I jumped into 2M SSB in 9/1993 when I'd seen one for sale at the Elmira, NY Hamfest. Price was around $650.00, so I bought it. My 2M SSB beam was a home-made 5 element made from #10AWG solid wiring. I talked all over the NE USA and S. ON, Canada with that and 140W Mirage amp behind that. Anyone I heard, I was able to work. Power ranged from 2W to 18W on mine, and 8W was the sweet spot for the AMP. The mic was the Kenwood MC-60. Everyone sounded great and I always had great complements on my audio quality. The minuses to this rig are the built-in power supply, the same gripes you get with the TS-440 and TS-811A. It adds about 50% of the heat, or more, to the rig. Even on RX. Easy enough to run EXT +13.8VDC to this rig and disconnect the built-in the 120VAC supply. The other gripe is lack of a built-in preamp for RX. That's easy enough to add-on to that as well. FM performance is just as good. I now have the Kenwood TS-2000X and an Icom IC-7000, but the TS-711A on RX beats them both hands down. This rig is a keeper.
Bought used (but immaculate condition) alongwith the TS-811E for the best looking twins ever?
Used from first licensed in 1990 and many a great QSO had over the next few years from the days when people actually used 2m and 70cm USB and not just imported Chinese handies on repeaters or echolink!
Bear in mind, all of my contacts on the 711 were on a vertical antenna, or an INDOOR beam in attic space. Confirmed 11 countries form England using the set and spoke with every English county (except Cornwall!) and most Scottish and Welsh too. (my VHF and UHF path was blocked to the west because of a huge mountain range - managed to sneak the Isle of Man though hi). All of this on a fixed 7 ele ZL special always pointing south and a maximum of 25w.
It is testimony to these great rigs that when I sold them several years later to purchase a Yaesu FT990 (I had my A Licence then) the dealer I purchased from gave me £200 more than what I had paid 4-5 years earlier! we all know dealers give poor trade-ins too!
THe only radio I ever regretted selling.
Bought this station used, in a little sad condition.
Very sensitive after a little adjustment, good reports, even with an old CB-mike.
It has seen a lot of use, and at some time, have been dropped, which have bend the back-panel but still it run perfectly.
Oh yeah, a little oil in the Vfo-mechanism does wonders when the relay doesn't let go of the clicks.
All in all, very satisfied, if you can find one, get it, mine have had a lot of abuse, still it's great :-)
73 de OZ5ES