Miscellaneous Radios & Equipment
This page is a gallery of other radios or of significant station equipment I have.
Radio Shack HTX-100 25 Watt 10 Meter SSB/CW Mobile Radio
Radio Shack gets little respect in the Ham community due to its poor selection of products, high radio prices and mediocre quality of equipment. I purchased the HTX-100 because it was cheap ($75) and it got me on the air. It was my first HF radio when I upgraded my license to Tech Plus. It has a reputation as a glorified CB radio and frankly that's not too far off base; however, when 10 Meters was hopping I talked all over the country with this radio. It really stinks when compared with my IC-746, but I can't bear to part with it. It's not worth much anyway.
Small Wonders Labs - PSK 20 radio for doing PSK-31 on 20 Meters
This is a 3 Watt radio sold as a kit, specifically designed to operate PSK-31 on 20 Meters. I don't use this radio a lot, but it means something special to me as my younger son Chris KF6RSF and I built it (he was 11 at the time). (He did all of the work, I just supervised) This radio is kind of fun to take portable as it doesn't require an interface and you would be surprised how well you can do with 3 Watts on PSK-31. I once worked a station in Alabama using PSK-31 where both of us were using FT-817s.
2.4 GHz Downconverters - Converts 2.400 GHz to 144.000 MHz AIDC-3731 Downconverter modified by K5GNA
These are the downconverters I use to receive 2.4 GHz (S band) signals. They are MMDS (wireless cable) downconverters that have been modified to convert 2.4 GHz signals to 144.00 MHz signals. I use these to listen to the AO-40 satellite (2401.400 MHz). The modifications were simple. Tape was placed over a filter to change its response and the crystal was changed to change the IF to 2 Meters. The downconverters are mounted directly at the antenna as feedline losses are intolerable at 2.4 GHz. My newest downconverter is a AIDC-3731 MMDS unit modified by K5GNA. This downconverter has a lower noise floor, greater gain, and much tighter filters that the CalAmp or Norsat downconverters. The performance figures of this downconverter approach the figures of the DEMI or SSB Electronics downconverters at a quarter of the price. This downconverter can be used without a preamp. If you are interested in this downconverter you can e-mail Bob at email@example.com or search for them on his E-Bay store. They are reasonably priced ( I paid $100) and they work great.
MFJ Model 949E Versa Tuner
This is the main tuner I use in my shack. It will tune coax, balanced line or a single wire antenna. It has a built in dummy load and is quite versatile. It handles up to 300 Watts and tunes most antennas.
SGC SG-237 Smart Tuner
This is a neat tuner. First you hook up your radio and 12 VDC to the tuner. Next you hook up your antenna to the tuner. It will tune unbalanced line, balanced line, whips, longwires, and loops. When RF enters the tuner from the radio the tuner switches on. The computer inside determines the best capacitance and inductance to tune the load. Once it tunes the antenna for a particular frequency, it remembers the settings and tunes back to that frequency almost instantly. I've used this on Field Day and on my Alaska RV trip. It's like magic.
MFJ-269 Antenna Analyzer
This is not a radio, but it one of the coolest pieces of equipment I have in my shack. It allows me to determine the SWR of any antenna at any frequency from 1.8-170 MHz and 420-470 MHz. This makes tuning antennas easy. You can prune or lengthen the antenna elements and see how it effects the SWR and resonant frequency. It will determine the distance down a feed line to a fault and many other features I don't understand yet.
Mirage D-1010 70 cm 100 Watt Linear Amplifier
I use this amp for satellite uplinks and a couple of times I had to run Newsline for our repeater using a HT. It takes 10 Watts in and puts out 100 Watts FM or SSB. For AO-40 I used my FT-817 as an exciter for this amp. The 5 Watts in from the 817 put out 70 Watts which was more than enough to use AO-40.
Heathkit SB-200 1KW Linear Amplifier 80M-10M
I recently acquired this old tube kit linear amplifier. I checked it out and it does work. I need to replace the electrolytics and rejigger my ham shack to find a place to put it. I wanted to have a power option available without breaking the bank.
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Copyright 2002 Page last modified December 6, 2002