Amateur Radio This Week: #26   Leave a comment

This week has bee quite busy for me on amateur radio. In spite of my out-of-date logs, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net several times, including this morning.

I also participated in Field Day at a site that included folks from New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, as well as the ARRL section manager.  Here I am, logging a few 20 meter QSOs.  I was only able to participate for a few hours, so I only logged around 50 QSOs.

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Yesterday evening, I spent some time trying to set up a temporary station in my van.  I have a magnet mount on the roof, so I put my Kenwood TS-130S in the passenger seat and a 20 meter antenna in the mount.  I put an SWR meter in line and tried to tune up.  I accidentally touched the port for the field strength meter… RF burn.

Ouch.  Then, I tried to check the SWR again, this time without touching the port.  I was holding the mic, which has a big metal plate on the back.  Another RF burn.

I dropped the power, and I could get the antenna to tune, but only at low power. I wasn’t sure if this was a problem with the antenna, radio, or power.  I suspected the antenna mount, as it has been on the roof of the van for quite some time, and the coax may be crushed, as the van was in an accident that pins the door shut.  I put another magnet mount on the roof and, when I upped the power, another RF burn.

I know the antenna is good, as it was in use a few days ago on my Crown Vic.  I can also receive signals just fine.

I then put my Yaesu FT-857D.  It seems to tune, with no SWR message from the radio.  I, however, am not brave enough to grip the mic in a way that may yield another RF burn, so I will try to make a contact or two with it and see if I get a complaint about my signal.  I will also inspect the power cable; I have a direct (but fused on the positive side) connection to the battery, so I should at least have a DC ground.

Thank you for reading my post.

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