Thursday, March 9, 2017

Equipment History

I thought I would tell you about the gear I have owned and the gear I currently have my eye on. Like many people who get interested in ham radio I bought a cheap China made HT (handy talkie) made by Baofeng. These radios are popular because they offer the opportunity to listen in, and transmit, on the cheap. I purchased the UV82 prior to ever receiving my ticket and monitored the local repeaters for about a month until I tested. Baofeng gets bad mojo from hams who consider them cheaply made and they have also been tested and found to have spurious emissions, a no-no in amateur radio.

After a couple months I used some Christmas money and at the end of 2015 I purchased my first mobile unit, a Yaesu FT-1900R. This little 2m rig packs a might punch through my 5/8 wave Larsen BM-150 NMO mount antenna. I still run this radio in my car and talk daily to the morning and evening rush hour crowds on the 146.700. It is really fun and consider many of these guys close friends now. It is almost like a bunch of old guys sitting at the local Hardee's in the morning drinking coffee. HaHa.

My first HF rig was purchased in September of 2016, four months after gaining HF privileges by passing my General exam. I was interested in voice and getting on JT65 so my purchase was the excellent entry level HF rig Icom 718. I also picked up the LDG IT-100 automatic tuner and a Signalink USB Sound Card Interface to run digital modes. The 718 proved to be exactly what a new ham like me needed. The simplicity of setup and operation was amazing. I had a great time running this rig starting out for a month or so on JT65 and finally making voice contacts. Did I mention I logged contacts in North and South America from a homebrew 20m dipole strung up on my bedroom walls? I love this hobby!

Icom IC-718

Being the gadget geek that I am I soon wanted to upgrade to a different rig. My choice? You guessed it if you picked the Yaesu FT-857D that you see in the header of this blog. Out went the 718 and the IT-100 and in came the 857D and LDG Z100 Autotuner. I kept the Signalink and continue to run both voice and JT65.

My current shack as of 3/9/2017

I also recently purchased a Buddipole Deluxe package so that I can operate portable. I will eventually take the 857D out of the shack and make a portable solar powered setup. When I do, I will replace the 857D in the shack with either the Yaesu FT-991A or the Icom 7300. Right now I am leaning towards the 7300 for superior receiver. So, what plans are beyond that? None at the time but remember, I am a gadget geek.

Next time we meet up I will be discussing my favorite operating modes and my latest attempt at learning something new in the ham world. Keep the adventures coming!!

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