Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Yaesu FTM-10R 50 Watt Dual Band Radio

 Gone, but not forgotten. This very unique radio from Yaesu was ahead of its time with these features. I hope the new owner enjoys it as much as I did.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

What test equipment should you get as a new ham?

Here is a question sent to me recently and wanted to share some  ideas with others who are new to the hobby.

"Relatively new ham here and note sure what I might even need. Was thinking a meter at least but wondering what you think would be good for a new ham?"


My first observation is that these types of questions can get many responses from different people. My goal is to make an attempt at pointing to the north star and giving them some sort of logical direction. 

Here is my response.

It really depends on what you want to do in the hobby. Many types of test equipment can be used to diagnose issues and make adjustments in your shack for peak performance.

At minimum, a ham should have
  • external watt meter
  • multimeter
  • SWR bridge
  • reliable power supply
  • dummy load
The list of analytical equipment can go up from there including
  • audio analyzer
  • service monitor
  • VNA or antenna analyzer
  • oscilloscope
  • tone (audio) generator
  • waveform function generator
  • signal generator


All of these tools can be used in conjunction to either test, analyze, or repair ham shack equipment such as radios, antennas, coax, etc. 

One of the reasons we use this equipment is to verify our radios and antennas are working well even if the most advanced radios have some of these features built in. Those built in features can either fail or provide faulty measurements. And we all know how expensive these radios can get - We use this equipment to protect my investment among other things.


What would you recommend? Feel free to share them in the comments.






Sunday, March 12, 2023

Icom IC-2300H 2M High Power Transceiver

Another excellent sounding and easy to use 2M mobile rig. I hope the owner enjoys it as much as I did.


This radio is for sale. Please see my QRZ listing. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Updated Station List & Timetable for Shortwave Broadcasters 2022 Version A and B

Here is the 2022 version of the HFCC broadcasters list for shortwave. It was last updated in late 2022 and lists the station details such as frequency, time, and transmitting location. This should help you find something on the dial to enjoy!




Happy DXing!


Sunday, December 11, 2022

HDSDR Setup for RS-918 MCHF Clone

 How to connect to connect your mcHF or clone radio to HDSDR for additional functionality? There are videos on YouTube which can provide some information, however I prefer to have written instructions available. Feel free to use my guide.

The file is available in PDF form.Simply click the image to view.download.



Saturday, December 10, 2022

Shack Pics

 Here are some pictures of my shack over the years. More to come!

Swan Cygnet 260 and Yaesu FT-107B were my primary HF stations in 1996

Here is my HF operating station in 2022. It sure seems that I like Icom radios.. My Kenwood is off the bench for repair.



Icom IC-7100 Remote Separation Cable

 Do you ever get a sinking feeling when this happens after you reconfigure your shack layout?


I had to unplug the control head cable of my IC-7100 in order to move it on a different shelf. I fired up the radio after reconnecting everything back together and was baffled why the touchscreen, buttons, and control knobs stopped working. I re-seated the cables and tried again. Same result. Would a bad cable allow the radio to power on? The answer is yes. It depends on which pins in the RJ45 connector are making contact. Either pins 7/8 or 1/2 were not making contact in my cable anymore.

The original cable consists of 8. shielded, twisted pair wires and have a straight through wiring configuration like a standard ethernet cable, but the cable braid and RJ45 connectors are also shielded.


Icom's OPC-2253 is a very expensive part to replace on the radio at @ $75 plus shipping so I was on the hunt for a cost-effective route.


You can buy replacement RJ45 connectors with a shield and replace the ends if you have a crimper tool or you can buy another cable meeting/exceeding the standards of the OPC-2253 cable. 

Why would you want to do this instead of using Icom's cable? Several reasons.. You can buy or make cables that meet your length requirements or have a spare on hand. The cables are also a fraction of the cost and work just like the original.

If you plan on replacing the damaged ends of your original cable, then you need to look for shielded RJ45 Cat6, Cat7, or Cat8 8P8C modular connectors for FTP/STP Stranded Ethernet Cable & Solid core cable. STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair and FTP stands for Foil Twisted Pair. Make sure you have a 8 pin crimper die and ensure the foil shieled has conductivity end to end.


If you want to simply buy a complete cable, then you will need to find 26AWG Cat6/7/8 networking cables with shielded RJ45 ends. Ensure the pins and shield are wired straight through or you could damage your radio. I recommend this cable since I've tested it https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BFH3Z36