When you pass the test for your technician class amateur radio license, one of the first things you do is start shopping for your first radio. 10 years ago, technician class hams were fairly limited on what bands you were allowed to operate on, and most tech class hams started out with just a 2m/70cm handheld and/or mobile rig.
That all changed in 2007 when technician class hams gained privileges on multiple HF bands. Nearly all of them, however, are CW only (morse code) save for one, the 10m band where tech hams are allowed to use data/RTTY from 28.0-28.3MHz as well as SSB phone (Single Side Band voice) communications from 28.3-28.5MHz.
This is where the LINCOLN II Plus 10/12m HF transceiver from President Electronics can really make things exciting for new hams who are itching to try out some HF operating right out the gate after passing their technician test. There certainly are plenty of all band HF rigs out there that cover the 10m band, however they will all cost you hundreds of dollars more. Most of them are not compact enough to be used as mobile rigs, and unless you already know morse code, you will only be able to use one HF band for voice communications. The rest of the HF rigs on the market only have QRP (5 watts) power output. Luckily, the LINCOLN II Plus is a fairly compact mobile rig that should fit in most cars, won’t break the bank of a new ham radio operator, and definitely puts out more power then a QRP radio with its variable power output capable of going up to 50 watts AM, 35 watts SSB, & 12 watts CW. (SSB is the most common voice mode for DX operation and is the only voice mode technician class hams are allowed to use on the 10m band).
This rig can do more than just SSB mode: it also has AM, FM, and even CW modes for when you decide to learn morse code. As a tech ham radio operator, you won’t yet be able to utilize the 12m band, but it will give you something to look forward to as you study for your general class exam. The LINCOLN II Plus also has CTCSS tone and DCS code options, which will allow you to utilize 10m FM repeaters in your region.
Some of the features I really found helpful were the various audio filter options such as the ANL filter (Automatic Noise Limiter) that eliminates impulse and static noise peaks, the NB filter (Noise Blanker) that reduces pulse-type noises, and the HI-CUT filter that cuts out high frequency interferences. Having these three different filters at your disposal can really come in handy when trying to make out those signals that are right on the edge of readability.
I really enjoyed the display on this radio. Being able to customize the color and brightness is very useful. Not that the display needed changing, but I would have liked to have had control over the display contrast. I also found the S-meter and SWR meter in the display to be very helpful while tuning up antennas and assisting in giving signal reports during QSO’s. Other cool features include SWR protection and voltage protection settings.
There are 6 memory channels where you can store your favorite frequencies. In my opinion, this is a bit on the low side in this day and age. Luckily, there are actually 2 other customizable memory banks that are set aside for quick access emergency frequencies. Personally, I don’t store many memories anyways since I mostly like to scan around and see who is out there, so for me 6 is more than enough. That’s probably the case for many other hams as well.
Some of the features I feel this radio could live without are the “echo” and “roger beep” functions. Both are not commonly used in ham radio communications, and in many cases, the use of them is frowned upon by the greater ham community as they tend to be used by CB radio users. I also found it strange for a ham radio to be displaying channels 1-40 as if it were a CB radio. I would have personally preferred to have those channel numbers removed completely, thereby freeing up display real estate to allow the frequency readout to be considerably larger.
While scanning around the band listening to local and DX contacts as well as during my local test QSO’s, I found the audio quality to be superb on this radio. I typically received decent signal and audio reports during my testing. Speaking of DX, another feature I found really useful was the split frequency operation, which is regularly used during various contesting and on air events.
When it comes to what antenna to use with this rig, just about any single band or dual band 10m/12m antenna will do. Personally, I used a variety of antennas during my testing. These included single band 10m & 12m vertical antennas from MFJ, a multi band vertical from Alpha Antennas, Carolina Windom off center fed dipole, as well as the EFT-10/20/40 Trail-Friendly EndFed antenna from LNR Precision. I used most of these antennas with an LDG auto tuner.
In my testing of the LINCOLN II Plus 10/12m HF transceiver from President Electronics, I found it to be a very straightforward and easy to use radio. The simple interface makes it a prime candidate for those who just earned their technician class amateur radio license, or even those die hard fans of the 10m band. It also has a high overall build quality, which was obviously apparent when I first took it out of the box. The interface buttons and dials definitely have a very solid feel with good tactile feedback. More importantly, this radio is tons of fun to use, especially when there are DX openings on the 10m or 12m bands. I highly recommend it.
73! from James Hannibal – KH2SR
Made in China
Visit the following links for more info and purchasing:
Here is a short video of a local QSO while testing out the LINCOLN II Plus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNFYKZCFJyA
Features and specifications:
– Rotary switch and Up/down channel selector
– VFO Mode
– Frequency range 24.890Mhz – 24.990Mhz & 28.000Mhz – 29.700Mhz
– Frequency allowance +/- 300 Hz
– Transmission interference inferior to -50 dBc
– Audio response 300 Hz to 3 kHz
– Emitted power in the adj. channel inferior to 20 µW
– Modulated signal distortion 1.8 %
– Max sensitivity at 20 dB sinad 0,5 μV -110 dBm (AM) / 0,35 μV -116 dBm (FM) / 0.28µV-118 dBm (USB/LSB/CW)
– Frequency image rejection rate 60 dB
– Intermediate frequency rej. rate 70 dB
– Volume adjustment and ON/OFF
– RF Power
– Manual squelch and ASC
– Multi-functions LCD display
– Frequencies display
– PA (Public Address)
– VOX function (Hands free)
– ANL filter , NB and HI-CUT
– RF Gain / Mike gain
– Channels and memories scan
– 6 Memories
– CTCSS (38 tones)
– DCS (104 codes)
– MENU fonction key
– Beep Function
– Roger Beep
– Modulation modes AM/FM/LSB/USB/CW
– Antenna impedance 50 ohms
– Power supply 13.8 Volts
– Drain 6 A (with modulation)
– Dual watch
– Key locking
– SWR (Power Reading /SWR)
– Preset emergency (EMG 1/2) (Programmable)
– TOT (Time Out Timer) adjustable
– Front microphone plug
– External loudspeaker jack
– Microphone sensitivity 3 mV
– Maximum audio power 3 W
– Squelch sensitivity minimum 0.2 μV – 120 dBm, maximum 1 mV – 47 dBm
– Customizable by software
– Size (W x D x H): 6.69 x 9.84 x 2.05 inches / 170 x 250 x 52 mm
– Weight 3.09 lbs / 1.4 kg
– Accessories supplied: power cord with fuse, 1 microphone and its hanger, 1 mounting bracket with fixing screws