My Station: December 2018

I did a major rearrangement of my amateur radio station in June 2017.  I retired an old ICOM IC-729 rig along with its power supply and antenna tuner and replaced the ICOM with a Yaesu FT-857.  The 857 had been in my truck for several years and had no power output on HF.  I returned it to Yaesu for repair; when it returned, I retired the ICOM and put the 857 in the station.

Here are photos of my station as of December 2018.  The station is located at the end of my home’s utility room, sharing the room with an extra refrigerator; water heater; main circuit breaker box; generator circuit breaker box; and an accumulation of junk.


Here is a close look at the bottom shelf, which is the main operating position.

bottom shelf

Left to right:

  • Yaesu FTDM-100 VHF/UHF FM transceiver, hanging from the top shelf.
  • Yaesu FT-857; 100 watts; 160  Meters- 432 MHz all mode transceiver
  • A J-38 straight key and an old Vibroplex Lightning Bug.  These keys can be connected to either the FT-857 or the FT-817 on the top shelf.
  • Hidden in the shadows on top of the FT-857 is an American Morse KK-1 straight key that keys the Elecraft K-1 on the top shelf.
  • The iPad mini on the left is used to access the Internet for DX spots, callsign lookup, and the like.
  • In the very narrow shelf, left, is my paper logbook; right, odds and ends.

Here’s a close look at the top shelf.

top shelf

Left to right:

  • Diamond SWR meter on top of
  • Yaesu FT-7900 VHF/UHF FM transceiver on top of
  • LDG X-100 antenna tuner for the FT-857 on top of
  • Kantronics KPC-3 packet controller (not used)
  • Two watches, one set to ZULU, one set to local time, on top of
  • Elecraft K1 QRP CW transceiver, operates on 40 and 20 meters.
  • Oak Hills Research fwd/reflected power meter connected to the Yaesu FT-817, on top of
  • LDG Z-100 tuner for the FT-817, on top of
  • Yaesu FT-817 all-mode, all-band QRP transceiver.
  • Behind the Elecraft is a 12Ah battery charged by a solar panel.  The battery powers the Elecraft K1 and the Yaesu FT-817.
  • On the white panel is the charge controller for the battery and two meters, one showing voltage and current coming from the solar panel, the other showing the same information for the battery.
  • In front of the 12Ah battery, partially hidden behind some papers, is an Elecraft T1 antenna tuner for QRP use.  I have several homebrew from kit QRP rigs that I connect to this ATU when using them.

Antenna switches

ant switches

Top center of the photo is the switch that switches between the end-fed wire and the dummy load.  In the bottom center of the photo is another antenna switch that switches the antennas between rigs — FT-857, FT-817, Elecraft K1, and Spare used for the QRP rigs.

On the very bottom of the photo, center, is a blue American Morse Porta-Paddle that I use from time to time with the keyers in the FT-857, FT-817, or K-1.  The black box to the left of the paddle is a wireless router that connects to my main household router.