My new latest obsession

I’ve had a fascination with radio for ages. My grandpa was a ham radio operator, and would give my brother and I ham study guides and HF receivers to listen to in an attempt to fan the flames of interest. Back then one needed to be able to send and receive Morse code to pass the licensing exam, and neither of us could ever quite master it. By the time the FCC started eliminating the code requirement, I was married and raising kids and had no time. Fast forward many years, and a series of events transpired that rekindled the desire to get licensed. I studied for a few weeks, then went and passed the Tech and General exams on the same night. So now, I need a radio…

I have a little handheld 2M radio to play with, as well as my grandpa’s 2M Heathkit mobile radio, but would like to have an HF radio as well, maybe hook it up to a laptop and play with some of the digital modes. I’ve got a short list of radios I want to look for at the upcoming hamfest, but that’s not until the end of September, and would like something now, preferably without dropping a load of cash. Looking around, I discovered a radio out of India called the uBITX. It’s sort of a kit that you assemble yourself. It’s not quite the level of kit like the Heathkits of old, as the boards are already assembled, tested and tuned. For this kit, I need to provide an enclosure, speaker, and microphone case, mount it all in the enclosure, and solder up all the wires and connectors.

The radio is on the way from India, should be here in a week or so. In the meantime I’m already looking at the large number of modifications that can be done, and I’ve decided the first one I want to do is swap out the 2-line LCD display for a Nextion color touchscreen. The Nextion arrived yesterday, and I’ve already got it flashed with the custom firmware for the uBITX. It’s looking pretty cool, can’t wait for the radio to show up!