Ham Radio

Ham, CB, Scanner, Shortwave and anything radio related.

Apartment Ham Shack Upgrade!

In my last post, I showed off the beginnings of a new shack here in my 3rd floor apartment that I moved into recently. Well, I’ve made a few upgrades that I wanted to show off. The biggest one was returning that small Anytone mobile and replacing it with a Yaesu FTM-7250DR 50 Watt Dual-Bander. It’s a very nice rig and supports Yaesu’s digital C4FM/Fusion digital mode. It took awhile to actually find one of these in stock due to all the COVID19-related shortages we’ve all been dealing with.

The other thing I did was setup my SiriusXM Satellite Radio desktop receiver along with my outdoor weatherproof satellite antenna that I mounted just below my Diamond vertical antenna on the fire escape. I routed the coax for both antennas underneath the fire escape for safety reasons and neatly ran them along the edges of the room to the back of my desk. It came out pretty good! Check out the video below for a quick walkthrough of my new setup. 😄

Moving And My Ham Radio Hobby

In the last couple of years, i’ve had to move twice, and that has been a huge limiting factor in how I could operate on the ham bands. For many years, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the setup you see below. I even put together a fancy graphical layout of how all my equipment was connected!

Since I was living in a house owned by family, I was allowed to put up some cool antennas using the trees and such, but then circumstances changed and I had to start looking for an apartment instead. Well, this time around it couldn’t have been a more different situation. The new place was in a very urban area on the second floor of an apartment building. There were literally no trees or outdoor structures whatsoever to mount something to, AND I literally had a huge pole transformer right outside my window. The best I could do was put up a slimjim 2m/440 wire antenna on the wall, but it was really only useful to get into a handful of nearby repeaters. Also my neighbors in the building did NOT seem to appreciate the sounds of communication audio and probably heard interference everytime I keyed up the mic. It was kind of a lost cause sadly, but I came up with a backup plan! I moved my setup into my 2005 Toyota Matrix instead. 😀 Check it out!

Ok, so now fast foward 1.5 years later to present day. I just moved in to a new place in a much nicer area and with a lot more possibilities in terms of radio stuff. For one thing, I am on the top floor and so automatically have more elevation than I did before. But more importantly, I have both a balcony on one side AND a fire escape on the other! It didn’t take me long to put together a plan for a new ham shack at home! My current setup is a small Diamond X-30A 2m/70cm dual band antenna on the fire escape, 30 feet of RG-8X coax, and a small but effective 25 watt AnyTone AT-778UV 2m/70cm dual band mobile. All of the affordable models of Amateur brand radios are out of stock everywhere, but it worked out ok since I didn’t have alot of extra funds after moving expenses and what not. I’m back on the air!