Welcome to my amateur radio space on the web. My name is Frankie Hunt and my amateur radio call sign is K4TEN.
I enjoy most aspects of ham radio. My favorite mode is SSB I do play around with PSK31 and cw sometimes. I like to listen to short-wave radio too. About the only place to consistently reach me on the ham bands would be on 2 meters. I hang out on the KE4CCB repeater which is at 146.700 mhz and the WM4T repeater which is at 145.110 mhz. Both of these repeaters are located on Holston Mountain a few miles from Bristol VA. I bounce around all over the place on the hf bands and do not generally check into any hf nets. My favorite bands are 17 and 20.
My ham shack occupies a corner of the family room. Sometimes I have to "radio" quietly, however my family is very tolerant of my hobby. Here is what my corner looks like.
My main radio is an Orion II. I have an Ameritron ALS-600 amp on antenna port 1 going to my Hex Beam. I have an Ameritron AL-811H on antenna port 2 going to my 80 meter windom. The mic is a Heil PR781 feeding the W2IHY equipment. Using the iplus by W2IHY I can easily switch my mic and footswitch to my other two hf rigs, an Omni VII and a Jupiter. I run them barefoot. My antenna feed lines are terminated with AlphaDelta switches mounted on the wall, so I can easily switch the antennas to a different radio. I use the ICOM IC-706mkIIg for local communications on 2 meters and 440. I also use the Icom for a little 6 meter usage.
I feel very lucky to have this station. I sure have enjoyed it so far, and I can hardly wait for the start of the next solar cycle, it is almost here!
Now..... Let me see... which radio do I want to use today....
I have a small tower, its a 40ft rhon 25. On top is a Hexbeam HX5BI. This is a GREAT antenna. They are kind of expensive, but you do get your monies worth. I have absolutely no regrets about this purchase. I would chose a Hexbeam and a Jupiter over a n Orion II and a dipole any day of the week. If you don't have a beam then you don't know what you are missing! I chose the Hexbeam on its reputation, its specs, and its size. I would have to say that this has been my best ham purchase ever. Get the best antenna setup you can, then go for the radio upgrades.
Down below the Hexbeam is a Diamond X50R vertical for 2/440. Below that is a discone scanner antenna. (not shown in this photo) I also have a windom. (also not shown) The end of the 88 ft leg is attached to the tower via a pulley. The center section is supported via a 35 ft push up pole. The 44 ft section slopes down to the rear of my property. This is not ideal but it is the best I could do with what I have to work with. The windom was purchased from buxcomm. It's well worth the cost, very well made and has good performance. I have had a G5RV in the past and have found that I like the windom much better. For me it performs much better and I don't have to use a tuner most of the time.
Along with my antennas I use a couple of small amps. An Ameritron AL-811H and an Ameritron ALS-600 . I just cant see needing any more power. 600 watts along with the hexbeam has allowed me to bust through most plieups, getting answered on my first or second call! WOW.... I have never had that happen before my amp/hexbeam combo!
This is my little field day 2007 setup. I used the TenTec Argonaut V with a 20 meter end fed antenna strung up into the trees in my back yard. I made a few contacts and had a lot of fun .
For comments or just to say hi I can be reached via e-mail at: K4TEN@ARRL.NET
Thanks for visiting with me in my shack. Don't forget to set a bookmark and check out these links before you leave !!!
Important information ! News Ham stuff
Scroll on down to see some of my past station setups.
From here down you are looking at older pictures of my shack along with some older info.
Before the Omni VII. Orion II, Jupiter, IC706mkIIg
Orion I setup. Orion, Jupiter, IC756proII, IC746pro.
Here is a better view of the radio shelf. My main rig is a TenTec Orion. WOW, what a rig. It has functioned flawlessly. I just can't say enough good things about it. I have the TenTec Jupiter sitting beside it. I often turn it on to listen to short wave. It sounds great through the TenTec external speakers. The picture is a little old and does not show my remote tuning pods for the two TenTecs. Also not shown is a Studio One mic that I use on the Orion. I use a standard 705 mic on the Jupiter.
Sometimes I swap in a Drake R8B in for the Jupiter. They both have excellent audio!
I also have an Icom shelf. On the left is an IC756proII. To its right is a 746pro. I fire up the 756 just to play with something different. Although it is a great radio, it doesn't match the Orion in performance or convenience, but it is still a fun change sometimes. I use the 746pro for 2 meters. Although it shares the same numbers as its predecessor the 746, there are some big time differences between them. I like the 746pro better.
In reality any one of these radios would be good enough. If I had to chose just one it would be a quick and easy decision, the Orion of course! If the Orion was not in the mix then the other three would be much harder to choose from. I am serious! They each have their good points and their bad points. I would put them about even. The 756 holds up pretty well in crowded conditions, but the Jupiter has such an easy, smooth sound that it can be listened to for longer periods. I suppose I would just flip a coin to choose. It seems that the only ones that get a bad rap are the TenTecs. The Orion for its firmware, the Jupiter for its susceptibility to RF. I have had 0 (ZERO) problems in both of these areas. I think they both are awesome radios. In fact the Jupiter I have now is not the same one in the lower picture. This is my 2nd Jupiter. I sold the first one and regretted it so I got another one! I think the Jupiter can hold its own against the two Icoms. The Orion though is a step up!
I recently changed my tuner too. I sold the MFJ989C and replaced it with a Palstar AT1KM. The MFJ unit was great and I have no reservations recommending it to fellow hams. I do find the Palstar is better though. I can tunes up faster with it and it is of a higher build quality.
The two Icoms share a SP-20 speaker which I really like. The two TenTecs each have their own TenTec 307 speaker.
Orion I setup. Orion, Jupiter, IC756proII, IC746pro.
Even farther back. IC746, IC718, R75, IC706 (original model)
Another hobby that I have is woodworking. I made the shelf for my equipment. It is all dovetail joinery, no nails or screws! I can easily slide the entire shelf out from the wall to access the back of the equipment. This is a VERY nice feature. The shelves are on sliding dovetails so that they can be removed if I need a larger space.
The bottom shelf contains my main station. An Icom SM8 mic with a rigblaster behind it, an Icom IC-746 hf thru 2 meters radio, a Daiwa 1kw antenna tuner, and an Astron SS-30M switching supply reside here.
The next shelf up has more ham equipment. An Icom IC-2100H 2meter rig and an Icom SM-8 mic are on the left. Behind the mic is a speaker for the IC-746. Next is an Icom IC-718 hf rig that is coupled to an Icom IC-R75. This combo is the closest thing available to a modern set of twins. An Icom IC-706 on top of a Yaesu FP-1023 switching supply is on the right. Sitting on top of the IC-R75 is a Uniden BC350A scanner which is used to monitor NOAA weather radio in addition to police/fire/emergency frequencies.
The next shelf up has some entertainment equipment. I often leave CNN on with the sound off to monitor the news. I was doing this on 9/11/01 and watched events as they were unfolding on that dreadful day. An RCA 5" TV, an Optimus am/fm stereo receiver, a Sony cd player and a Sharp VCR are the main equipment on this shelf. I keep a couple of remotes sitting on top of the vcr along with some of my favorite music cds. I can record video and audio with the vcr. Audio from the cd player, am/fm receiver, or a ham radio can be recorded.
Sitting on top is a set of Optimus speakers that are connected to the stereo receiver. My FCC license resides here too. My light has a 110v outlet for charging the handhelds. I keep my 2 ht's sitting on top most of the time. The Vertex VX-150 and the Yaesu VX-5 are easy to grab and continue a conversation that was started on one of the other more powerful 2 meter radios when I need to step away from the desk. The rabbit ears are for the am/fm receiver. They look kind of tacky, I haven't replaced them with an outdoor antenna yet. I plan on getting a nice world map to put on the wall behind the rabbit ears when they are replaced with an outdoor antenna.
My computer is a Compaq Presario 1.1 Ghz celeron running Windows 2000. I have a set of Altec Lansing speakers connected to the pc. My keyboard and mouse are cordless, they are made by Logitech. I use Logger and Digipan software to help with the ham logging and psk31 modes.
I really love the IC-746 and the IC-R75. I think they are top notch and I am VERY pleased with them!!! If you are looking for a real bargain in radio equipment consider the IC-718, the IC-2100H and the VX-150. These are great radios too and are a STEAL at the current going prices!!! Go to www.eham.net and check out the reviews!
Here is what my shack looked like about 10 years ago!
My how my shack has changed! My how much gray I have in my hair now!!!
Yaesu FT840, Radioshack DX394 receiver, Radioshack scanner PRO2022
My equipment here consisted of a Yaesu FT-840, Icom IC-2100H, MFJ-969 roller inductor tuner, DX-394 short-wave receiver, Realistic PRO-2022 scanner, MFJ keyer, Astron RS-20M power supply, Yaesu YS-500 vhf/uhf meter, Bencher paddle, Yaesu VX5R ht, and a Realistic intercom.