The VK5SRP Ham Radio Equipment
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Modern equipment in the shack
- Yaesu FT-817ND with an MX-P50M 40 Watt Power amplifier and an LDG-Z817H AATU. The MX-P50M amplifier has a manual filter switch and so I have built an interface box that takes the "Band Data" from the FT-817 and uses an LM3014 LED driver chip to decode this voltage and drive the relays inside the little Amplifier, details on the web site soon when I have finished the documentation.
- LDG AT-200Pro Automatic Antenna Tuner - drives the G5RV and the TEV-4 antennas.
- SGC SG-357 Automatic Antenna Tuner - mounted outside and drives the modified MoonRaker W22 antenna
- Yaesu FT-7800 - nice dual band transceiver for 2M and 70cM.
- Yaesu FT-2200 2M Transceiver. Bought this one to use in the car with a BYONICS TinyTrack4 APRS setup. Have not decided on an antenna yet so it is still in the shack.
- Yaesu VX-8R - A modern tri band hand held, amazing technology. I bought the remote microphone/speaker complete with the GPS module but have not had much success in setting up APRS yet. HELP required.
- N3ZI DDS2 as a source for any BoatAnchor equipment I convert for Ham Band use. Does not make sense to use crystals when a pair of crystals cost about the same as one of these.
- Kenwood TS-43X - This one came from a friend who was "down sizing" and was complete with an AT-130 Antenna tuner MC-50 desk microphone and an SP-820 speaker. See what I have done to this very crude and expensive accessory now.
- A recent addition is a second hand Icom IC-756Pro11 that I lusted after, after I fixed it for a friend last year. He decided to upgrade so I snapped it up. Read about the problem I had with the display February 2016.
- Baofeng VR-3R - I have the programming cable for this, read about limiting these to the offical Ham Band frequecies This may also apply to other similar grey import radios bought over the internet. There is also a problem with the interface cables bought from China, they use a fake Prolific USB driver chip and the updated genuine Prolific drivers know to look out for these and to report a Code 10 error which means, I am not going to work with this chip. This can be overcome by back dating the driver and turning off automatic update on you computer. RadioShop 888 sent me a link to a site and I made this PDF file from the instructions. This fixes the problem.
- Another addition March 2016 is an MFJ VERSA TUNER III, added to the collection to use with the HL-1K linear amplifier. Some photos of the tuner, note my simple modification to the tuning knob.
Other items for the shack, including BoatAnchors
Recent additions to the shack are an Icom IC-245 with its add-on SSB adaptor and a Ranger RCI-2950. These were both purchased at the 2015 AHARS Buy and Sell. Although it was sold as a 10M rig, the Ranger was obviously built with CB Radio pirates in mind. There are three jumpers inside that will configure it to cover the old 27MHz band and it will display the freqency or the channel number. These jumpers will also extend it's frequency coverage from 26MHz to 32MHz !
- Icom IC-701 - Read about the problems I have had with getting this nice old rig going. An on going project.
- Icom IC-751 - I bought this rig at the 2013 NERC buy and sell and written on it was the words "the smoke has been let out".
- Kenwood TS-700SP - Bought this rig at the same buy and sell and written on it was "the switches need cleaning". 14th January 2017
- Heathkit SB-110B and HP-23B power supply - Classic "tube" 6 Metre rig, ideal for 6 Metre DX openings
- Good things come to those who wait, I have been looking for a Heathkit SB-101 for a long time and recently a friend offered to trade me one for fixing his Drake equipment. The SB-101 had been attacked by a "Harry the Ham" a long time ago but it will not be difficult to put it back to original. Will write a web page about it when it is back together.
- Yaesu FT-101B and an FT-101E Transceiver, YO-100 Monitor Scope and FTV-650B 6 Metre Transverter 28th May 2015. More about the "E" on this web page, it is an interesting story. Harry had got at this one also.
- Yaesu FT-200 Transceiver - a classic old BoatAnchor that uses mostly valves, only a few transistors in the VFO and the voltage regulator.
- Yaesu FT-625R - From a deceased estate complete with a Dick Smith 100 Watt Linear Amplifier. I would like to find the digital display option as this is the R version not the RD. If someone has a junker that still has the digital display and / or the memory module I would like to negociate a deal. Tried advertising on VKHam but the only response I got was some fellow in Africa wishing to rip me off. The photo of the rig he sent me was off my web site and the money was to be deposited in a Western Union account, a sure sign of fraud. I used this Rig on our local 6 Metre AM net on Sunday mornings until it developed a fault in December 2015. It would not transmit on AM. I put it away and used the IC-756 ProII instead until Colin, VK5ACE, kindly offered to have a look at it, he was fixing another one at the time. He soon found it was the function switch and he drilled a couple of holes in the outer case of the switch and a few good blasts of switch cleaner means it is now back on the air in January 2017.
- Tokyo HiPower HL-1K Linear Amplifier Was not in use until recently as my automatic antenna tuner could not handle the power.
I have been collecting suitable tuning caps and coils at "buy and sells" I do not have any excuse for not making a high power tuner but as you will have read above, I have given up for now, and bought an MFJ Versa Tuner III.
- Two Kenwood TS-520S HF SSB Transeiver - Good old BoatAnchor rigs now in good condition with the matching DG-5 Digital Display. Like all these devices, the display will never work again, I have given up trying to fix the failed through hole links, there are about 60 of them think. A Kenwood AT-230 Antenna Tuner also cam with this collection of equipment but in March 2016 I passed this on to a friend just starting out in the hobby in Queensland.
- Kenwood TR-7800 2 Metre rig - This one arrived on my bench with an intermittant fault so I used it on our local 2M morning chat sessions for some time and when the weather warmed up I found the problem. The M57733 PA module had developed a heat related fault. A web search soon tuned up supplies of these at a price that made fixing that rig economical. I have since sold this one to VK5CJH.
A collection of early hand held VHF/UHF radios
- Kenwood TH-26A 2M hand held - Given to me from a deceased estate with a dead battery and no charger. Works fine now thanks to Battery Specialists here in South Australia.
- Yaesu FT703R 2M hand held - From a deceased estate. Battery was history and it had a broken squelch control. Works fine after I replaced the squelch pot with one from an old CB radio. At the AHARS members buy and sell I was given two more of these along with the original accessories and several battery boxes. One works well but the other has a problem with the squelch circuit, it will not squelch. Will be a good exercise having a look at that one some time soon.
- Yaesu FT709R 70cM hand held - Found at a trash a treasure by a friend who thought I needed to give it a good home. Exploded Tant Cap and dead battery. Refitted the battery case with new batteries, now works fine. I was also given another one of these with the FT703 at AHARS, works very well.
Antennas in use or under development
I have built copper J Pole antenna for 6M, 2M and 70cM and bought a G5RV from the USA for the HF bands. Very nice kit of parts, not worth me rummaging round for the various cables and fittings for the price. I also have a TET-Emtron TEV-4 four band HF vertical up in the air and I have replaced the 2M J-Pole with a RingO. I recently erected a second tower on the block next door and this has four antenna on top including a Tet-Emtron TE-33 three band beam for HF and I may buy the WARC band addition for this. This tower has a Yaesu G-2800DXC rotator fitted.
The Antenna Farm page.
The Second Tower page.
A collection of various SWR and RF power meters from a long time ago
Recently I was given a Trio PF-810 and it was very grubby and had U/S scribbled on the top. It has a fault and I cannot find a complete circuit diagram anywhere on the web, only a block diagram of how the smart bits of it works.
Antenna Test Gear
Having all this equiment to play with and experimenting with Antennas, I needed something to test them. The VK5JST Aerial Analyser is fine for HF but I needed something that would work on 6M and 2M. With this in mind raided the piggy bank and bought an mRS miniVNA and what an amazing little device that is.
miniRadioSolutions - HF VHF Antenna analyzer
Early in 2012 I did an ebay search looking for "Digital SWR/Power Meter" and found an item that had only been released in Hong Kong a week or two before. The REDOT model 1050A digital meter from Bejing SW-Tech Development Co Ltd (www.SW-tech.com).
This is a VHF/UHF meter Covering 100 to 150MHz and 420 to 460MHz and can handle 120 Watt. Do an Ebay search for REDOT SWR and you will find several merchants offering them for sale at about US$50.00. I purchased one of these but I was still looking for an HF version and sure enough about a week later I found the 2016A version from another Ebay merchant and this covers from 1.6 to 60 MHz and can handle 200 Watt. The VHF/UHF version displays in rotation forward power, reverse power and SWR and the HF version shows forward power, peak power and then SWR.
In addition to the miniVNA I now have an instrument from Autek Research a Model VA1 Vector RX Antenna Analyser. This has the advantage over the miniVNA in that it does not require a computer to be used but it only covers to 32 MHz. The VA1 manual and notes on its use.
The photos above show a simple "sniffer" Frequency Counter YAEGE FC-1 with a frequency coverage of 10Hz to 100 MHz and 50 MHz to 2.6 GHz in two ranges and an Emtron ENB-2 Noise Bridge. A review of this instrument from September 1993 Silicon Chip magazine.
Home made acessories for power distribution, audio monitoring and other control functions.
- Heathkit SB-101 See above, all valve vintage rig, more about this project soon
- Heathkit DX-60B AM "Boat Anchor" transmitter
- Heathkit SB-300 HF Ham Band Receiver
- Heathkit SB-610 Station Monitor Scope, have two now, a second one arrived with the SB-101
- Heathkit SB-620 Scanalyzer/Panadaptor - need some coils to put this one back to the original IF frequency
- Heathkit SB-630 Station Console
- Heathkit HR-10B Basic Ham Bands Receiver
- Heathkit HG-10B HF VFO - Used with the DX-60B AM transmitter, read about this on the Heathkit page
- Heathkit SB-600 Communications Speaker - I now have four of these, one will house the power supply for the SB-101 and SB-110
- Heathkit HM-102 SWR and Power Meter and HM-11 SWR Meter
- Yaesu FRG-7700, nice radio but tuning is very course. Needs a reduction drive knob if such a device can he found.
- ICOM IC-R71E - Modern general coverage receiver, nice to use and is tuned to the BBC most of the time.
- Drake SSR-1 - This developed a fault soon after I bought it at a buy and sell and after several attempts at fixing it, I found the problem was two low value capacitors in a Colpits Oscillator. I eventually found it worked above about 6 MHz. Read about the adventure on the Communications Receivers page.
- Trio 9R-59DS - Old valve communications receiver that was aimed at Ham Band use as it has band spread tuning on these bands.
- Trio JR-200 - A true boatanchor but works quite well as a general coverage receiver.
- Realistic AX-190 - This receiver is a bit of a surprise. Came to me from a deceased estate and is in very good condition. Performs very well and is easy to read SSB signals thanks to crystal locked VFO. Many years ago I nearly bought the DX-190 version.
- Realistic DX-160 - From the same deceased estate. Just a simple general coverage short wave receiver but is a lot more stable that the BoatAnchor valve receivers I have. In very good condition.
- Realistic DX-150B - Again from the same deceased estate. This was in very poor condition, read about what I found inside on the Communications Receiver pages.
- Heathkit SB-300, read about this one on the Heathkit page.
- Heathkit HR-10B, a very crude basic Ham band receiver, read about this one on the Heathkit page also.
- Realistic DX-302 - A very good Wadley Loop type receiver, better than the Drake SSR-1.
- Realistic GR-78 - A very early solid state general coverage receiver. More information on my Communications Receivers page.
Possible future projects.htm
Geloso VFO and receiver front end based rig.
Universal BoatAnchor Power Supply This one has been finished
More home made and kit built items
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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 06th February 2017