My Station

I hate the term "base station" it sounds so darn CB-ish. I say "station" or "fixed station" instead since its not mobile and its not portable. Let me tell you a little bit about "my station". My main interest is in "weak signal" V/UHF operations but right now I'm only focusing on the FFMA award. I have a Yaesu FTdx-1200 which is a HF + 50 all mode as my main rig. For local VHF-FM I have an Alinco DR-135T for 222 and a FT-8900 for 146/440 as I would use the FTdx1200 for 29 & 52 FM.

My Mobile Station

I drive a 2015 Ford Escape and I have a FT-8900 installed in the car. The radio is under the drivers seat and the control head is up on the dash by the navigation screen. For antennas I have a Diamond NMO CR627B for 50/146/440 and a Larsen NMO 30 for 29 MHz. The bands are separated by using a Comet CF-360B band pass duplexer

My Other Stations

For hand held usage I have a Kenwood TH-F6a. It is a tri-band (144/222/440) with general coverage DC-light reciever. So far I have added a better antenna a Maldol MH-610 antenna which is a significant improvement over the OEM rubber resistor. I also have added a "AA" battery pack and the 4000 mAh Li-ION battery to the accessory arsenal along with headset and the little magnent 1/4 dual band mag mount. I also have a Conterra chest pack for holding the radio up front. I have also added three (3) Baofeng UV-5R handhelds to the bag for back-ups.

I also have a FT-817ND photos, and a FT-991 for portable HF/V/UHF opeations to supplement my go-kit. I have a number of accessories to go with to operate both HF and V/UHF portable. I have a G5RV and LDG tuner for the HF portion. For V/UHF I have a number of antenna options available to me.

I have recently changed up my primary go kit, photo's here for ARES/RACES/Skywarn/PSE (again). I downsized the rack one last time, or so I think. The new rack. I picked up through MCM out of Cinni OH. In the case I have a Yaesu FT-8800 and a Astron 25 amp rack mount power supply. I also upgrade this case to all power poles with a 8 position powerwerk bus. That gives me 1 in for the power supply and I can use the other 7 for radios, a battery or charging a cell phone or two. For antennas I have a Diamond X-30 vertical for the 144/440 MHz bands. I have a DJ light bar that I took the cross bars and was able to make it a little taller. I also have 20' flag pole from Harbor Freight and a 50' Rohn push-up pole if I need to get the antenna higher by using a bracket that I made to go on my car's reciever hitch.

What Ham Radio Is And Isn't

Ham radio is not to be confused with CB or "childrens band" as we jokingly refer to it. Amateur radio is a hobby in which you can chat with people in your own area or around the world. With CB you are limited to only two modes of operation, amplitude modulation (AM) or single side band (SSB) and legally limited to 5 watts AM or 12 watts SSB, and can only use 40 "channels" on one band. Where as in amateur radio we can operate on 17 bands, we are not limited to channels, we can operate morse code (CW), single side band (SSB), amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), radio tele-type (RTTY), slow scan television (SSTV), fast scan television (ATV) and digital (Packet). Exactly which bands and how much power you can operate on / with depends upon the class of license you have. The top power allowed is 1500 watts out. In addition to all this we also have several elaborate wide area repeater networks and orbiting satelittes at our disposal as well.