KEØOG’s Reference Station

A reference design is exactly that: a design that can be used as a reference for building your own. Not mandatory design, nor for that matter a suggested design. The amateur radio station components listed here will provide you with a working station. I am purchasing these too, so that my tutorial and demonstration videos will use the reference station.

I’ve been asked many times, “What HF rig should I buy.” I used to answer, “Well, it depends.” No more. Now I say, “Buy what’s in the reference station: an Icom IC-7300.” I will try in every case to make a recommendation for something you can purchase, and minimize the number of things you must build.

Your circumstances will be different from mine. Perhaps you already have a radio in your station, and don’t want to change. No problem! Adapt the reference station to your needs. Note that my own station has capabilities, like a hex beam, that won’t be in the reference design. But the reference design can be a useful guide as you build out your station from the ground up, or if you’re upgrading it.

Reference Station for Technician license

Component Requirement Reference Station Design
Handheld Radio 2m, 70cm, FM, digital TBD
Mobile/Home Radio 2m, 70cm, FM, digital, 25w or more TBD
Mobile Antenna 2m, 70cm, mag mount
Home Coax Short, acceptable loss RG-8X with connectors. For longer runs, RG-213 or LMR-400
Home Antenna 2m, 70 cm, omni

Reference Station for General and Amateur Extra

Component Requirement Reference Station Design
HF Radio 160m to 6m, SSB, CW, Data, 100 watts Icom IC-7300
Power Supply 13.8 vdc, 30 amps Samlex SEC-1235M (will also power Tech home station)
Coax Runs With connex already attached, handle > 100w RG-8X
RF Connectors Common UHF Connectors (PL-259, SO-239)
Power Distribution 40 amps, at least 6 powerpole connectors West Mountain Radio Rigrunner 4006U, see video
Power Connectors Interchangeable, genderless Anderson PowerPole, 15/30a
Antenna At least 40 and 20m, resonant (no external tuner required) MFJ-2010 OCFD
Grounding Station Ground, bonded to Utility Ground Home Depot or Lowes, 8-foot copper-coated steel
Lightning Surge Recognized Alpha Delta Model ATT3G50U (handles up to 200w) (corrected 23 Apr 2020)
Bonding for Grounding #6 bare copper wire, compression connectors Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
CW Straight Key Less expensive but well-built cwmorse.us SKU 29-111-A (choose your favorite color)
Digital Mode Software (PSK-31, RTTY, etc.) Free fldigi
Digital Mode Software (JT-modes such as FT8) Free WSJT-X
Logging Software exchanges data with radio and with LOTW TBD