2018 Projects

the year I got back to ham radio…

© 2018 by KV5R. All Rights Reserved. Rev. 2/15/2019.

Howdy, Y’all!

One thing about hobbies is that they do tend to come and go, and some come back again. In November of 2017 I decided it was time to get back to ham radio, this time with new equipment, capabilities, and money-saving home-brew projects.

Long ago, ham radio was all about learning electronics and building things, but nowadays it seems it has increasingly become more about competing to see who can spend the most money. Many spend tens of thousands of dollars to assemble a great station, but have very little actual technical knowledge. Back then, ham radio heroes were those who developed new technologies. Today it’s those with mega-buck stations and contest awards. And if that’s what one enjoys, then fine, I have no problem with it. But my focus, as always, is to do more with less, and learn things in the process.

Electronics technology is now developed and manufactured mostly in foreign factories using tiny parts assembled by robots. One cannot build such things by hand anymore, but there is still plenty of room for the experimenter. There are many hams who would rather build their own antennas and station accessories, to both learn new things and save money. So I keep on writing, hoping to help those who, like myself, want to learn things and enjoy amateur radio while maximizing station performance within a reasonable budget.


In this section I will cover my new equipment and home-brew accessories:

  • Icom IC-7100
    • IC-7100 USB Audio Soundcard Setup and Calibration
    • IC-7100 I.F. tap and SDR Panadapter
    • UR6QW 8-Band Equalizer and Boom Mic
  • Ameritron AL-80B
    • Amplifier Keying Buffer Interface (using a solid-state relay)
    • Salt Water Dummy Load (1kW in a peanut butter jar)
  • MFJ-989D Versa Tuner V (and the sundry repairs thereof)
  • The 80-Meter All-Band Doublet

I hope you will enjoy and benefit from my latest adventures in Amateur Radio. As always, I try to write for newcomers to the hobby, dispelling myths, adding common-sense, and saving money where possible.

73, — KV5R