I haven’t bottomed this out yet, but it’s in my mind that I almost never use the FT1000MP anymore. It’s a lovely rig if you’re into CW and SSB DX chasing and has a great receiver, particularly on LF. I’m not doing any of those things currently. Most of my HF activity is using the FT847, which doesn’t have anything like the same receiver performance, but it works well for JT65/JT9 on 14MHz and above which is where I tend to be.
The FT1000MP doesn’t get switched on so much. I’m wondering whether to trade it in against something like a TS2000X, which would give me another nice flexible HF/VHF rig, with the benefit of 1296MHz. Again, I don’t think the HF performance is likely to be the same as the MP – but maybe that doesn’t matter so much.
If I do want to try and work a DXpedition then I ought to be able to do it on anything with a couple of VFOs!
Then there’s some antenna work to think about – particularly on the VHF side. The 2m beam on the mast isn’t working at the moment – that needs to be replaced. Again, I think with something quite compact – 5 elements or so, is quite adequate for what I need. The 70cms 10 element seems to work well – and if I go for 23cms, then, if I can get something small on the top of the mast, that could be good. I think I’ll need to replace the rotator really – it’s probably worth doing, to avoid failure.
I’m quite keen to put together something which makes it easy to put up temporary (and slightly larger) VHF beams in the back garden, for things like MS or EME tests – perhaps on a tripod. All that really needs is a decent run of coax down the garden to the shed or greenhouse where cables can be brought in.
I think the 50 and 70MHz Es systems are fine as they are on the vertical antennas – particularly with the addition of the Funcube Dongle receiver which should allow for good monitoring.
So, there’s quite a lot to think about here – and some exciting possibilities. How much of it will come to pass – I don’t know! But it’s good to dream!