W1BEE Amateur Radio Home Page


The hobby of amateur radio has sure changed over the years. I got my Novice license in 1953, followed shortly by the General class license as K2QGL. After I graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963, I moved to Massachusetts. In those days, the location designation, 2, did not follow you around the country, so I was assigned the new call, W1BEE. Operated with an Advanced ticket for many years because I could not meet the CW code speed requirements. But that is all in the past and I now have Amateur Extra privileges.

The shack is nestled in a corner of our computer room. My interests are mostly in the HF bands from 80 through 10 meters. I much prefer a good QSO rather than racking up as many contacts as possible. I prefer CW even though I am still straining to copy 18 WPM

I miss the days when we built our own rigs ... well, all except the receiver. But I have to admit that I like digital frequencies that don't drift. The automatic antenna tuner is also delightful ... guess I am getting lazy in my old age.






The rig is a YAESU FT-450 transceiver. It may not be the Cadillac of rigs, but it beats anything I have use in the past. Half the challenge is learning to use this magnificent machine. It does come with a very complete Operation Manual to learn how to use the transceiver and a CAT Operation Reference Book if you want to control the unit with your computer. I found that the Operation Manual did not fit with my way of understanding equipment so I have re-written it as a YAESU FT-450 User's Manual.

Under the Rig is the control for the Cornell-Dubilier Ham IV rotor control. It was purchased in 1981 and was only used for a few years before it was put in storage. The rotor has just been returned to service in 2014.

Below the rotor control is the YAESU power supply.









The key is a Vibroplex paddle that has been part of my ham shack for 35 years. The Plexiglas case that I constructed acts to not only keep dust off the unit, but allows me to hold it in place if I get too forceful.









I had constructed an antenna switch was made from a star shaped antenna switch I picked up at the local transfer station (formally called the dump). But, when I raised the vertical antenna to almost 50 feet, I decided I had better have some lightning protection. The purchased switch itself is very nice in that it shorts all unused antennas to ground. The switch is used to connect the transceiver to one of the three antennas or to a 50 ohm dummy load.









I also have an Icom IC-V80 hand held VHF transceiver to speak through the Pilgrim Amateur Radio Club repeaters in Truro, MA and Harwich, MA. I have not been very active with that rig.
















My antenna system

Link to Gary Derman home page