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Build me a Ham Shack

928bolo

Supporting Member
Jul 7, 2008
171
220
53
www.nb3r.com
After all the information has finally settled down in my head that FTdx10 is looking good, but the Elecraft KX3 may be my first radio. I'm thinking portable to learn the craft and antennas plus I can add on to the KX3 to make it a home station.
I would avoid QRP (~5 watts) for your first HF radio. Get a 100w radio. You will be frustrated trying to make contacts with 5 watts. Sure you will work some stations but you will be much more successful with 100w and a wire dipole.

The KX3 is a fantastic radio but it is expensive. Especially for just 5w. The matching Elecraft 100w amplifier is $1,200. So the cost of the KX3 and 100W amp is nearing $3,000.

The FTdx10 for the ICOM 7300 are better choices in my opinion. The ICOM 718 is a good radio but is very basic. As a new ham you will likely want to work FT8 Digital mode. The FTdx10 and 7300 are ready out of the box to connect to a computer and operate digital modes. The 718 will require a sound card interface (~$150), and an RS-232 connection to your computer (very few computers have RS-232 ports anymore).

Just my two cents. I have been in your shoes.
 

RedRiverII

BANNED
Jan 8, 2022
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No QRP for first radio in my new shack. I did look into TenTec by word of mouth from Jason HamRadio2.0. I heard the lament about lack of parts. While Mike TenTec remains in business lack of parts has him frozen in time. Too bad they seem to be a good radio. Looking at Flex radios now. Another piece of artwork those radios. February has my time filled but March is looking good for my first purchase. I have learned a great deal but have barely scratched the surface in this new hobby. Thank you all for your replies.
 

RedRiverII

BANNED
Jan 8, 2022
104
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69
@Riverman Alrighty, back in the shack. I did what I said I'd do. 2/27/22 and I passed the amateur extra exam. In fact all the studying has made me more interested in the hobby. It is fascinating and inspiring. I've read so much that I'll be interested in this for a long long time.
Too bad the cost of gear has jumped in price quite a bit from even two months ago. I hear that is normal, that is the fluctuation in price. So I begin the " buy a radio and antenna stage." I'll begin studying antennas for now. I bought a boxed set of antenna books from the ARRL. I am stubborn and will understand antennas much more than I do now. I'll plow through the subject. Some folks suggest to understand the challenge of having a good antenna. Some have suggested a good radio so you can hear your contacts. I'll get both quality items, plus all the ancillary equipment than has been mentioned but not discussed. A good mike, wire, cables, grounding stuff, power supply, analyzer and other items are needed as I don't own any of it. 5K was always an imaginary number, it's looking more like 8K, EASY. If that FTDX101MP gives me some sleepless nights...
 
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Riverman

Old Member
Nov 12, 2013
2,667
2,652
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Congratulations on the Extra. (y)

The 101MP would definitely be a wonderful radio. A lot of us are green in color and drooling right now. :giggle:
 
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RedRiverII

BANNED
Jan 8, 2022
104
80
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69
Chameleon makes a portable kit and the price is kind of steep, I've seen it in action and wondered if anyone here uses it. I'm thinking of getting an antenna that can be set up and taken down fairly easy. I will find out today how to connect my camera to this fool proof, easy peasey, foolproof, new Apple computer that changed just about every port known to man. I've bought several adapters with no luck yet, one of which was purchased at the Apple store. The employees are all in the genius class you know, and easily offended when you return their suggested products. Asked about products for Ham Radio and got a blank stare. Maybe I should call Yaesu ? Thanks in advance.
 

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