Author Archives: W6GYC

Yaesu FT-857D

Well, I have had my FT-857 for several weeks now.  Being primarily a portable op, not backpacking or such, having this has necessitated re-thinking my field station set up.

Looking at a Gator Box, I decided on a knockoff box from MCM Electronics.  It was less expensive as well as being somewhat lighter.  This task is now complete and I will be posing pics on my gear page soon.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Friends gone and new friend coming

Well, my FT-817ND and Alexloop are finding new homes. After a few years, I am again moving toward different places in a way.

Although still staying in the portable realm, I am looking to move more away from QRP ops and toward more higher power ops.

Coming soon to my shack will be an FT-857D. Looking forward to a trip to the candy store.

UPDATE: Yes. As of 3/17, I am now the owner of an FT-857D. Looking forward to trying it out.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

New Volunteer Examiner

Well, looking for new and different ways to get involved in the Amateur Radio community, I decided to become an accredited VE through the ARRL VE program. It does take a small amount of study, a test, and then waiting for several weeks, but it is worth the wait. I cannot wait until I work on my first examination.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Helpful Information

I have owned my FT-817 for a while now.  I had been using it only on internal batteries, so it was easy to tell what kind of power output I was producing.  Now, with the advent of my portable field station, I have been using an external battery pack.  This has produced some quandaries for me.  I had been able to produce the “blinking” LIII on internal batteries.  Not so with the external power.

After quite a bit of searching I have discovered that the FT-817 power indicators are different, depending on the source of the applied power.  When using an external power source, you DO NOT get the blinking LIII for 5 watts.  You get a BLANK or no indicator.  I have searched my manual but I have not been able to find that information stated there.  So, in summary, here are the FT-817ND power indicators (LCD panel):

Internal Batteries:
LI                     .5 watt
LII                     1 watt
LIII                    2 watts
Blinking LIII      5 watts

External Power Source:
LI                     .5 watt
LII                     1 watt
LIII                    2 watts
Blank                5 watts

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Field Station (Portable Station)

I wanted to be able to get out and quickly set up my amateur station without the need of unpacking a lot of stuff.  This would include radio, mic, battery, solar panel, etc. plus have some room for a few accessories.  After a bit of study, I came up with my portable field station.

This was not meant to take hiking, but as a portable station to go to the park, field day, camping, etc.

A sneak peek at my Field Station.  See more on my gear page.



73 de Mike, W6GYC

The Radio Amateur’s Code

I came across this on the Internet.  It is something we should all read, or read again and put it into practice as well!  I have posted it on a menu above as well.


The Amateur’s Code

The Radio Amateur is

CONSIDERATE…never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL…offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE…with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY…slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED…radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC…station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

–The original Amateur’s Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928.

73 de Mike, W6GYC

Changing course

Well, after having been involved with satellites for a time.  There has now come a time when  I feel it is best to change the course of my operating.

I have purchased an Alexloop antenna and using my FT-817, I will be trying my hand at primarily QRP operations.  That will be enjoyable as well as I like to go camping and the field station I am going to start work on will make it an easy task to go portable.

I will keep the blog posted and will be getting some pics up as I go go along.

73 de Mike, W6GYC