Aug 14
Greg’s N5XO’s New station section is now completed….and operational from 160 meters to 70cm…….  
Still have one more shelf to put in above the speakers and a little bit more backup gear to go in there….but the main shack is 100% operational……. 
 
Get all the stuff cleaned up from this project out from under my desk and I’m on the air…..
All antennas, radio’s, etc are fully operational.   The only thing left out side of cleaning up after this project is get 220 Volts dropped into the area to run the 3 amp’s…….
Photos here…
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Jul 30

I may have mentioned to some of you that I had switched 100% over to using Anderson Power Pole connectors a few years back. But unless you wanted to shell out some big $$ to buy those power blocks from West Mountain Radio to the tune of $55-$100+ each, you had to build your own power block splitters.

Exhibit Hall inside - Grumpy WF5Y not so grumpy todayLocal Ham Operator, Grumpy, WF5Y, has a home-brew flat panel with 8 Anderson Power Pole connectors, each with their own fuse, similar to the WMR version, and he was asking $50 each at the Austin Summerfest. 

But after visiting with the DC Power folks from Beaverton, Oregon, www.dcpwr.com, during the Plano Hamcom last June, I went to Wes Allen K7WWG’s web site to see what he had available.  I found an affordable solution in the form of a Red-Dee-2 8 port connector block (Model PS-8) that would allow me to feed power to 7 other devices.  The price?  $28 plus shipping.  

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Jul 22

N5NTG_Emergency_Go-Kit_1Our regular readers will remember a posting we made earlier (June 12, 2009) about an Emergency Go-Kit Idea that involved some minor surgery to a Stanley Toolbox with wheels, by adding a couple of sealed lead acid batteries in the bottom compartment, a 12 volt 30 amp Pyramid power supply, a 300 watt DC to AC power converter, a home-brew battery charging circuit, etc.

I’ve made some more progress on this project, adding an external on/off  switch to control the exhaust / cooling fan on the side of the toolbox, and adding an external AC power plug on the other side to make it more convenient to plug in up to two AC devices to the emergency go-kit toolbox.   Of course, I suppose you could use a power strip to plug in more, but the circuit is limited to 15 amps and the converter will only handle 300 watts.  I’ve labeled the exterior plug warning of the limitations, and also have a surge reset button mounted nearby.

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Jul 16

N5NTG_Emergency_Go-Kit_1Here’s a photo taken of me on Sunday, July 12th, about 3 hours before my van held an impromptu BBQ Cook-off in the middle of the road.

Little did I know what was about to happen, but I sure looked satisfied at the time of this photo, at least with the progress I was making with my emergency go-kit in a rolling tool box.

By the way, the story posted earlier about W21IK and his antenna test at Bullis County Park?   This photo was taken by W2IK during that event, because he said it wasn’t fair that I got to take all the photos and hide behind the camera. 🙂

I started out with a plain heavy duty Stanley brand toolbox w/ wheels available from Wal-mart for about $20. 

This toolbox was selected because the wheels were mounted on a single piece steel rod shaft that ran the full width, from wheel to wheel.  In other words, the wheels weren’t simply snapped onto the sides like some of the other cheaper models I had looked at elsewhere.  Also, I had looked at some two-piece toolboxes that stacked, but they ran the risk of having the two pieces come apart at the wrong time while loading or unloading from your vehicle, or rolling to where ever you needed the kit to be.  I just liked the idea of a one-piece double stacked toolbox with strong wheels that were unlikely to come off at the wrong time.

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Jul 16

Van arrives at K-Comm ready for today's out patient surgery.I wish to thank all of those readers who have expressed their concerns over the loss of my van last Sunday to the engine fire. 

The old van now has a new home in a junkyard somewhere in Texas, and I now have a new(er) van sitting in my driveway with seriously less mileage and years than the old van had on it.  

The new van is a late model Chrysler Town & Country mini-van with a factory installed alarm, dark limo tinted windows, sliding doors on both sides, and more option packages than I’m normally used to having.  At first, I was concerned about the black exterior causing the van to be too hot, but actually, it hasn’t been any hotter than my old van got on a summer day. Guess that’s why I always put that window shade in the front  windshield when not driving.  Those shades really work!

I sent out tweets and emails to various groups and individuals asking for input / suggestions on the best way to install the antenna in this type of vehicle. 

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Jun 1

Announced in late 2007, but just now coming to the USA, Yamaha presents their newest toy, the 4×4 Wave Runner, combo 4×4 off-road bike and jet ski. Not sure how expensive a toy this is, but I’m sure it is outside my budget. Here’s a YouTube video showing how it works. Blonde on the back of the bike (toward end of video) is probably not included in final version. – Lee N5NTG

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
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May 2

Dear Fellow Hams!  Just in case you were unaware of this free source of information about ham radio hardware “fixes”, I chose to share this recently received electronic newsletter from www.mods.dk to which I subscribe.

While the site is hosted in Germany, the site is written in English.  I’ve found lots of hard to find manuals for obscure radios, or current radios.  And if you wanted to modify a radio, but didn’t know how, they usually have the instructions.  Of course, I’m not trying to encourage anyone to make illegal mods, or to use their transmitter in an illegal fashion.  But there are legit reasons for being able to receive or transmit out of what was “normal” when a rig was built, such as the 60 meter band that was recently opened for hams to use (few years ago).   Many older HF rigs won’t go there without a mod, like the  ICOM 706MKII-G, etc.

Anyway… Here is the newsletter I just received today.  If you find it interesting, please visit their website and sign up for your own copy.  It only comes out every 2 or 3 months.

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