I've been asked to specify an amateur radio for a project which is very general purpose in nature, including HF, VHF, and UHF bands. Cost and user friendliness is a concern, so I wanted to avoid multiple radios and additional complexity when multi-band radios are available.

A quick check shows that the FT-817ND fits the requirements, but I must now assert that it is the best fit for the requirements, and not merely a good fit.

Do Kenwood, Icom, or other manufacturers have a combined HF/VHF/UHF radio?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you considered the kx3? $\endgroup$ – s3c Jun 11 '14 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ Shopping question? Perhaps more detail on the requirements rather than price comparisons? $\endgroup$ – Ron J. KD2EQS Jun 11 '14 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about shopping. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Jun 11 '14 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ I've removed the note about pricing. While a list of specific requirements would arguably be better, it does seem to me that the question is an answerable product recommendation question, since very few radios fit the one requirement listed. $\endgroup$ – Adam Davis Jun 11 '14 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ This type of question should be moved to Amateur Radio Chat. $\endgroup$ – W8AWT Feb 20 '15 at 3:04

There is no FT-917ND; you're probably referring to the FT-817ND. I own one and its peak output is 5 watts and you can modify it to put out a little more — up to 10 watts, I think, but I haven't metered it. Just hold down ABC and turn it on to get the system menu and do the mod.

I would say if you don't mind an external battery the FT-857D is a great alternative because you have up to 100 watts of output, but shorter battery life or heavier batteries.

As far as a QRP (low power) radio goes, not much beats the FT-817ND. Just make darn sure you have a good antenna and learn what a 'counterpoise' is because that's a critical part of any vertical or unbalanced antenna and it's the difference between a great signal and no signal. For example, if you're using a telescopic vertical antenna, you need to connect a wire that is around 15 feet long to the GND screw on the radio and run it straight out laid across the ground. The length will vary depending on which frequency you're on. This makes a huge difference because the wire (which is a counterpoise) forms a capacitive ground and is the other half of the vertical antenna.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Amateur Radio Stack Exchange! I've edited your post to remove the “signature” text from the end — it's conventional not to do that on Stack Exchange sites since every post has a user card at the end. If you'd like your callsign to be visible on your posts, you can put it in your profile's display name. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jun 11 '14 at 19:06

The Icom IC-7100 has a similar level of band coverage, and while it's significantly more expensive has features that may make it worth the cost difference.

The Elecraft Kx3 goes to 6M, and has an optional 2M add-on as well. It wouldn't cover 70CM, and the cost is also higher.

The Wouxun quad band UV-950P mobile covers 10M, 6M, 2M, and 70CM. Not the full HF range, but depending on the requirements it might fit. Notably it's significantly less expansive, and has two receivers and transmitters, allowing more flexibility. Note that this only supports FM transmission, no typical SSB modes on HF.

The TYT TH9800 also covers 10M, 6M, 2M, and 70CM. Again, while it may receive AM, it can only transmit FM, and doesn't receive SSB or other typical HF modes.

Without a better list of requirements, it's difficult to suggest other solutions, but the above are comparable to the FT-917ND in that they support HF, VHF, and UHF operation.


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