View Full Version : what's reasonable $$ for kenwood TS-520
Geetings to you folks in the ham shack. I'm studying to get my tech and am wondering what's a good price for TS-520. I'm looking at one on ebay. Is this a good radio to start with?
I hope you plan to study for and pass Element 1. You'll need to in order to use the TS 520. It's an HF only transceiver. Most people who enter the ranks as Techs purchase an HT for 2 meters as their first rig. I'm sure you'll get a lot of advice on which one of those to buy. I personally don't have one so I won't.
Good luck with the test...
I'm really new at this so I am looking for advice on what to purchase for first rig. Is an HT a handheld device? I would like to get a base station for the home with a wide range of frequencies, one I can "grow" into if that makes sense. I thought the Kenwood would fit the bill.
I also looked at the YAESU FT-840 at gigaparts and they describe it as great for beginners. Is this something I could use with tech license? I am looking for something I could use right away and expand on it as I get additional licensing. Also, what's "Element 1"? Help...;J
An HT (handy-talkie / hand-held transceiver) is usually a VHF or UHF device.
VHF - Very High Frequency
UHF - Ultra High Frequency
The TS-520 is an HF transceiver.
HF - High Frequency
You will be able to do strange and wonderful things with the various frequencies (or "bands") described. For more information, go to:
The best of luck to you.
The Icom 706 would be a good choice. You should be able to pick on up on eBay or at a Hamfest for a good price. This radio covers ALL the ham bands from HF to 440 MHz. (except 220 MHz) As a Tech you'll have all privileges on 50, 144, and 440 MHz. This radio also does all modes, AM, FM, SSB, CW, digital, which makes satellite communications possible. As you gain experience and upgrade your license, a radio like this can serve all your needs. It also makes a good mobile rig.
Other manufacturers make similar all band rigs like this, I just happen to like Icom products.
If you haven't found an experienced ham to ask questions, find one. Most guys are more than happy to share their knowledge. Owl's links are also chock full of good info.
Both the TS-520 and FT-840 will be outside of your operating privs as a technician class licensee. As mentioned, the IC-706 MKIIG would allow you to grow into the radio.
Without passing a 5 WPM element, you will be restricted to frequencies 50MHz and up.
The 520 and 840 will only tx to 29.999MHz.
If you have questions, please post them as you have lots of knowledge here to help you.
The Kenwood TS-520 is a good older radio, but something to consider is that these radios are twenty-five or so years old now. Without being able to inspect the radio beforehand, I would be a little cautious about buying one. Many have been used as modified CB's over the years and without knowing the ownership history they may have been subjected to a conversion to 11 meters. Also, the 520 if I recall correctly, the 520 does not have the WARC bands either. If you can get a 520 that is pretty clean, they are nice rigs, but also remember they have tube finals and it would be nice of have a spare set of finals and drivers handy.
As others mentioned, when you get your Tech License you will only have priviledges on 50.0 mhz and up, which the TS-520 does not cover. The Icom IC-706 mkIIG as well as the Yaesu FT-857 will cover HF plus VHF and UHF all in one small package. They are pretty much a do it all on one box type of rigs which would seem to suit you better. You can use them on 2m and 70 cm FM to chat on the local repeaters or try 6m SSB for a taste of DX. As you upgrade, you can also use the same rig on the HF bands as well. Used 520 rigs can run $200-300 and a FT-857 will run about $680. Pretty decent price if you add in the price of a dual band mobile rig to use as a base radio in addition to the 520, and the 706 or 857 will also have 6m as well as SSB capability on 6m, 2m and 70 cm.
Hope this helps.
Right now, I think the 706 or 857 are too expensive for me. Anyone know of an inexpensive 2m and 6m base rigs? I haven't seen any with both bands. I have seen some inexpensive 2m rigs - Icom 211 - but no 6m's. Can you do any dx'ing with 2m?
If you are looking for local chat on repeaters, a good radio would be a mobile/base dual band radio for 2m and 70 cm. That is what I would recommend for a new person getting their Tech license. Depending on where you live, a dual band handheld would also be a viable choice, but the base/mobile would give better range as they have 45 or so watts out compared to 5-7 watts for an handheld. Dual band mobiles that are to look at are the Icom IC-207, IC-208, Yaesu FT-7800, Kenwood G707 or similar radios. Most of these are in the $200-300 range. If you are looking for a used radio, make sure that it has PL tone capability. Many of the older radios do not have PL tones and most repeaters require the use of PL tones. The IC-211 is an older radio and is 2m only. For the price of a used 211 you could get a new 2m mobile for only a little more. A new 2m mobile will run somewhere in the $150 range.
If you are looking for DX, you may have to look to 6 meters for your best choice as a Tech. It sounds like you want to be on HF, but will need to get your General Class license before you can do that.
I would suggest that you contact some of the hams in your area to see what repeaters are available and if a HT or mobile/base radio would suit you better.
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