Archive for the ‘Kit Building’ Category

Is that the Island of Manhattan?

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

Diamond Hole Saw

Hole saw for Islands.

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 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?

I’m still here!

September 16, 2011

Wow it has been a month since I posted here. So much for at least once a week. Anyway, I have been pretty busy. Of course the job search takes a lot of time. We had a large family gathering here, and I spent some time at the local Air Force Base watching the aircraft hurrevacing from the east coast.

I began monitoring the military aircraft bands lately with my Kenwood TM-V71A. To say the least it has been very interesting. With a little research it is easy to find some frequencies to start with. There is a Yahoo group called Monix that is a local monitoring group. They are into all types of monitoring and a lot of the folks are hams. Check out their website here. RadioReference is a great resource for all types of frequencies and has a nice Mil Monitoring wiki. Any way I programmed in about 100 different frequencies and headed to a park adjacent to the runway in use. As I pulled in I saw a vehicle in the lot with a scanner antenna on it. A friendly “seen anything good?” resulted in introductions and the gentleman was a member of the Monix list that I had been communicating with. We spent about four hours listening and watching the planes. The most interesting thing of the day was a C5 Galaxy coming in with a hydraulic issue. Of course the set up for the emergency and sent out the crash trucks. Turns out they did have a leak but the landing was without incident. Very interesting listening and I realized that I need to buy a new scanner. Number one the Kenwood scans way to slow, about 10 channels per second. Number two i need to be able to hear the trunked system on the base. I live about 10 miles as the crow flies from the base so I will be monitoring it long term.

Another project that kept me busy in the last month was the Nescaf filter below.


W8VZM station with new Nescaf filter


After the last post on code practice.  I ordered and assembled the kit. It worked on the first try and it was a lot of fun to build. I will do a complete post on the kit soon. Let the CW begin!

That brings me to the next thought in my brain. What items do you think should be required to put together a kit shop? I have the basic tools and a DMM. That was all that was needed to complete this kit. I plan to continue building things as I have settled where I am and will be here for the rest of my life unless I hit the lottery! Drop me a comment or an email (w8vzmron at gmail dot com) and let me know what your ideas are. I will do a post on the suggestions when I get them together.


Until next time, 72



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