UK Amateur Radio Hobbyist

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Equipment

 

It might not be the best, but it works.

 

If you've read the 'About Me' page, you will have no doubt seen that I have many hobbies. The problem with most of these hobbies is that it can start getting quite expensive very quickly and the radio hobby is certainly no exception here. Whilst what I have is cheap, it works. 

More items coming soon

Baofeng |UV-5R

 

Sometime after losing my pair of Binatone MR100's, I was looking around on Wish (A questionable Chinese marketplace) where I found a pair of these for about £40. Thinking that they were 446 radios, as there wasn't that much information on them, I purchased them and it took about two weeks to arrive. Before they arrived, however, I did some research into them and I found out that this had access to a whole range of frequencies which I thought was amazing for the price I paid for them. But then quickly found out that - no. Just because it had this range of frequencies, doesn't mean I can transmit on them.  couldn't even legally (strictly speaking) transmit on 446 on these either. So I stored them away and forgot about them for a year. This is where I learnt that I would need to get licenced to use some of the frequencies on it. It started my journey on becoming licenced. So whilst it might not have any monetary value, it has a lot of sentimental value. 

Baofeng |UV-5RIII

 

This one was an interesting purchase that I made on eBay for £18, as I no longer use Wish. By now I was well into studying for my Foundation Licence, and I purchased this one because it was the cheapest radio on eBay, it also had a USB charger which I find to be exceptionally convenient. However it was strange to me because it seemed to be capable of transmitting between 220MHz and 260MHz which is going to be pretty much useless to me, but that's fine because that's not why I purchased this radio. It also came with some pretty interesting antennas. It also came with a beefy 3800mAh battery, which I am quite sceptical about - I think it could just be a normal battery with a lead weight glued in it or something. But it works, and it works pretty damn well. 

This is my daily use radio when I am out and about, because I'm not too particularly bothered if it gets lost, stolen or damaged. 

Retevis |RT84

 

When I learnt about DMR I knew I had to get a DMR Radio. However, some of the radios I was recommended costed way more than I felt comfortable putting money down for. Then I found this and the Baofeng DM-1701 which I almost went for on the '1701' on that alone because of Star Trek. But in the end, I went for this which was about £10 or so cheaper at around £57 including shipping. I went for this one because the Retevis brand was highly recommended to me by a dear friend of mine. I do like the radio, and I love using it, but it's not without its faults, and there are plenty of them of which I could and probably will write a blog about. I found out after I got it, that the firmware for the RT-84 has "DM1701" in the header, which leads me to believe that actually - this is a clone of the DM-1701. I might buy a better one in future, but right now I am pretty happy with this one.

 

This is my only Digital Radio (DMR) and I am hesitant about taking it out and about, it usually attracts a lot of unwanted attention. 

Binatone |Route 66

 

Scoff if you will but this is currently my only access to HF at the moment and even then, as I extremely limited space where I live and cannot put up a proper antenna so that statement is questionable. I currently use a half-wave dipole wire antenna with this, that is horizontal across the kitchen wall. Not ideal for CB at all, but it does allow me to talk to people in the next town over but not much else. I see this as a more "Informal" radio that I can communicate on and play around in HF, albeit on a very limited range of frequencies. This radio seems to be built solidly and reliably, which isn't bad considering it's nearly a decade older than I am! The date stamp indicates that it was made either in week 11 of 1981 or November 1981. It also has a specification mark on it for CB27/81. It only cost me £5, and it was sold to me by a very good friend and radio mentor.

 

This is the only CB radio that I own outright and was still going strong up until March 3rd 2020. I'm not sure what happened to it, but on high TX power, it seems that others hear me as heavily distorted, as if I was off frequency. Low power was better, but then it was a poor signal compared to the high power (4W) mode. It was my first CB radio and therefore I will keep it for sentimental reasons. Given its age, it's impressive that it lasted this long. I might replace it later down the line with a more modern one that does SSB or something.

Philips |FM 1100

 

This was donated to me via a fellow member of the Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society; Dougie (2E1IGI). I haven't had much chance to play around with it, yet - so keep an eye on this space! But it is a 4 Meters radio, which will allow me access to the 4-meter band. I am very excited to get it, and a big shout out to Dougie who kindly donated it to me, absolutely free of charge.

Key |KM150H

 

This is another recent addition to my shack, which is a PMR (Private Mobile Radio) conversion by Andy (G6OHM). It is a 2-meter band radio and has access to some 2-meters simplex as well as 2-meters repeaters in and around my area. I spent £20 on it, but it has been modified so that the output power is 10W, which satisfies my licence. Now I just need to get it hooked up to my colinear and I will be able to use it. So keep watching this space.

Key |KM450H

 

Is pretty much the same as above, it's a PMR conversion by Andy (G6OHM), except this one is for 70CMs, and features a range of simplex and repeater frequencies on it. I paid £20 for this also, and I can't wait to start using it. Not only was I able to get into GB3OV with ease on a dry run install (That is; on an X30 Colinear connected inside the home) but I was also able to do simplex on SU18 with people around the area and have a net with them. These radios seem to work extremely well, indeed.