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Ham Member Lookups: 2047


Ham Radio Operator since 1974.

Ham Radio as an artform: this is a comprehensive guide to a: 1) inexpensive, 2) elementary, 3) functional, 4) minimal, 5) simple, 6) effective, and: 7) creative-minded: amateur radio (telecommunications) station:

I aspire to get the most out of amateur radio: without tremendous fuss, mind clutter, and expense. 

I am interested in knowing about: 1) analog and digital radio signal transmission, 2) the reception of radio waves: line of sight, and long distance, and: 3) the propagation of these signals. I am very much interested in gaining: knowledge, information, intelligence, and a sensibility: about the world. 

For HF, I am currently running a Yaesu FT-891 160-6 meter transceiver with up to 125 watts peak (depending upon the SWR), into an Alpha Delta DX-EE multiband fan dipole antenna. The center is tied to a galvanized steel mast, on the top of my building (approximately 110+ feet high).

(Photo: 2016. HF Equipment: Yaesu FT-891, LDG AT-100ProII Autotuner, and a Cobra HG S-500 CB speaker (background): dr).

The Yaesu FT-891 is about 6-1/4 inches wide, 2-1/4 inches high, and about 9 inches deep. It fits perfectly on my computer desk. I realized its great: selectivity, stability, and sensitivity. It has a scope, and a bunch of RF/IF filters for QRM. The menu items are very easy to use, and the LCD screen is bright (adjustable dimming and contrast), and very easy to read. I also like the features such as: band / mode selection, and fast / normal tuning selectivity (you can select this with a button on the rig, right next to the tuning knob). I had the radio up and running in less than an hour: right out of the box. 

The SWR readings are 2:1 or better without a tuner. I made a bunch of long distance contacts on 20 meters, with excellent signal reports. There is total control of all of the RX functions. They work together: 1) DSP noise reduction, 2) IF shift, 3) contour, 4) bandwidth (of signal), 5) ATT (attenuator), 6) IPO (intercept point optimization), 7) AGC (automatic gain control), 8) noise blanker, 9) notch filter, and 10) RF gain control. These functions (filters) are extemely effective for tuning out noise, and separating the signals from it. 

(Photo: 2016. Yaesu FT-891, RX menu items: dr).

It takes a little practice to get them exactly right. Make some basic settings. Then, they can be used (with adjustments) for the usual variables: 1) band conditions, 2) signal strength, 3) interference, 4) level of the noise floor, etc. You do not need to be an expert to use the RX (FT-891) functions. You just have to have a good ear, and the desire to learn it. I set all of my memory frequencies, with all of the functions associated with them. Then, I checked out the scope: it is not a touch screen, so it plays like, and is: a real ham radio. The span and signal levels are adjustable. I use the tuning knob to tune in signals: in the scope mode. This feature is exceptional for selective, fine tuning.

(Photo: 2016. Yaesu FT-891, tuning with the scope: dr).

I turned on the audio processor (TX: PRC level: 50, and Mic Gain: 60). I switched the audio control on the back of the stock mic to: high (voice pitch), and I have been getting great audio reports all around. I saved the tuner settings into the tuner's memory. I speak in a normal voice, directly into the mic.

While I was deciding to buy the Yaesu, I was debating to get a state of the art SDR receiver (router) instead, use it with a separate transmitter, and control them with a (TX-RX) switch. Somehow, the software devices that were in my price range did not have enough of the features that I wanted. I am definitely looking for more than just HF. I am using Safari (web browser)Mac OSX Sierra 10.12.4. I like the Mac operating system for its stability, performance, and rock solid platform. However, there are less choices for SDR software for the Apple iMac Computer

I am looking into free SDR websites on the internet. There are many SDR receivers at WEBSDR.org,  Listen though other people's: antanna and radio systems, via the internet, worldwide.

K2SDR.com is a complete remote HTML-5 (hf shortwave) radio, in a web browser. I am able to receive signals similar to my own antenna, because they are located almost line of sight from New York City: in New Jersey. I tried listening at night, on 40 meters. The propagation was slightly less than average. Oftentimes, my own receiver and antenna system received louder signals than the website. I tried it again, and the results were different.

I know that great, inexpensive high fidelity SDR's will be in production: and they will be available in less than 5 years. Today, the amount of free web resourses (worldwide) available to amateur radio operators, is quite amazing.

(Photo: 2016. Yaesu FT-891: closeup: dr).

(Photo: 2017. HF Equipment: Yaesu FT-891, LDG AT-100ProII Autotuner (foreground), and a Cobra HG S-500 CB speaker (background): dr).

A good (may I say, "Zen"), audio solution: I took my Cobra HG S-500 speaker ($21. USD), and placed it on a (8x10x1-1/2 inch) hard wood art panel (with the opening of the panel: facing down). I placed another (8x8x1-1/2 inch) panel behind it (with the open side of the panel: facing away: the openings are not visible in the photo). The resulting configuration sounds like a big, hi-tech, communications speaker.

I experimented with different positions of the speaker and panels: I am fine tuning it. If I move the speaker to the center of the panel, the sound  has more bass. If I move it closer to the edge, the sound is flatter. The total cost for this project was about $32. USD. Special thanks to Klaus (DK9HY), for his ingenuity, interest, and inspiration.

(Photo: 2017. ("Zen") Communications audio: Cobra HG S-500 CB speaker, and 2 hard wood art panels, 1-8x10x1-1/2 inch (below speaker), and 1-8x8x1-1/2 inch (behind speaker): dr).

I use an Alpha Delta DX-EE (space saver, length: 20 feet each side, 40 feet total) fan dipole antenna for HF, since there are limitations for space. I installed it at about a 95-100 degree angle, on a horizontal plane, facing north west, and south east. It is about 10 feet above the surface of the roof. It resonates on all bands (40 through 10 meters). Average SWR is 2:1 or better (with all of the metal, noise, wires, and interference). It is 1.5:1 or better using the antenna tuner.

I got some good information on grounding systems (for performance): I just set up a ground system using a bare cold water pipe for electrical ground, and a one inch copper ribbon to connect it to a hub. Thanks to Roy (AC2GS), on the (Kings County) Tech Net: Kings County Amateur Radio Club, for his help and suggestions. The radio's performance has improved significantly (the radio tunes much better than before: with better SWR, and higher output power into the antenna). 

Since the noise level is extremely high in the city, I continue to explore (other) better grounding possibilities. I own a 4 foot copper rod, and 25 feet of copper ribbon. Perhaps this will be a significant improvement over the cold water pipe. I strive to make my radio perform and operate better overall. I want to bring down the noise level (especially the static crashes on 20 and 40 meters).

I am experimenting with CW. I made my first successful contact on CW (after 35 about years), after adjusting the paddle settings, and practicing a little bit (at about 17 wpm: sending). I adjusted the settings on the paddle some more. Then, I tweaked the setting in the rig for the type of keyer, and the keyer weight. I definitely need to practice my CW. 

I was having a lot trouble with adjusting my first spring loaded device, so I ordered a Pietro Begali (Italian): HST Mark II Single Lever Paddle. It worked right out of the box, because it was preadjusted. I set it for a slightly lighter touch. I've never operated a CW device as good as this one before. It is truly superb: a significant difference for precision and stability.

(Photo: 2017. Pietro Begali HST Mark II: dr).

For VHF / UHF, I operate a Kenwood TMV-71a (on the 10 watt setting), into a Diamond x200a vertical antenna. I programmed 440+ channels with Chirp programming software on my Mac (95 mile proximity from my home QTH, for repeaters), into the Kenwood, and the Yaesu FT-60r.

I listen to: LIMARC: 146.850 mhz (Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club), in Glen Oaks, NY. I am currently a member. I like their tech net, astronomy net, talks about: engineering, radio electronics, and other related subjects. Many thanks to LIMARC, and the members of this organization. 

(Photo: 2016. Kenwood TMV-71a (dual band FM rig): dr).

(Photo: 2017. Alinco DM-330MV Power Supply (30 amps continuous power: for both radios, and the tuner), on top: Apogee Duet 2 for Mac and iPad (DAC for audio production): dr).

I often travel with a Yaesu FT-60r dual-band HT, an FT-270r 2-meter monobander, and/or a Baofeng UV5-R V2+ in my jacket pocket. The UV5-r V2+, and the FT-60r were also programmed with Chirp software: with respective FTDI cables (the FT-270r is not programmable).

(Photo: 2017. (L to R) FT-60r dual-band HT, A FT-270r 2-meter monobander, and a Baofeng UV5-r V2+: dr).

The Echolink app for my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (Android) Smartphone, is very functional, I have enjoyed numerous local, and DX contacts on it: I have worked: Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America (long distance), and South America: on this app so far. It is also very portable.

Ham Radio in the Urban Center!

I just want to add that: I got the best (quality) care, and service from Gene at KJI Electronics (973-571-1930), and other great, inspired teachers. Thank you for the mentoring!


(Photo: 2017. Station (hd): kg2ry: dr).

(Photo: 2014. David Rapoport, a.k.a. Raportsky (kg2ry), Artist, and Author: dr).

David Rapoport, a.k.a. Raportsky: is a self-promoting photographer, artist, and video artist, who has been creating photo-documentary, digital art, music, and portraits on his own, since 1978. "I seek to go beyond what is known about visual information, into some unknown space or knowledge of what is seen. I want to emphasize imagination, soul, identity, excellence, and the articulation of what this is all about: visually, and with the spoken word." ---dr.

(Photo: 2014. Image #25_26. Mixed Media: (from the series: New York as Theme Park): 20.25x16.25 inches. Work on Paper: dr).

David Rapoport, a.k.a. Raportsky: Photo, Art, Video, Music: on your TV, in HD: on internet cable service: Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and iOS. 

Log onto Vimeo.com app, and search the word: kg2ry.

RAPORTSKY website (internet): RAPORTSKY.com

The name has changed, but the artwork stays the same.

-----73, kg2ry.




8126453 Last modified: 2017-05-30 04:21:23, 22268 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - KG2RY
Latest Contacts for KG2RY at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
DH8HAM 2016-10-05 70cm FM JO43xn Germany Bahmann Mahboubi
IZ5WTV 2016-09-19 20m USB JN53GQ Italy Henry Enrico Pardossi
KG5NAN 2016-09-10 20m USB EM13PB28 United States Charles A Crissey
DO1WA 2016-09-04 70cm FM JN58SF69 Germany Anton Weigl
VU2YK 2016-08-03 2m FM ML88pq India RAHUL KAPOOR
DL6NDA 2016-07-05 70cm FM JO50ic Germany Bruno Steinmetz
W0ZZM 2016-07-05 70cm FM EN31dl United States CHARLES V STOVER
DO1WA 2016-07-02 70cm FM JN58SF69 Germany Anton Weigl
DO1DLX 2016-06-18 70cm FM JO40ic Germany Stefan Amey
K4NDN 2016-05-08 40m SSB FM08 United States Eric J Evans
KJ2AM 2016-04-20 40m LSB FN30cr United States Jose A Miranda Jr

Book Totals: 12 qso's   5 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

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Tue May 30 07:13:17 2017 UTC
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