Return to SnellsNotebook

Station Equipment

  • Yaesu FTDX10 HF/50MHz 100W Hybrid SDR Transceiver
  • Alinco DM-430T Switching 12v 30A Power supply 
  • Wolf River Coil SOTA Special (SOTA is Summits On The Air) Packable Vertical Antenna with Buddipole  extensions (2 ea. 11" and one 32" - 54" total) and longer (84")whip antenna similar to this
  • Alpha Antenna JPole Jr. 36' End fed 'sloper' feed end at 30' AGL (Above Ground Level) sloping to 10' AGL with the wire pointing South, so East/West should be strongest signals.  Connected through NI4L HF Choke Line Isolator (CM choke) to reduce RFI.
  • SDR Play RSP1a (Software: SDR Uno
  • BTech UV-25X2 VHF/UHF FM 
  • Baofeng UV-5R VHF/UHF FM HT w/ Nagoya NA-771 VHF/UHF Antenna
  • MFJ 1708B-SDRS SDR Receiver TR Switch
  • MFJ 1701 Antenna Switch
  • Mac Mini - the workhorse; produces the Internet presence for this web site, publishes several MySQL databases, handles all storage, video, html editing, email, etc.
  • Acer Notebook - configured primarily for Application Generation with AppGini for MySQL databases.
  • Toshiba Satellite Notebook - configured primarily for Radio Control with DxLabs, WSJT, and other radio control software.

Test Equipment

  • Fluke 77 DVM (circa 1970, my old friend!)
  • NANO VNA Network Vector Analyzer
  • TinySA Spectrum Analyzer, to be purchased as needed.
  • Looking for an inexpensive 100 Mhz dual trace storage oscilloscope.


  • Skimmer (not until it works with my SDR or another inexpensive one).  Skimmer is expensive - but it could be worth it since there are few reverse beacons near me.  But not until I have a proven antenna system ...
  • DXLabs - Best radio control, DX, Contesting software, but it needs a native CW decoder!
  • WSJT - The best way to 'do' FT-8 etc.
  • JTAlert - Adds serious functionality to WSJTx for things like 'worked before'.
  • CWGet  - Works off the sound card, so it can work with DXLabs Winwarbler. 
  • CHIRP - Allows programming HT's to the same channel (frequency) etc. even if they are different model numbers from different manufacturers. But its a bit 'clunky' - I may have a look at creating the same functionality using some other tools and database(s).

Project List

Antenna Analysis
VNA analysis of my antennas - or - Learning how to use VNA Windows software.

Alpha JPole Jr Install and Test
Using a 30' flag pole to 'fly' a wire antenna and stay under the radar (maybe).
As well as how well it works, and how much sensitivity it has to installation direction.
  • Relative ERP map by skimmer/beacon.
Comparison to Wolf SOTA vertical and other antennas.

Shack Grounding
  • Pending ground rod install. 
    • Presently using 3rd wire ground which may be a significant fraction of wavelength because of the way my electrical distribution is laid out.
  • Lightning Ground
  • Signal Ground
  • EMI Ground and Shielding (I've got a great large (1490Khz/1KW) AM ground wave transmitter 500 yards to my East).

Operating Position Upgrade Complete (for now)
Installed a butcher block desktop, dual monitors and a very inexpensive Windows 10 PC that mounts to the back of one monitor.

Completed Projects