G4CMZ 'Crap Shack'

I first became interested in radio at school and spent several years as a shortwave listener.  I was fortunate to be around during the 1969 sunspot maxima and heard the world using a Codar CR70A receiver and an outside wire antenna.  Over the years I have operated on most bands from 160m to 70cm using a variety of equipment and modes but I particularly enjoy CW using QRP, VLP (Very Low Power) and small minimilised antenna.
My current station is a Yaesu FT817 that runs 
2.5  Watt or less.  It is convenient for portable use and has allowed me to participated in 'Summits on the Air'.  
I have actived sites such as 'Bardon Hill' near Coalville in Leicestershire and on some occasions worked 37 stations in 14 countries in 90 minutes despite the weather.

At home, my station is also 'portable' consisting of a carboard box, the FT817 and an ATU.

I recently upgraded the station by changing to a superior grade of  shoe box.  Also notice the 2" x 1" piece of wood and the high quality yellow tape that enhances shack stabiity and provides an exemplary operating position.

The station packs away neatly and isG4CMZ_Antenna stored inside a shoe
box within 45 seconds when not in use.

People may scoff, but this little baby has worked 43 countries this year with 2W5.  My latest conquest being FS/F8PDR  Saint Martin on 18MHz.

I hope to hear you on the air.  

Kev  G4CMZ

The Codar CR70A  (1970's station)


By any standard, the CR70A was rubbish. Despite that, I have heard rare DX from all corners of the globe with relative ease. It just shows that knowing when to listen and where to listen is sometimes more important than owning fancy gear.

Spending time as a shortwave listener or just listening on the bands is so important. It is like serving an apprenticeship and helps hones the basic skills needed to weed out the DX.
If you don't hear them you don't work them!

The current antenna

At the moment, my antenna is an 80m dipole bent to fit in the garden.  It is only 2m high but works well on all bands using the ATU. The photo on the left shows one leg of the wire. Notice the banana plug used to change bands.

I  know it is not the most efficient antenna and additional height would no-doubt improve signal strenth but I find enjoyment seeing what can be worked using low visibility minimalist antenna.
Funny enough but the wife likes this antenna?