Monday, January 30, 2012

Desert Rats Ham Fest, Palm Springs, 1/28/12

I went as both a swap seller, and a SBMS microwave demonstrator. The latter got me an awesome parking spot. ;) The 10 Gig demo didn't go so well, I was not able to QSO with Mel up in Upland. However, it was certainly a sellers market, I probably grossed higher at this swap than any I ever sold at. Too bad I spent a lot of it at the 'fest. ;) Finally got a Bird 43 meter. Also picked up a  Byonics APRS tracker and GPS combo. Also got some badly needed RF adapters, a pair of UHF Moto Sabers that look very promising, and some more land-mobile junk that I hope to bash into a toy repeater (read: academic project) someday soon. Didn't win anything with my $20 worth of lottery tickets!

Sold my SX-99, the 4-1000 amp RF deck, and the biggest sale of the day was the DX-100B. Here's a couple pix right before it goes away, It felt as good selling this thing as it did the red truck. ;) Not that it was a pig by any means, its just heavy as hell and I've wanted to sell it for a long time. Too pretty for my junky collection!

Junior in the background in that last one, more:

Sorta silly I didn't take more pics there. Busy day. I've enjoyed this 'fest two years now, so I anticipate heading back next January. I volunteer myself to do some more thorough microwave coordination next year also!

Microwave radio parts at an unlikely place.

The "U-Pick-Parts" junkyard in Sunland. There's always Ford Exploders in there, and I needed a "new" plastic intake plenum-tube thing. After retrieving what I needed from a '94 that incredibly did indeed look worse than my '93, I figured I'd double back to where I saw a bunch of taxi cabs and look for radio bits and NMO antennas. Nothing. Saw a row of big-rig truck cabs.

One had a funny radome-looking thing mounted up high. I mean, really high, it was about 9 feet up off the ground. I got up under it and looked, and saw what I had hoped, Qualcomm! So this was what an omni-track looks like when its not in pieces in an old cardboard box at an SBMS meeting. ;)

So I moved a big truck wheel underneath of it, and held on to that spring thats on the back of the cab that holds the air brake lines, and removed the thing. At $17, it will be the most expensive one ever converted to Ham use! Fun convincing the cashier it was "just" a fancy antenna.

under that rotating antenna:

Now its starting to look familiar!

Catching up:

Its been a busy month.

I sold my ugly red '68 F-250,

...which created an opportunity to divert funds toward purchasing both a FUNcube dongle VHF/UHF SDR receiver (MUCH more on this thing in the future!) and a HP 8924C CDMA Mobile Station Test Set (no, I didn't buy it from them, but a good description) which is really just a convoluted name for a Service Monitor & Spectrum Analyzer with a tracking generator.

I had little time to play with the new toys, as the W6IEE ham fest vehicle, a '93 Exploder, needed an entire engine cooling system replacement and a transmission service. This was in preparation for driving a bunch of stuff down to the Desert Rats ham fest, more on that in a bit. And of course, I wouldn't dream of not doing that automotive work myself. So, all that left very little time for typing in boxes, what with time for sleeping and the annoying, painfully boring detention at that place called "work." <--indicates the job needs to be replaced!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

HF Vertical is back up.

A little higher than before, too. It sorta just started falling down during a light rain, about a week before the big windstorm at the end of last November.

New and improved base, should last a lot longer than just one year! And yes, I took the milk-crate off of the roof.

View from the ground.

Playing with a brick

I wasn't much interested in SKN last evening, but I certainly had CW on my mind. I want to on-off key this microwave brick I got on ebay. 108 Mhz in (thats what the Si570 synth and is doing, and I don't have a 12 dB attenuator for it in size "small.") gives 10368 at 9dBm out. Way too powerful, swamped poor Junior. ;)

I found I could alter the reference frequency a bit, and thusly shift the output frequency, but output power dropped off, the signal wasn't so clean... It just wasn't too "happy" in a way I can seem to quantify.

But yes, I want to find a way to key it. A pin diode switch?

TRW swap meet report for 12/31/11

It was foggy in Redondo! Unlike the HOT weather we've been having in Burbank. But it burned off quickly and the sun was out.

I didn't go to sell, just to shop, as I had figured my client base still has no money. ;)

I did take my Ameco TX-86 transmitter and sold it to Mr. Snort Rosin WB6TNL, who is an Ameco afficionado. I used those funds toward a VHF Spectra and some misc. hardware, and therefore was only out fifteen bucks.

Happy New Year!

I resolve to get stuff posted quicker. ;)