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Reviews

Various reviews of amateur radio items

Rebuilding the Shack– from scratch

In 2014 I decided to upgrade the station, I became retired in 2013, and my use of the station was no longer weekends, and holidays. I could use it anytime I wanted, day or night. I decided I needed a better radio, and a bit more desk space. After a lot of looking, the Elecraft K3 popped up on my radar. The K3 provided me with a better radio, and a bit more desk space, exactly what I wanted. At the time of purchase for the K3, I decided it was about time to do a station rebuild, starting with the station grounding , and working my way to the Coax, and finally the control lines. Continue reading »

Categories: Cleanup, Construction, Info, Reviews, Shack Rebuild, Station | 33 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s AL-82 Amplifier

After several years of use, this review of Ameritron’s AL-82 amplifier seems in order! I have owned the AL-82 for three years now, and it has given me incredible performance on all bands. This review will not be a technical review, it will be a general observation, and usage review… Does the amp hold up, does the amp work, does it run hot, etc., that sort of review… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: AL-82, Info, Reviews, Station | 4 Comments

Review of ‘The Daily DX’

DX News is just what it says, news about current DX activities. Bernie McClenny, (owner of The Daily DX, and W3UR), combs the internet looking for DX news. He then aggregates that news into this section. I suspect he has contacts into the DX world mortal men do not, as I sometimes see info there I see no where else… Bernie does edit the ARRL’s How’s DX column for QST, so he is in the know about DX. Here is a short cut from the News Section of The Daily DX: Continue reading »

Categories: Daily DX, DX, Info, Reviews, Service reviews | 2 Comments

Review of N3FJP’s AC Log 4.x

One of the best logging program available just got better! Scott Davis, (N3FJP), has announced his completion of the rewrite of the popular logging program called “Amateur Contact Log”, version 4.0 from Visual Basic to the C# language, moving the version number from ACL3.4x to ACL4.x. See my review of ACL3.4 here. Continue reading »

Categories: Info, N3FJP: AC Log 4.x, Reviews, Software information, Software reviews, Station | 10 Comments

Phased arrays for 40 and 30 Meters

As you can see, even though it would fit, the compromises would be too much for 40 Meters… The radials in the North/South direction would be compromised, to say nothing about being up againset a chain link fence on the south side, and an eight foot metal fence my neighbor to the North put up… So… Change of plans! Continue reading »

Categories: Antenna Reviews, Construction, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 2 Comments

Review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate

This review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate was prompted by the installation of a Four Square array, and a two element 40 Meter vertical array at NK7Z. I decided to evaluate each item in the building of the arrays separably, then review the entire system as a whole later. Years ago I had promised myself I would never spend fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it. After making the decision to build a Four Square for 30 meters, and a two element phased array for 40 meters, I decided to revisit that decision, as I had a lot of ground radials to lay and connect to antenna bases.

My plan was to buy the needed parts for a single monopole, construct it as perfectly as I possibly could, and then duplicate that process for the other five antenna. Part of that process was to buy a radial plate for the ground radial system so I could keep all of the wire under control… I bit the bullet and bought one! I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived, it is so pretty… So perfectly built… So heavy… I actually didn’t feel so bad about spending fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it! Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Station | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller

This review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller was written as a result of perhaps 5 months of use of a new Ameritron SDC-102, in a 2004 Tahoe four wheel drive sports utility vehicle. The Tarheel 100HP antenna is mounted on the stock Tarheel antenna mount, which in turn is mounted to a Tarheel trailer hitch mount, which lives on the rear of the Tahoe in the trailer hitch receiver I am working on a quick weatherproof disconnect for that setup. When finished I’ll add it to the review section, or start a new section on homebrew stuff… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: SDC-102, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 3 Comments

Review of LDG AT-1000 PRO II Autotuner

The size of the boxes is very close, with the AT-1000 PRO II being the larger of the two… This caused me a bit of pain as my setup is VERY tight… The PRO II is about 1/4 inch wider… It almost did not fit. I had to remove the carry handle from my Icom IC-756 PRO 3 to get it to fit, and it was tight… I do miss the meter, and the thought of paying $130.00 for an external meter makes me take a deep breath and say… It’s OK… I have not bought the meter yet… I hope the meter takes power from the Icom like the tuner does… See the review for more on this… I will add to this review on the meter if I decide to shell out another $130.00… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000 PROII, Reviews, Station | 4 Comments

Review of the LDG AT-1000 Autotuner

I had always wanted an Autotuner, and for the price I could not pass it by. Over the past 4 or 5 years this tuner has performed flawlessly. So far I have connected it to a GAP vertical, an 80 Meter Dipole, a B&W BWD-90 antenna, and a random length wire, about 250 feet long. In all cases it has matched them fine… In fact, it will take my GAP Challenger and match it on 160, a band it was not designed for at all… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000, Reviews, Station | 6 Comments

Review of Icom 2720H VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver

This review of Icom’s 2720H VHF/UHF mobile transceiver is not going to be a highly technical review, it will be a review on use of the radio, I am a fan of Icom rigs, so there is also a bit of bias in this review… I have owned and used two Icom 2720H’s for several years now, one in each vehicle .. It is a good rig, but it does have it’s faults… One of them being the programming. If you have a computer, all is well, but if you are on the road, and need to change anything, (anything at all), get out your Nifty Mini-Manual for it… You will need it. Continue reading »

Categories: Icom: 2720H, Info, Radios reviews, Reviews, Station | 2 Comments