Archive for the ‘Station configuration’ Category

Amateur Radio This Week: 2017.38   3 comments

This week has been exciting for me in Amateur Radio. I started out at home, working through some of my radio equipment and beginning repairs.

I am having troubles getting on HF at home. I have two three HF rigs, all of which seem to be having their own problems.

First, my Kenwood TS-130S display and sound are non-functional. The rig worked fine for a while in my Crown Vic a few years ago, but then, one day, stopped displaying and making noise. I powered this radio up in the house and found that the RF/AF knob is loose. As it wobbles, the display and the sound come and go. I tightened this as best I could (without disassembling the radio), and now it seems to work just fine.

Second, my Kenwood TS-450S has two problems. One problem was that the VFO has been loose for a long time, leading to a lot of play in the knob. I removed the VFO knob (through the set screw on the side), and then adjusted the screws that hold the VFO in place. The next problem is that the audio does some strange things. The radio “sounds” like it is stuck in USB mode, no matter what. An internet search and some poking around internally, and I found that the C104 capacitor ruptured, as shown below.

The final problem I addressed was trying to understand why my Morse Code key played a continuous series of dits on my Kenwood TS-570D.  As it turns out, there are two separate CW ports, and I have the key plugged into the paddle port.  Problem solved!

Thank you for reading my post.

 

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Amateur Radio This Week: 2017.29   Leave a comment

This has been a good week for amateur radio.  I installed the Yaesu FT-857D in the Crown Vic and I made quite a few contacts driving around Rio Rancho.  Most of my contacts have been DX stations:  Spain, Mexico and Ecuador.  I did work a few stations in the US as well.

Last night, I attended the ARRL Hurricane webinar, which talked about the differnent hurricane nets that run all season (and even into the off-sesaon).  This was a really great presentation, and I was happy that I attended it, even if I missed the first twenty minutes due to no cellular service.

I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times from the 2 meter side, though I was unable to get in this morning.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.23   1 comment

I borrowed the NMT Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) Yaesu FT-857D to compare against my own.  While mine has S9 +20dB noise on all bands, all of the time, theirs hovers between S3-S7.  I am currently borrowing their rig for this particular road trip.

With TARA’s radio, I was able to make a few contacts this weekend, in both a shipboard contest and the Alabama QSO Party, though I have not yet updated my logs.

I spoke with Yaesu customer service and they said to send mine in for a repair, which I will do as soon as I have time to go to a post office.

I’m currently on the road to the east coast, but one of these mornings, I will have some extra time and can send it off.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.20, 2017.21, 2017.22   Leave a comment

I have been on the road on my annual storm chase trip for the past two weeks.  I spent quite a bit of time talking to my chase team, all five of which (including me) are amateur radio operators.  We spent all of our time on 2 meters.

Outside of that, I did try to get APRS running in my car, using an Icom IC-281H, a TinyTrak3, a Garmin eTrex GPS, and a magnet mount.  Not only was I not able to get good packets to the TinyTrak, a giant tumbleweed knocked off the magnet mount, and destroyed it.

I also tried to run a few counties on both 20 meters and 40 meters from my Yaesu FT-857D.  The noise floor was too great, and I couldn’t hear anyone.  I am going to borrow the Tech Amateur Radio Association’s radio, and see if that helps.  If not, I am not sure what to do next.  If their radio works, I will send mine off for repair.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.12   Leave a comment

The biggest accomplishment of this week was getting caught up on my logbooks and DX4Win logs.  Finally.   I had not done so for over a month.  I also sent off a few QSL cards, though I have a long ways to go there before I am caught up.

I made a few HF contacts on the 20 meter county hunter’s net and I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times over the past week.  I tried to check into the Caravan Club Net, but I am having all sorts of problems with my VHF/UHF radios.

I have an Alinco DR-605 and an Alinco DR-130TP.  The Alinco DR-605 powers down on transmit, regardless of power output or frequency.  The Alinco DR-130TP transmit audio was cutting out and had a loud hum (the net control reported this to me).  I replaced the microphone on the Alinco DR-130TP to try to fix this problem, but with the new microphone, the rig will not even power.  I am currently mapping out my entire radio system to develop a list of action items to try.  I will post my plan on this blog.

I taught another section of the amateur radio license class.  I basically showed off some useful websites including eham.net, qrz.com, gigaparts.com and arrl.org.  We also set the exam date, time and location.

I also finished the February issue of QST.  I am behind on my reading as well.  I will begin the April issue this week (and skip March for now).  In the February issue, I really appreciated several articles.

First, I really liked the article called, “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing,” by Jerry Clement, VE6AB.  I really like that this antenna is sturdy enough for mobile use, and I will try building this, once I finish up a few other radio projects.

I also really liked the article titled, “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY” by Matthew SHerburne, KF4WZB.  As someone who has spent time rebuilding the Tech Amateur Radio Assocation at New Mexico Tech on several occasions, it was neat to read another article about rebuilding college clubs.  Also, this student was a former member of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA), as was I.

I also love reading articles about DXpeditions, so I appreciated, “Central African DX Adventure,” by Bernie McClenny, W3UR.  Some day, I will go on a DXPedition. I don’t know how or when or where, but I will do so in my lifetime.

Thank you for reading my post.

Sources:
1.  Clement, Jerry.  “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing.” QST, February 2017, pp. 30-33.

2.  Sherburne, Matthew.  “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY,” QST, February 2017, pp. 79-81.

3.  McClenny, Bernie.  “Central African DX Adventure.”  QST, February 2017, pp. 100-101.

This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.11   Leave a comment

I was a bit of a slacker this week.  I did not update my logbooks like I had planned, and I barely checked into any nets (if at all- I’ll have to check my voice recorder!).  I am way behind on reading my QST’s, and am most of the way through February’s issue, with March’s issue on my desk, and April’s having just arrived today.

I did, however, dig trenches for most of my ground radials.  I did not trench the southeastern radials, as my garden will likely extend through this area.  I’d rather plan that part out before digging trenches and cutting my radials later when I turn over the soil for a garden.

I also ordered a new microphone for my Alinco DR-135TP that keeps cutting out and disconnecting due to a bad connector.

Thank you for reading my post.  I promise I will be more active this week!

 

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.8   Leave a comment

This has been a busy week for amateur radio.  First, I set up a Yaesu FT-857D in the Malibu for a few days.  I set it up and parked it by the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) club station, and left my keys with those folks so that we could operate during the School Club Roundup contest.  I personally made several contacts (including Hawaii and a special event station in British Columbia) and a few others from the club did as well.

I also made my first contact on the TARA repeater (442.125 MHz), so that was exciting.  I think it is completely configured and in place at this point.

Over the weekend, I repaired my Morse Code key, as it has lost one of the contact screws.  Unbelievably, I found the screw on the floor of my shed amidst the mess, while looking for something else.

I also mounted my Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-7800 in the Crown Victoria.  I’ve been meaning to do that for ages, but finally got around to it.  I think it’s working out well.  I gave it a good road test and drove to Socorro, making a few contacts along the way.

In terms of operating, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net several times.  This morning, I worked Russia, Louisiana and Minnesota on 20 meters from Socorro.

I attempted to check into the Caravan Club Net, but my Alinco DR-605 kept powering down every time I transmitted.  I’ll have to look into this next weekend.

I also updated my log books from the last two weeks of QSOs.  I added quite a few VHF contacts, and a handful of 20 meter HF contacts to the books.

Due to a scheduling conflict, I did not teach the amateur radio license course this week.

Thank you for reading my post.