Old friends

Having decided to resurrect my amateur radio activities, I have been daunted by the prices of equipment and gear for radio. Obviously I have been pleased to find that at least Baofeng is cheap cheap, albeit with limitations.

One can get a rig that covers all bands from 160m to 70cms apparently. I cannot aspire to that at the moment, and anyway how can one do all those bands justice? I will stick to those bands that interest me, I think.

Anyway, for 2 meters I have an old FT290R multi-mode (well, actually two working quite well). For 80 to 10 have my Trio TS130V with dual VFO, which has survived well thirty years of inactivity and is working fine.

I also have an old valve FT200 which may be 45 years old and is untested. I bought it in the early eighties, second-hand. My FT221R, a fine 2 meter multi-mode rig once, is also untested so far. Yes, I was mostly a Yaesu man.

I had really been worried about the cost of antennas though, in addition to the long wires I am planning. However, I recently had to clear our garage through force of circumstances, and apart from two G5RVs ready made-up, I have discovered two ten-element Tonna (F9FT) antennas for 144 MHz. One of them is in its original box, never opened. I cannot remember buying it over thirty years ago. I have a portable mast, too.

Then there is an intact 23 element Tonna yagi for (yes) 23cms plus the 1296 MHz transverter from 28 MHz, and the bonus, maybe 20 metres of LDF 450 Heliax cable which I used to feed the Tonna. It looks in good condition.

There are a couple of rotators although I am not optimistic they will be in working order. 😦

Of course having all this is one thing. Deciding what to put up, when and how is quite another. I think the long wires and/or a G5RV should come first as they are the easiest option. Then antennas for 2 meters upwards, with a nod to planning regs, because I am a higher frequency man by nature. Now where is the 70 cm yagi? Don’t say I will have to buy one.

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