Every good emergency communications set up is going to include some sort of All Band HF radio. When looking for a good base station, one of the radios that we really like to recommend is the Icom IC-718.
The Icom IC-718 is a 100W all-band radio that covers transmissions on the 1.8, 3.5, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24, 28MHz bands and has a receive range of 30kHz–29.999MHz.
A Prepper’s take on the Icom IC-718
The Icom 718 is a great base station that can also pull double duty as a field rig during emergencies. It has an output power range from 2–100W, giving it the ability to run on very little power or to be used as a QRP rig.
As far as HF rigs go, the IC-718 is a damn good, budget friendly radio that is fairly simple to use and will serve as a good emergency coms base station that you can count on when things go bad.
From a Preparedness Standpoint, here are some of the things we liked about the Icom IC-2730A
- I know quite a few Hams show have been running these radios as both mobile and base stations for 10+ years; they are built extremely well and can be depended on for emergency communications.
- It’s got a nice simple design and is really easy to use. This could go in either category (good or bad) but from a preparedness standpoint we like the no frills aspect of this radio – the more features and gadgets on a radio the more shit that can go wrong!
A couple of things we didn’t like:
We only had a few gripes about the radio, here they are…
- It doesn’t have an internal antenna tuner, which for some may be a negative thing but in my opinion I always like having an external antenna tuner as most internal ones aren’t the greatest to begin with, especially if you have high SWR antenna.
- No 6 Meters or FM
Icom IC-718 Specs and Features
Transmit: 1.8, 3.5, 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 24, 28MHz bands
101 (99 regular, 2 scan edges)
CW, RTTY: 2–100W
Maximum current drain: 20A at 13.8V
DC Power supply requirement: 13.8V DC ±15%
Recommended Accessories and Add-ons
It’s really hard to recommend any one antenna for HF operations, but if you are just getting started I would get something like the MFJ-1778 G5RV Wire Antenna which covers 80-10 Meters. Then I would start experimenting and building my own antennas!
My main base station power supply is an Astron RS-35M-AP. I run Anderson Power Poles on all of my radio, so I like this power supply but anything that will give you 20 amps of continuous power will do.
This radio does not have an internal antenna tuner, but like I mentioned above I run all my radios through an external tuner to begin with. I personally use the MFJ Enterprises Original MFJ-941E HF Antenna Tuner with Mini Cross Meter. The one I have is probably 20-30 years old, and the only thing wrong with it as this point is the meter lightbulb is dead.