I’ve had a few questions on my Alpha reviews. In addition to my reviews, which focused on my decision factors, here are some helpful resources when considering or using an Alpha 9500:
I’ve been thinking about the Alpha 9500 a lot lately, given that I have one in my shack.
I’m very happy with RF Concepts (just “Alpha” to me, for some reason) and the 9500. I’d like to have something to add to impressions that are already out there. Unfortunately, my impression is pretty consistent with the many good reviews I’ve found, both before and after purchasing. Since I am not trying to be comprehensive, I’d also recommend you check out the helpful resources on the Alpha 9500 at dxzone.
I considered alternatives from Expert Amps, THP, Acom, Icom, Ameritron, and a few others. I also have an Ameritron AL-80B. I’m happy with the AL-80B, but wanted full legal power and, more importantly, the ability to operate remotely. I think the 9500 is a clear contender for the best amp on the market. I think the AL80B is a very good value in decent quality watts/dollar and excels in that niche.
Last weekend, I completed the process to set my station up for remote access. I switched from a manual tune amp to automatic, made some logistics changes, and then implemented remote control using remote ham software at remotehams.com. Although I was on track to get things working, I had the pleasant surprise of Roger, W8RJ, logging in to expedite and optimize my setup. Check out my remote station at W4LI – Remote.
I’ve already had the opportunity to use my station while traveling a couple times this week. Also, about two dozen others have registered to use the station. So far, the software and setup is rock solid. I’m very pleased and its quite cool to be able to get on the air on my occasional hotel-nights, which is when I have the most free time.
Thanks to Brandon, Roger, and others on the remotehams team. Great stuff.
Ham Radio Deluxe is an extensive rig control and digital mode software package for amateur radio operation. The bulk of the original software (through early version 5) was created by or under the direction of Simon Brown, HB9DRV.
The FCC is considering allowing encryption of ham radio signals for certain situations as part of rule making review RM-11699. I don’t believe this is necessary or appropriate.
Check out a related article and discussion on eham.net: eham encryption RM-11699 article
My comments filed with the FCC: comments on RM-11699.
Please take the time to file reasonable comments as well.
In early 2013, I got permission from the HOA to install a 30 to 35′ vertical at our second QTH. The antenna’s location is conveniently obscured from view in the community. I was pleasantly surprised at the community’s flexibility and went with the SteppIR BigIR with the 80 meter coil option.
First, a few pictures, and then I’ll summarize what I learned and recommend when installing this great antenna. Here is a picture of the almost completed antenna installation (before single 11′ guy installation):
Here is the base of the antenna, from the 80M coil side, showing the radial plate and cables exiting the ground/conduit: