I have been exposed to amateur radio all of my life.  Some of my earliest memories are of myself and my Dad playing with his old Hallicrafters SX 110.  When I was 13 (with a lot of encouragement and help) I managed to get my Novice license and I have been continuously licensed ever since.  However, I also discovered the magic of computer programming about the same time.  The latter became an obsession while the former faded into background noise.   [caption id="attachment_100" align="aligncenter" width="640"]A picture of my father in the Wayback Shack listening to his Hallicrafters SX-110 receiver. Also pictured is his original Heathkit DX-60 transmitter. Dad in the Wayback Shack[/caption] About 2 years ago I decided to upgrade my hopelessly out-of-date Novice license to Technician and even more recently upgraded to General.  I even managed to convince my Dad to come along and get his General at the same time, which was great fun!  This flourish of activity has naturally left us both thinking about getting a new rig.  While we seem to have lots of radios kicking around, even some transmitters, nothing quite fits the bill.  We do have the Heathkit my Dad built in the early 1980's, but it never quite worked properly.  It's on my list as an "electronics" & "retrotech" project someday.   [caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="640"]A picture of my Dad's original Heathkit HW-101 transceiver. Heathkit HW-101 Transceiver[/caption] So we are on the lookout for a new radio.  We've been flipping through QST and reading blog posts but so far the vision is still a bit foggy. I'm slowly assembling a mental inventory of attributes like power and frequencies and modes and...  well, there is a lot to consider.  Anyway, I randomly found this video on Youtube yesterday.  It's a short ARRL review of the FLEX-1500 SDR (software defined radio).  If you are new to the idea of SDR don't worry you are not alone, but as a computer guy the idea of SDR makes perfect sense to me.  I find this little QRP (low power operation) transceiver to be fascinating.  I don't think it's quite what we are looking for, but I would love to have one to play with anyway! .

No Comments