Since moving house towards the latter end of last year the shack is now housed in a corner of the dining room, no room for a dedicated shack but hey ho, maybe I will build a shack in the garden shed in the summer, added a couple of boom microphones although im still mostly CW tbh, not much else has changed in the shack, antenna is still the R7000 and plans to put up a Cobweb, a Doublet and my little homebrew 6 element 2m LFA have been put on hold until the weather is a bit better.
Ive been back on the air for nearly 2 years now, I must have been away from the hobby for about 5 or 6 years before that, its one of these things that once the interest bites again it bites with avengence, this was my shack nearly 2 years ago, I bought this little FT-100D from Tom GM4FDM, it was from a SK sale I seem to remember, its been a fabulous little radio and in my first 12 months back on the air worked over 100 DXCC with it, mostly on CW, the antenna was and still is a Cushcraft R7000 multiband vertical, I am not blessed with a big garden or living in an country location with fields all around me, I live in the city surrounded by neighbours with a small garden but I make the best of what I have, I love DXing but its a little bit harder given my relatively simple station but in all honesty im happy with my little lot, this year I intend to experiement with some new antennas that hopefully wont have too much of a visual impact on my neighbours, I am currently working on building a Cobweb antenna which im hoping will help with the noise level i currently face using vertical antennas, im hoping to put a very small mast in the back garden which will allow me to lower it when not in use and wind it up when im on the air, thus appeasing my neighbours, although so far Ive not had any indication my neighbours will have any issues with my antennas (fingers crossed), the FT-100D is still in the shack and I have no intention of letting it go as ive really grown attached to the little radio, its been joined by the Icom IC-7300 which for the price is bloody amazing, the other radio in the shack is my 2m/70cm FM radio a very old IC-2350 which I bought 2nd hand from a local amateur.
Ive never ventured onto 2m on anything other than FM so I think after being licensed for 30 years its time I make the effort to try something else, just built this nice compact 6 element LFA for 2m, not got it up yet but just tested it on a small pole in the back garden, looking forward to getting it up on the back of the house and giving some 2m CW and SSB a try, next on the list is a small 10 Element for 70cm.
Well not much to report, I took down the rotary dipole and replaced it with my old Cushcraft R7000 as it gives me access to more bands, again its not ideal but i have to be wary of the neighbours and as considerate as possible, not sure what plans I have but one of them is to build a Cobweb antenna and see how that performs, the Cushcraft vertical is designed to be mounted at an optimum height of 18ft so as you can see being ground mounted isnt ideal but it gets me up and running on 7 bands, being vertical its prone to much more noise than the horizontal antenna but again not much I can do, 30m the noise level is over S9 which is a pain, 20m noise level is about an S5 which is workable and about the same on 40m less so on the higher bands which are pretty much dead at the moment,
When you have been off the air for quite a while and your desperate after moving to a new house to get something up and running, this is me.
The driven element from my TB3 3 element tribander, an antenna in this location I will never get to erect so am temporarily using the driven element in the back garden at 10ft, crude and very temporary but at least I can have a listen around and it actually works ok.
Desperate times mean desperate measures.
Well just having a play with some sort of Amateur Radio blog, first post just testing the wordpress install, head over to QRZ to find out a bit more about me, been licensed for 30 years now, callsigns are G0KOM, ZC4MK, VP8COI and spent 6 years living in Spain and operating as EA5/G0KOM
The Image for this post is my operating position at VP8COI, a freezing cold portacabin in the middle of Mount Pleasant airfield.