Monday, October 4, 2010

New Radio! Icom IC-7800MKII

A new transceiver has been added to the VK6IA shack!
Its the ICOM IC-7800MKII

I have done some basic testing with a Marconi 2945 communications test set to compare the IC-7700 with the IC-7800MKII. There is virtually no difference between the receivers in the two top shelf Icom flagship radios. The S-meter sensitivity, Minimum Discernable Signal and close in blocking performance seem to be almost identical. The IC7700 uses later generation DSP processors that are faster but in general terms there seems to be virtually no difference.

I wanted the IC-7800MKII for the second receiver mainly. It's nice to have a completly second receiver running on a different antenna. I can be working 20m and keeping an eye on 10m or 6m for band openings. Also running split in CW while keeping an eye on the DX and his pileup. It really is as good as a full SO2R setup!

After owning the IC7700 since May 2008 I can safely say that it is every bit as good as the IC7800 but with only one receiver.

73 and see you on the bands.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

VK6IA Shack Update

Well it has been many months since I updated the VK6IA blog, therefore, I have had the Canon 350D out tonight to take some pictures of how the shack looks today!
You can see the custom shelf/console I had custom made from an office furniture place here in Perth. Of course, the IC7700 takes centre stage and is at just the right height for operating and looking at that awesome display!
The Kenwood TS530S is newly aquired. It had a HT fault in the PA that was easily rectified. Its a nice classic radio with that famous Kenwood Transmit audio!

The Linear is still the old Kenwood TL922 with a couple of 3-500ZG graphite tubes installed and a few mods to keep it running happily. Capable of 1kw it stays cool and calm with our rated 400w pep out and only 25 watts of drive.

The RF out is measured by one of Larrys (N8LP) LP-100A digital vector power meters. You know EXACTLY what is happening all the time with this meter. Accuracy was dead on compared to a calibrated Bird 4421 power meter at my Work QTH.

The IC-7700 is still in use every day. Its a Beautiful radio! You can see the LP-100A power meter and SteppIR controller sitting on the top of the radio.

Above is my newest toy! Its a QS1R SDR Reciever from Phil Covington N8VB.
It is a direct sampling SDR Receiver that covers 15khz to 60Mhz. This thing is the hottest SDR that money can buy at this stage. The performance seems very very good and compares to the IC7700 on weak CW signals! Have a look at
If you want to use my QS1R over the internet to tune around and lsiten to the bands in Perth, Australia. Drop me an email and I will gave you the details of how to log in.

The Rotator Controller for the SteppIR is the Green Heron. Point and shoot and USB computer control with ANY rotator at all. It makes turning any antenna a very easy job indeed. It has ramp up and down and network control as standard.
See for details.

I hope to see you in my log! 73 Andrew VK6IA

Saturday, November 29, 2008

3 Element SteppIR Installation

A new 3 elelment Steppir 13.8Mhz to 54Mhz Antenna system now has pride of place on the VK6IA tower!

The antenna was supplied by Lee Andrews of Andrews Communications Sydney. He had an antenna in stock and delivered it to the other side of Australia in only a few days!

Thanks again to John VK6AI for all the tower work!

The 3 element Steppir is on a 16ft boom with 36 ft long elements.

Above is the Diamond X510 Vertical Colinear for 2m and 70cm.

The below photo shows the butternut HF6V vertical with the SteppIR visible also.

So far, the performance is very pleasing. the 180 degree function demonstrates the antennas front to back is very very good indeed!

In the above photo, you can see the 6m Passive element as a director in front of the driven element. VSWR on all bands is 1:1 at the controllers chosen frequency.