K0GKJ – Just Another Ham
The New QTH – A Floating Shack

New HT on Order; HF Antenna Development

Well, I finally broke down and ordered my very first HT (handheld transceiver). Should be here any day now… here’s a picture from a reviewer (see link below):

Like any topic, the choice of an HT is a highly ‘religious’ debate. Trying to rise above all that, after performing due diligence, my research leads me to believe that Yaesu was the way to go, and the VX-8R was the unit for me. My objectives were:

  1.  full function and a top choice with respect to the gadget factor,
  2. rugged reliability as I anticipate potentially hostile outdoor and marine ops,
  3. future expandability and upgradability.

Check out the features of this baby by clicking here. , and some of the reviews of this unit here.

I haven’t purchased the (spendy) GPS unit to enable APRS (automatic packet reporting system) yet, but once the wallet stretches back into shape after shrinking significantly from this initial purchase (also just ordered my wife a new laptop!), that, along with the necessary bigger (1800 mah) battery (comes with 1100 mah) and speaker mic (to mount GPS) will be next.

Why an HT? I want to get into amsat (amateur satellite) ops, become active in my local ARES (amateur radio emergency service) and RACES (radio amateur civil emergency service) organizations, and an HT is a nice ante for all of the above for mobile ops, in addition to my shack’s HF & VHF capabilities. Additionally, APRS has always fascinated me, so we’ll see if this tidy little unit satisfies that hunger.

An interesting development with my rooftop condo hexbeam HF antenna. A nearby highrise that looks down on my roof, antenna, air conditioners, soil stacks, etc. (!) brought the antenna to the attention of our parent (think “city-wide’) home owner’s association, and I now find that I also have to appeal to their sense of civic disaster-preparedness for yet another approval for this antenna. So be it. I’ve been at this approval game for over four years now. Onward!

73 de K0GKJ

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