
>> > > a
>> > > full checkout on the air before purchase. You can
>> > no longer trust the
>> > > engineering staff of big name companies to do a
>> > decent job of designing a
>> > > radio.
>> > > Most foreign companies never did a good job of
>> > writing an operators manual
>> > > either. Some are better understood than others,
>> > also the size of controls,
>> > > and  are they intuivitely obvious. These are
>> > decisions that must be made
>> > > on
>> > > an individual basis, as we all think in different
>> > ways.
>> > >
>> > > Art, KC6UQH
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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