Amateur Radio Update

I have been quite busy since my last post. I have:

  • built an adapter that allows me to utilize inexpensive ATX power supplies for HAM radio use (more on this to come soon)
  • become the New Ham Board Member of SLSRC. I look forward to exploring how amateur radio can serve our community and developing new leadership skills as I serve in this role
  • built an emergency power backup so I can remain on the air during power outages (more on this to come soon)
  • received a Yaesu 7900R for Christmas. I do not current have much need for the additional power over my FT60, as I am able to hit most of the repeaters in my area with 5 watts, but I am going to start looking into digital modes soon
  • got my General Class ticket on December 30th, the last testing day of the year
  • many miles of driving to see family and friends over the holidays. I used this time to familiarize myself with repeaters available in the areas of travel and how to use my equipment when away from home

I have also been looking into a few things.

  • Inexpensive Chinese radios, mostly interested in the BaoFeng line of products. After returning my first radio to Amazon, I now better understand the limitations and capabilities of these radios after reading up on them. I may purchase a few models of these radios to try them out again for myself and put them in my vehicles for emergency use, or use them as (effectively) disposable kick-around radios. Not going to get another UV-5R, but maybe a UV-B5. I have read that they have better intermod rejection.
  • What HF radio to purchase. I have pretty well bought into the Yaesu product line already, so I am considering a Yaesu FT817ND or the Yaesu FT857D. I am primarily interested in portability and emergency communications so the 817 is currently my front runner. It certainly has it’s limitations, but I have not ruled out a  yet.
  • HF in confined spaces. I’m thinking I may have to do a random wire antenna out the window of my townhouse to a nearby tree to get on the air. I’ll have to make adjustments to this setup for the time being and look forward to a better setup when I purchase a house in the next year or so.

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