GAS is Rearing its Ugly Head
GAS - Gear Aquisition Syndrome
I have some excellent radios. I have a KX3 that does everything including ironing my pants (well almost) and a Ten-Tec Eagle that has the smoothest CW anyone could ever want. I also have old crumugeonly radios that require the patience of Job to operate. I've been well pleased with my collection of RF generating and receiving gear for quite a while. However, my Eagle is showing its age. I had to recently replace its T/R relay and the encoders need some cleaning, but it still sounds beautiful.
The problem is these newfangled rigs with their dang, pretty front panels providing information overload with aluring displays of 3D waterfalls and teleporter controls (maybe I mis-read that last one in the specs). Many of my QSOs now are with operators that have shiny new rigs. It's just not fair that I'm staring at a segmented LCD display... or in the case of my GRC/9, the front panel equivalent of a Slide Ruler.
|The GRC/9 has the operating interface of a Slide Ruler|
but wow it's fun to operate... slowly and noisily
|The KX3 interfaces wonderfully to my Computer |
but it looks dated
Surely ham life must be better when I can gaze at the equivalent of a smart phone on the front panel when using the oldest operating mode known to man?
The Genesis of "Want More"...
In preparation for the upcoming camping season in our RV, I wired a spare 12v 25A circuit in the camper's inverter to bring 12v rig power to the dining table, and co-opted the 75ohm cable running to the cable TV output outside the camper for watching TV (why would anyone watch TV outside the camper). That cable TV output now takes my antenna connection out of the camper without drilling any holes. I bought a stellar thing called a "flagpole buddy" to hold my 30 foot telescoping mast on the ladder and wallah, I have a portable Ham shack. I was using my Ten-Tec Eagle on the dining table, and my wife was not-enthused with having half of the dining table consumed by my bleeping radio. I assured her I'd set it on the seat when not in operation, but I still received "the look".
|The magnetic in the Palm Radio Paddle attaches to the side of the Eagle |
when operating portable
|Flagpole buddy holds the mast extending up to 35 feet|
My KX3 would take up less space than the Eagle but it's a pricey little thing to leave in the camper, and I primarily use it now as my primary station in my home shack now because it's wired up to the computer using HDSDR to provide a panadapter display.
I convinced myself that the KX3 should stay in the Shack. Sometimes I do raise my power beyond QRP if the other station is struggling to copy me and as I'd be operting from a compromised antenna I wanted a rig capable of QRO, when necessary.
So being the wise and kind husband that I am; I started looking for a small, portable, inexpensive radio capable of QRO. All this was to please my wife of course.
I used to own a Yaesu FT-857 that I kept in my truck, but it was terrible at CW (IMO) and that rig seems to be pretty rare now... After considerable searching I settled on a Yaesu FT-891. They had good reports and I could separate the face and it would take up very little room on the table. Plus it had a band-scope of sorts (ah shiny). But alas, I couldn't find used ones that didn't look like they'd lived under the seat of an off-road vehicle racing in the Baja, and the new ones are out of stock everywhere. All that web searching kept popping up the rigs with the pretty front panels. Google decided it needed to serve me advertisements of pretty radios everytime I opened any web site.
Surly the first of next month will provide you with many choices and suggestions?
Unfortunately my bank balance limits my options to only homebrewed selections with few facilities.
I hate the reality check when my radio ideal and the bank account don’t match.
Thanks Richard for sharing your struggle with GAS. I have had the same problem since last summer. The problem is that it is so much fun to play with new things. Like Ian and Bill say, the reality of our budgets bring us crashing down off of the temporary high we receive by dreaming of a new colorful shiny panel display situated on our ham desk. I struggle. It’s exhausting. 73 Mark K5MGK
Richard, I RV for at least 4 months of the year. Currently a Tech, testing for Gen next month. I’m interested in your setup for antennas, wiring, and necessary equipment.
The “Flagpole Buddy” looks like a great idea. What antenna do you use for the RV?
I have a Yaesu 991A and an MFJ antenna tuner that I will bring next season (Dec-Mar). The wiring I can, hopefully, accomplish myself.
I don’t plan on getting into CW at this point, just 6, 10, and 20 meters.
Is there something I’m forgetting?
Since I moved and downsized, my home rig is the KX3 and a Buddipole on my balcony. I have never been happier with either. For outdoor ops I’ll use my TruSDX and an EFHW. If that little radio gets too annoying, I’d like something like an FX-4C
I’m not interested in QRO. The sunspots are coming.