Best Deal at Dayton?

May brings with it warmer weather, longer days, shorter nights, and one really big ham radio show in Dayton, Ohio.

Since 1952 Hamvention® has been sponsored by Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA). For many years it was the world’s largest amateur radio gathering, attracting hams from throughout the globe. As it happens, I live within reasonable driving distance of Dayton and have missed only four years since 1977 — and I’ll be there this year too.

You might say it’s the annual B12 injection that keeps me enthused about our hobby for the rest of the year.

I suspect a good many of the 25,000+ visitors who attend this year intend to lay eyes and hands on the new Icom IC-7300 HF transceiver, and many will doubtless take one home. It’s a uniquely designed radio, the first to employ an RF, direct sampling system in an entry level priced HF radio.

The ability to digitize RF before various receiver stages reduces the noise generated in different IF stages of a radio. And Rob Sherwood, NC0B — a noted receiver expert — has tested the new transceiver and found it worthy to list alongside high-powered transceivers costing three or four times more.

It’s certainly worth a look and sounds very interesting, but here’s a little tip.

While everyone is focused on the NEW radio, you might want to take a look at the Kenwood TS-590SG. It’s a solid performer with an impressive pedigree whose price has been falling recently.

Some of my friends who are serious contesters operating in multi-transmitter environments have started replacing more expensive gear with the 590SG based on their performance. One even said, “the SG models have such a tight front end, we can get up to 3KC’s away before it gets too tough to work.  We’re also running full 1500 watts out when we do that with our antennas only a few hundred feet from each other.  If we do this barefoot, you can’t even hear the other rigs till you’re less than 1KC away”.

I have no inside information on what kind of deals might be available on the 590SG at the big show, but you can order one today for thirteen hundred bones from just about anyone and that’s a tremendous value. If you’re in the market for a mid-range HF transceiver and can pick one up at Dayton for, let’s say, twelve hundred — you’d be nuts to pass on it.

Author: Jeff Davis