Andy's Amateur Radio Web Page

Andy Cerier N1XZI

Updated November 7, 2003

:: Scanners : Shortwaves : Ham Radios : Gadgets : APRS : Links :: Track Me!

I am an Amateur Radio operator. I studied amateur radio technology and operating practices, and took a test which I passed. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted me the General class license. My amateur radio call sign is N1XZI.

My Radios

I have been a radio hobbyist for as long as I can remember. I have always loved radios, including scanners (radio which allow you to listen to local public service stations such as police and fire departments), short wave (which allows you to listen to radio stations around the world), citizen band (CB) radio, and amateur (ham) radio.

My Scanners

Mfg Radio Pros Cons Usage
Uniden/Bearcat BC 3000 Good frequency coverage (25-550 & 760-1300 MHz). 400 memory channels in 20 banks. Fast scanner. No alphanumerics I'll probably sell this one soon.
Uniden/Bearcat BC 245 XLT Trunk Tracking! Preprogrammed service scans. No alphanumeric memory names. Trunk Tracking allows me to listed on the Mass State Police.
AOR AR 8200 Great frequency coverage (100kHz - 2040Mhz), 1000 memory channels in 20 resizable banks. Alphanumeric names for channels and banks. Some buttons can easily be accidently pressed, putting radio in an unwanted mode. The King of pocket scanners.
Yaesu VR-120 Alphanumeric memory channel names. Good coverage. Runs forever on 2 AA batts. Battery meter. Lots of frequency gaps! No channel lock out. Nice small grab and go radio. Fairly simple to operate.

In my opinion, the best scanner web site is Strong Signals.

My Shortwaves

Mfg Radio Pros Cons Usage
Sony ICF-SW7600 Small and portable. Sony reliability. No synchronous detection. This was added in the follow on model, the SW7600G. Does not have dual clocks, so you can set it for local time or UTC (GMT), but not both. My bed side clock radio.
Drake SW8 This is a real shortwave, and portable to boot.

My Ham Radios

Mfg Radio Pros Cons Usage
Yaesu VX-1R Very small.  Very strange operation.  Can only scan one band's memories at a time.  
Yaesu VX-2R Very small, good scanner.   Great day-to-day and travelling radio.
Yaesu VX-5R Transmit on 3 bands: 6 meters, 2 meters and 440. Small and rugged. Runs a long time on small battery. Alphanumeric memory naming. Good receiving frequency range. Gets hot when transmitting. Sold it to a friend when I bought my VX-7R at the 2002 Dayton Hamvention.
Yaesu VX-7R Waterproof!     
Icom IC-T90A No function key!  Preprogrammed TV channels.   My current all around favorite radio.
Yaesu FT-817 Ultracompact. Transmits on nearly all ham bands (HF, 6 meters, VHF (2 meters), UHF (440 Mhz). Multimode (AM, FM, CW, USB, LSB, Packet, Digital). Good shortwave. Somewhat complicated to operate. Uses 8 AA batteries, and runs those down very quickly when transmitting. NiCad and other battery options available. This will be my home HF station once I get my General class license. It is a great camping and hiking radio.
Kenwood TH-D7AG Dual band VHF (2 meters) UHF (440 Mhz) radio. Built in TNC and APRS! Can transmit 5.5 watts if supplied from external power source. Kind of heavy compared to newer handheld radios. My handheld APRS radio (N1XZI-7).
Kenwood TM-D700A Dual band VHF (2 meters) UHF (440 Mhz) radio. Built in TNC and APRS! Nice display. Cannot see path of received APRS packets. My mobile APRS radio (N1XZI-8).
Standard C510A Early "micro" HT. Good receive coverage (100-180 MHz 340-480 MHz 720-950 MHz). Runs a long time on 3 AAA batteries. Nice ergonomics. Only one watt output. No alphanumerics. This radio see's occasional use as an 'around the house' radio.

Favorite Accessories and Gadgets

Mfg Model What it is What's cool about it
LDG Z-11 QRP (ham radio talk for "low power") Antenna Tuner Small and very low power, this device is hooked up between my FT-817 HF transceiver and a random piece of wire and allows me to tune the antenna for maximum performance.
Optoelectronics Scout Frequency Recorder If someone transmits (in the 10MHz-1.4GHz frequency range) within a couple hundred feet of me this device will lock onto their signal very very quickly and store the frequency into memory. It will count how many times it hears a transmission on each frequency. And, if my AOR AR8200 scanner (see above) is connected to it, it will tune the radio so that I can listen in on the transmission (Optoelectronics calls this "reaction tune"). This device can be used to sniff out hidden transmitters (bugs).

Track Me via APRS

I have a radio in my car which allows me to communicate with other amateur radio operators while I am mobile. This radio also sends out a digital location signal which is fed into the amateur radio Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) network.

While I am driving, you can follow my progress by visiting this web page:

The web page will show you my last position received by the APRS network.

Links to Great Radio Pages

I recommend the following radio and amateur radio web sites: