The NØSSC Ham Shack
I opted to get this rig because the Pro Version had many eHam reviews saying the display dies and the transmitter fails often. Now I regret my purchase since many radios are much better. I have no problems (except for poopy adjecent signal rejection and noisy reception, and the useless noise reducer) and it operates real well. The tuner will tune my G5RV to any band (except 160) even when one half is laying on the ground (like now).
IC-T7H Dual Band 5 watt HT
I originally got this handie to work the birds. However I soon found out that 1. I didn't have a duplexer for the Arrow Sat-tenna, and 2. This radio could not automatically switch between 146 and 440 to transmit and receive. Now that I have a duplexer, to work a bird, you must manually set the VFO frequency for the satellite on each band, then push the "BAND" button to switch between the two. Usually 2 meters is for transmitting and 70 cm is for receiving.
So to work AO-51 for example, you need to hit VFO, type 145.920 (with a PL of 67 Hz), push BAND, then type 435.300 to listen. Then to TX, you must push BAND, transmit, then hit BAND again to receive. Yes, too complicated for lazy hams.
Otherwise, the radio works well for repeater and Short-range work. I like its simplicity (other than satellites) and ruggedness.
The WA2NAN True-Talk G5RV
Basing my opinion off of eHam reviews, I got this simple antenna. It consists of 102' of insulated #12 wire, 31' of 300 ohm windowline, connected to 70' of RG-8X coax into a PL-259. It works great, tunable from any frequency from 3 to 60 MHz. However when I experiment and try to tune to 160, it shuts off my DSL internet for no shorter than an hour...not a good idea.
Operationally, it works well also. During the SSB DX Contest, I worked 85 stations in 43 countries with ease. I didn't have very much time to work the contest either. I missed all day Saturday because of a band competition. Domestically, if I can hear them I can work them. 59 reports all around.
Right now this antenna fell out of the trees, so is now hanging on saplings in the side yard about 5' above ground. Before that, it was up in the trees about 50' high, in flat-top orientation, supported by dacron rope on either side.
Arrow 146-4S 4 element Yagi
Strong and Sturdy, this yagi survived a 40' drop from my roof. This antenna is now temporarily set up on a 5' pole in my room after moving my 2 meter station from my garage (on the other side of the house) to my room. I didn't have 200' of coax to string, and wouldn't want the 10-12 dB loss from that too.
This antenna has a max gain of 9.6 dBi and a F/B of 17 dB. Setting in my room, it allows me to work my club's repeater, 20 miles away, with full quieting with about 5 watts out. I often do nets on it.
When it was up in the air, it could put me into repeaters up to 80 miles away, including most of the ones in St. Louis. During times of enhanced signal propagation, I could work stations over 500 miles away on simplex, further through repeaters. Tropo is a lot of fun, especially when you hear like twenty repeaters on the same frequency.
Sometimes, when the antenna's not in quite the right position, immediately when I push the transmit button the power supply says NO! and shuts off everything.
Arrow 146/437-10 LEO Satellite Antenna
Works as advertised. And more. K7AGE's multiple videos on working birds with this antenna motivated me to get it. I just got the duplexer recently so now I've been working the birds often. It also allows me to operate a 70 cm repeater just out of reach of my rubber duckie on my HT.
I've also used the 2 meter sections as a RDF antenna. People give me funny looks when I take it out and wave it around...some flee in fear I'm holding the antenna to some kind of remote detonator.
Radioshack 25 amp Power Supply
A simple switching power supply to run my rig. Along with the 'switching' comes nasty RF hash. To shunt this off, I added a 1 uF capacitor and grounded that and the negative lead to the case. Also, I wrapped the positive and negative DC wires into two separate clip on ferrite toroids. Now the bands are quiet...too quiet.
I recently got these at the Collinsville Winterfest hamfest for a special price. Since I didn't have the $150 to shell out (but having $125), the man behind the desk gave them to me for the special "Saturday High Schooler Discount."
The Head Set is comfortable to wear and has a neat function--on one of the earpieces, you can switch the phasing though a little toggle switch. One position centers the audio in the users head. The other offers a stereophonic experience, broadening the sound and giving a spacial realization of signals--especially good on CW.
Transmit audio is also great; the IC electret microphone isn't like the HC-4 or HC-5, where the audio is specially equalized for SSB. So on AM and FM, I get good reports.
K8RA P-2 Iambic Paddle
After losing the bearings in my straight key and getting fed up practicing CW with the microphones UP and DN buttons, I looked around for a paddle. I picked this one for just because. I think I should have gotten the Begali Simplex, but I thought I should stick to American made CW paddles.
The P-2 is a thing of machining beauty. Sends CW great and has a great feel. I guess. How else would you rate a CW paddle??
One nitpick maybe...I wanted to set the contact spacing to where the key doesn't move one bit to send CW. However, when I did so, it would often send series of dahs by itself. It woke me up one night when I left my radio on. Hopefully no one was having a QSO on 80m that night.
I hate this little radio. It only operates one band, and has nasty birdies all up and down the 2 meter band, especially on my club's repeater on 147.240. These are not caused by the car, either.
Transmitted audio is also crappy. The same raspy birdie sound comes in through the repeaters, so everybody knows I'm mobile.
At least its there...
The white spray paint is courtesy of my small 6 year old neighbor who thought my garage needed a paint job. Earlier, my only radio was this, and was in the garage where my ham shack used to be.
MFJ-1723 2m/70cm Magnet Mount Whip Antenna
Surprisingly, this antenna does very well for repeater work. Simplex is definitely limited by about 10 miles. But I can easily work repeaters up to 40 miles away.
It stays in place even with the little magnet mount at high speeds.
I am considering upgrading my whole mobile setup with new antennas and either a IC-706 or FT-897 all band rig.