Saturday, 22 November 2014
Equipment for PMR446 antenna upgrade ordered and a few other bits
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Couple of updates
Saturday, 15 November 2014
Bazooka antenna assembled
The choke was a little bit of a difficulty to find a former for to begin with but I simply cut the handle off a cheap toilet plunger (no great loss as I can replace it).
The antenna needs to be adjusted for SWR, I face two problems here, one of which is that I do not have an SWR meter that I can use on PMR446, my decent SWR meter only covers up to 200MHz, so I need to get a new SWR meter, secondly is that I need to be able to connect the antenna to a radio and a feedline, the feedline is not a major issue as I have an RG213 feedline for my portable CB work anyway, a radio is as the feedline is terminated with a PL259, fitting the antenna socket kit on my Intek MT-5050 will not work without an adaptor as this is an SMA type connector, the modded Binatone Action 950 as you know has a BNC socket so again needs an adaptor, and my Wouxun, though not strictly legal on PMR446 also has an SMA socket so again requires an adaptor, though I need an adaptor for the Wouxun to use the j-pole I made at the club the other night.
The ultimate idea of using this bazooka antenna is to improve range of the PMR446 gateway, the gateway radio is currently using the antenna fitted to it and is attached to the window with suction hooks to give it some height in the Catterick and Northallerton direction (it has NEVER reached Northallerton and been usable there, but as the A1 is in range, only just, then a better antenna is called for as the A1 is a major through route in the area and good coverage there would be a bonus, as the Intek DRS-5070 is not fitted with an antenna socket out of the box then this needs to be done, the BNC sockets are generally cheap to obtain (the same time I used for my SDR enclosure should suffice with the outer connected to a ground in the radio (negative side of battery box)
I'll update this when the antenna has gone on the pole and been checked out for SWR.
73 de 26CT730
Friday, 14 November 2014
Amateur radio club night - 13th November
Fortunately we did not need to put them on a radio and ask one of the licensed members to test them, instead Chris G4FZN, the repeater keeper for GB3IR, brought with him an antenna analyser allowing us to test to see if our completed antennas were working fine without the need to connect them to a transmitter, mine was pretty good for a first attempt (bearing in mind all my previous antenna projects have been for 11-meters or the Delboy online RX-only 446 dipole and the last working one on transmit was my T2LT for CB, bear in mind I am also putting together a 446 bazooka antenna to the design of 26CTX965 and have not finished it yet).
This now means I have an antenna for the 2-meter band I can actually use once I am licensed, I see no harm in using it for RX-only applications in the mean time but I'd really like to test it out on transmit, the good thing is that my decent SWR meter works between 3 and 200MHz so covers pretty much everything I would be using apart from PMR446, which I will deal with later on, I shouldn't need to adjust the SWR but I will check it out either way.
Also there was mention of when I do my exam for my foundation, nothing is set in stone, a date will be decided later, in the mean time I have to do more training on Tuesday night.
Next club meeting is the 27th, though I am supposed to be doing forklift training that week I should still be able to make it to the club that evening.
73 de 26CT730
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Small TTI CB radio with included S-Meter coming soon?
Sunday, 2 November 2014
SDR enclosure almost ready for stage two
Posting this on my phone as the home QTH has no Internet connectivity since Friday morning, which has resulted in no PMR446 gateway in Richmond, unfortunately this is BT's issue as opposed to mine.
I found a second nut and machine screw today while tidying up, needless to say this allowed me to drill a second hole and fasten the USB port to the tin lid properly, I removed the SDR to drill the hole as I did not want to damage it, it was returned to the tin when the second screw was tightened.
The SDR is currently tuned to GB3IR, the local 2m repeater, the antenna is a 2/70 antenna so fine for this use, performance appears to be good, the next stage will be sealant around any holes to prevent leaks, then some vegetable oil for coolant as far as I dare fill the can, as per the information on SDR for Mariners, and a final bead of silicone sealant on the outside of the lid to be absolutely sure.
This has been a slow project but it is almost there, a scanner antenna will be next for this, hopefully I can see what this cheap SDR, when surrounded by metal and immersed in oil, can really do.
73 de 26CT730
PS, I hope to have Internet restored and the gateway operational soon