Returning to SWL in 2016/17 saw me setup my shack in the living room. Not an ideal situation!

Software Defined Radio’s

Antenna’s

Other Items

  • Airspy R2
  • SDRplay RSP1
  • DX Patrol
  • RTL-SDR v3
  • Flightaware Pro Stick
  • Kiwi SDR
  • Wellbrook ALA 1530S + Imperium Active Loop
  • HyEndfed 3 band classic 100w (10m,20m,40m)
  • Diamond D130 discone
  • Crosscountry Wireless wideband active antenna
  • Global AT-2000
  • Yaesu FRT-7700
  • SpyVerter Upconverter
  • NooElec Ham It Up upconverter
  • HyGain AR303 lightweight rotator

May 2017 saw me finally pass my foundation exam so new gear for transmitting was required.

The transceiver I chose was a Kenwood TS-480 SAT, mainly due to the size of my desk and the possibility of using it in a mobile situation.

Due to limited external space I opted for a Chameleon CHA-Hybrid in an inverted L configuration.

Come September 2017 I felt like a change in radio’s. I had been reading reviews of the ICOM IC-7300 and the Kenwood TS-590SG and I found it hard to to pick between the two. In the end I bought a new IC-7300.

Other new additions to the shack are a DX Engineering RTR-2 TX/RX switch so I could use my Wellbrook for receive whilst transmitting on the end fed and a MFJ-993B auto antenna tuner so I could tune bands that were out of the range of the 7300’s internal ATU.

Back in September 2017 I couldn’t make my mind up which rig to buy out of the ICOM IC-7300 or the Kenwood TS-590SG. Well in December 2017 I made the switch to the Kenwood TS-590SG, why didn’t I do this first? Nothing wrong with the IC-7300 but the receiver on the 590SG in my honest opinion is miles better. I question whether the 7300 is a true SDR?

Other new additons to the shack are a Ciro Mazoni Baby Loop covering 6.6MHz to 28.9MHz and a Yaesu G-450C rotator.

I sold my DX Engineering RTR-2 via the internet but it was returned and a full refund given to the buyer. The antenna toggle select switch was damaged, now whether this was damaged in transit or by the buyer I do not know. What I do know is the package was well protected for transit.

The RTR-2 was no longer needed as I could use my SDRPlay RSP device via the DRV socket on the TS-590.

In August 2018 I had that burning urge to try something different. I sold my TS-590SG to a local Ham in Coventry and used the funds to purchase a Flexradio 5000a listed on HRD’s forums from another Ham in Manchester. I went up to view and the deal was done!

I must admit the Flex with KE9NS’s version of PowerSDR was a pleasure to use with so many useful features.

In December 2018 I was forced to sell my Flex 5000a and my Ciro Mazoni Baby Loop as my personal situation and living arrangements had changed.

I purchased a Yaseu FT991a along with the Yaseu SP-10 speaker, with the plan of using the Yaseu FT-991a for mobile/portable use.

The SP-10 was pants, no better than the speaker in the 991a itself so after reading a few reviews I became aware of a simple mod to replace the SP-10 speaker with an Peerless by Tymphany PLS-P830984 2-1/2″ Full Range Woofer and this improved the sound of the speaker no end.

Hmmm I almost forgot about the ICOM IC-7100 I had.

I must have bought or traded this radio only a few months after getting the Yaesu FT-991a.

Like the Yaseu it didnt really get used for VHF/UHF and most definately never got used for D-Star.

It was an easy rig to use with the touch screen interface but was lacking in the SSB power output department.

June 2019 saw me quickly lose interest in the IC-7100 so I listed it for trade on various Facebook groups and forums.

I soon had a message offering me a straight swap for a Yaesu FTdx-3000 which was purchased less than a month previously. How could I refuse!!

I made the trip up to a meeting place near Crewe, just off the M6. We both tested the radios and I made hasty retreat, I felt like I had robbed a bank!!! To say I was happy with the trade was an understatement.

Also added to the shack around the same time was a Uniden Bearcat BCT15x which was listed as new on Ham Radio Deals forum. A soon as I received it I installed a dsicriminator tap, used for a couple of days to test and then listed it for sale.

September 2019 I was having thoughts about going back to an SDR transceiver. I listed my FTdx-3000 on Ham Radio Deals trade forum and soon had a response from Jon, G8KJI, who had a Flexradio 6300.

I pondered over the deal for a while and then Jon offered to send me the radio to try out, very trusting of him I must say and also very risky!!

After a few days the 6300 turned up and I connected it up to my network and gave it a good run out.I was a little disapointed that the software was not the latest version but I paid for the update to the latest version from Flex. All was working fine and in return I sent my FTdx-3000 to Jon, who was now back home in Stockholm, Sweden.

I didn’t enjoy using the 6300 as much as I did the 5000a. The SmartSDR software, although usable, is not a patch on KE9NS’s modified version of PowerSDR. Another thing I didn’t like was that the fan inside the 6300 is like a jet engine when it kicks in and it comes on quickly!!

 

In October 2019 I decided I fancied a change of radio’s. I had always heard how good the receive was on a Kenwood TS-870s, even though they were an older radio.

As per ususal by now I had listed my Flex 6300 for sale or trade on various Facebook groups and forums.

I had a message on Facebook Paul, 2E0YMT, who had a Kenwood TS-870s, along with a UR6QW 8 Band EQ – Compressor – Noise Gate, Kenwood MC-60 microphone and Kenwood SP31 speaker.

Paul was the person I had my Flex 5000a off in 2018 and we have pinged SDRplay devices back and forth up the M6 a number of times 🙂

I made the trip up the M6 to Pauls home QTH to view the Kenwood TS-870s. I was instantly impressed with the 870’s and the way Paul had it setup in conjunction with SDR Console and an SDRPlay RSP device as a panadapter and showing spots etc and the RX audio sounded lovely.

Deal done!!

January 2019 I sold my Kenwood TS-870, SP-31 speaker, MC-60 microphone and the UR6QW Equalizer via Facebook.

I am now currently using a ICOM IC-7600, HyEndFed 80-10 extra short in an inverted L configuration.

Will update with photo’s soon!!