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.


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


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.


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.