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FT991A vs IC7100


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I am looking to get my first HF rig. I passed my General last Saturday.

Goals

1. SSB on HF

2. Digital modes such as FT8 on HF and VHF/UHF

3. SSB on VHF/UHF

D-Star doesn't matter.

I am looking at either the FT991A or the IC7100.

I realize it is not a straight comparison.

The pluses I see is the 7100 will be better for outdoor activations.

The pluses I see with the FT991A is the waterfall and a built in antenna tuner.

Is there anything I am missing?

Thanks

 

 

 

 

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Really, both are great radios. It is really going to come down to DStar vs c4fm.

I am a tech. I have a ft991a.

The waterfall is nothing to right home about. Enough so I setup a quasi panadapter using a rsp1a and mfj sdr switch. Also did a catswitch because unlike the Icom 7300 the menu is a complete pain at times.

Both can be used for field work. Personally, the ft991a works better in my books because it is all in one box unlike the Icom 7100.

Also I'd didn't have a choice. Wife bought it as a gift and she didn't want to spend 1k on a radio that looke like an alarm clock.

Any reason an all mode versus a dedicated hf radio and dualbanner? If you are into 2m/70 ssb work or satellites a 9700 and 7300 would be awesome minus the $$$

Asking because I found with 2m/70cm ssb work alot of it is the same 10 guys unless you get luck with antenna height (no hoa) or tropo.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Knowing myself I will buy one radio and most likely never get another HF unless the radio quits working. I am not the type to buy and sell. So I am looking for something that gives me the most options in one radio.

I want to try 2m SSB but I am assuming it is a quiet band so I am willing to get a radio that includes it but not willing not buy a dedicated radio. Plus there is the money factor.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, WRPH745 said:

I want to try 2m SSB but I am assuming it is a quiet band so I am willing to get a radio that includes it but not willing not buy a dedicated radio. Plus there is the money factor.

You won't find a dedicated 2M SSB radio either, unless you look for something used (and fairly old).

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I'd go 991a, and this is from a guy that has a 7300/9700 set. The 7100 is a great radio, but it's a few steps short of the 7300 in features, and even the D-Star is half baked (compared to my 705 and 9700). Both are great radios, but if I had to have only 1 radio, and it had to be all band all mode, it would be the 991a. Yaesu also has a bit better physically filtering and is less prone to strong signal interference. Don't get me wrong, the Icom SDR filters work amazing, but in our field day setup, the 7300s had more interference from the adjacent stations than the Yaesu radios ever did. Also, the 7100 interfacing is there, but not as smooth or feature filled. Lacking the tuner, but adding the 2m/70cm, the 7100 still falls short of the same bang per buck the 7300 provides.

 

Also, with the 991a, you can do 10m C4FM that some guys are expiramenting with.

 

I would also note the internal tuner on the 991a is a nice feature. I use resonant antennas, but it's nice when the edge of band creeps a bit past 2:1 and you can use the tuner to keep the finals much happier.

 

Just my 2 cents. All that being said, I've worked through a few radios, and ended up with the 7300/9700 pair, and they are worth any penny. I have zero intentions of changing again anytime soon, unless someone donates a 7610 to me, then that's an obvious yes.

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About the tunernon the ft991a. Anything greater the 3:1 and then you are using a external tuner.

C4fm us nice to play with on the radio in 6m/10m. But since it was an older design it miss out on the ability to be a node even with the hri200. That is a sore point for me at least.

Personally if the amp and tuner was cheaper I would recommend a ic705. They are all when not on sale about the same price.

Why? You could use it as a base, mobile and a qrp field radio. You buy what you want/need.

It is really unfortunate that there isn't one radio that ticks all the check boxes from any manufacturer. All are close but just miss the mark.

Good luck on your choices. Dedicated hf with dual bander is what I say. Flexradio if you got the money for hf, with a maestro you can play with the radio at home from work. But I was a computer tech so I love technology and lean towards sdr radios they can hear so much more then the super hets like the ft991a. So much so that I can pick signals out with the rsp1a that don't show up on the waterfall of the 991a much less can be heard from the 991a on the same antenna.

Have you looked at the kenwood ts series?



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16 hours ago, kidphc said:

The waterfall is nothing to right home about. Enough so I setup a quasi panadapter using a rsp1a and mfj sdr switch. Also did a catswitch because unlike the Icom 7300 the menu is a complete pain at times.

Agreed, the waterfall is hardly a this radio or that one factor.  It's nice but there are other alternatives.

A big factor for me would be that the 7100 is older tech and is perhaps, closer to end of life as a product. 

As for being better for portable, I'm not sure where the OP was going with that comment.  Both radios are 100W on HF (variable) and the current draw would be similar.  If anything the separate head and it's cable would, IMHO, be cumbersome for portable ops.  The 991 isn't that big of a radio.

Just an opinion...

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2 hours ago, WROZ250 said:

As for being better for portable, I'm not sure where the OP was going with that comment. 

In terms of the above statement, a lot of reviews I read people thought the separate head of the 7100 made it better suited for portable use.

I want to thank everyone for their advice and  I welcome any more additional comments you may have.  I am in no hurry so I will take the advice and review a few more radios before I make a decision.

I think what I may do is get a SDRPlay and an antenna and just listen to what is going on.  By listening hopefully I will maybe figure out what I want in a transceiver.  Once I do get a transceiver I can always use the SDRPlay and a SDR switch as my pan adapter as mentioned above.

 

Thanks again

 

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In terms of the above statement, a lot of reviews I read people thought the separate head of the 7100 made it better suited for portable use.
I want to thank everyone for their advice and  I welcome any more additional comments you may have.  I am in no hurry so I will take the advice and review a few more radios before I make a decision.
I think what I may do is get a SDRPlay and an antenna and just listen to what is going on.  By listening hopefully I will maybe figure out what I want in a transceiver.  Once I do get a transceiver I can always use the SDRPlay and a SDR switch as my pan adapter as mentioned above.
 
Thanks again
 
If you want really cheap. The rtsdr that I got on Amazon does an awesome job for listening. I would suggest building a long wire with a bias t or getting an active antenna. For like $20 it is hard to beat. I personally, perfer sdrconsole over all the panels.


Biggest difference I found with the rtlsdr versus the rsp1a was that it takes less to overload the front end on the $20 dongle. Think baofeng versus a quality ht.

Including a clip of the Rsp1a versus the ft991a waterfall. Connected to the same antenna (no gain). The switch does degrade the signal a bit on the ft991a. When plugged in directly the waterfall is a bit better. The scp span frequency is set at 50khz, the highest resolution I can get. The radio gain is maxed out. The rsp1a is set to 6 rf gain and -35 if gain an -5 visual gain.




Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk


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  • 2 months later...
On 3/27/2022 at 4:10 PM, WRPH745 said:

In terms of the above statement, a lot of reviews I read people thought the separate head of the 7100 made it better suited for portable use.......

Thanks again

 

I've had a 7100 for a few years. I like it. Had a Kenwood TS480 that was nice, but didn't do anywhere near what the 7100 can do. I have tried SSB on 2M. It's OK. I do use DStar a lot (sometimes on HF which is freaky good when you connect). I like the setup of Icom radios, the filters, etc. 7100 does everything well, but not as well in any of them as some other Icom radios. I am not a Yaesu fan (just sold my second last Yaesu...down to an FT60 left). In my experience everything Yaesu makes is proprietary, changes with every model, menus have many buried levels. Biggest downside of 7100 is you need a tuner. However, you probably need a tuner with the 991 on some bands anyway. For emcomm it's hard to beat the 7100. The EOCs around here, our State Red Cross have standardized on that radio. You can probably run it OK even if you've never seen one before by just playing with the touch screen. Digital modes are very easy with the way it is set up, although the "DATA" mode is confusing to some (and, as usual, Icom doesn't help explain it well, either). 

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