The HF Station:
The Icom IC718 is an "entry" level HF rig that is light years ahead of the Swan 350 I last used
25 years ago. My original thought based on reviews, investigations, and features was to get the Icom IC706MKIIG. After further review,
I realized that the 706 is a really good rig but it would limit me to only using one band at one time. How can I get my DX reports
from the local 2M repeater when I'm using the same radio on HF? I also saved $250 to buy a 144/440 radio to use as a base rather then
The IC718 is a compact rig but not as small as some of the other radios available, like the 706. I was used to the bigger radios of
years gone by and feel the 718 is the right size for me. There are a minimal amount of menus to surf through to get things done and
usually, they don't need to be accessed during normal operation. I don't have any ceramic filters installed yet but may opt for the
FL-222 1.8KHz narrow SSB filter. I also want to try RTTY and PSK so maybe a 500 Hz or 250 Hz filter is the ticket. In either case,
Icom is asking $180 for these things. That's almost half the cost of the radio!! I'll experiment with the DSP for a while instead.
The VHF Station
My VHF station consists of a Yaesu/Vertex VX-150 2M/5W hand-held and an Anli A-100 144/440 antenna.
I chose the VX-150 based on the cost and the reviews at eHam.
I am very satisfied with this radio. I have received good reports on the audio and have little problem hitting the local
repeaters with 1/2 Watt. Of course, I paid $150 for it and the price was dropped to $120 3 weeks after I got mine.....DOH!
The Anli A-100 is a "short", 2 band base antenna. I wanted something small to fit into the attic and this antenna measures
only 45" high. It is spec'd at 3.5db of gain at 146 MHz and 6db of gain at 440 MHz. It's currently mounted in the center
of the attic because that's how far the coax reached. I plan on pulling longer pieces soon so I can move the antenna away
from some vent pipes.