31 August 2021
I finally went and took my general exam and upgraded my license! I went on a hunt for an affordable HF radio and settled on an old ICOM IC-735 that I got a great deal on. It was a perfect choice since I wanted something older that didnt have all of the bells and whistles. It's 100w on SSB and seems to work great. In the last week I've made a few contacts, including one all the way in Austrailia!
I've been slowly moving my shack into a trailer, and that has created a lot of side projects. The trailer is basically a 16ft car hauler that somebody built a barn on top of. I bought it to use as a cargo trailer for moving, which hasn't happened yet. So I want to keep it as a cargo trailer but also want to use it for my radio shack. It gets way too hot in here in the summer when the sun is shining so I put a portable air conditioner in. And that raised the question of power. So I picked up a cheap generator off of craigslist. The generator was basically new but had been to Burning Man. So it needed a bit of cleaning up and tuning. The pictures show how everything has come together. I'll probably go into more detail in a video, but that's for later.
I couldn't wait to get on the air after I picked up my HF radio. So instead of buying an antenna and waiting for it to get here, I decided to go ahead and build something. I scrounged around my shed and found some speaker wire that was about 16 feet long. And then found some old pieces of rope. So I took my truck apart a little so I could pull the coax for the CB antenna out, cut the end off of it and attached it to the speaker wire. Then I attached the center to the top of my antenna-mast-flag-pole and tied the ends of the wire to pieces of rope, tied to the fence. And now I have a horizontal dipole tuned to somewhere around 20 meters that works surprisingly well! Like I said earlier, I was able to hit Austrailia with 100 watts!