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QST Magazine Product Reviews - Key Measurements Summary - HF-Transceivers or Receivers
                               
      Receiver Transmitter      
  Subject of measurement, band: 14 MHz 20 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 20 kHz blocking gain compression 20 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 2 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 2 kHz blocking gain compression 2 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 20 kHz 3rd-order intercept 2 kHz 3rd-order intercept Transmit 3rd-order IMD Transmit 9th-order IMD Price in USD (2011-2014) Company's site  
  Min/max of scale -60/-140 dBc 70/140 dB 50/110 dB -60/-140 dBc 70/140 dB 50/110 dB -40/+35 dBm -40/+35 dBm -20/-35 dB -20/-70 dB      
  Transceivers/receivers sorted by 2 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range and if equal by 20 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range  
  1 Yaesu FTdx5000D, December 2010 N/M 136 dB * 114 dB ** N/M 136 dB * 114 dB ** +41 dBm ** +40 dBm ** -43 dB #** -72 dB #**  $5,399  www.yaesu.com  
  2 WiNRADIO WR-G31DDC, January 2012 N/M 128 dB 107 dB N/M 128 dB 107 dB +32 dBm +32dBm N/A N/A  $899  www.winradio.com  
  3 Elecraft K3, January 2009 N/M 142 dB ** 106 dB N/M 140 dB 103 dB +29 dBm +28 dBm -29 dB -51 dB  $2,200  www.elecraft.com  
  4 Elecraft K3, April 2008 N/M 139 dB 103 dB N/M 139 dB 102 dB +26 dBm +26 dBm -27 dB -53 dB  $2,200  www.elecraft.com  
  5 Kenwood TS-990S, February 2014 -117 dBc 138 dB 112 dB ** -87 dBc 133 dB 101 dB +44 dBm ** +35 dBm -31 dB -57 dB  $8,000  www.kenwood.com  
  6 Yaesu FTdx3000, April 2013 -106 dBc 137 dB * 110 dB -82 dBc 127 dB 100 dB +40 dBm ** +23 dBm -27 dB -52 dB  $2,699  www.yaesu.com  
  7 SSB Electronic ZEUS ZS-1, June 2014 -128 dBc 129 dB 105 dB -120 dBc 129 dB 100 dB +31 dBm +31 dB -34 dB -60 dB  $1,700  www.ssb.de  
NEW 8 Hilberling PT-8000A, November 2014 -118 dBc 138 dB 104 dB -111 dBc 138 dB 100 dB +35 dBm +30 dBm -26 dB -52 dB  $17,500  www.hilberling.de NEW
  9 Elecraft KX3, December 2012 -120 dBc 130 dB 103 dB -114 dBc 128 dB 100 dB +34 dBm +34 dBm -30 dB -55 dB  $999  www.elecraft.com  
  10 FlexRadio FLEX-5000A, July 2008 N/M 123 dB 99 dB N/M 123 dB 99 dB +35 dBm +30 dBm -34 dB -54 dB  $2,799  www.flexradio.com  
  11 TenTec 599AT Eagle, August 2011 N/M 136 dB 98 dB N/M 121 dB 98 dB +22 dBm +22 dBm -28 dB -48 dB  $1,795  www.tentec.com  
  12 Kenwood TS-590S, May 2011 N/M 141 dB ** 106 dB N/M 126 dB 97 dB +26 dBm +22 dBm -29 dB -52 dB  $1,649  www.kenwood.com  
  13 Perseus SDR, December 2008 N/M 129 dB 100 dB N/M 129 dB 97 dB +35 dBm +35 dBm N/A N/A  $999  www.microtelecom.it  
  14 TEN-TEC 539 Argonaut VI, August 2013 N/M N/M 96 dB N/M N/M 96 dB +20 dBm +20 dBm -30 dB -51 dB  $995  www.tentec.com  
  15 Icom IC-7700, October 2008 N/M 125 dB 106 dB N/M 102 dB 95 dB +35 dBm +24 dBm -28 dB -53 dB  $7,179  www.icomamerica.com  
  16 Flex-3000, Oct/Nov 2009 N/M 113 dB 99 dB N/M 113 dB 95 dB +28 dBm +26 dBm -30 dB -45 dB  $1,699  www.flexradio.com  
  17 TenTec Orion-II, September 2006 N/M 136 dB 92 dB N/M 136 dB 95 dB +20 dBm +21 dBm -28 dB -52 dB  $4,295  www.tentec.com  
  18 Icom IC-7410, October 2011 N/M 143 dB ** 106 dB N/M 111 dB 88 dB +29 dBm +5 dBm -30 dB -61 dB  $1,949  www.icomamerica.com  
  19 Icom IC-7600, November 2009 N/M 122 dB 106 dB N/M 102 dB 88 dB +31 dBm +13 dBm -31 dB -48 dB  $4,976  www.icomamerica.com  
  20 Icom IC-9100, April 2012 -101 dBc 142 dB ** 108 dB -77 dBc 111 dB 87 dB +29 dBm +2 dBm -29 dB -64 dB  $3,650  www.icomamerica.com  
  Subject of measurement, band: 14 MHz 20 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 20 kHz blocking gain compression 20 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 2 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 2 kHz blocking gain compression 2 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 20 kHz 3rd-order intercept 2 kHz 3rd-order intercept Transmit 3rd-order IMD Transmit 9th-order IMD Listprice in USD (2011-2014) Company's site  
  21 Icom IC-7800 V2, March 2007 N/M 144 dB ** 108 dB N/M 117 dB 86 dB +38 dBm ** +22 dBm -32 dB -52 dB  $12,499  www.icomamerica.com  
  22 FlexRadio FLEX-1500, December 2011 N/M 107 dB 100 dB N/M 107 dB 86 dB +31 dBm +13 dBm -22 dB -48 dB  $649  www.flexradio.com  
  23 Yaesu FTdx9000MP, July 2010 N/M 137 dB 99 dB N/M 102 dB 85 dB +28 dBm +7 dBm -37 dB #** >-75 dB #**  $11,629  www.yaesu.com  
  24 TenTec R4020 QRP, February 2011 N/M N/M 84 dB N/M N/M 84 dB -10 dB -10 dBm N/M N/M  $249  www.tentec.com  
  25 Yaesu FTdx1200, January 2014 -104 dBc 132 dB 101 dB -81 dBc 123 dB 83 dB +31 dBm +4 dBm -32 dB -50 dB  $1,600  www.yaesu.com  
  26 TenTec Omni-VII, July 2007 N/M 137 dB 91 dB N/M 134 dB 82 dB +11 dBm +6,5 dBm -27 dB -55 dB  $2,695  www.tentec.com  
  27 Icom IC-R9500, January 2008 N/M 144 dB ** 5kHz/92 dB N/M 109 dB 81 dB +32 dBm -4dBm N/A N/A  $17,000  www.icomamerica.com  
  28 Yaesu FTdx9000C, March 2006 N/M 128 dB 101 dB N/M 97 dB 78 dB +35 dBm +1 dBm -34 dB # -80 dB #**  $5,779  www.yaesu.com  
  29 Yaesu FT-450D, November 2011 N/M 134 dB 97 dB N/M 88 dB 76 dB +16 dBm -21 dBm -25 dB -50 dB  $999  www.yaesu.com  
  30 Yaesu FT-950, March 2008 N/M 128 dB 95 dB N/M 98 dB 71 dB +21 dBm -4 dBm -35 dB -56 dB  $1,449  www.yaesu.com  
  31 Alinco DX-SR8T, June 2011 N/M 100 dB 94 dB N/M 83 dB 70 dB +1 dB -30 dBm -28dB -53 dB  $519  www.alinco.com  
  32 Yaesu FT-2000D, October 2007 N/M 136 dB 98 dB N/M 87 dB 69 dB +26 dBm -16 dBm -41 dB #** -65 dB #  $3,549  www.yaesu.com  
NEW 33 Icom IC-7100, July 2014 -103 dBc 120 dB 95 dB -84 dBc 89 dB 68 dB +13 dBm -25 dBm -34 dB -49 dB  $1,370  www.icomamerica.com NEW
  34 Icom IC-7200, June 2009 N/M 140 dB 99 dB N/M 83 dB 67 dB +23 dBm -11 dBm -32 dB -58 dB  $1,396  www.icomamerica.com  
  35 Yaesu FT-450, December 2007 N/M 134 dB 97 dB N/M 90 dB 67 dB +13 dBm -31 dBm -30 dB -48 dB  N/A  www.yaesu.com  
  36 Yaesu FT-2000, February 2007 N/M 126 dB 95 dB N/M 92 dB 64 dB +16 dBm -22 dBm -32 dB -60 dB  $2,819  www.yaesu.com  
  37 Icom IC-7000, May 2006 N/M 112 dB 89 dB N/M 86 dB 63 dB +6 dBm -27 dBm -33 dB -58 dB  $1,299  www.icomamerica.com  
NEW 38 Alinco DX-SR9T, October 2014 -88 dBc 114 dB 87 dB -72 dBc 91 dB 60 dB +17 dBm -25 dBm -28dB -47 dB  $770  www.alinco.com NEW
  Subject of measurement, band: 14 MHz 20 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 20 kHz blocking gain compression 20 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 2 kHz reciprocal mixing dynamic range 2 kHz blocking gain compression 2 kHz 3rd-order dynamic range 20 kHz 3rd-order intercept 2 kHz 3rd-order intercept Transmit 3rd-order IMD Transmit 9th-order IMD Listprice in USD (2011-2014) Company's site  
  Min/max of scale -60/-140 dBc 70/140 dB 50/110 dB -60/-140 dBc 70/140 dB 50/110 dB -40/+35 dBm -40/+35 dBm -20/-35 dB -20/-70 dB      
      Receiver Transmitter      
                               
    * = Blocking exceeded the levels indicated                        
    ** = Below/above measurable levels                          
    # = Class A operation                          
    $ = Listprice in US according to Elecraft, FlexRadio, TenTec and Universal Radio                  
    N/M = Not measured                          
                               
    Please take into account that there might be a difference in the numbers when comparing the older product reviews (before February 2007) compared to the later product reviews, due to  
    changes in the testing methodology, measurements filters, etcetera.                    
                               
    Green = excellent                          
    Light green = good                          
    Yellow = average                          
    Orange = moderate                          
    Red = poor                          
                               
    Blocking gain compression                          
    When a very strong off channel signal appears at the input to a receiver it is often found that the sensitivity is reduced. The effect arises because the      
    front end amplifiers run into compression as a result of the off channel signal. This often arises when a receiver and transmitter are run from the same site and the transmitter signal is  
    exceedingly strong. When this occurs it has the effect of suppressing all the other signals trying to pass through the amplifier, giving the effect of a reduction in gain.    
    Blocking is generally specified as the level of the unwanted signal at a given offset (normally 20 kHz) which will give a 3 dB reduction in gain. A good receiver may be able to withstand signals  
    of about ten milliwatts before this happens.                        
    The blocking specification is now more important than it was many years ago. With the increase in radio communications systems in use, it is quite likely that a radio transmitter will be   
    operating in the close vicinity to a receiver. If the radio receiver is blocked by the neighbouring transmitter then it can seriously degrade the performance of the overall radio communications   
    system.                          
                               
    Reciprocal mixing dynamic range                        
    ARRL Lab reports three dynamic range measurements that determine a transceiver’s overall performance.              
    Along with blocking gain compression dynamic range and two tone third order dynamic range, we must consider RMDR while evaluating how well a receiver hears.    
    Which of these measurements is the most important factor in comparing receivers depends a lot on how you plan to use that receiver. For hearing weak signals at or near the receiver’s noise floor,  
    receiver noise typically is the limiting factor. For the reception of stronger signals under crowded band conditions, two tone third order DR is the most important number.    
    To assess a receiver’s ability to perform well in the presence of a single, strong off-channel signal (common within geographical ham radio “clusters” or with another ham on the same block),  
    blocking gain compression DR is usually the dominant factor.                      
    Reciprocal mixing is noise generated in a superheterodyne receiver when noise from the local oscillator (LO) mixes with strong, adjacent signals . All LOs generate some noise on each sideband,  
    and some LOs produce more noise than others. This sideband noise mixes with the strong, adjacent off-channel signal, and this generates noise at the output of the mixer.    
    This noise can degrade a receiver’s sensitivity and is most notable when a strong signal is just outside the IF passband. RMDR at 2 kHz spacing is almost      
    always the worst of the dynamic range measurements at 2 kHz spacing that we report in the “Product Review” data table.            
                               
    3rd order dynamic range                          
    The difference in decibels between the weakest signal the receiver can handle and the strongest signal the same receiver can handle simultaneously,      
    - without the need of using additional controls of the receiver, manually carried out by the operator - within 20 kHz (wide spaced) and 2 kHz (close in) within the receiver's passband.  
    For more information on this important item, written by Rob Sherwood NC0B, please use this link: http://www.sherweng.com/documents/Barc2008.pdf      
                               
    3rd order intercept                          
    This more or less theoretical point, gives a good indication of a receiver's overall strong signal performance. Third order intercept is related to two-tone third order    
    IMD. When receiver's response on desired and undesired signals (within the passband) were plotted in the same graph, the two lines would intersect at a point called the third-order intercept.  
                               
    Tx-Rx turnaround time                          
    The delay between receive and transmit, important for digital modes. A transmit-to-receive delay of 35 ms or less in SSB indicates that the rig is suitable for digital operation.  
                               
    Transmit 3rd and 9th order IMD                        
    Transmit two-tone intermodulation distortion, or two-tone IMD, is a measure of spurious output close to the desired audio of a transmitter being        
    operated in SSB mode. This spurious output is often created in the audio stages of a transceiver, but any amplification stage can contribute**        
    If you have ever heard someone causing "splatter", the noisy audio that extends beyond a normal 3 kHz nominal SSB bandwidth, then you have heard the effects of transmit IMD.  
    Frequencies close to the transmit signal are affected the most, but depending on the amount of IMD, large portions of the band can suffer from one poor transmitter**    
                               
    For more information (including what the numbers really mean) please read ARRL's QST Magazine August 2004 very interesting article on the pages 32-36.      
                               
    v OCTOBER.12.2014                          
    Please send me an e-mail (to: hans at pa1hr dot nl) if you have corrections, remarks, etc.                
                               
    Disclaimer:                          
    The following applies to the page you are currently viewing. By the page, you agree to this disclaimer.              
    This overview is provided for your convenience by Hans PA1HR; it is a summary of measurement figures and gives no indication of the ergonomics,        
    the features and/or the operational characteristics of the transceivers/receivers.                  
    The measurement figures in this overview are from the ARRL Laboratory and published in QST.                
    This page is just a non-official overview, where no one should draw any conclusions.                  
    The overview on this page is written with the utmost care, yet, PA1HR assumes no liability for any inaccuracies in the displayed.          
    PA1HR is not responsible for the content in this overview, on this page and/or companies referenced.              
                               

 

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