Friday, August 27, 2010

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

In between a few projects at the qth, I ran across an inter-
esting article by Alan Vega (WA6 MOW) on the
site called "HF on a limited budget", dated 26 August 2010.
Much of his article resonated with my approach to Amateur
Radio, especially the parts relating to serviceable older rigs
and homebrew antennas for your shack.  Alan sets up an
arbitrary $300 budget for a basic ham station, and, generally,
succeeds in getting a basic station assembled, minus the
antenna, ATU, and miscellaneous items.  Alan recommends
a few familiar transceivers which have proven reliable, in-
cluding teh Yaesu FT-757GX, the ICOM-730, and the
Kenwood TS-440s.  All good choices for those oper-
ating on a shoestring budget.  I would add a few more, in-
cluding the Kenwood 520 series and a few Ten-Tec
classics such as the Triton-540, the Argosy II, and even
the Scout 555.  I've owned a few of the above and can
attest to their reliability.  Of course, the further we go out
in time, the more problems associated with parts and
service we find, especially if you prefer hybrid or all-
tube rigs.  None the less, having a good, working spare
rig is a plus in these uncertain times.  I've found my newly
acquired Kenwood 520 a joy to work on and operate.
There's nothing wrong with buying the latest technology
if you can afford to pay cash and thus avoid the credit
card hastle.  I just prefer the older rigs.  Your mileage
will vary, depending on what role Amateur Radio plays
in your life.  That being said, you might want to read
Alan's article--he has many good ideas which could keep
you on the air should your main rig fail.  Have a good
weekend.  73 de KH6JRM.