Posts Tagged ‘htx-10’

Just how crazy is 10 Meters right now? This crazy:

Fleets Cove Beach

Fleets Cove Beach

Yesterday, on a day off from work, I had to head up to the Huntington Village post office to pick up a kit I ordered from China. Why my post office is a 15 minute drive (in traffic) from my home when there’s a beautiful, brand new post office, with a large self-service lobby half a mile from me is a story for another day. As-is the reason why my postal carrier is too lazy to actually leave me notices that I have a package, or ring the bell and ask for a signature. I retrieved the kit, and decided that since I was a few minutes from the North Shore, I would try for some 10 Meter mobile contacts from the beach. I headed to Fleets Cove Beach.

I plunked the mag mount to the old Buick, and plugged in my HTX-10. The band was busy, as it has been lately, but to the point where my 25 watts wasn’t getting through a lot of the pileups. One operator heard me and I logged that contact with Croatia. Not bad, but still disappointing, considering how busy it was. I was beginning to get discouraged, and thinking about calling it a day when I twirled the dial up to the AM portion of the band (29 MHz). Now, keep in mind that my HTX-10 only puts out about 7 Watts AM, and my antenna is tuned for 28.4. I had a nice QSO with M5AFD in Shropshire England. He was surprised at how well I was coming in, but there were a few deep fades. He also complimented me on the audio on the old mobile, and suggested that it would be close to optimal with a punchier mic. I may do just that.

England. AM. 7 Watts. WOW

–Neil W2NDG

We apologize for the delay….


Greetings readers!  I have not written in quite awhile, so I feel the need to catch up a bit.  I’ve had so much going on lately that I just had to prioritize what time I have left at the end of the day.  I hope to be posting again on a more regular basis.

First of all, I want to mention that KD2CHE and I tied the knot back in October, on a cliff overlooking Lake Tahoe, on a beautiful (and warm thankfully) day in Incline Village, NV.  We were quite literally a stones throw from California.  The rest of our trip out west was great, including visits to two Silicon Valley surplus shops: Weird Stuff Warehouse, and Halted Supply Company (HSC), as well as HRO in Sunnyvale.  We even had a special tour of LucasFilms/Arts/ILG courtesy of some great friends with connections.  On the plane, on the way back, while leafing through a copy of Monitoring Times I purchased at HRO, I noticed that in an article about Ham Radio Kit Building, Kirk Kleinschmidt mentioned my Amateur Radio Kit Roundup as the source for info on kit building.  While it was a nice surprise, it also got me thinking that I needed to make the guide more accessible.  I will still post the changes here, but as a link to the guide’s new URL:  For now it’s just a link to the page at my blog, but will evolve into a full wiki-style site in the near future.

My trusty HTX-10 has been busy these couple of months, logging calls to Alaska, Namibia, Croatia, New Mexico, Colorado, and California to name a few.  Mostly from the Crab Meadow Beach here on Long Island, but the Alaska contact was mobile!   A new addition to the collection is an Atlas 210X HF rig.  This was a holiday present from my better half.  After a couple of months of just listening, I finally put up a 35 foot random wire, and picked up an MFJ 941-D VersaTuner so that I could try and transmit.  It’s very close quarters where we live, so I’m limited in antenna choices, and have to worry about disturbing the neighbors (well, any more than they are already disturbed/disturbing).  I found out earlier in the week, that the setup seems to be very functional on 20 meters, and have talked to Mexico, and Florida so far.  I’m hoping for some good 10 and 15 conditions this weekend so that I can try it out up there.  I’m going to add a counterpoise to the setup and see if it helps me tune up on 40.  80 is out of the question for now, as I seem to obliterate my TV speakers and KD2CHE’s computer monitor when I even try to tune up.  My 5-cent 2 meter dipole has also been working well.  I’ll cover that in a later post.

Transmitter hunting has been pretty good, with the XYL and I usually finding the transmitter quickly, and rarely last.  What’s interesting about that is we are the only team in our hunting club that operates without a doppler.  I also will write a future post on our technique, which in our last hunt, guided us to the bunny way ahead of our technologically superior friends.  Unfortunately, as we arrived at the site, I assumed that we might have been wrong, due to the fact that there were no other cars from the hunters present.  Next time I won’t put my assumptions before my instincts.  In the end, KD2CHE was the one that actually found the box, by using her eyes, while a bunch of us wandered around the woods with our equipment.

That’s all for now.  Maybe I’ll catch one of you on HF this weekend.  73’s !

–Neil, W2NDG



Interesting opening on 10 meters

Magnum 257

Magnum 257 (Radio Shack HTX-10)

I was sitting in the living room Saturday morning, turned my Magnum-257 10 meter rig on, and spun the dial to see if there was any activity.  To my surprise, there was.  Now, this is the older version of the 257, which makes it basically a RS HTX-10.  25 Watts on USB, and minimal features.  Connected to the Magnum is a very simple wire antenna, thrown into a tree close to the apartment, and a counterpoise out on the roof.  I heard IK6CWQ calling from Italy.  I picked up the mic, and responded, not expecting to be heard, and was surprised when he acknowledged. Not bad for this meatball setup I have.  I tried another Italian station I heard calling, but at that point news of the opening caused a bit of a pileup, which I just couldn’t dig my way through with the Magnum.  Still, I was pleased with the one contact.  The opening dropped out pretty soon after that.

My first HF contact ever was on that radio.  Back in January, when I first bought it, I drove to the South Shore here on Long Island and parked near the ocean.  Using the Magnum with a modified 11 meter whip, my first contact was with France, followed by a 10 minute rag-chew with a ham in New Mexico.  I wish every other new ham such good luck!  Since that day, I have made 30 additional contacts on that rig.  Usually from near the highest point on Long Island (a whopping 400 feet AMSL!), or near the ocean.  I’m definitely keeping the Magnum.  No matter what else I invest in, it has sentimental value now.

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