Ham Radio

Saturday, September 15, 2018
Rack The Shack

I completed the welding and fabrication work on my new rack for my radio shack and spent the afternoon re wiring and installing my radio equipment into the purpose built steel rack.The new rack is now in use in my main shack and is built to my own personal requirements.

The equipment is set up well and the rack is nice and strong made with 30 mm steel tube uprights, 15 mm braced cross members and covered with 2 mm sheet steel. The new rack has been designed to create some space for more equipment as well as providing better air circulation which will help keep the station cooler once I get around to treating myself to a bit more power and add a linear amp to my set up. That will be my next addition in the hopefully not to distant future once I have saved up some hard earned cash. I have been looking at amplifiers that use valves rather than solid state as I think the reliability and operating lifespan is more likely to be higher with a plate and load set up for the amount of money I will have to spend. The last time I tried to up my power it did not go so well as I ended up with some secondhand repaired junk from Moonraker UK, which if you remember was exchanged as a new item when after a month the first one went faulty, the replacement also lasted as long as an Ice cream takes to melt. On inspection I found a repair sticker inside with a date that preceded the date that I had purchased it supposedly new? This left me cautious and of course has put me off solid state amplifiers (especially ones from Moonraker and RM) even though I obviously got a cheaper range than some of the higher priced solid state amps that hopefully are a bit better made. Over the next few weeks I will be looking out for a second hand HF valve amplifier, probably something that will produce 600 to 800 watts which will tick over nicely at my legal limit of 400 watts and should be more reliable with plenty of future service. For now I am going to enjoy my nicely dusted off ham shack. 73!
posted by Simon Davison @ 10:52 pm   0 comments
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
40 meters Mobile

After fitting the new board in my YAESU FT-857 mobile I got the urge to change over antennas from 20 meters to the 40 meter band. I have plenty of good mobile antennas from MALDOL and HUSTLER to play around with so I swapped the
MALDOL HFC 20 for the HFC 40 which is resonant from 7.100 - 7.190 MHz.

Listen out from 7.30 utc on 40 meters week days as I try my luck from my Mobile ham radio station. 73
posted by Simon Davison @ 4:23 pm   0 comments
Friday, August 31, 2018
YAESU FT-857 Front Panel Repair
Image result for yaesu FT - 857

Over the past 12 months the display on my Yaesu FT-857 has developed the "zebra stripes" problem which after looking in to it, this has probably happened because of high temperature from the sunlight entering into my vehicle. The best way to resolve the fault is to install a new board into the front panel which I carried out last night with successful results.

I began by contacting YAESU UK who came straight back with the cost and part numbers which was very reasonable as the total cost for a complete brand new panel and new AF/SQ VR control was under £140. The panel has a screen and selector control so I thought I would renew the AF/SQ control at the same time.
The staff at YAESU UK are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful indeed, I gained a few tips from one of the gentleman at YAESU UK regarding the task I was about to undergo.  The AF/SQ VR required careful soldering as the terminals are very tiny but apart from that the job was not too difficult and I managed to get it done in around about 2 hrs in total.

Image below shows my old panel about to be stripped out

Image below shows the new panel and VR from YAESU UK

After completing the changeover I was pleased to see the problem has now been resolved and the FT-857 is good to go again. So, back in the mobile DX machine working as well as ever! All that remains is......A BIG THANK YOU to all at YAESU UK Sales and Service team.
posted by Simon Davison @ 2:15 pm   0 comments
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Rack mounted

I decided that I would like to make a purpose made steel racking system for my shack. I wanted something that would house more equipment as my existing rack is just a tad too small.

I have made the frame out of tube and box section. I just need to put in some shelves and then get some paint.
posted by Simon Davison @ 2:40 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
U.K HAMS Exempt Radio Amateur aerials from requiring planning permission
"Exempt Radio Amateur aerials from requiring planning permission"

Current planning regulations severely restrict the ability of licensed Radio Amateurs to erect experimental aerial systems. We the undersigned require the government to amend the law to exempt all licensed Radio Amateurs (and C.B. radio users) from requiring planning permission for their aerials.

Please follow this link to sign the petition 
posted by Simon Davison @ 5:56 pm   0 comments
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Sun Sea & Ham Radio

Port William Scotland

It's been a brilliant summer break and I managed to get in lots of radio time during our summer tour of Scotland and Wales.

FT-857 mobile Maldol antenna

The MK7 Transit performed well as we enjoyed many nights under the stars and I got the opportunity to operate mobile using MW0YKS/M as well as MM0YKS/M. I also made some good VHF contacts from my holiday cabin during my visits and my home shack was on the air when I was home.

M0YKS Shack

Operating from the Cabin FT-2600m

Enjoying the view to Ireland and The Isle of man from the Mull of Galloway Scotland
Campsite crew

I made a few ham radio videos which are available via my YouTube channel which were from my shack and mobile.  I saw some amazing nature and countryside and had fun working the FT-857 mobile whilst clocking up some miles. The bands were poor but the beaches of Anglsey Wales and Galloway Scotland made up for that.

Mull of Galloway Light House

So once again it's back to work after a fun time had by all 73.

posted by Simon Davison @ 8:52 pm   0 comments
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Special Discount - Eltima Products For Radio Amateurs

Just a quick update regarding my last post about Eltima software.

Any radio amateurs and short wave listeners wishing to use Eltima products can get special discount and support. This has kindly been arranged by Helga from Eltima software solutions. If this is something for you just mention you're a Ham or SWL and that you have visited my blog.


I hope that some of you fellow hams benefit from this and thanks again to all at Eltima Software Solutions. 

If any other amateur radio related techs, developers or sales would like there products reviewing, testing, rating as well as good play around with in my shack. Please feel free to contact myself Simon M0YKS as I am always up for a good blog post to share with the World Wide Ham Community. 
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:49 pm   0 comments
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