My “ham shack” is not big at all. It’s literally more like me at my computer desk playing on a small radio. It’s not much, but hey, it’s mine! 😊
So what sort of hardware am I working with?
- Elecraft KX2 transceiver
- Baofeng UV-5R
- Kenwood TH-F6
- EchoLink (on PC and iOS)
At this time, I’m currently working with two handheld radios. My first radio was just a “cheapo” Baofeng. I know they aren’t considered great radios, but honestly, it’s the cheapest and thus the easiest way to start off in the hobby. It has no issues hitting the local repeaters and making contacts, especially when I pair it with a nicer antenna like the Signal Stick. This is the radio that I tend to take out with me when I’m mobile.
I inherited the Kenwood HT from my father after he became a Silent Key. The radio, while older, is still a great radio. While I still need to get a new tri-band antenna for this one, I really like the range of bands that this radio can utilize. And the step-up in quality compared to my Baofeng is also instantly noticeable. Being my nicer radio, this one tends to be used more at home. I had also inherited his RTL-SDR. I haven’t really gotten around to using it, it’s on my list of projects to do.
Having some amazing friends, one of them gave me their KX2 to use after I earned my Amateur Extra license. I truly can’t speak more highly of them. He basically earned top spot on my best friends list. I’ve been itching to get onto the HF bands and this baby will let me work everything from 10M to 80M. I’m humming with more happiness than a resonant frequency.
And the final thing in my shack is EchoLink. Think of it as voip-for-hams. It’s a great way to turn your computer or smartphone into your transceiver and connecting with other hams all over the world. I think it is a really neat digital means to get on the air. While analog radio is interesting, coming from an IT background I am really interested in learning more about these newer digital modes of radio.