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eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: AH6FC on June 16, 2007, 06:49:43 PM



Title: Suppliers and Vendors
Post by: AH6FC on June 16, 2007, 06:49:43 PM
Over the past year I've been assemblying a new station.  During that time I've searched for lots of ham radio stuff...cables, connectors, tower climbers, you name it, I've looked for it. I've spent hundreds of hours selecting products, particularly antennas and towers.  Some have been great, some have been less than good.  I thought my findings might be of help to some with their station building.

These are my best finds:

Optibeam - Probably the best constructed antenna out there.  Expensive but rugged.

SteppIR - Good antennas and fabulous customer support.

Reddog Radio - The best cable shop I've found...I looked all over for somebody to make high quality cables for my tower use.  I didn't (don't) want to climb up my tower to fix a lousy coax connection.  Tom at Reddog Radio can provide very custom, very high quality coax, very quickly and at a fair price.  Don't miss this one - certainly one of my best finds!!

Davis RF - Personal service and very fair prices.  (Heliax & rotator cables).  Much easier to customize and get exactly what you're looking for than the big ham shops.

DX Engineering - helpful phone service and very high quality antenna switches.  I have both DX Engineering and Array Solution antenna switches.  Both are good, but the DX Engineering are much more user friendly.

Array Solutions - Great support and guidance with Optibeam, AN Wireless and other shack products.  Jay's products are all very high quality and his knowledge depth is great.  

AN Wireless - Very rugged steel self-supporting towers.  Dan was a pleasure to work with.  Help me along the tower purchase and assembly process.  Great experience.  

Steve Morris, K7LXC - TowerTech - Steve helped me keep my feet on the ground...he did the climbing.  Very knowledgeable and personable.  He charges about $110 per hour but utilizes the ham (you) on the ground so is less costly than others.

Paul Nyland, Custom Metal Works - Paul and his crew are professional tower installers.  Paul did the install of my tower base and laid the conduit in my absence.  I needed someone to do the job for me, since I couldn't be present.  Very high quality work.  Rather expensive.  If you are looking for a turn-key installation, Paul is the man to call.

Big Boy/Pro Sis Tel Rotators - I spent quite a bit of time looking for the "right" rotator.  Initially I had planned on using an Orion, but after reading some reports of failures, with big antennas, I looked for something better.  These are not inexpensive, but are very competent.  This rotator turns my modest stack of yagis without pause...doesn't even break a sweat.  Silent operation.  

Hope this can help!

73, Bill


Title: Suppliers and Vendors
Post by: K9KJM on June 17, 2007, 01:41:06 AM
You missed a few:
Texas Towers, Good supplier of Tower parts, Guy wire, And LMR-400 coax- http://texastowers.com/lmr.htm

SSB Electronics, Good supplier of UHF stuff, And M2 antennas- http://www.ssbusa.com/ham.html

The "Wireman", Good supplier of wire for antennas, And I.C.E. (Industrial Communications Engineers) lightning arrestors- http://thewireman.com/products.html


Title: Suppliers and Vendors
Post by: KG4RUL on June 17, 2007, 04:44:54 AM
Also:

The Sign Man of Baton Rouge
Badges, Patches, Personalized Ham items
They have always been able to deliver custom work well made and on-time
http://www.thesignman.com/

Ham Radio Outlet
Never had any problems with the guys at the Atlanta Store
http://www.hamradiooutlet.com/

PowerWerx
More Anderson PowerPole related products than one can imagine
http://www.powerwerx.com/

And, I know people will jump on me for this, MFJ
I have never had an MFJ product, that was used conservatively, that did not work well
http://www.mfjenterprises.com/index.php


Title: Suppliers and Vendors
Post by: AH6FC on June 17, 2007, 08:26:21 AM
You're right, I missed Texas Towers.  I didn't use them for this project but I've used them in the past.  Good company and service.


Title: Suppliers and Vendors
Post by: WA9AFM on August 01, 2007, 08:06:10 AM
Dominoes Pizza - ya gotta feed the tower crew!