I finally decided to try my luck with a proper amplifier and managed to get hold of a second hand Russian GI7B amplifier which covers 80m through to 10m. I picked the amplifier up earlier this evening off of a radio amateur that was in the same county - Yorkshire, to the south about 35 miles away. On returning home, I installed the new Russian kit and with 20 watts in I had 400 watts out. I am feeling very pleased with my new investment and this year's CQWW DX Contest should be even better than last year with a bit more coal on the fire. 73 I'll be back soon with more on the new amp.
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!
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