Second tower

Installation of my second tower is making good progress. All sections have been wire brushed, inspected, and painted. All new grade 5 bolts, washers, and locking nuts on hand. The antenna I chose to go with is the proven Diamond X300 vhf/uhf vertical. Feedline is 1/2 inch CommScope 50 ohm hardline, with a short section of LMR400. Base of the antenna will be at 55ft, and should provide access to many repeaters throughout this area.

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Yaesu FTDX101MP

Very nice transceiver. Since the 2019 Hamcation in Orlando, I have been considering stepping up to one. However the more I investigate the differences in my FTDX5000MP I’m beginning to understand the FTDX101MP isn’t the upgrade I was expecting it to be. First off, a band scope means absolutely nothing to me. I have a SDRPplay connected to the 9mHz output of my FTDX5000MP and found I never use the SDRPplay as a band scope. Never. I consider band scopes bait to hook hams into spending money for a feature that in reality does not enhance the performance of the receiver. A band scope is just a shinny object in the water, designed to get your attention. Front panel real estate on the FTDX101MP has been greatly reduced to make room for the 7 inch LCD, thus several of the controls that I constantly use, are now stuffed into the menu system. Not an ideal design for my operating style. Now I discover that the FTDX101MP will not operate in Class A. I’m one of those who strive to have the cleanest transmitted signal possible, and I operate exclusively in Class A when using my OM Power HF2500 amplifier to achieve such.

My conclusion. I’ve been going back and forth for months if I should sell my FTDX5000MP, and purchase the FTDX101MP. After doing additional research and going through the the FTDX101MP manual, I just don’t see enough difference in these 2 rigs that justify the several thousand dollars difference. In one aspect, I’d be going backwards. Make no mistake about it, I like the FTDX101MP. It’s a fine piece of amateur radio gear. If I were using the Yaesu FTDX1200 or FTDX3000, the FTDX101MP would be a huge step forward. However that’s not where I’m at. Maybe I’ll re-visit this after the FTDX102MP is released.

Yaesu FTDX5000MP

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System Fusion / WIRES-X

Is growing in the Hickory, NC area. We now have 2 System Fusion repeaters on air, one with WIRES-X enabled in Catawba County, with a future System Fusion repeater slated to be installed near Granite Falls, NC in Caldwell County soon. After dabbling around with DMR, D-Star, and System Fusion, in my opinion System Fusion is the clear winner, with D-Star a close second. The accessing of ‘rooms’ on WIRES-X, is easier than with D-Star is what placed System Fusion/WIRES-X on top for me. As for DMR, I’ll pass. Yeah it’s cheap, however DMR was designed as a commercial system, and it’s not amateur radio friendly, as I discovered from my past experience. Your mileage may vary, but for the time being System Fusion (WIRES-X) and D-Star as far as amateur usage goes, are the clear winners.

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The ‘Pit’

Got together with several club members and got our pit on the 200/300 range back in shape for next months NRA High Power Rifle Class that will be provided free of charge to all veterans and current CVR&P members. Instructors from Camp Valor Outdoors will be on-site providing expert training.

As far as I’m aware, we are one the few ranges in this area that have a pit for these type of marksmanship competitions.

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