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Sunday 17 August 2014

Follow up to previous Amateur radio club post

So I returned to the Post Office where I saw the information the following day and bothered to take note of it, the date was 18th September with a start time of about 7:30pm (or this is what I put in my calendar). and it will be taking place in Colburn, if they do not offer training of any sort I can simply go to Bishop Auckland anyway, but to have an Amateur radio club closer where I do not have to travel miles is a great help so it will be a bonus if they do offer the training and I can get my foundation at the very least, maybe even my intermediate, aiming for full license by 2015 if possible, though it could take longer depending on what my employment prospects hold.

So, about a month or so to wait, and I'll be able to begin my journey to licensed amateur, it's been a few years in the making but it might well be happening very soon, also it will allow me to meet new people who share a common interest.

So let's see what happens

73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 12 August 2014

New Amateur radio club possibly starting in local area in September

At a local Post Office today, one that is at the very back of a Co-Operative supermarket, I saw a flyer for what appeared to be a soon to start Amateur radio club in the village of Colburn, a stone's throw from my current work, and about 15 minutes travelling depending on traffic, weather, and other external factors.

Their first meeting is scheduled to be a date in September, when this is I did not record as I had other things to do such as make my way back home after work, however it does mean that for general club activities I do not have to travel to the Bishop Auckland club at Stanley Crook, I may still have to do this for my exams however, though this is a one-off hassle per exam, I now have a target set, get my foundation license by the end of the year, I have the "Foundation Licence Now" book, so I suspect I am best getting to the revision again.

I am very pleased by this turn of events, and all I intended to do was post a large letter and pick up something for dinner, I will be going back over to the Co-Operative store in question to get the dates noted down in my phone, it's an opportunity to get more involved in the Amateur side of things, I may as well take advantage of it, and with a bit of luck you may hear me on the bands and GB3IR with an M6 call, of course I'll still be on CB and PMR446 with my CT callsign

I'll update this with more soon

73 de 26CT730

Thursday 7 August 2014

Portable power pack completed

Wednesday lunchtime I had arrived home, and found the postman on the estate already out delivering mail, I had got to the home QTH before the postman could deliver my mail, once it did come the combined volt and ammeter for the portable power pack had arrived.

The voltage is displayed in red on the top row, the current in Amperes is displayed in blue on the bottom row, with no load the display will show 0A, it is rated to 10A if simply wired in line with the negative side of the circuit, I don't expect a current draw above 4A at most.

I may regulate the output so that the voltage at the cigarette lighter terminal is constant, however the radios are working without regulation though they are down a little on TX power though this should make very little difference

So, just to finish the antenna off and get it on a pole

73 de 26CT730

Sunday 3 August 2014

Portable power pack almost done

This morning all 10 of the batteries were completely charged up, I have on order a dual voltmeter and ammeter (voltage and current measurement on the same display) so I can keep an eye on both current draw and battery state at the same time.

The batteries will be going in the unit shortly so tests can begin to make sure it will handle various loads, specifically CB radios and, for power cuts at home, phone chargers, also to see what voltage these particular batteries really show on the output (they are Maplin 2400mAh rechargables), some batteries may show 1.25 V at the terminals, that's about 12.5V for 10 batteries, some may show 1.3 at a full charge but this could be very rare (it would give 13V).  During the tests a basic multimeter is to be wired across the terninals to check voltage.

So I shall get on with that and report back later

73 de 26CT730

Saturday 2 August 2014

Portable power pack under construction

Since I returned home last night I have been working on a portable power pack that uses 10 AA size rechargeable batteries for portable work, inspired by 26CTX104, I have made the design as such that it is enclosed, the battery box can be detached from the cigarette lighter socket by removing two screws.

The batteries themselves, currently, are Maplin 2400 mAh rechargables, at around 1.2V per cell to get the required 12V, I suspect combined capacity is 24Ah, based on my theory that there's 10 of them, and 10x 2.4Ah is 24Ah (2400mAh being 2.4Ah).

A voltmeter will be integrated into the design later to ensure there is sufficient charge in the batteries at all times, nothing worse than running out of power mid-QSO.

So, I have another 6 batteries to charge and my charger only takes 4 at a time, so I best go do that and I'll post and an update later on

73 de 26CT730