Heiko, DG1BHA, and I decided to buy an Icom IC-9700 for the club QTH to replace our old venerable IC-7400 that served as our main 2 m radio for quite some years. We did some modifications to the latter for better stability, i.e. adding an external oscillator reference and such. It will still be serving us in the future, either as a dedicated EME radio or in Heiko’s small garden QTH. Currently the ‘9700 is still with me but I will take it along to the club in early July when going there for the VHF contest to give it a real test drive. 😎
Second new toy is a Flex 6600 that I want to use at the remote station. I had tried out DO4DXA’s Flex 6400 remotely for a short while (Thanks Marc!) to get a feeling if I could imagine using one myself. As you might know I usually prefer “knob radios” but the spectrum display in the ‘7300 got me hooked and I’m really missing it on the remote station, especially when monitoring the VHF bands for openings. There are M versions with front panels of the Flex radios but the front panel is of no use remotely. I might buy a Flex Maestro Console one day which is a front panel for the Flex 6000 series that can be operated remotely (much like the K3/0 mini I currently use to operate my remote K3 but with the spectrum display included) but due to it’s price tag decided to try it without one first. 😉 The Flex software is quite nice and after all it might just be a case of getting used to … will see and report back. 😉
For a little while I was undecided between the 6400 and the 6600. The price difference is quite a bit! But I finally decided for the 6600 as it has 2 SCUs which will allow me to monitor 2 transverter bands in parallel, i.e. 4 & 2 m at once, as well as doing real SO2R on HF with just one radio.
A big thanks to Frank Dathe of Funktechnik Dathe who was again a pleasure to deal with and as usual delivered everything in a timely manner. I bought a lot of stuff from them in the past and can wholeheartedly recommend them!