HAM Radio


Amateur Radio


My Story

I have been ticketed since 2015, but my dream of being a ham radio started in 1987.  Morse Code held me back and my dream sat unrequited for almost 30 years.  I achieved an Extra class ticket and I have been enjoying the airwaves. 

My Story


Yaesu FT-857D


ICOM ID-51A Anniversary


Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 Antenna


EFRW Antenna


Z-100 Plus Antenna Tuner





          • Club – SCARA K2BR.com
          • NOAA – SkyWARN Spotter
          • Grid Square  – FM29sl

Harmonizing Waves: The Multidimensional World of Amateur Radio

Amateur radio, often referred to as "ham radio," is a unique and multifaceted hobby combining technology, communication, community, and even a bit of magic in radio wave propagation. Here are some reasons why the craft of amateur radio is unique: Global Communication:...

The Yaesu FT-857D, an old ham radio model from the early 2000s, offers a range of virtues that make it a valuable choice for ham radio enthusiasts, especially those looking for versatility and compactness.

The FT-857D, as highlighted in the sources you provided, is a compact transceiver that covers MF, HF, VHF, and UHF bands with various modes and power outputs. This radio’s versatility shines through as it can deliver up to 100W on 160-6 meters, 50W on 2 meters, and 20W on 440 MHz, making it suitable for a wide array of operating conditions and environments [2]. This power capability, combined with its small form factor, makes it an ideal companion for both indoor and field use.

The detachable faceplate of the FT-857D adds to its versatility, allowing for flexible installation options. The internal design, featuring separate boards for different functions, efficiently manages electronics and power amplification, resulting in effective heat dissipation [2]. This design approach contributes to its robust performance even in limited spaces.

The transceiver’s controls and features, though located on a compact front panel, are well-designed and functional. While exploring the manual is necessary to maximize its utilization, the FT-857D provides strong performance for its size, catering to various ham radio needs [2]. Additionally, the adjustable power output on the headphone jack adds an extra layer of adaptability.

The radio’s capabilities extend to filtering and signal isolation. With the Collins 500 Hz filter and DSP, it effectively isolates signals in crowded CW bands, demonstrating its prowess in challenging operating conditions [2]. This feature is particularly valuable for enthusiasts seeking to explore different modes and bands, enhancing their overall experience.

Despite its age, the FT-857D has garnered a mix of user experiences, most of which point to its adaptability, versatility, and strong performance. Its suitability for mobile use, DXing, and portable operations has earned praise from users [3]. While some reviewers have pointed out limitations and design flaws, the overall consensus highlights the radio’s ability to deliver satisfactory results, especially within its compact form factor.

In conclusion, the Yaesu FT-857D offers a host of virtues that make it a desirable choice for ham radio enthusiasts. Its versatility, compact size, robust performance, and adaptability across various operating environments make it a valuable tool for those seeking a reliable transceiver for a range of ham radio activities.

The Icom ID-51A is a remarkable handheld amateur radio transceiver that offers a range of virtues that make it a popular choice among ham radio operators. Here are some of its key virtues:

1. Dual-Band Operation: The Icom ID-51A operates on both the 2-meter (144-148 MHz) and 70-centimeter (430-450 MHz) amateur radio bands. This dual-band capability allows for greater versatility in communications and the ability to access different repeater systems and frequencies.

2. D-STAR Digital Mode: One of the standout features of the ID-51A is its support for D-STAR digital mode. D-STAR offers superior voice quality, improved range, and data transmission capabilities compared to traditional analog modes. It allows for clear communication even in challenging conditions, making it an ideal choice for emergency communications or when operating in areas with weak signals.

3. Built-in GPS: The integrated GPS receiver in the ID-51A provides accurate position information, which can be shared with other users via D-STAR. This is particularly useful for tracking the location of fellow operators, for search and rescue operations, or for simply sharing your location during outdoor activities.

4. Enhanced Data Features: The ID-51A supports data transmission beyond voice communication. This includes features such as text messaging and sending short data messages, making it a great tool for exchanging information, sharing updates, or coordinating activities with other operators.

5. Compact and Portable: As a handheld transceiver, the ID-51A is designed for portability. It’s lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around during outdoor adventures, events, or simply for day-to-day communication.

6. Wide Range of Features: The ID-51A is equipped with a variety of features that enhance the user experience. These include a large, easy-to-read color display, customizable user interface, V/V, U/U, and V/U cross-band duplex operation, voice recorder function, and more.

7. User-Friendly Interface: The ID-51A is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to both new and experienced ham radio operators. The menu system and controls are intuitive, reducing the learning curve and allowing operators to focus on communication rather than struggling with complex settings.

8. Durability and Build Quality: Icom is renowned for producing rugged and durable communication equipment, and the ID-51A is no exception. Its robust build quality ensures that it can withstand the rigors of outdoor use and still provide reliable performance.

9. Expandability: The ID-51A supports various optional accessories, such as external microphones, speakers, and data cables. This expandability allows operators to tailor their setup to their specific needs and preferences.

In summary, the Icom ID-51A is a versatile and feature-rich handheld transceiver that excels in its support for D-STAR digital mode, integrated GPS, user-friendly interface, and overall durability. Whether for emergency communication, outdoor adventures, or staying connected with fellow operators, the ID-51A offers a range of virtues that make it a compelling choice for ham radio enthusiasts.









The Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna stands out as a remarkable piece of technology, offering a host of virtues that make it a preferred choice among amateur radio operators, outdoor enthusiasts, and communication aficionados alike. Here are some of the virtues that set the Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna apart:

  1. Portability and Compact Design: The Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna is designed with portability in mind. Its compact and lightweight form factor makes it incredibly easy to carry and set up, making it an ideal companion for outdoor activities, field operations, and emergency communication scenarios. It can be quickly deployed and packed away without the need for extensive setup time or complex installations.
  2. Broad Frequency Coverage: The P-Loop 2.0 boasts an impressive frequency coverage range, allowing users to tune into a wide array of frequencies without the need for multiple antennas. This versatility makes it suitable for various communication bands, ensuring that you can stay connected regardless of the frequency you need to operate on.
  3. Excellent Signal Reception and Transmission: The loop design of the antenna, combined with its built-in tuning capabilities, enables exceptional signal reception and transmission performance. The loop shape minimizes interference and noise while maximizing the antenna’s sensitivity, allowing you to communicate with greater clarity and reach even when faced with challenging environmental conditions.
  4. Adaptability to Limited Spaces: The Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna shines in situations where traditional antenna installations are not feasible due to space constraints or regulatory restrictions. Its compact design and flexible mounting options enable users to set up effective communication systems in environments where larger antennas would be impractical or prohibited.
  5. Efficient Noise Reduction: The loop configuration of the antenna inherently helps in reducing electromagnetic interference and background noise. This means that even in noisy RF environments, the P-Loop 2.0 can provide cleaner and clearer signal reception, allowing you to pick up weak signals that might be otherwise drowned out.
  6. Durability and Build Quality: Crafted from high-quality materials, the Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor use. Its robust construction ensures that it can withstand varying weather conditions, making it a reliable choice for outdoor activities, expeditions, and emergencies.
  7. Ease of Tuning: The P-Loop 2.0 antenna features user-friendly tuning mechanisms that make it simple to adjust its resonance for different frequencies. This tuning capability ensures optimal performance and efficient use across a range of frequencies.
  8. Innovative Design: The Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna exemplifies innovative engineering in the world of communication technology. Its design incorporates advanced principles to deliver exceptional performance, making it a testament to the possibilities that arise when expertise and creativity converge.

In conclusion, the Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 antenna offers a range of virtues that make it an outstanding choice for communication enthusiasts seeking portability, versatility, signal quality, and adaptability. Whether you’re a seasoned ham radio operator, a field scientist, or an outdoor enthusiast, this antenna can enhance your communication capabilities while withstanding the challenges of various environments.