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Author Topic: Basic HF Station "Shopping List" Want Fe  (Read 2539 times)
KB1MCK
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Posts: 4




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« on: February 14, 2007, 10:56:37 AM »

I am in the process of putting together my first HF station and would like to run this "shopping list" by some people.  I am looking for a basic station to get me on the air and one I will be able to add on to with time.  Here is what I am thinking I will need.  Please let me know if I have over looked anything.

Transceiver (looking at IC-718 or used TS-440)
Multiband wire antenna
Coax
Antenna tuner

I already have an Astron RS-20A power supply.  Anything else?

Thanks,
Doug
KB1MCK
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2007, 11:14:59 AM »

SWR meter would be helpful at a minimum cost, unless your tuner comes so equipped.

Don't worry, your station won't stay basic for long.

Oh, a remote speaker is often useful - in my experience most radios don't have great speakers and even for CW.

Speaking of CW, a key?

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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2007, 12:47:23 PM »

My thoughts ...

<< Transceiver (looking at IC-718 or used TS-440) >>

Forget the 440. It's 20+ years old. A better choice is a used Kenwood TS-570D(G) or S(G), if you want 6m.

<<Multiband wire antenna >>

If you are thinking of a G5RV, forget it. It's not really a multiband antennna, even when used with a tuner. A fan dipole or a ladderline-fed doublet is a much better choice.

<<Coax>>

Any of the name-brand RG8U versions will do.
 
<< Antenna tuner >>

If you do a fan dipole, you won't need one. If you do anything else, you probably will. The question is how much do you want to spend. The bottom-end MFJ's I would stay away from, but the high power versions, even if you only plan to run 100w, are pretty good.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2007, 12:50:39 PM »

<< SWR meter would be helpful at a minimum cost, unless your tuner comes so equipped. >>

The built-in SWR/Power meters are notoriously inaccurate and are generraly worthless. A true peak-reading meter is the only thing to have.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2007, 01:37:01 PM »

I'll add in some more stuff to the list:

Headphones
Keyer and Paddles
Microphone
Dummy Load
Lightning Arrestor
Ground Rods
Wire for Grounding and Bonding to other Grounds
Logging Paper and/or Computer with logging program
QSL Cards
Pencil & Paper
ARRL DX Countries List
CQ Zones Map
Digital Clock set for UTC
Soldering Iron & Solder & PL-259s
Coax Stripper
Antenna Switch
Nice Large Desk
Comfortable Chair
Desk Lamp
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KI6LO
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2007, 02:57:49 PM »

Doug,

Hopefully by now your on the air with a nice HF setup. However if you are still shopping around, don't totally rule out a Kenwood TS-440S AT THE RIGHT PRICE. I own two of these classics and yes, they are older gear but easily maintained and solid as a rock. Usually the only problem that happens to them is a VCO unlock or bad CMOS battery. Both condition are cheap to fix yourself with minimal tools and experience.

If you can get newer used equipment at good prices, by all means do so but don't just write off the good old stuff because someone just says to. Ask them why?

Gene KI6LO
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