A trip to Yeovil & IC-9700

After much consternation about the state of my shack and the amount of equipment in it I took the plunge and decide to sell all my duplicate equipment. That meant my first HF rig, the TS690S, and the DSP Unit, along with the 10M Yaseu would go. I asked at my local club first, people was kind of interested in individual things, but I didn’t want to split the Kenwood equipment. I then contacted the establishment I had bought it from, Lindars in Yeovil, and Justin got back in touch – we got a ‘bundle’ price agreed and I was off to Yeovil !

I had a pleasant drive from the QTH in Bournemouth, taking just over an hour. Some road works meant a minor diversion, but was quickly able to navigate the back roads to my destination!

Once there I met Justin, who was attentively helping another customer – he really is passionate about radio and helping, it was good to see – i knew my equipment would go into good hands and make other enthusiasts happy with their purchase from Lindars.

This was my first visit to a radio shop in person since the 1980’s – Hastings used to have 3 radio shops at the peak of the “C.B.” years – my favourite one being in the marina where we could get sweaters with our ‘handles’ on (yes, “shambles” was my handle..) and next to a shop which had a G Scale model train in the window ! Great times.

The shop was stocked with the most amazing equipment, it was fantastic to see such a great variety – from valves to modern receivers, it was all there in one shop. The temptation to the Icom receiver was great – but had already set my mind on the IC-9700.

I bought some books on QRP and then headed back home, not before stopping off in a great farm shop to get some Somerset cider and local made scones.

Fast forward a few days later and my new IC-9700 had arrived ! The 9700 is some what heavier than the 7300 for sure – for the first time I made an un-boxing video and connection. As I’m using a single feed line, I’m using a multiplexer to split the signal.

IC-9700 unboxing

I’ve had the 9700 for just over a week now and going back to the G4PRS net on Monday evenings I was able to pull in more signals and get great signal reports back. I’ve made telephony QSO’s on 2M as far away as Hastings in East Sussex ! So the extra ‘whiskys’ are really helping.

I’ve got far more to learn about the 9700 and it will take time but I’m sure I’ve got a fantastic shack setup that is now easier to work and slightly more tidy 🙂

G4PRS 2M Net 15/11/21

Having got my Diamond X50 up and got the IC-705 out its bag it was time to get on the G4PRS 2M Net which happens weekly on Mondays from 20:00 on 145.450 (usually).

Putting the X50 and 40ft mast up

Due to C19 and risk of infection, I’ve not been to the club lately, so it was great to hear familiar voices again, albeit I do miss those who are not on the net.

The net control done an excellent job on starting on time and looking for contacts, of which there where plenty ! I managed to get in and enjoyed going around. I started taking signal reports and noting down others we progressed,

I am operating using 10W of power and default settings on the IC-705. My QTH / Maidenhead location is IO90BS.

signal reports from 2M net 15-11-21

I was glad to ‘pull’ G1TEX out the ether and also G4PRS who is based near Hamworthy, there is a considerable hill between us. G4PRS was running 40 watts I believe, so maybe that helped ?

It will be interesting with my upcoming upgrade to the shack VHF/UHF to see if additional power helps, with 2M mostly being line of sight, how much of a performance increase can be had.

Apologies again for not getting all the call signs on last nights net and also the portable station, as whilst a good signal as I couldn’t quite write it down quick enough.

Looking forward to next weeks net to see if my ‘upgrade’ will help.