HF rig for beginers

I am looking for suggestions as to the simplest HF rigs. At our club we have a potential foundation licensee whose disabilities make operating the modern equipment in the club difficult due to either a plethora of buttons or unreadable menu displays. To get him started and other foundation applicants going I suggested we get something like a a Yaesu FT-747GX. If anyone has any other ideas or knows of a suitable rig going very cheap please let me know. The less knobs and buttons the better.

Steve GW7AAV (eMail on QRZ.com)

In reply to GW7AAV:

How about an FT101? (Including the 101E and 101-ZD variants). They are very plentiful and inexpensive on the second-hand market. The controls are straightforward and large-size and the display is clear and also of reasonable size.

The only slight disadvantage is that it requires an ability to tune up a valve PA!

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to GW7AAV:


FT840 might be the ticket. Cheap, solid, no frills and easy to use.

73, Chris

In reply to GW7AAV:

FT-747 is straightforward. As is the FT-707. Both are popular with the triple nickle wallahs and so any second hand one might need to be “de-rig-doctored” before going back into service. FT-757 is worth considering. FT-One and FT-107 are plagued with relay problems now.

TS-430 should do but these are getting old and the relays are prone to aging. TS-140/TS-680 may be a better bet apart from slider controls aging.

IC-725 is another simple set.


In reply to GW7AAV:
I have an FT77 available. No modifications. Tx and Rx are actually stable, but the frequency readout jitters. I suspect that there is a problem around the separate crystal oscillator that operates the readout. Any interest to dave(dot)crake(at)btinternet(dot)com. QTH 4 miles west of Shrewsbury, just off the A5.

Regard, Dave, G6DTN

In reply to GW7AAV:

The SWxx series of single band transceivers from Small Wonder Labs are about the simplest to operate. I can operate my SW40+ in complete darkness – one knob for gain, one for tuning. They are QRP only, but they have a good spec. and really excellent battery performance for portable ops.


In reply to GI4FLG:

One rig that impressed me with its ease of operation is the Alinco DX-70TH, but amongst the old warhorses I like the Trio/Kenwood TS-520S up to the TS-830S, easy to operate once you master tuning the finals, and that can’t be too difficult as we all did it once! I got my TS-520S in its original box plus digital readout for £150, a typical price for a private sale.


Brian G8ADD