Lately I’ve been thinking (again) about getting a new rig and replacing an older Kenwood. I’ve actually cleaned up the shack a bit and have removed some little monoband rigs that I rarely use and have gotten down to the basics of just what I need. I feel I need something new in the shack, I’m just not sure what.
The Elecraft K3 would be a no brainer choice. While it’s a great rig, it somewhat has the makings of a fad for me, and I’ve never been a trend follower.
The KX3 is another option. I kind of like the idea of a portable rig that has the potential for being a primary home shack rig at 100 watts. But I still have concerns about the form factor, with the rig being so small and for portable backpack use it seems a bit fragile. I don’t know if I could be satisfied with it as a home base rig.
I would love to try a Flexradio, however each day I’m leaning more towards Mac in the shack (gasps from the audience). The last time I looked at Flex they still weren’t supporting Vista or Windows 7. Perhaps that’s changed but support for OSX is likely light years away.
Nothing that Kenwood currently offers excites me. Unfortunately I doubt I’ll ever buy a Kenwood HF rig again.
Maybe I should go with a Yaesu rig? The FT-950 looks like a reasonable choice, though a bit uninspiring. The price is right and it gets good reviews. It appears to be a good performing rig without needless extravagance like multi-kilobuck contester rigs. I’m quite pleased and familiar with the FT-817 and FT-897, so this rig would not be difficult to assimilate into the shack, though it doesn’t really get me into uncharted territory and it seems like a “safe” choice.
Perhaps it’s time I tried a Ten Tec? The Ten Tec Jupiter is kind of spartan-looking, but interesting. I like the clean look and under the hood it seems to have a lot of technology and power. One downside I see is that the MARS mod is not readily available. I modify all my rigs for DC to daylight transmit for emergency use and so I can use them as signal generators. I’ve never used a Ten Tec but I know they are legendary performers.
I’ve used Icoms and I can’t say anything bad about them, they’ve just never been on my radar. I’m not sure why.
Any thoughts from the studio audience on what’s a good $1K – $2K HF-6m rig these days?