Friday, January 16, 2015

Shack Upgrade - Icom ID-5100

In 2003 at the age of 15, I got hooked on radio after spending many nights listening to my local amateurs on repeaters and simplex for hours. I got in touch with my local club and got licensed in 2004 and was very lucky to have people there to help me get on air. I didn't have a job yet and had no money but managed to scrape together some cash with the help of my parents and my savings and buy an Icom IC-207 mobile rig off a guy from the club. I was given a Diamond X-50 antenna for about £20 and a 3-5 amp power supply off a CB from the late M3MEA, Simon Meakin.

So with that I was on the air and spent hours and hours most nights chatting on GB3MR and a few other local repeaters. I was hooked on radio for 4 or 5 years but after getting a job and a long term girlfriend I lost grip with it all and my equipment went into the attic until 2013. During the time I was initially on air I was under the impression that all radios were expensive, which is true to a degree so I never upgraded my shack. I managed ot pull around 8 watts out of my PSU and just about get by.

In 2013 I bought my first Baofeng UV-3R and got well and truly hooked on radio again. Since then I've accumulated a nice collection of Chinese handhelds and bought a TYT TH-9000D mobile rig but my shack still lacked a decent base station radio. So this week I decided to treat myself and upgrade my shack to the new Icom ID-5100.

What a radio! It is packed with features such as dual receive, touch screen display, D-Star and analogue operation, air band RX, UHF and VHF TX/RX, bluetooth, nearest repeater search, dplus reflector linking, GPS and so much more. I'm getting slowly used to this radio but I'm so pleased with it. It receives miles better than any of my other radios including my Icom 207 and D-Star is something new to me which seems very interesting. Nice to hear so many call signs of people who have migrated to digital to evade the IQ zero's on analogue.

Here are a couple of videos I put on YouTube of the radio in receive. Stay tuned for updates soon.

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