of Ham Radio Equipment
Here are some of the biggest phone/mail order houses in the USA. Which one to use is a matter of personal taste, various people will swear by one or another. We have had good luck with HRO Anaheim, but as often said on the web, "your milage may vary".
If you call the Anaheim HRO, ask for Dale KB7UB, our Hawaii specialist and tell him AH7R sent you (any day but Tuesday, his day off):
You might also want to look at this page of Used, Demo and Consignment Ham Radio Equipment/Gear:
Dan's Small Parts is a small operation, often swamped, often slow, but reputible and one of the few sources for small amounts of hard to find parts for repairs and homebrew projects.
International Crystal in Oklahoma City has been around for decades. They are a major supplier of strange and custom quartz crystals as well as stock items. The prime place for "Rocks":
TenTec is well know for its pioneering work in providing QRP ham radio equipment. They are still noted for excellent QSK in their CW rigs, and some fine QRP rigs.
The premier builder of bugs, in fact one version of folk lore says that the lightning bug logo of Vibroplex on the base of each of its semi-automatic keys, was the origin of the nickname "bug" for this type of key. They also make paddles for keyers now days. You can still special order a left handed version of the Vibroplex Original with the chrome base.
Besides Vibroplex, Bencher is probably the best known maker of paddles and keys. Their straight key is very well designed being one of the few that can be used without fastening down the base to the tabletop, and their paddles are great for those with a "light touch":
This company makes a great line of inexpensive, ultra light, ultra portable keys and keyers. They are VERY cute, plastic and functional. They have quite a line of their keys with various keyer chips already installed:
The Arrow Antenna Company makes unique antennas for VHF and UHF use. Many are based on aluminum arrow shafts which screw together in the field to make excellent portable beams. I have the long dual band 144/440 Mhz handheld version and the short (and cute) 3 element 440 Mhz handheld version. They are just great. Arrow also has some interesting corner reflectors and Jpoles:
These intermod filters really work! They are bigger than a brick, but they have what it takes to cure the worst intermod. These are highly recommended for urban base station use on 2 meters. You don't have to listen to squawls, beeps and howls all the time. I had them build me a super bandpass filter for six meters. It was done quickly and when I got it I was very pleased with the quality. It is now part of a Hawaii 6 meter repeater system:
My Yaesu FT2500 is great at resisting intermod and a very nice two meter mobile/base station FM rig (The FT-2500):
I love my Kenwood 570D, but wish I had purchased the version with six meters on it. Kenwood gear in general is good stuff, especially for base station use in the moderate price range:
I have an Alinco DX70T. What can I say; it works, now that I have fixed all the loose parts and finished "assembling it". It does have the ability to be set to five watts for QRP/portable work. It is not a bad rig, it just does not stack up against the equivalent Icom, etc. But in fairness it has survived a number of field trips and quite a few hours of operation in a tent under adverse conditions:
The Icom 706 is probably a much better mobile/portable rig than the DX70, worth the extra money in many useful ways:
Some derisively call this "Made From Junk", which is probably a bit harsh. They have some nice products, but usually benefit from immediate disassembly and fixing of loose parts, missed solder joints, and other problems. Their tuners are very nice, but some use very cheap variable capacitors. Probably best to regard an MFJ product as a partially assembled kit and give it a good checkout when you get it. On the other hand, they are reasonably priced, usually work well with a little touchup, and have a wide range of useful ham products. Their antenna analyzer is proven to be a very nice piece of gear which has worked quite well in the shack and in the field, though it does eat AA batteries with gusto. One other MAJOR plus, their website has all of their manuals online, a great shopping aid:
Probably the premier maker of outboard Digital Signal Processor Units, DSP's. They can do wonders for a rig like the Alinco DX70 that does not allow better internal filters to be installed, and needs help with selectivity in CW mode. I use a 559+ unit:
Kantronics makes the most solid TNC units around. The KPC3 is a classic, extremely small and portable, for VHF operation on Packet. The Kam Plus is very well regarded for not only VHF packet, but HF modes as well such as standard RTTY:
Not technically hardware, this antenna modeling software is among the best. It is easy to use once you figure out the so called wire tables where the antenna is described. Now they are offering a new Windows version of the DOS classic. Even the DOS version which I have used for some time runs well on Windows systems with the detailed installation instructions provided. It is by Roy Lewallen, W7EL in Oregon:
The famous Hamstick mobile antennas, an interesting design with a four-foot base section which includes the loading coil wound on it. Also included is a four foot whip that is adjustable for the top. One advantage is that they are much cheaper than Hustler antennas, cheaper even than a Hustler Resonator, so you can afford to replace the entire stick instead of just the resonator to change bands:
This is the premier reference site for fast scan TV equipment, the same kind of TV as commercial TV stations broadcast. Often used on the 3/4 meter Ham band, the standard Ham ATV frequencies can be received on any TV set with a cable ready tuner, on cable channels 57,58,59,60,and 61: