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Sunday 23 August 2015

Progress with the shack

I may or may not have mentioned in my last post about rearranging the shack somewhat, as it stands the work I have done thus far is as follows
  • Moved the existing Maplin PSU to the shack desk and placed above it a Unilab multi-voltage power supply that I acquired recently, the Unilab supply is unique in that is has AC and DC output and the mains cable coming out of the front, it also has a carry handle, both these power supplies are in the place where my Midland BaseCamp446 used to be, that is on top of the supplies
  • removed an empty computer case to bring the top of the two in-use computers level with the desk, freeing up some space to move my soldering station and allow easy access to the power leads for the various chargers and power supplies.
  • Brought in the President Grant II CB radio and connected it to power and my homebrew extension speaker (after rewiring the speaker cable), this awaits some form of antenna
  • placed the chargers for the Wouxun and the two Baofeng handhelds in easy reach, the two Baofeng chargers are on top of the Grant II temporarily, the Wouxun charger is on top of the soldering station base unit.
  • Nailed a hook into the wall for my Sony MDR-V150 headphones, I chose these over the Sony MDR-XD200 headphones, the MDR-V150 headphones are plugged into the front port of the shack computer
  • Relocated the DVD rack that is behind the television in my living room further back to allow the shackcam to be relocated further back until it can be swapped out for a Raspberry Pi on the network, a possibility as I should have one Ethernet cable spare after an IPTV installation which is to come, thus freeing the camcorder currently in use for other things.
To do is mount the monitor to the wall, the current monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 152v, this is a 4:3 monitor with a 100x100 VESA mount, once this is done further desk space will be made available for the shack and accommodation of new radios for other bands will be possible, a base 2-meters rig is something I am after and I plan to use one with a homebrew antenna, hopefully I can get a suitable all-mode rig at Newark in September as right now I am stuck with 2-meters FM on handies and mobile. as for CB, the Grant II is my new home rig as I plan to part ways with the Moonraker FA5000, antenna wise, for 2-meters I plan to cobble something together and for CB I may get away with my existing or a second T2LT.
I am pleased with progress so far and hope to have things finished in the next week or so, starting with the monitor as moving it to the wall is priority number one as the more desk space I can free up the better

73 de M6RSQ/26CT730

Saturday 22 August 2015

Long overdue update

Due to personal reasons radio has not been at the front of my mind, nor has a lot of things to be honest aside from work where I have been exceptionally busy, my last radio activity was the "big net" for a year of legal AM/SSB CB, I set up at Tan hill but had no replies whatsoever, was also still too windy to put up the T2LT and my fibreglass mast is in need of a little TLC.

On the Amateur front, I am still attending the club, however not been on air so much lately, however I am making some major changed to the shack, first and foremost attaching the computer monitor to a wall mount to free up some extra desk space, the main 7A PSU has been moved from the shelves to the desk, above it is an ageing Unilab variable voltage PSU with both AC and DC outputs though I've not connected any load to this yet, and on top of those is my Midland BaseCamp446.

The Moonraker FA5000 CB will be removed from the shack, as it still works I may sell it on, my Midland Alan 78 Plus Multi B may also be sold on as I have my President Grant II and may be able to pick up another legal AM/FM/SSB CB as these come onto the market through the usual outlets.

Antenna wise, only my loft CB antenna and tuner at the moment, I still have the part-finished 446 bazooka antenna but have not put it on air or even tuned it properly, I still have a slim-Jim for 2-meters lying about but I was thinking for the sake of discretion to build an extremely lightweight 2-meter groundplane antenna out of nothing more than some bits of copper wire and an SO239 chassis socket, a new 2-meter rig is needed in the shack so I don't have to worry about handies and the batteries running out, I may be able to pick a used but working unit up from the National Hamfest next month.

Going back to the CB rig side of things, my Grant 2 developed an unusual issue during the "big net" weekend back in June, normally on SSB there is no power unless you speak, not according to the S-meter on the Grant 2, which was generating some sort of noise, this may have been the mic as it has since stopped after I did some fiddling, on AM and FM audio seemed to be fine, but despite this the fiddling with the mic seemed to have cured the problem for now.

I am making steady progress to get back into more radio, and maybe get my significant other interested, after all if we're both licensed we can do anything Amateur radio related together, and I would like that as I do know there are plenty of couples out there that are both licensed, so why not me and my significant other

Right, I'm caught up, probably be next posting from or about the National Hamfest unless I have some major QSOs in the mean time, also I may get some HF work done if I can get a suitable HF antenna built and a suitable rig acquired, another hamfest one I think.

73 de M6RSQ/26CT730