QTH: Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom.
WAB Square: SU93
I'm a keen portable operator and if the opportunity arises, I try and take my ham radio's out and about with me whenever I can - particularly when at the seaside (and much to the annoyance of my XYL)!
Now we have reached 2017, we are also rapidly heading towards another sunspot minimum and so we no longer enjoy 5/9 +++ worldwide QSO's using a length of wire thrown out of the upstairs shack window!
The HF bands are getting more challenging, DX contacts are less frequent, the MUF means 10, 15M & increasingly 17M are closed much of the day. As a result, I am now re-focusing my efforts on 40M and below, turning my attention to 1) antenna & feeder arrangements (top priority) and 2) higher power operation i.e. firing up my linear amplifier (using 400W - the maximum permitted RF output here in the UK).
More specifically, I'm about to install a 'G7FEK' antenna in my back garden. These simple nested, inverted L antennas are ideal for smaller gardens and because they are resonant they offer decent efficiency on 40 and 80M - no traps or loading coils required, despite this it only has a 44ft horizontal footprint.
Equipment wise, I have a Yaesu FT2000 as my primary HF rig (a proper, man sized radio!). I operate this with my Ameriton 811H linear amplifier (cabable of 800W). I also own an FT857D which is used as a back up rig but leave on 144.300 SSB. Finally, I have the baby of the Yaesu range - the ubiquitous FT817 for mobile/portable working.
The new temporary shack - in my garage!
VHF & UHF
On the higher on the bands, I have an IC2820 mobile DSTAR radio which also covers 2M & 70cm analogue as well as AM Airband monitoring when the fancy takes me (I live just a few miles from Heathrow airport and have a microlight pilots licence). Its a really well thought out and brilliantly easy to use dual band rig.
I know some consider the VOIP linking process used in DSTAR - not 'proper' radio but I don't look at it like this, its a great way for hams to make long distance QSO's with relatively simple equipment, encourage innovation and crucially, keep those VHF/UHF bands active.
As you can see, my amateur radio style is very much a mix of different operating methods. I'm not a serious DX'er, contest station or SOTA mountaineer but everything I do with my radios, I enjoy - which ultimately is what our hobby is all about!
P.S. My brother Keith is also a licensed radio amateur and a keen 2M SSB & HF RTTY operator, why not check out his QRZ page - M1VHT. He lives approx 300 miles north of me in Hadson, Northumberland.
73's for now