June 28, 2013
Yeah I know it’s been a while. Life has gotten so busy and work is another story! But any way I have made a decision to carve out more radio time from my busy schedule and I have a project to drive it!
The Green Machine
I obtained the above the unit above from Nelson NE4LS. He responded to my email to QRP-L looking for a non-working HW-8. Also included was Mike Bryce’s “The HW-8 Handbook.” I am happy as a lark to have this baby as a project and am ready to get started! The reason I looked for an HW-8 is purely nostalgic. The first rig I ever owned was an HW-8. I think I struggled to make 1 QSO with it. I found a picture of my first station a few months ago. You can see it below. This time I will make sure I am able to make QSO’s with it. I plan to have it in a place of honor in my current shack.
My 1980 ham station (KA8DRS).
Left IC-215 2m rig. Right HW-8.
The old gal is quite deaf. The only signal I was able to hear on any of the bands was W1AW code practice on 20m. So I know the receive works. I investigated a little more and found that Q1 has been replaced and there is an extra lead hanging free in the air. Another 2N2222 has been installed on the bottom of the board instead of through the holes from the top. I have some question about the wiring on the TR relay. all the solder joints look good at first glance. Only time will tell the true story.
The clam shells have been painted a different green. A trip to Wally World is on the list to see how close I can get. The knobs and front panel are in excellent shape. There is a little dust on it but that will be easy. The 21 Mhz push button looks to have been attacked by a soldering iron.
There was quite a bit of microphonics in the audio. The AF gain pot is a little scratchy, otherwise the controls all seem to work ok for the moment.
Below are some other pictures from today’s trial run. Next up will be testing the TX side.
Impressive details of a past life!
December 30, 2012
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
December 2, 2012
This past week I completed the transition into my new position where I work. This puts me on regular daytime 8 hour days Monday thru Friday. I said goodbye to the 3:30am alarm and the 12 hour days. They are just a little too much for me at my age (lol). With the resulting extra sleep and reduced stress I was able to start to act like a regular human being again. Now to start back with my hobby.
I had previously announced my plan to build a 2N2-40. I was able to procure a lot of the parts and other needs at Dayton this spring. I had seen a blurb on one of the maker sites about using a diamond tip tile hole saw to make “islands” for Manhattan style construction. I found the saw at my local big box hardware. Below is card and a view of the saw.
Diamond Hole Saw
Hole saw for Islands. Business end is up.
I setup the drill press and tried it out. Wow, did it do a nice job. The islands are about the same size as the ones that you glue on. I guess you could use this saw to make them. My plan is to just drop the bit far enough to remove the copper to create the island. The drop figure I used is 0.02 in as I noted on the card for future reference. Below is a picture of the finished product.
The end result of the hole saw and some mounted components.
The two circles in the back are what the hole saw cut. The resistor is mounted across two islands with the cap as a bypass to the ground plane.
The disadvantage (or not) I see with this technique is that once the Island is cut there is no moving it. For projects with a established layout this is not a problem. Experimentation might be a little difficult but still could be done. I had a little issue with the rosin flux running into the groove. A little alcohol cleaned it up well. A suggestion from the QRP-L list was using paint or nail polish to provide a better look to the finished product. I was thinking about using a color for Tx and another color for Rx circuits.
So now I guess I need to get going on the rig. Ok now, what did I do with those parts?
November 13, 2012
Wow I really let this blog go. It has been a crazy summer and fall so far. I have had too little time for radio recently, but I think that’s about to change. I will be changing positions within my company on 11/26. My hours will change from the 3 12 hour days that causes me to get up at 3:30AM. I will be on a regular 8 hour daytime schedule Monday thru Friday. I also will return to the technical end of things doing repair and maintenance on Dialysis equipment. With the change of positions and seasons, I hope to get active again in radio.
Last week along with all the end of season yard work I was able to put up another antenna. It is an old HyGain AV-18s vertical. I have about 50 feet of 7/16 hard line feeding it. Mounted in the back yard on a deck post with the base at about 5 feet above the ground. I am going to replace the base coil with a home brew one that hopefully will give me something better than my G5RV Jr. for 80 meters. I will post some pics when I get a few.
I did get to work a bit in the CQ WW DX Phone the other weekend. Got 3 all time new ones and some band fills. I am also planning to work the SS Phone this weekend.
I also picked up 3 12 volt 7 AH UPS units and am working on some plans for their use.
It’s good to be back.
June 24, 2012
G5RV Jr. Back in the air.
Today I put the G5RV Jr. back up. As you can see above the feed point is in the clear! It wasn’t before. Hopefully the clear feed point will work out much better for operating QRP. I knew the leaves and branches were reducing the radiation because the tuner settings changed from winter to summer. Although I have not checked it yet I expect to see dramatic changes in the tuner settings now that the tree is gone. If you look at the photo below you can see a wide shot of the antenna. The legs go over the tops of two Pine trees and are tied off. on the left of the picture the end is secured with a three foot bungee cord. It allows a little give with the wind (and falling Mulberry trees) and also has about 6 feet of the UV resistant end rope in a loop and secured to the fence. That way if the bungee breaks, the antenna doesn’t come all the way down. The darker part of the feed line is 300 ohm window line. At the edge of the garage roof it switches to grey RG-8X to the shack. By the way the Jr. is a converted WA2NAN Trutalk 204′ model as I don’t have enough room for that size. It is well constructed and has been in the air for 5 years at 3 different locations. In this photo you can also see the stump of the Mulberry tree and remaining sawdust.
The right side of the antenna is though the top of a substantially larger Pine tree which is also on a rise in the yard. Below is a a street view of that tree with the antenna tied to the gutter. I know you can’t see it but that’s the idea isn’t it? So you get an idea of why the antenna in the pictures has a slope to it.
I will post some reports when I give it a try this week. I do have plans for a 31 ft vertical support for an 80 and 160 Inverted L for fall. When it is installed I will have coverage for all HF bands.