Monthly Archives: August 2011 - Page 2

Plans for the weekend?

It looks like we will have very varying weather this weekend, so I might spend time indoors trying to get the 4th operating position up and running. It will be using SM2LIYs IC-7400 and will also be used as one of two remote operated radios which I might also try to configure and test a bit. Another job might be to finish up the isolated room me and SM2XJP built out in the barn. I need to add boards to the inside walls and get some lighting up in the roof, because now its pretty dark in there. Also there is the RDA contest which me and SM2LIY might do some semi-serious M/S in.

If weather does co-operate I’ve done some new isolators and center bar for the 10m driven element on the beam that will be placed at around 45m height. When I had finished this work I by accident found the ones I did before which I thought I lost somewhere at SJ2W. But they were hidden under a bag in my office, how typical. Why didn’t I find them 1 hour earlier? I will need to add some 3/8″ superflex cable (donated by SG3P) and make a RF-choke out of this and also pull up the 45m piece of 1/2″ coax up the tower (donated by SM0W). There is also work to be done on the 40m yagi, such as mount the boom strut, the element-boom plates and add the elements and guy them. This beam just uses 50mm tubing on the center elements so that is why I add element guys. On the 2el ones I build later which will be SJ2W mechanical design I plan to use 60mm tubing in the center instead which should not need any guy support.

SM2LIY will also show up, so he will help me with getting branches etc away from the WARC-tower site and maybe next weekend I can try to get the excavator to dig the holes so we can pour the concrete.

We’ve also gotten a house cat @SJ2W. Me and SM2LIY noticed a cat hanging around about 1.5 month ago and she was very cuddly and lately I’ve seen her a lot. So one day when my girlfriend was walking out to the barn she stopped and said “Micke, there are two cats!”. And then I went to check and she had a kitten which is I would guess around 6 weeks old. They are currently living in my barn and after about two days of trying, the kitten finally had enough courage to approach me so I could touch him. Now I need to check that they are OK and put a neck-less with a note on the mother. So if she belongs to somebody I hope they will give me a call so I can explain it all. But if this does not happen me and my girlfriend has decided to take care of them.

The SJ2W kitten

The motor got a roof

One thing that has been on the agenda since the 60m tower was put up, was to build a roof over the rotator and base of the tower. This has been pushed forward by saying “I just need to have it done before the winter”. Now when it was quite bad weather I decided it was time to do it. I spent a few hours on it and it was finished. I would have liked a leaning roof a bit more, so that the snow would fall of by itself, but it is hard to get it “tight” around the tower base by doing that. So I just ended up with a flat roof. I guess one will need to wipe it off from time to time, but that is no problem since the tower is not very far away.

I also measured where the WARC tower should be placed. This tower might also be holding some 20m beam in the beginning, if we don’t manage to get the 40m tower up before the winter. I need to cut down some trees to make room for the guy wires and its positioned > 20m away from the guy wires of the 60m tower, so that if something happens there is no risk of it falling over the guy wires of that tower. It’s not very far from the house, so it will be very fine to use for 6m and maybe also 2m since the runs of cable will not be long.

My girlfriend is doing the work so that we have plenty of firewood before the winter. I think we probably have a couple of years worth as it is today and more waiting to be cut.

Tomorrow I intend to continue cutting down some trees and prepare so I can call the excavator to dig some holes for me.

Antenna switch system refurbished

I have been working hard on the switching system the last few days. As mentioned earlier I was tired of how it looked and decided to change the mounting of the power splitters and try to get the control lines more organized. I am very pleased with the result. I used some cable ladders that I had gotten donated by SM3WMU which made it easier to handle the quite large amount of cables.

I’ve just briefly configured one openASC box and that works on all bands except 10m. I think I have some problem in the power splitter for that band, will investigate more tomorrow. I will now be able to use 10, 15, 20 and 40m on all four radios and with addition of 2 more power splitters for 80/160 I will be able to route those bands to all radios as well. Right now they are only on radio 1 and 2.

I’ve been thinking a long time about making it possible to unhook the 2×60 leaded control lines between the driver cards in the basement to the antenna switches located out in the barn. This is to make it pretty much impossible for close by lightning to ruin any of the driver electronics. Because even though I have transient protection I don’t fully trust it to 100% There is no safer way than just disconnecting everything. So I sat down and pealed and soldered a total of 240 leads, which was later installed. So I peeled a total of 480+ cables, a real pain.

Now I will also install some cable terminals that was donated by SG3P which has got the possibility to break the connection between the poles. That will be installed to the rotator cables so that everything to the house is unhooked, except the beverages. But for those I’ve gotten some GDTs to add as protection against surges.

Here are some pictures,

Cleaing up the antenna switching

Today I first did work some on making it possible to use the fireplace in the basement again. Its half done, so I will try to finish it up tomorrow.

SM2LIY did move the 2 half squares for 30m to another position and has put the cables into the antenna switch room. A 6×1 box has been mounted so that we can hook up WARC antennas and route them to the main antenna switch system, so that no manual switching will be needed and the amplifiers can be used on them.

SM2XLL said yesterday that we should mount the stairs up to the switch room again since it has been removed since two years back. So today he showed up and we mounted the stairs again and also brought me some tape he bought in town. Its funny how a job which has been put on hold for 2 years gets done in 20 minutes, why not just do it at once?

I decided to do something I have been thinking of for a while since its been raining today, and that was to redo all the antenna switching so that its more tidy with cable ladders and proper accessories to mount cables easily. I also added the 2nd 6×2 switch which makes it possible for us to have four radios hooked up so that they can access all antennas plus I added a power splitter for 10m. Its only half finished though, I hope to finish it all up tomorrow except the power splitters for 80/160m which still need to be built. Do you have any 7/16″ females for chassie mounting which you don’t use? Then I need some of them to finish up the switch system.

Now me and SM2LIY will try the sauna since we now have the SM0W hinges mounted and ST0R in the log on the low bands 🙂