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Re: BEST satellite radio 736


I would like to echo the comments on the Yaesu 736R. For satellite work it is 
a nice rig to use. I also have a Yaesu FT-847. I prefer the 736R for analog 
work and the 847 for the digital side. For weak signal work and especially in 
crowded "contest" type conditions, the stock 736R falls short. Its 
selectivity is pretty poor when you're dealing with kilowatt stations around 
you. One way to improve the performance is to add the muTek mods. These mods 
make it a decent radio. I've used a muTek modified 736R contesting for years 
on 2, 222, 432 and 1296 and it works.

You don't run into too many "kilowatt" type signals when you're running 
satellite, but weak signal can be a factor. Once again the muTek mods help. 
It's especially noticeable on 432 where the noise floor reduction is quite 
dramatic. Add to this a good helical frontend, adjustable gain, mastmount 
preamp, and you have a decent receive system.

I find the 847's selectivity to be only fair. It can be helped with the 
addition of a third party filter. The INRAD 2.1 KHz SSB filter helped my 847 
considerably. I think the biggest thing I noticed was the reduction of agc 
pumping when I was trying to work weak station close to a strong station. I 
also find I tend to run fast agc during crowded band conditions on the 847 
because normal mode doesn't recover fast enough.

One thing I dislike about the 847 is the lack of A/B vfo switching in Sat 
mode. On my 736R I can work people with the A vfo and load the B vfo with the 
sat's beacon. Then I can instantly switch between the two. (invaluable when 
working AO-10). You can't do that with the 847. (unless you computer control 
it) I like to check the level of the beacon on the bird I'm operating often 
so I can keep my uplink power reasonable.

Mike, N1JEZ
AMSAT #29649
Local Area Coordinator
"A closed mouth gathers no feet."
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