Kenwood TS-570D Panadapter

A Panadapter is know by many names. The most scientific and correct might be “radio spectrum scope”, but the most common in the ham sphere is “panadapter” or “pan-adaptor” in my short experience. Basically, it’s a wide panoramic view of a radio spectrum.

For a ham, it’s normally used in conjunction with a transceiver or a set of transceivers. It’s also common that the computer doing the spectrum visualization is connected to the transceiver via CAT or similar, so that a click in the spectrum view tunes the transceiver to the desired frequency.

To achieve this you can invest in really expensive SDR hardware, or you can go this route (amongst others), which I did with my Kenwood TS-570D:

Dipole, mounted poorly

So I’ve found out that the fact that heights doesn’t bother me on their own, climbing a roof in the dark adds the terrifying aspect of a surface that slants the wrong way to the equation. I hate climbing roofs in the dark.

I, however, conquered my fear and climbed the roof in the dark, and have now mounted that dipole I bought on my roof. The fact that I barely conquered my fear is the reason for the suboptimal mounting configuration, as seen below: 


The rest was a blissful piece of cake in comparison; installing myself in my shiny new shack and pulling the coax down through the attic. 

The next step for the shack is better lighting, and shelves. I need shelves. 

It’s a beauty

I’m loving this! I’m so very happy with my acquisition.  🙂

On the way home from picking up this Kenwood TS-570D, I stopped by my friend SA6ANW. After we had a bite to eat, we drove to another ham who had the largest collection of ham stuff in his basement. I ended up buying a starter set of things from him!

 So, there’s my radio and mic in the bottom left corner, two large rolls of coax in the upper left, a box containing a multimeter and a bunch of coax contacts, a ~40 meter dipole (haven’t measured, but the auto tuner succeeds at 6-8MHz), a roll of thin wire – for antennas – in the top right corner, a VHF/UHF antenna even farther to the right, and – finally – a loaner 13.8V 30A power source for the radio. That SWR meter in between the coax and the wire roll is also a loaner.

I rolled out the dipole throughout my house (it’s long!) and connected it to my radio using the cable from the SWR meter. After a lot of fiddling and figuring out of controls, I actually managed to hear three different Italian hams! That’s like somewhere between 1 283,16 and 2 400,04 km (797,32 and 1 491,32 miles) so it’s really amazing to me.

I didn’t dare try to transmit with the antenna on the floor and me not knowing where the cat was. Tonight, I’ll get the dipole and vhf/uhf antenna up on the roof. Perhaps today is the day I make my first QSO! 😀