Sunday, 17 November 2013

Time for a change... and the amplifier gets kicked out.


Today was that day we all have to go through but all put off as much as possible. The dreaded shack clear up, it had to happen and today was as good as any other day. Of course before I did anything I worked a station in Oman on 10m FM A41LD/ND, Waleed, oddly he was calling CQ but had no takers, it as nice to have a decent QSO with a DX station without having a 59 - 73 type QSO and moving on.

I started my shack clearing work by taking everything off the bench and emptying the small computer desk I use and then slowly built the whole thing back up, once it was done I noticed that the bands seemed to be poor despite them being much better before I did anything. It turns out I had some losses somewhere from a combination of switches and patch leads. I undid the whole thing thought up a new plan and started again.

Thankfully now it all works well and to test it I had a nice QSO with K8NY ( Bob) on 12m using the Drake TR-7 and Butternut HF-9V. The new setup has the Drake set up permanently in line with antennas and microphones and connected to its own power supply and ATU/antenna switch. The most important thing about this move is that the Drake takes up the space where the linear amplifier once sat. Yep, I finally did it and took the linear away ready to sell it.

While in QSO with Bob, K8NY, I mentioned my boredom with high power and easy QSOs, he said he had been thinking the same and although he has an amazing setup he finds no thrill in using it like he does to use his old radio into a G5RV antenna on 80m CW. We talked about QRP and simple setups for a while and I left the QSO challenging him to work some DX on 500mw from his FT-817 for a real buzz in radio, Bob said he may just take me up on the challenge.

The images below show the linear free shack ready to work some interesting stations, This is a very small and simple shack space, I hope that what I have keeps me happy because unless I buy a much bigger house or build on a extension this is going to be it for some time.




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