I have been licensed since 1971. I started off as most did in those days with 10W AM on Topband. Next I tried 2M AM - who remembers those days of being crystal bound and tuning high to low on the receiver!
My current equipment is:
The FTDX5000MP is a superb rig, especially if you are a CW operator. The down-conversion design of the main RX means that the roofing filters can be narrow and sharp. The 300Hz roofing filter is absolutely amazing. The DSP is very very good. I have always preferred Yaesu rigs and the 5000MP is probably going to be one of the last of the large format rigs with lots of knobs and switches - which I personally love. I just don't like the modern trend of tiny rigs with multi function knobs / switches / touchscreens.
The Elad FDM-S2 SDR provides spectrum/waterfall display capabilities using the associated FDM-SW2 software (the SM-5000 is rather poor in this respect!). The RX capabilities of the FDM-S2 are very good when I compare it to the FTDX5000MP. I have it configured for two 384KHz wide data streams so this means I can monitor two ham bands simultaneously. I have written a custom Windows program to sync the 5000MP with the SDR so as I tune the 5000MP I can see where I am on the band spectrum display. For more details of the FDM-S2 go to http://ecom.eladit.com/ELAD-FDM-S2
I plan to upgrade my antennas soon and bring the amplifier back into play. So hopefully my signals should be louder!
My main interest is Summits-On-The-Air (SOTA). I have so far amassed over 22,000 Chaser points and over 3,200 unique summits chased but only 122 Activator points. For SOTA activations I either use a FT-857D or for QRP a YouKits HB1A. I wish I had more spare time to do Activations, which are tremendous fun. Good exercise climbing to the top of a SOTA hill carying portable equipment too!
Above is my HB1A mounted on a homebrew A4 Flight Deck set up for a SOTA activation on 30M. The antenna is a half-wave 40M end fed wire in inverted L format with a shortening link for 30M. The QRP tuner is velcro'd to the 7M telescopic fibre glass mast that supports the antenna. The far end of the antenna is kept off the ground using a walking pole. The brown wire is a short elevated counterpoise, although probably not necessary with the antenna wire resonant.
Hope to catch you on the bands !
73 Andrew, G4AFI
8062549 Last modified: 2017-04-29 10:57:02, 10282 bytes
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