As a result of our recent move to Kirkland, WA, we’ve been able to set up our club station, N7IH, with new transceivers, a new tower and new antennas. It’s been a blast to specify what’s needed and then make it happen.
In an aside, I’m afraid that it is often true that the “cobbler’s children have no shoes” meaning that the cobbler can’t find the time to make his children’s shoes. That can happen to any organization, like Icom, that is so focused on working with customers and delivering fantastic products that it doesn’t take the time to enjoy its own products. In this case, amateur radio equipment.
We set a goal with our new headquarters to not let this happen. I’m pleased to report that a number of our employees are regularly getting on the air and we’re looking forward to activating a few contests as well.
SO, WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE?
Our primary operating position has our flagship rig, the IC-7850, along with the radio that solidified Icom’s position in the amateur radio marketplace, the IC-781. The IC-781 set benchmarks back in the 1980’s as that generation’s ultimate HF transceiver. It’s fun to fire up both rigs side-by-side.
Our second position sports an IC-7700, along with an IC-765 that was another of our great rigs over the years. Both positions share an IC-PW1, our 1 kilowatt linear amplifier for HF and 6 meters. We’re planning to add a second IC-PW1 along with a triplexer. Just like you, we’re always planning the next steps to improve our station!
Wait, the fun doesn’t stop there. We also have a VHF/UHF position with our IC-9100 backed up with an IC-970H that operates 144 MHz, 430 MHz, and 1200 MHz. Now that’s a blockbuster set up for the higher bands.
HOW ABOUT ANTENNAS?
As you well know, having a great rig is just the starting point. The better your antenna, the better you’ll be heard in those pile-ups. With that in mind, we’ve put in place a very nice set up of antennas on a 72-foot tower. Those antennas are pointed in the right direction with an AlphaSpid rotator.
Here’s the full list of antennas at the top of that tower, all from Force 12 and InnovAntennas:
- Force 12 XR5-T, 9 element 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m Multi-Mono Yagi.
- Force 12 Delta-C 130, 30m Rotatable Dipole.
- Force 12 Delta-C 140, 40m Rotatable Dipole.
- InnovAntennas 6m 7 element LFA2 HD Yagi.
This was a full-fledged professional installation with my supervision and I encourage you to take the same care with your own antenna installations. Far too much can go wrong when you’re that far up.
WATCH FOR N7IH ON THE AIR
We’re pretty proud of our club station, as you can tell, with a healthy mix of new and classic radios installed in our operating locations. It’s wonderful to see the progress that we’ve made over the years as well as how well our older rigs stand up to the test of time.
Having said all that, the real proof is getting on the air. I encourage you to watch for N7IH on the air and work us on all bands from 40 meters into VHF and UHF. I’ll be watching for you, provided I’m in town and not at a ham fest somewhere in the USA. In the latter case, let’s have an eye-ball QSO!
Ray Novak, N9JA
Division Manager, Amateur and Receiver Products
Lifetime Amateur Radio Enthusiast