Hello Amateur Allies.
I am currently running a100W Kenwood TS-590S or Icom IC-751A on SSB, CW, and AM/FM (The above picture is pre TS-590s) into an MFJ-969 T-match roller inductor tuner, end-feeding a home brew wire antenna, which is comprised of an MTW-insulated 14 gauge stranded copper wire, and is electrically more than a half wavelength long at 3.5 MHz. This allows me to work most HF bands, for better or for worse. Essentially a NVIS type antenna due to its "height challenged" location in the yz-plane, I can use it from 160m to 15m generally. I hope to improve this antenna for 160m soon and come up with alternates for the 80/40-15m bands and/or running a tube amp.Certainly not the best all-HF bands antenna, but super cheap and a far cry from nothing. DC power for the tranceivers comes courtesy of a regulated, linear, 35A, MFJ-4035MV supply (not shown) that still works.lol.
Also,there is an Astron VS-70M high current PS feeding a transistor amp for HF (on 12m and 10m) with RF excitation from the Icom IC-751A . There are 500W from the amp feeding the higher power tuner (MFJ-962D, bottom left), and matched to a half-wave fiberglass vertical on the roof. The amp and power supplies (not pictured) are on the floor, to the side of the pictured equipment. The current microphones are an Icom SM-20 and Kenwood MC-60A.The room has the requisite maps on the wall, reference books, et cetera. The grid square map is relatively useless there, but makes the picture more interesting haha.
My Icom IC-7200 is setup for digital operations in the other "shack" where the VHF/UHF stuff resides. I recently "switched" to Daiwa SS-330W's for DC power there. There's a 2m/220/440 vertical in the air for VHF/UHF FM. Also have an Icom IC-290H 2m all-mode and a 2m log periodic, and an IC-375A and horizontal loop for 220, but haven't done much with them. Integrating the Icom IC-7200 with my laptop computer via a USB cable and running HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe), I can run the rig and all its functions using the computer/mouse while observing activity on the computer's monitor display with HRD's colorful GUI. I'm having a blast with the Digital Master 780 plug-in within HRD, monitoring mostly PSK31 on 10.140, 14.070, and 21.070,and 28.120, and making contacts usually on 30m, 20m, and 10m with a less than full size G5RV type antenna in an attic space.
Sad to say, the Kenwood TS-520S (pictured in the upper right corner) was fun, but has been sent off to a newer, less experienced ham for his edification. I'm glad he (Dean) will keep it in service. It's a blast of a rig! Tube PA! Remember radios that are plugged into the AC outlet? I'd have to procure an "old school" tube amp to fiddle with plate and load, yet again.
For CW, I use the inexpensive straight keys from Ameco, specifically the black plastic base K1 (used on the 751A), and the brass K4 (used with the 590). Surprisingly, the plastic, cheaper K1 is actually a lighter, quicker action key than the brass K4, but I use both. No need for anything better and more pricey with my weak CW skills, for lack of practice time in, although I would like to purchase a Vibroplex Vibrokeyerfor motivation and inspiration.
As an aside, I have to say that my breath hasn't been taken away by DSP, but there are some major perks. There may be operator convenience features and manufacturing issues in favor of digital circuitry in general, but there's nothing quite as alluring (to me) as quality analog components and design. The good news is that buying any expensive accessory filters for the 7200 wasn't necessary, and the performance from this rig is very reasonable considering its modest cost, compared to other current Icom offerings. It's especially useful and convenient to me for digital operations.
I like the Kenwood 590 receiver better in general, which also works quite nicely for digital, but the HRD setup is a little different, and I don't know if it's because I'm used to it or what, but I like the 7200 better for the digital modes, and its got portability working for it, too. But that said, the Kenwood 590 has much better all around tranceiver performance and flexibility than the Icom 7200, but it does cost more, and does require more attention, but it's worth it, as far as the less expensive new offerings go, IMHO.
For mobile operation, I generally work VHF/UHF FM with a Yaesu FT-8800 FM crossbandable 2m/440 (50W/35W) and, since the Jetstream JT-220M monobander (50W FM) for 1.25m (222-225 MHz) died after a few years, I was using the Wouxun HT, but now that is history too (bad display), so I'm nowusing the TYT TH-9000. I also work 12m, 10m, and 6m on USB usingRCI-6900 andRCI-5054DXRanger radios. The12/10 meter radio does approximately60W PEP on sideband; whimpy perhaps, but I have worked other countries with it on both bands,thanks Wilson 5000 ! On 6 meters, I can work AM & FM (50 watts each mode), and 100W PEP (thank you) on sideband. Mobile antennas are a Hustler Collinear CGT-220 (1.25m) on the left, a quarter wave whip (roof) on 6 meters, and a Wilson 5000 (12/10m) andDiamond SG7900A (2m/440), both on the passenger side trunk lip.
HT's include a Kenwood TH-F6A 5W tribander with a Diamond SRH-320A antennna, an Icom IC-92AD with a Diamond SRH-77CA antenna for accessing D-Star DV mode, which is useless to me without the DV dongle access point (DVAP) for the computer, and the downloadable software, but yet another toy to play withlol, a DV modeecholink using RF, and of course, echolink on the smartphone and laptop.
Initially licensed in 1992, I lost my original "tech with code" N2SCL call in 2004 due to an extended period of inactivity from the hobby. I got so wrapped up in life's other stuff, that I actually forgot to renew. After coming back into the hobby as KC2UTV, I converted my General to an Extra, and promptIy applied to the FCC to bring the N2SCL call back to its rightful owner. Luckily, the call was never formally requested and my application was quickly(?) accepted. So much more to say, but then there's the QSO !!
Catch you down the wire [log]! 73.
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