My Station

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The Shack - it's just never tidy...

Main Radio

The main radio I have is an IC737. I chose this radio as it had a good review in Radcom. The receiver was particularly good. I must say that it does work well. However it has some shortcomings. It is not possible to adjust the carrier insertion oscillator (except from inside) so that means you are stuck with a fixed tone frequency for CW. Unfortunately with the correct CIO setting, the tone is rather higher than I would like. I have narrow CW filters at both IF frequencies making the selectivity very sharp indeed. The RIT is not brilliant as it does not have a centre detent so it's easy to leave it off frequency - not a good idea with very narrow filters. Apart from these small points, it's a fine radio.

Standby/Mobile Radio

I have stuck with Icom and have an IC706 Mk1. It's a lovely little radio in most respects. The problems are:

bulletfilter leakage when on CW
bulletpoor dynamic range of RX (it gets overloaded)
bulletfiddly to operate - many obscure menu settings.

That said, I still like it a lot!


I used to run homebrew amplifiers. The last big one had an HT of 4.5 kV. Sadly, my homebrew amps were not very safe. Now I have two small children, I have opted for a commercial unit. I have a Linear Amps UK Challenger. This has a pair of 3CX800 valves. It loafs along at the UK limit of 400 Watts output. It will run 1500 Watts output - so I'm told...


Right now I'm keen on 10 MHz. I am using a 36 foot vertical for this band with a reasonable earth system. The vertical is virtually useless as a receive aerial however and so I use a low 80m dipole to receive on. This makes a huge difference - much of the DX that I work is not audible on the vertical.

Other bits

I have a virtually permanent connection to the local DX cluster (GB7MDX - DXMOSS). The PC I use is a 486sx25 laptop and it sits along side the rig. I find the cluster is very useful indeed and greatly enhances my amateur radio enjoyment. Thanks Bob for running it!


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