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BEST satellite radio 736

Hi Franklin:

This seems like a good topic.

I have been using a FT-736 for about 10 years.  I am on my second one
to a lightning strike. And the new one did have a PS failure after 5
of continuous usage (I am one of the Mir Sysops).
I have had limited access to other rigs on Field days
and have eagerly read all articles and comments for other users.

I my opinion, the FT-736 is still the best 6/2/440/1200 radio on the
And if u cant find one new, the used ones are selling for between
900-1200 (usd).

The FM circuit is a triple conversion, with built in 15 and 12k
The FM works great on weak signals FM including satellite FM.
There is no other radio on the market with this combination of features.
The bottom of the USA satellite band does not have a guard band to
any full time terrestrial unattended packet operations.  This causes
lots of FM qrm
to bleed over into the weak signal satellite band.  Any new radios will
need rock solid
filter to protect weak signals, or new laws to set up a guard band and
only allow manned operations below the weak signal band.
Satellite band, ITU 144-146, IARU 145.800 - 146.000
Unattended packet operations 145.700- 145.800

The selectivity of VHF rigs is usually much lower than the average HF
rig in
the similar ssb mode.  
Example.  IC-735 HF SSB can listen to a S1 signal while a +10 signal is
5k away. 
However the FT-736 on 2-meters will be affected by a strong signal 5k
away on SSB.
And when you toss in a typical 15 db preamp, your SSB channel spacing on
jumps to 10k.
I have not see any new radios for VHF/UHF which can perform much better.

736 Cons:
I never got 9600 to work, some have
Same with computer interface, but manual tuning is fine.

Future Radio:
With all due respect to the new 1 to 1300mc radios, i do not think its
possible to still get better RX/TX performance on VHF/UHF than 
is possible with a dedicated VHF/UFH radio, such as a 736.  The new
radios may make it 
a little more convent, but they will have to compromise some where.

Icom has the HF plus 6 meter all digital radio called the 756-Pro.
The digital filters even make working 80 and 40 meters enjoyable.
The digital filters are the key.
When i went to counter for Icom at DAyton, i was surprised to find
out that everyone at the counter was asking the same question
as I was, "When is Icom going to Make a VHF/UHF/SHF 756 Version."
The answer from the Icom guy was "There are no plans to make a
VHF/UHF/SHF 756 Version"
The crowd was very disappointed.
It seems that the true weak signal crowd wanted a dedicated replacement
for the FT-736
and not some super box.

My dedicated Rig Wish List:

RX 50-1300, AM, FM-5, FM-15, FM-25, SSB, ATV (pal, ntsc, FM and VSB)
TX 6,2,220,440,900,1200 (and european bands), AM, FM-5, FM-15, FM-25,
SSB, ATV (pal, ntsc, FM and VSB)
Satellite modes and Digital data 1200 - 128,000 
In the 756-Pro style.
(i waited 12 years for icom to come up with a replacement for the
IC-735, the 756Pro,
i guess i can wait a few more years for some one to build a replacement
for my FT-736)

So Franklin:

If you only want to buy one radio, go for simplicity and get the FT-847.
If you want the Best for VHF/UHF, you can either buy the FT-736 or wait
a few years.


Franklin Antonio wrote:
> Opinions please:  What is the best satellite radio?
> (Hope this doesn't evolve into a debate about the meaning of the word
> "best".  I just want comparative points and recommendations.)
> I've never used a dual-band satellite radio.  Have always used separate
> transceivers for 2m & 70cm.  Now that we approach P3D, I'm considering
> adding 23cm, and perhaps the best way to do that is to buy a single
> satellite radio that does 2m, 70cm, 23cm.
> So far, I've received the following opinion:
> FT736 - good radio with bad computer interface
> FT847 - good computer interface, but radio doesn't have robust front end
> I did follow the discussion about the new Kenwood HF thru 1.2GHz
> radio.  (Kenwood blurb can be found at <http://www.usol.com/~gdn/new05.jpg>
> )  There doesn't seem to be enough information yet to evaluate its
> capabilities for use as a satellite radio.
> A related question:  I don't know how much power I'm going to need to
> deliver to the antenna on 1.2 GHz for P3D.   Thoughts and/or references to
> articles appreciated.  There is a page of info on ground station
> considerations in the P3D section of the AMSAT web
> site,  <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/phase3d/groundst.html>
> .  Unfortunately, it lists suggested antennas without suggestion of xmit
> power level.
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