Not posted in a long time, maybe time to start posting again, been quite a traumatic couple of years all told for me but ive come out of the other side, well mostly, just when I think i am something else comes alone to hit me for six, but we push on, the shack is now down to one radio, my little IC-7300 which dont get me wrong is a fabulous little radio, I know I will never manage a 7800 or a 7850, was gutted I had to sell my IC-7700 a couple of years ago, quite fancy an IC-7610 but doubt that will happen either, way to expensive (unless the lottery win comes along LOL) still only QRV on 10m and 6m so far this year and the bands have not been great despite the start of the new sunspot cycle, indications looked good earlier in the year but it seems to have fallen flat, there is still some good DX to be worked though, just a lot of patience required.
There are a lot of DXpeditions starting to appear in the coming months so with that in mind im on the lookout for a 2nd hand multiband antenna, either an MA5B, 2 el Tribander or an old Hexbeam, just so I can have access to other HF bands in the next few months, no amp on the horizon and as ive managed 35 years without one I doubt one will be on the cards anytime soon, rarely treat myself to anything new these days given the financial issues ive had but I did however treat myself to a new paddle key earlier this year, the CT755 from Yury UR5CDX, its a thing of beauty and given that im primarily CW these days its a joy to use, anyway thats about it for this wee update, have a few plans for the coming weeks/months so will try and post more asap.
Well you know the rest, had just sourced the perfect KX3 but then a very large car bill put paid to that, ah well it was probably meant to be, still have a few bits of kit to sell, am surprised nobody has bought my Kenwood TS-870S I have for sale, lovely conditon and totally untouched, I think its up for a great price as well but maybe its just that time of year, as we speak the 3Y0J team are only a few days away from Bouvet, whist I still have some equipment Id better try and get them worked on at least a band or two, it would be an ATNO on any band for me as it will be for hundreds of thousands of Amateurs around the world so the pileups are going to be immense.
I think I will probably wait until the 2nd week before even trying as I dont own an amp and will be contending with most of the big guns in europe with their 2K amps, still only have a 10m antenna up so I really need to think about something quick and easy for other bands, I have a DX Commander Expedition I bought for my trip to ZC4 its been sat in the box for a couple of years so I think its time to break it out and put it up with a few bands, most probably 40m, 30m 17m and 12m although at this point im not sure, anything is better than nothing as the saying goes
So no KX3 or IC-7000 for now, perhaps later in the year, right now im not even sure what next week is going to bring never mind later in the year
Well after much thought and although ive pretty much sold most of my equipment I wont go QRT totally, ive been thinking about the way forward and until my home life improves substantially I will not operate from home so I think the Car and also portable will be my options for the forseeable future, I still think another IC-7000 or an IC-706MKIIG is the way forward for the car but also looking at something like a KX3 o r KX2 to have as a portable option, ive got plenty of bits still laying around to put together some half decent portable antennas to use on the fly so thats the way forward I think, of course that all may change, well actually it probably wont unless I win the lottery 🙂 stock pic of KX3 posted as I dont own one to photograph yet. oh and the below statement still applies.
Well pretty much all of my equipment is sold, left with just the one radio the IC-7300, could really use the money but am loathed to sell it as I know i will regret it, the towers are still unsold although I have sold the Tennamast, the Altron remains in place on the house and the smaller MM0CUG is now laying in the garden waiting to be sold, the Clark Scam has now gone as well, just no idea what the future holds for me, been licensed now for 34 years and on radio in one form or the other for 45 years, ive gone through periods of being QRT before so im guessing I will be back at some stage, the main reason for going QRT is the breakup of my marriage of 25 years, its hit me very hard and although now over a year ago it continues to affect my mental health and wellbeing in a substantial way, its also hit me financially so the time has come to prioritise.
I spend a lot of time in my car ferrying kids here there and everywhere so am possibly thinking of picking up another mobile radio, IC-706MKIIG or another IC-7000, wish id not sold my last 7000 but needs must, I have some HF mobile antennas that have sat in the shed for donkeys years so could put them to good use without having to fork out anymore money, at least it would enable me to stay on the air until circumstances at home start to improve, anyway its all just thoughts at the moment, i had thought about putting the 7300 in the car but its just a tad too big and I think something like the 706MKIIG or 7000 would allow me to put the body of the radio in the boot and just mount the head unit in the car, easier for removal and security.
I think if id had some capital behind me i would have just jumped on a plane to a nice sunny DX location (almost definatly Cyprus) and stayed for good, well maybe my lottery will come in soon and I will be able to do just that, ahh not with my luck though, anyway still QRV ish until the tower and antennas are sold, I will leave the 7300 until absolutley last before I make any rash decisions, im trying to adhere to the phrase below, sadly it doesnt seem to be working.
Nice little opening to VP8TLE one of my fellow CDXC members Laurie Margolis, G3UML currently in Port Stanley, (now the City of Stanley) would love to go down and reactivate my VP8COI call. great signal today
Well I finally got of my arse and swapped the 2 el Moxon for the 3 Element LFA just in time for the SFI to take a dive and conditions drop, but still seems to be working well, Ive now taken down the 2m and 4m antennas as i intend to move that tower to another part of the garden, i really need to get something up for other bands as well as currently I only have the 3 El 10m antenna and the 5 Element 6m antenna up.
Been a while since any posts so guess Id better start posting again, been a tough few first months of the year for me in my personal life but slowly coming out of the other side, following on from the last post about the Hexbeam I did actually purchase a fairly cheap 2nd hand Hexbeam but its still sat in the shed, cant quite get the courage to put it up just in case it pisses the neighbours off again, still have the 5 element LFA up for 6m and the 2 el Moxon for 10m, really need to start looking at other bands now that things are starting to improve, as I write this the SFI is 163 and conditions have been excellent lately on 10m so far with my only little radio and minimal antennas ive worked 95 countries on 10 which im fairly happy with, nice new one recently ws 9N7AA on CW which as an ATNO on any band so even happier to get him on 10m CW
Am hoping to be able to save enough pennies so I can get another decent radio later in the year, I think ive set my heart on an IC-7610, being an Icom man at heart, it will more than likely have to be a 2nd hand one though as new they certainly arent cheap, im starting to clear my workshop out and have a ton of bits and bobs I need to put up for sale, mostly radio related but some other stuff as well, if I can get my finger out and get it done it will go some way to getting me that 7610, even got a couple of old Racal RA17s in a 19in Rack to get rid of, the joys, takes me back to trade training at RAF Cosford in 1984
A few posts and many months ago I posted about my exploits with my Hexbeam and the issues I had with neighbours, to cut a long story short, I took the Hexbeam down and sold it due to an issue with neighbours, I was pretty gutted as for the time I had the hex up it worked very very well indeed for me and gave me the access to the 5 upper HF bands including 17m and 12m with pretty much full 2 element performance, it also gave me in those short few months a few all time new ones, anyway the said neighbour has since left and ive been mulling over the idea of another Hex.
As you will know from my recent posts, ive seperated from my wife of 25 years recently and that has left me devastated, what it also has done is left me not in the best state financially, I had to sell off most of my radio equipment to try and clear debts and try and get myself on a solid financial footing going forward, im slowly getting there but sadly most of the radio stuff is gone, what I didnt do is get rid of my antennas or tower so they are all still in situ along with my one little solitary IC-7000 which has been working wonders for me recently with my little 2 element Moxon on 10m, sadly im missing out on the other bands and to that end ive been contemplating another Hexbeam, I cant afford to buy a new one so ive started looking for a 2nd hand Hex, ive still got a few bits and bobs to sell which should just about give me enough money to purchase one
So thats where I am, im itching to get back up and running on the lower bands from 12m down to 20m, currently im not too worried about the lower bands but I do have a D3W rotary dipole for 30m/17m/12m which I will be putting up as well which was kindly given to me by Paul MM0ZBH, 40m and 80m im not really worried about right now, possibly in the near future but for now im just concentrating on the Hex and getting back onto the main HF bands.
Anyway thats where I am, I shall keep you updated on my search for a 2nd hand Hexbeam and fingers crossed will be back up and running as soon as possible, the plan to eventually get an IC-7610 is still ongoing it will just take sometime before I have managed to squirrel away enough money to buy it
To coin an America phrase, well it certainly sux for me on a personal level but radio wise things arent quite so gloomy, im still only able to get on 10m for the time being, I purchased a cheap Cushcraft A3S which is in need of a fair bit of TLC to get it back to its former glory, I should really have looked a little closer when I bought it but it was all bundled up, a few of the tubes have been cut and bodged together and a few are bent so it will need a fair bit of work, the traps all look ok though apart from a few missing plastic end caps, one of my fellow CDXC members has very kindly sent me a couple of spare traps with good ends which will help enormously with my restoration, im not sure if once I have gotten it all sorted I will put up as a 3 element tribander or maybe just try it as a 2 element with reflector and driven element, ive still got the neighbours to think of.
10m has been in pretty good nick for the last couple of weeks and indeed as if ordered to plan the band was wide open for the CQWW contest weekend, I was working but managed to grab a little bit of time whilst at the workshop to bag a couple of all time new ones in BA7LOK and VR2T, also in the last week have managed to work my first VK on 10m for probably 20 odd years, managed to work the 7P8RU Dxpedition and the 3DA0RU Dxped previously, other noteable ones another ATNO in VP9I in Bermuda and then to top it all JT1CO from Mongolia, so all in all its been a great couple of weeks radio wise on 10m, sadly my personal life is still a struggle every day, I think it will take me a very long time if ever to get over my seperation from the love of my life.
I have put up a couple of youtube videos for you to see some of the fantastic conditions we have been having on 10m recently
And lastly as the feature pic for this blog post its the most recent picture of the shack since pretty much everything else has been sold, looking very bare considering the 7700, 7600 and 7300 were in the shack previously
Onwards and Upwards, albeit very slowly at the mo, Adrian