Station Equipment

Ham Radio Shack

Due to space limitations I've had to be a little inventive and squeeze my shack into the top half of a cupboard - not only is my mic to hand, but so also is the iron, hoover and assorted cleaning equipment!

Luckily the cupboard has power sockets and shelves, with enough space for rig, power supply, ATU/meters and a laptop & monitor.

The feeders run from the roof down a ventilation pipe to directly outside the shack, keeping the required cable length to a minimum.

Details of my station antennas can be found my Station Antennas page.

Transceiver: Yaesu FT-857D (100w)
Main Antenna: Home-brew dipole (details)
Portable Ant: Buddistick vertical (details)
ATU: MFJ-929
Key: Bencher BY-1
SWR Meter: Diamond SX200
Power Supply: PSU 25A Max
Dummy Load: MFJ-260C 300W
Logging: Ham Radio Delux (HB9DRV)

Transceiver: Yaesu FT-857D

I operate using a Yaesu FT-857D, an ultra-compact HF/VHF/UHF mobile transceiver packing impressive amounts of features into such a small case.

I chose this radio simply because for the price, it gave the best set of options. I can use it as a respectable base station one day, then stick it in the car or even take portable the next.

It'll put out 100w on HF, where I tend to operate mainly, but can also push out 50w on 2m and 20w on 70cms.

ATU: MFJ-929

The MFJ-929 unbalanced ATU covers 1-30MHz @ 200w max, and offers ample memory storage, switchable antenna inputs and digital readouts of frequency, power (forward and reflected) and SWR. It also allows you to directly connect a random wire antenna.

I tend to use the ATU when operating off resonant frequency via my fan dipole.

The manufacturer website for this product is, and you can find some user reviews at

Morse Key: Bencher BY-1

My main Morse key is the Bencher BY-1 Iambic Morse Paddle.

I'm still learning CW so am only just getting up to speed!

I also have a cheap MFJ-550 Morse key that I can connect to my PC for training.

SWR/Power Meter: Diamond SX200

One of the only pieces of equipment that has lasted since the beginning of my radio career!

Covers 1.8-200MHz, with power range up to 200w.

A trusty VSWR/power meter is always a must - not much else to say!

External Meter: LDG FT-Meter

Very useful if you have the FT-857/897, this external meter gives an analogue reading of whatever is selected for the rigs RX/TX meter (i.e. signal, power etc).

It gives an much accurate reading than the in-build rig indicators, and is well backlit.

It connects via the meter connection under the select button on the FT-857D.

Dummy Load: MFJ-260C 300W

Always useful to have a dummy load for testing power outputs and feeder losses etc.

The MFJ-260C handles up to 300W for 30s, and can be used up to 650MHz.

Power: PSU 25A Max

This trusty desk bench PSU has driven all my radios since I began, and in fact a whole host of other gadgets!

Costing barely £100 12 years ago it's performed solidly - no complaints.

It'll provide 25A max so easily copes with the FT-857D at full power. Also, isn't too noisy (audible or RF).

Shack Software

Below are links to some of the software I use whilst operating - see links to other pieces of software I've come across on my Radio Resources page.

m1bwt/equipment.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/07 18:30 by simon
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki