Sunday, November 27, 2011

CQ WW DX CW 2011

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty   ZN
   3.5      22      54   18   10
     7     183     513   76   19
    14     102     280   63   17
    21     127     354   68   22
    28     163     453   89   26
 Total     597    1654  314   94
Score: 674,832

Had a great time working the CW contest this year.  This was an personal best for me at this station.  Running the Cushcraft R7 vertical on a pole in the backyard.  
Working conditions 
N1MM logging software
DM780 running in background to 'help' with decoding
K1EL USB Winkeyer
FT-1000Mk V (with all the filters)
Alpha 78
Cuschcraft R7
Dentro MT-3000A tuner Used to load the R7 on 80M (works ok with 130 ft feedline)
W3LPL or K1TT  for Telnet 


After reading Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy I really came to understand that many of the operators are so much better at CW than I am it seems to help them to go a bit faster.  Going faster than the pile up seems to help.  After 49 years of hamming my CW is still improving (but is still not very good). I found this year that I made many QSO's with the keyer set at 29-33 WPM with only a few slower and a few faster.  One by accident I set the key at 42 and the op came right back --no problem!  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rybakov 4:1 Unun

Started working on another End Fed Half Wave matcher that will take a bit more power.  I have been using the PAR 40 Meter at 10-15 ft and it works well for the ECARS regional net on 40M.
Coil ready to go int box t200-2

Here is a T200-2 core with 14 turns of Zip Cord sitting in a radio shack project box getting ready to be mounted.  (Still under construction)

Here are some interesting links for end fed half wave antennas or other hi impedance wires.
Rybakov antenna the start of the 4:1 Unun idea for me

Steve Yates excellent article on End Fed Half Wave Antennas

Amateur Radio (G3TXQ) - UnUn experiments

Good write up on the Cushcraft R5/R7 matcher

Good write up on Inv-L multiband 


UV3R with broken Display

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Heathkit Shop P/S board in Drake AC-4

AC-4 Bottom

AC-4 Top View

Installed the 'Heathkit Shop' power supply board today and got it working on the AC-4.  I followed the directions as well as I could but had to put the board on the 'wrong' side of the transformer because that was the way the screws were installed in the transformer.  The board fits but it is closer to the end of the chassis as there is more room on the other side.  Also the wire kit does not really fit when the board is on the opposite side.  It works find and the AC ripple is now lower.

With the AC-4 running the T4XB I show 740 B+ (720 with PTT down but no audio), 278 V DC on the mid supply with about 4V AC and -60 VDC on the bias with .0 VAC .  I don't think my VC-99 Auto ranging meter does well on the AC ripple measurment on the B+  it still jumps from 3 hundred to 4 hundred reading.  Then I tried AC reading while putting more of a load on the supply by closing the PTT line and putting the T4XB in Xmit this gave .6 VAC on the B+, .4VAC on the 250V line and 0VAC on the bias so this is better than what I was showing before.  The B+ reading was not accurate before so I can't comepare really.  The 250 V line was dropping out of regulation and the OA2 was going 'dark' when the PTT was closed.  This is now back to the OA2 just dimming a bit (normal) and the ripple went from about 5VAC to .6VAC so that is the big change.  
In general the kit is well done and makes it easy to re-do these old things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drake PTO Question?

Ready for Install with braid added
'Fork' Resoldered and Braid attached

PTO with cover off

Tuning rod end

Got the PTO rod out today Yea!  Yes, the PTO is out of the rig.  I ran the fork to the end of the screw then undid the tension adj hex screw.  Of course then the balls started to drop out and I removed the plastic gear and it's rod by removing the 'clip washer' (not sure what it's real name is).

Next was to reattach the rod to the 'fork'.  I decided to 1st try the 'heat gun' approach with a 1400 watt industrial type heat gun rated at 800-1000F.  I was going to do it outside but decided to use my aluminum darkroom tray that I use under the Cantenna as a 'heat shield'.  I placed the rod assembly in a 8" crescent wrench and let the rod stand vertically with the fork sitting on top.  This worked OK but the 'fork' was not quite level and needed to be heated a 2nd time to get it closer to the proper 90 degree angle.  While I had the heat gun I decided to solder a piece of solder wick braid to the end of the fork.  I could not get the solder to flow on the fork by itself so I used my regular small Hakko iron AND the heat gun and got the end of the fork tinned with a small blob of solder, then the braid was put on top and held with the solder iron and gave it another blast with the heat gun.  

Later I am going to clean off the rest of the old grease and try to reassemble the same way.  The dial shaft bits are all still intact and I may want to disassemble it as well,

Today's question is: will I be able to get the balls back in without taking the dial shaft apart (same as it came apart for me) or is there a 'Better' way to get the bearing back together.  Should I use a drop of new grease or just leave some of the old grease and add a drop of 3in1 oil to it?  

As far as the re-soldering goes I wonder if the heat changes the iron parts enough to worry about. Will find out I guess....