the gear in use at VA7ST
You don't need the world's best equipment to have a fantastic time
with ham radio. I have (mostly) modest radios and antennas -- and
will probably never have a superstation with the latest transceivers,
amplifiers and stacked yagi arrays. Still, my station works as well
as possible given my location and my limited budget for hobbies.
so I broke the budget in September 2007 to buy a new transceiver.
It's the Yaesu FT-2000, and it is competition-grade in every respect.
Well worth the $2000 I spent for a Nov. 2006 build, in brand-new
to know my FT-2000
can build a very satisfactory amateur radio station with some ingenuity
and careful selection of gear.
September 2007, my main radio was a Yaesu FT920. Because it does
not have IF receiver filtering, I consider this a second-tier contesting
radio, a step down from the FT1000 and Icom IC756, for example.
I have never had the luxury of using one of those "contest-grade"
rigs so my FT920 is contest-grade to me, hi.
is packed with features such as audio DSP, auto tuner (excellent),
selectable preamps, two antenna connectors (plus one for a beverage),
and a built-in computer interface. It is a super performer, although
it really demands optional narrow CW filtering (InRad
has special boards to add additional FT920
filters in cascade).
November 2004 I purchased the 400hz and 250hz filters and the board
that allows both to be switched in, 400 first, then with the 250
cascaded in for brick-wall filtering. This made the FT920 a stellar
receiver -- even on the most crowded contest weekends.
you are an iambic "squeeze"-style paddle user and plan
to use the built-in CW contest keyer, don't bother. It is of no
use because it does NOT support normal (Mode A) iambic CW. That
means you can't even send CQ without it coming out as CQE. Everything
has an extra dit at the end. This is my only disappointment with
this rig. Yaesu built a great CW rig with a lousy keyer design.
an all-in-one unit (160m through 6m), especially at the lower price
today, I can't recommend this radio highly enough.
about my current antennas
Built during a vacation week in August 2006, this shortened linear-loaded
dipole used two of the arms from the old Spider Beam project. Total
length is 38' tip-to-tip, and it tunes to 1.3:1 SWR at 7.040 Mhz
-- and doesn't pass 2:1 till 7.150 Mhz.
about my 40M rotary dipole project
more about my current antenna farm
Older Antenna Info
2004: Since moving to the new QTH in Winfield, B.C. (across
town from the old place) I have taken some advantage of the tall
pines on our one-acre property. Alas, a slingshot doesn't quite
get the wires to the tippy tops of the trees, but I am happy with
where they are for now.
Photos of the wire antennas
I built this antenna in 2002 and used it extensively. It was a very
good performer even on the low (under-30') pole I had it on.
Details about my hex beam project
The ultimate in light wire yagis, as far as I am concerned. I built
this in the spring and summer of 2003 and continue to use it for
all my upper HF work.
Details about my spider beam project