Ham Shack Update: April 2013

Posted on Posted in Ham Radio, Musings, Tech


This post has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. A ham shack update! I should quick note this will be my last ham shack update for this setup… I will be moving into a condo sometime next month so everything will be completely different, and hopefully a lot cleaner looking. More on that soon.

Anyway, back to the ham shack update that I had promised. As I mentioned in the preview post, I’m using a Yaesu FT-1900R as a 2M base station radio. That is hooked up to the N9TAX Slim Jim 2m/70cm antenna. It does an okay job, but the issues I’m having I believe are related to where my shack is located (an issue soon to be fixed when I move next month!). Also, as mentioned last time, I purchased another FT-1900R that I just installed in  my Taurus this weekend. Pictures and post to come soon on that.

Now, onto new business. As I wrote last time, I had just gotten a Kenwood TS-50 (10m-160m HF Mobile radio) from a club auction. I have since gotten the “accessories” I need for it to run great.

First and foremost, I got a tuner for the radio. I really wanted the AT-50 automatic tuner from Kenwood that is designed for the TS-50. Unfortunately  the only ones I could find on eBay were well out of my budget. So much for that.


However, I did score something else. I got an MFJ-925 Intellituner, a generic automatic tuner. This tuner will work on any radio by either transmitting on low power in CW or AM, or via it’s universal interface. The universal interface is designed to work with the automatic tuning functionality of just about any radio from Yaesu, Icom, Alinco, and yes, Kenwood. The MFJ-925 and the adapter cable (and a jumper change) later, and I was auto-tuning away. I have that hooked up to the 20m Bazooka I got from KDØLHB and I can tune up on just about every band except for 160m. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Not a whole lot else has changed, other than I did get myself another Baofeng UV-5R+ handheld.. I did this so my other one could stay in the car, but I just got my other Yaesu FT-1900R installed in my car this weekend, so that is no longer an issue.

Down the road

Lots of things are happening down the road. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times now, I’m moving into a new place next month. It’s a 3rd floor condo with a balcony, away from downtown. As much as I love living in Downtown Fargo, the RF noise in this part of town is horrible. Getting away from downtown, along with having balcony antennas, and being an additional 20 feet off the ground, should make things a lot better ham radio wise. Plus the new place is only couple blocks from work, another plus.

Got any comments or ideas for my new ham radio setup? I would love to see them below. I am for sure going to have a separate desk and computer for my ham radio. This will not only give me more operating room, plus then I can separate my work from play in my new office setup.

As it stands right now, I’m thinking I may do a video of my current setup, both computer-wise and ham radio wise. I would like to document what I had setup, and I may as well share it with viewers while I’m at it. I’ll be sure to post a link to that if and when I get that far.


– Jake


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