Setting up a TS-990, Yaesu FT-5000, a Icom IC-7800 and a Flex-6000 back to back

My island neighbor George W9EVT had some unsupervised urchins in his shack during a major event on the farm, youngsters whose curiosity set them into twiddling knobs and pushing buttons.

Stuff like that happens and while the radios were none the worse for the attentions, the settings were partially scrambled.

Murphy further played havoc as the notes for the radios containing settings can’t be found.

So one by one we went through all the possible settings for each radio, including resetting receive and transmit equalizers.

While the process for each RX/TX path is largely the same, each of the radios implement the controls differently.

The IC-7800’s wiring had another issue with an intermittent patch cord we found and fixed, and the Flex-6300/Maestro setup ended up fully updated to the latest SmartSDR v3.1.7 software.

After doing all the radios the order I would rank them in ease of set up from the worst to the best are: in last place by a country mile is the Kenwood TS-990. Not only does the TS-990 have a jillion buttons & knobs, it has a massive menu tree. Organization is hard to follow and the users manual has the worst index ever. The index is alphabetical on words like “Configuring the xyz” rather than grouping everything about xyz together. You’d have to see it to believe it.

Next are the Yaesu FT-5000 and Icom IC-7800. Both are pretty straight forward with the occasional over-styled Yaesu odd shaped button and the slightly greater complexity of the Icom balancing each other. Both are seriously feature and adjustment rich but they manage their complexity well.

Easiest and my first place choice on the restore to good operating condition after a youngster twiddles the knobs is the Flex-6300/Maestro set up. This is largely due to there being only a small number of buttons and knobs that could be messed with. All other settings are organized in menus that the kids couldn’t get at.

George W9EVT presently has eight radios on the ready. In addition to these four the Hilberling PT-8000A, a Icom IC-7610 and s Icom IC-7300 are a twist of a switch away fro being on the air. The eight position is pigtailed to the console front for radio testing. Separately a Collins KWM-380 is ready to use.

An interesting afternoon!




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