Hello and thanks for stopping by. When I was getting started in this great hobby (less than a year ago!),
I found it difficult to get people's impressions of the equipment they had in their shack. Hopefully, the descriptions below will give you a some idea of how I have found my gear to perform on a daily basis. If you have any questions or suggestions for this page drop me a line at [email protected].

HF Station #1

TenTec Omni V

My prime station is a TenTec OMNI V (Model 562), an absolutely incredible piece of workmanship. It is one of the best CW rigs I've had the opportunity to use. Along with the OMNI V I have a TenTec Model 253 Automatic Antenna Tuner. The tuner is very well built and can handle full legal limit power.

The TenTec Model 253 Auto Tuner

HF Station #2
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TenTec Omni D Model C

This is heart of my HF station, a TenTec Omni D Model C.  A fully solid state tranceiver, the Omni D/C was manufactured in 1981.  Tuning is accomplished by a permeability tuned oscillator (PTO) working off crystal references for each band as opposed to a PLL.  As it is not a PLL tuned rig, there is no computer control - it's all manual!  The output section is rated at a hefty 200 watts. Many hams consider TenTec radios to be the single best CW machines ever constructed.  The Omni D/C appears to be no exception. Signal reports from other ops during CW QSO's have always been complimentary.  If you are a new ham looking for a rig to enter the HF world, I can highly recommend this radio.  It is straight forward, allows you learn the basics of HF operation without the confusion of wading through multiple menu levels presented by some of the highly sophisticated computerized rigs on the market today.  My station features an optional TenTec Model 243 Remote VFO and is powered by a matching TenTec 255 Power Supply with built in monitor speaker.

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TenTec Model 229 Antenna Tuner

As you know, the easiest way to get on the air is with a simple wire antenna.  To ensure a good match between antenna and tranceiver, a good tuner is a real help. This is a TenTec Model 229-A Antenna Tuner which matches (visually & RF!) the Omni series of tranceivers.  The tuner features a large air capacitor, roller inductor, power/SWR meter and four position antenna selector.  The dial and meter are backlit by a series of 12 volt lamps.  My 229-A does a great job tuning up a limited space "Slinky Dipole" strung up in the loft of my condominum.

TenTec Model 444 Hercules I 500 Watt Solid State Tuner

The TenTec Model 444 Hercules I rounds out the Omni D station. The 444 is infamous for blowing it's finals. The solid state devices have very high gain and, if allowed, they will "run away" and destroy themselves. For me the 444 is a collectable and it rarely is run on the air as the finals are intact and I hope to maintain the rig in operating condition. Occassoinally, however, I will fire it up and enjoy the 5/9 reports it always seems to receive.

HF Station #3 (QRP)

I've been interested in QRP operations for a while and found a TenTec Power Mite III on eBay a few months ago. Due to my work schedule I haven't had the opportunity to put it on the air yet but hope to soon. It is a neat little rig and can be operated from an internal battery.

HF Station #3 (Mobile)

TenTec 706 MkII G

Since my move to California, I haven't been able to set up a HF station in the apartments I've been living in. The answer, an Icom 706 MkII G. This rig, mounted between the seats of my Jeep and feeding a Terlin Outbacker Perth Plus antenna, has been a great way to keep my hands in HF operations. The general coverage receiver is a big plus and makes for good listening to commercial shortwave broadcasts during long trips.


Six Meter Operations

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MFJ 9406 Six Meter SSB Transceiver

Wanting to experience DX while still a "No Code" Tech, I searched the net for a used MFJ 9406 10 watt six meter single side band rig.  Six meters (50 Mhz) is known as the "Magic Band" because of its unique propagation characteristics. Literally, when the band opens, it is possible to work stations over a 1,000 miles away on a watt or two into a vertical antenna. I was able to find the radio on the internet. It was being sold by a gentleman in Alaska.  With a MFJ three element portable Yagi from Ham Radio Outlet in Salem, NH, I got on the air in no time.  I even worked mobile using a Radio Shack 2 meter 5/8 wave magmount vertical as a 1/4 wave six meter antenna. When the band opens I am able to work stations all over the US from of my Jeep!

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Gonset Communicator IV Six Meter AM Tranceiver

Recently, I picked up my first boat anchor rig, a Gonsett Communicator IV Six Meter AM Transceiver. Boy, there is nothing quite like the glow of vacum tubes! I am in the process of collecting crystals for the radio and getting a microphone rigged up.  Hopefully, will have the rig on on the air soon. By the way, if you happen to have a VFO for one of these beasts and want to let it go, let me know!


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Icom 2700H FM VHF/UHF Dual Band Mobile Tranceiver

Well, this is where it all starts for most of us.  A FM two meter or 2M/440 rig and a "No Code" Technician ticket. This dual bander, which will produce up to 70 watts on 2 meters, is my road rig. I've had many a long trip made bearable by great conversation with hams along the way.  The Icom 2700H was produced several years ago and had some notable problems including cold solder joints in the three SMT circut boards contained in the removable faceplate, poor intermod rejection and high current drain/high operating temperature. The cold solder joint problem was rectified late in the production run with the introduction of flexboards. I purchased mine over the net, in non-operational condition, and sent it out to the great folks at Icom for the flexboard upgrade. The rig now runs like a champ and I have a teriffic dual bander for the fraction of the cost of a new one. Some neat features include wireless remote control microphone, cross band repeat function and memory scan to name but a few.

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Standard Radio 568a Tri-band HT

Standard Radio, often considered the top of the heap when it comes to VHF/UHF FM radio, manufactures a broad range of full featured HT's. The 568a is a tri-band unit covering 2 meters, 70 cm and 23 cm. It has true dual band operation with two separate tranceivers built into it's small case. (70cm and 23 cm share one tranceiver) The radio is equipped with 20 memories per band (upgradeable to 200) and is capable of cross band repeat. Full tone and DTMF functions are built in. This is my primary radio for listening to local repeaters at home. It also gets a workout during public service events in conjunction with the Icom 2700H in crossband repeat mode.

PC Electronics TC70-10 ATV Transceiver

A few years ago I stumbled across a great deal on a PC Electronics 70cm ATV Transceiver. Since several of my amateur radio friends were also into ATV I decided to pick it up. I've had great times with this rig, used it on several field days and sent images as far as 50 miles from Portland, ME to Monhegan Island well off the coast.

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Radio Shack HTX-202 2M FM HT & Pac-Comm TNC-220

This is the venerable HTX-202 by Radio Shack. The design is licensed from ICOM and manufactured under contract in Korea I believe. The unit is exceptionally rugged and virtually imune to intermod. My HTX-202 is put to use as a packet tranceiver in conjunction with a Pac-Comm TNC-220 and an old AST PremiumExec SX20 notebook computer. If you are looking for a cheap backup rig or an inexpensive packet radio to hit the local cluster, keep your eyes out for one of these. Used, they fetch approximately $100 in good condition.  The TNC-220 is based on the TAPR TNC-2 design which forms the foundation for virtually all VHF packet operations today.  The heart of the unit is Z-80 microprocessor and features dual interface ports for connections to VHF and HF rigs.   Data rates of 300 through 1200 baud are supported. The TNC-220 shown in the picture above is equipped with an optional LED bargraph tuning meter.

Station Accessories

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No station is complete without some gadgets. Here is a sample of mine. From left to right they are: MFJ 945E Mobile HF/6M Tuner, Radio Shack DX-398 General Coverage Receiver, MFJ 12/24 hour digital clock, Bencher Paddles with MFJ 422 Electronic Keyer and a Tech America Code Oscillator with straight key.