Best bang for the buck..

Used to be the Kenwood TS-2000, however that transceiver and it’s cousins feature dated technology, and there are much nicer current technology transceivers at a similar cost . The winner in my opinion is the Yaesu FT-991A. A ‘shack in a box’ HF/VHF/UHF (CW/SSB/AM/FM/C4FM) transceiver with an internal trans-match. The transceiver features a touchscreen LCD, with the most used functions readily available without having to dig through a layer of menus. One can set the LCD for a spectrum scope, however as I’ve stated in the past, I find a spectrum scope not a great benefit for amateur radio operation. The additional manual controls on the front panel are configured in an ergonomically manner, and don’t have that wobble feeling found on ICOM. The parametric EQ (thanks to Bob Heil) when setup properly allows this transceiver to transmit excellent audio with the modest of microphones. Even the included hand mic. The receiver is nice, DSP filtering works very well. Is the transceiver in the FTDX5000 / FTDX9000 camp? No. However for around $1,000.00 this transceiver is hard to beat.

External speakers

Looking for a pair of external speakers that will provide a wider range of response, look good, and not break the bank? Checkout the offerings Blackweb. Found mine at Walmart, but are available on-line as well.

I was looking for a pair of desktop computer speakers to use with my SDRplay receiver, and needed to meet a few requirements. Had to have a volume plus treble/bass control on the front, headphone/earbud output jack on the front as well, and be internally amplified. Did a little research and most consumers seemed to be please with the Blackweb. Took a chance a purchased a pair at my local Walmart, knowing I could easily return if they did not meet my needs.

Connected them up, and was very pleased with the sound reproduction. However the BIG TEST was going to be internal shielding. Would a full legal limit signal from my station cause them to go berserk? The answer was no, they did not go berserk. Can’t give all the credit to the speaker shielding though, because I did take extra steps to insure good station RF grounding when I moved my radio equipment to a newly remodeled room in my homes basement.

I have been so pleased with these inexpensive speakers, I returned to Walmart and purchased a 2nd pair, to supplement the current Yaesu SP-2000 connected to my FTDX5000MP. So far, no regrets.

WW4DX

FCC Petition RM-11834 + RM-11835

Edward C. Borghi, KB2E, of Farmington, New York, has submitted a Petition, now designated as RM-11834, that would prohibit applicants from requesting a vanity call sign outside their call sign district. Exceptions would be made for call signs applied for under rules governing call signs previously held by family members.

“In some more populous areas, there are few of the most desirable vanity calls signs available — the 2 and 6 regions for example,” Borghi said. “I see no reason for a licensee to have to compete with out-of-area people for the few 1 × 2 or 2 × 1 or catchy 2 × 3 call signs available in their area of residence,” Borghi told the FCC.

In a similar petition, Jeffrey Bail, NT1K, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, has submitted a very similar Petition, now designated as RM-11835, asking that the FCC give residential preference in competing applications to applicants whose listed FCC address is within the same district/region as the applied call sign. He cites limited availability and increased demand for 1 × 2 and 2 × 1 call signs.

“There are many times a call sign has been awarded to an individual/club who resides outside of the call sign district when there are other people who applied for the same call sign that reside within the district,” he said in his brief petition.

Personally I like these petitions. Amateurs who apply and receive receive a vanity call outside their call district circumvent the purpose of the call area. This usually occurs when the amateur is seeking a call sign that has their name initials as part of the call.

WW4DX

Volunteer Monitoring procedures

Here is a breakdown of the Volunteer Monitor Program functions:

Identifies technical and operating discrepancies.

Reports to and refers cases to the ARRL HQ VM program coordinator.

Sends VM advisory notices through ARRL HQ VM program coordinator.

May function as a member of a Local Interference Committee (with no special standing).

Collects evidence under the supervision of the ARRL HQ program coordinator.

No longer does the amateur monitoring the alleged rule violation, send the offending station a notice. All case are vetted through the ARRL HQ VM program coordinator.

WW4DX

ARRL/FCC Volunteer Monitoring

program is slated to begin next month. This program is to take the place of the expiring Official Observer program. The ARRL and the FCC have been working on this program for the past 2 years in preparation for this transition. The VM program administrator will be K4ZDH Riley Hollingsworth, former special counsel for amateur radio enforcement with the FCC.

Hopefully the problems on 7.200mHz (and a few other frequencies) will begin to be dealt with in a decisive meaningful manner. It is my opinion, and the opinion of others I have spoken with, Ms Laura Smith has failed to serve the amateur community dealing with the handful of misfits that occupy several frequencies in the amateur radio spectrum.

WW4DX