2023-06-15 Over my 65 years in ham radio I've had a host of transmitters, receivers and transceivers. Started with a Heathkit DX-60 and Halicrafters S-20r receiver. In about 2004 I got my first really nice transceiver, an ICOM ic706 MarkIIG. Also got a Yaesu FT817nd in there somewhere A few years later upgraded to the ICOM IC7000 which was my only rig until 2018 when I got a Xiegu x5105. Then the next year came the Xiegu G90. In 2020 I sold the IC7000 and purchased an IC7300 which I loved. But about then I got interested in portable operating, especially POTA. In 2021 I sold the IC7300 and purchased an ICOM IC705. So the three rigs shown in the picture at right are my current gateways to the airwaves. And I used all three for POTA hunting contacts today just to prove I could!
Each are great rigs with features that make them stand out. But I have to admit the IC705 gets the most air time in the shack on a picnic table in a park or strapped to my chest for pedestrian mobile.
2022-09-22 Most of us have some sort of home station or "Shack". That is, a more-or-less permanent place where we operate from at home. The range from a table in the corner to a room set aside just for ham radio. Over the years I've had many, currently a room that is "mine" where I can tinker on ham radio things and/or sit down and operate. And that implies that we have one or more antennas ready to go.
For many years now my permanent HF antenna has been a 102 ft G5RV. Paired with my LDG Z-11ProII tuner it works to my satisfaction on all HF bands. It is strung between two trees about 30 ft up with the feedline running at about a 45 degree angle down to the window of my shack. For VHF/UHF I have an off brand dual band vertical mounted on the nearby detached garage atop a ten ft fence rail pipe and fed with RG-8 type coax. The two antennas let me operate from 3.5Mhz through 440 Mhz at will with minimal fuss.
Like most I've had various rigs, currently using my ICOM IC-705 portable setup. Others included an ICOM IC-706 mkIIG, IC-7000 and an ICOM IC-7300 as my primary work horses. I operate mostly CW and SSB and played with various digital modes.
Due to needing to have a dying tree removed yesterday I had to take both the G5RV and VHF vertical antennas down. But not wanting to be off the air I set up an 40 meter EFHW sloper for HF and a window line J-pole for VHF/UHF. The sloper is based on a QRPGuys 40-10 meter EFHW I've had for several years primarily for portable use. The transformer is about 3' off the ground, fed with a length of RG58 coax and the far end is supported by my 33' collapsible fiberglass mast, again primarily used for portable operation.
Both antennas perform well making me wonder if I really want to put my G5RV and vhf/uhf vertical back up after the tree is gone! They remind me once again that quite simple gear and antennas can provide a lot of good ham radio contacts.