Friday, March 31, 2006

Ham Radio: Radio Daze!

So I spent a little of my tax return on me. For the past few years I have had to use all of it on bills or for my divorce, but this year, I spent some of it on me, and Terry and put the rest in a CD for safe keeping! Things are looking up! But this post is about what I bought for myself. A wicked cool radio! A Yaesu FT-847. This sucker does everything I could want, and then a little more! It does HF, 6 meters, 2 meters, 70 cm and even has satellite capabilities! I could work any of the ham sats or even the International Space Station! Plus using a program called Ham Radio Deluxe.

With this I can control my radio using my computer. I can input a frequency and it will go right to it. I can control all the modes and setup the radio as well as have it automatically input info to my logbook! This is so cool! I can customize the look, and the interface! The pic shown is just a stock interface with a pre setup scheme/theme. But I can tweak it out and make it look really cool! It'll take me a week to figure this out! And all the while I will be listening to stations.

I also built a 6 meter dipole today. Nothing fancy. Just an SO-239 with a couple wires soldered on to it and placed on a piece of plastic from an old tub lid I had lying around. I just cut off a big piece, put a hole in the center big enough for the SO-239 to fit through and a couple more on either side to thread the wires through and give it a little more strength to keep from snapping from the weight of the coax under it. I haven't tested it yet, but will hopefully be able to tonight when Andy, KC2EUS gets home.

After that, the next step is to get the 2 meter antenna up. Since mine is a 2 meter/70 cm antenna, I'll need a coax switch to have the radio hooked in to the one antenna. Lots or wires running, but we'll see how she all works out. The station is coming along nicely, but it's kind of cobbed right now. I want to setup a nice desk with my radio and my computer for a nice simple and elegant shack. All my previous setups have been a mess of wires and coax. I want something simple and clean.

I also want to set it up to do remote control of my radio. I'll keep it closed access to just me, but I want to be able to play with it from work or something. This will keep me busy for weeks. I'll post more as I hack this setup. Later....

73 de KB2MOB


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