By Jack Roland, CBRE, AMD and CBNT
KLove /Air 1 EMF Colorado Engineering.
Greetings all, and Merry Christmas for 2014
Since we are into the winter months now I have finally managed to get on 160 meters fairly consistently with the antenna I wrote about earlier this year stretched in a “U shaped dipole” around my backyard. I have met several new ham friends around the Colorado Western Kansas area including checking into the western kansas 160m net is on 1.960 LSB at 8 PM mountain time on Tuesday evenings. And I am hearing a great deal of CW activity from the QTH in Wheat Ridge. Lots of fun to be had on “Top Band” and I will report on more activity as the winter progresses. Very cool!
One of my “hobbies” within the hobby of ham radio is buying/trading gear that I have obtained or been gifted with. I had a gentlemen give me a set of repeater cans for VHF, I had traded for some coax, and then I had bought a Ranger 5054 RCI-DX-100 6 meter rig, which I might mention went with me to the top of a Colorado 14 thousand foot peak to make ham radio contacts. I just recently traded all that for this:
Now she needed a little bit of dust and dirt cleanup, but is in fine working condition other that the fact that the backlight isn’t working. Research shows this to be a fairly simple fix replacing a transistor in the dimming circuit and maybe a couple of capacitors. This was a fairly common defect in these radios with the backlight. The transmitter has no heat sink to speak of and when people would lower the brightness of the backlight the transistor would essentially have to absorb more energy, hence more heat and no real heat sinking to speak of. All the latest information says to always leave the backlight brightness control turned all the way up and the transistor will last longer. Also there are several mods and the way to do them on YouTube to essentially make the transistor last as long as the radio now, due to the ingenuity of many Icom 746 owners. I will be putting that to effect when I replace the transistor and let you know how it goes right here as soon as I get the new part. Had to order it from China of course. Stay tuned……………
My good friend Ray, AAØL who is the CE for the Cumulus stations in Colorado Springs and a group of amateurs in the area got together and have formed the DSES, “Deep Space Exploration Society”. (http://www.dses.org/. From the website:
The Deep Space Exploration Society is a Colorado nonprofit organization that exists to foster the exploration and understanding of space by preparing members, students and the public to participate in that exploration. We facilitate experiments designed to expand our knowledge of space and execute ground based missions designed to support those experiments. The unique contribution we hope to provide to future exploratory missions is a low cost alternative satellite downlink groundstation and tool for pursuing radio astronomy.
For over 20 years our facility was located in Boulder County, Colorado and consisted of two fine old 60 ft parabolic dish antennas capable of receiving radio signals over a wide range of frequencies (100 MHz to 10 GHz) from celestial objects or space craft. This facility, located west of Longmont, CO was used for many years in research until its retirement about 1975. Our challenge over the last decade was to restore and update the facility to provide a compelling alternative to the very expensive Deep Space Network antennas (located in the western US) using volunteer effort and the very limited resources available to us. In 2009 an identical dish antenna was donated to the society and since the Boulder facility was not owned by DSES we began to concentrate on this site near Haswell, Colorado.
Ray is building some of the new components needed for remote steering and aiming the dish even as this is written. Check out the website for more great pictures, information and the future use of the dish even by amateurs. What a great EME antenna this will be!
Oh, and this was sent to me as a possibility for engineers:
Don’t forget the Monday Night Broadcast Engineering IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING at 7pm Mountain time for radio discussions, both broadcast engineering and amateur radio. The first and 3rd Mondays are also SBE NET nights. Details on how to join are at http://www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet. I hope you will be able to join us and share your engineering and ham exploits!
73’, Merry Christmas, and God be with you. See you next time! de KEØVH