AI7R.NET

Updated: 9/21/2022

If you look at my three basic station locations, you’ll learn that I don’t understand the phrase “too many radios”. My pride and joy are my Drake radios. I have three complete stations, functional and in beautiful shape. The modern gear is nice too of course.

Recently I added a radio combination known endearingly as the “Gold Dust Twins” to my collection. I’ve wanted to obtain these for as long as I can remember. I haven’t set them up for regular use, but they work as a tower-stacked version right now. I’m planning to set them up side by side on a nice desk in the living room in Chandler and have a bug for CW work. The best part is the KWS1 runs about 800 watts by itself. Whew! Now THAT is a radio!

My primary station at the Chandler QTH
The stacked configuration of the 75A4 I already had, and the KWS1 transmitter on top of the power supply. A dream come true for sure!!

I have done a few commercial projects over the years. My work partner (Charlie, AD7MD) and I designed and built the CCD antennas. Different designs from those found in 73 mag in ’87. Very nice antennas with some unique properties. 291 of them officially found air time.

My current semi-passion is the remote operation of my radios up here in the forest, where the noise levels are fairly quiet. Typically S2-3 on 40 and maybe S5 on 80 at night. I have various Youtube videos on that subject and others.

Another Chandler station. These are much like the Novice and early General gear I had. Except I had the 75a2 instead of the 75A4 like this one. My first nice receiver was the National RAO-7.

Speaking of remote control, I just added a prototype of a coax disconnect that puts a nice gap between the antenna and radio. Lots of changes in mind, but the general concept works and is in operation. Check out the Youtube video on it. The plan is to make a commercial version for sale once it is refined and 3D printer parts designed.

And a popular item is the remote control keyer that allows the users to use paddles to send code from their phone or computer from remote.

And this is the Bonita Creek station. The FT-1K has moved to Chandler and the Drake gear will move into the hole. The Flex 6400M is a primary radio up there with the 7300 and 9700 as nice play things. The 7300 is set up to be remotely controlled as well as a new ability to actually disconnect the antennas remotely. The Drake gear are dreams I’ve wanted to own for a while. Beautiful history. Smells nice too.
And here is a little low-power portable radio. Fully self-contained and a blast to operate.

In January of 2022 four things happened on the ham radio front. I placed an order for a new Elecraft K4, a Mercury III solid-state amplifier, and Starlink for faster Internet. All three will probably arrive in 2023. Did I mention I hate pandemics?!?!? I hope I live long enough to enjoy these new toys. On the bright side, I expect the K4 and Starlink will have new software and be more refined by the time I am deemed worthy of owning them. Oh, the 4th thing is the 900 Mhz repeater on 927.2625 and that went from “Hey, you want to put a repeater up at Bonita?” to being on the air in about 2 weeks. Read all about it.

Update September 2022: Starlink speeds sucked so that was a bad purchase. I haven’t heard from the Mercury people yet and I’m not sure I need another amp since I have three and the Collins runs 800 watts. BUT, Elecraft has taken my money and I should see the K4 in a week or so!

Enjoy touring around the website and feel free to message me if you have questions.

73

Dave, AI7R and wife Linda, NI7Y

More station images…

From a novice 75 watt station to a full legal 1500 watt limit
And the always fun Drake 4C line. The Heath station is ready for restoration.
And a little D-Star on the 9700 for when the bands suck.
And this shot that my wife, NI7Y, grabbed that makes my beam and tower look massive. Well, it IS, but this goes over the top.

Some random images of the station and projects over the years.