Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Let's go to the video..

Chuck, K7QO, has posted some videos on his QRP Tech NorCal40A project on YouTube and I have relocated those published as of this date here. They are similar to his 1-Watter series except a little quicker on the up-take. That is, there isn't a lot of hand-holding. You either get it or you don't. I have added them here (and will try to add new ones as they are published).

No embellishment; here they are:

In addition to those, there's a video Chuck recently released on crystal checking. He uses a Morse code enunciator but a Colpitts oscillator in conjunction with a frequency counter can be used.


Knock yourself out!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Resurrection..or just waking up?

After what may seem like an interminable slumber and having just retired from a career of software development, I am now enjoying the fruits of my labors. (For the record, this is different than when Herb Caen famously observed that the owner of Finocchio's, where female impersonators were the staple act, lived "off the labors of his fruits".) In any event, I land upon these sandy shores with a healthy list of projects and opportunities to push out my wonderful experiences in electronics and QRP. What lays before me are hopefully idyllic days of building, soldering, testing and operating.

Note to visitors: I shall close the loop on the ARN/UM-25D cleanup (done many moons ago) and the wrap-up of the One-Watter series later. In the mean time, herewith is a post re the nascent project being started by Chuck Adams and the QRP-Tech folks (citations hereinafter) are doing to honor the 25th anniversary of Wayne Burdick's NorCal 40A QRP rig. These are preliminary shots for the benefit of my bud, WB6JDH, who will join me and others in scrounging and building these beasts. Our aim will be to do an "SnS" (Scrounger and Solder) of the 30 meter version of this as outlined by W0CH (main page here and 30-meter version here.)

Here are the pics of the QRP-Tech boards and my original TRW Swap Meet NorCal 40A find as a reference and for Dick to survey:

Top of QRP-Tech Board

Bottom of QRP-Tech Board (Flipped to Right)

Close-up of Q7A area

Close-up of Q7A Area

Small Pinholes?

More Small Pinholes?

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40 Front View

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Original Wilderness Radio NorCal 40

Thursday, December 8, 2016

..same for the old/new AN/URM-25D

As with the IG-18 in the previous post, I scored an AN/URM-25D that looked like warmed-over dog shit outside but turned out to be very promising inside. Actually, when I stuck it on the bench and checked it out just6 after the swap meet, it was dead on and rock stable. Aside from the cosmetics, the dial lights were burnt out and one of the bands was intermittent.

Here's the "before" pictures:

..replaced the lights and related circuit with some bright LEDs but am less than happy with their brilliance - but they'll do. As for the intermittent band, I disassembled the unit and started poking and prodding but could not find anything amiss with the circuit. In the procees of doing that, however, I lifted the legs on a couple of components so the could be checked. When they were re-soldered, the band seemed to function correctly. SO, I saw no reason to go further.

Here are the "during" pictures:

Afterwards, I gave it a good cleaning, repainted the case, and put it back together. Will add they "after" pictures when I get a chance.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More new old stuff: a Heathkit IG-18 rescued from the scrap heap..

To paraphrase The Bard:

When sorrows come, they come not single spies But in battalions.

But then I would have to amend that to say that old gear crops up as swap meets in clusters and this past September was no exception. Or, perhaps more precisely, it WAS and exception. Among the other items I found roiling in my nets as I hoisted it back aboard were two items that were to be R&R (repaired and "re-offered"). One was a AN/URM-25D and the other was this Heathkit IG-18 sine and square wave generator and both cost me $5 each because they looked like hammered crap -- on the outside.

Turns out that this generator -- a product of the late 70s and beloved by audiophiles for their purity and lack of harmonic distortion -- was virtually pristine on the inside. I went through this preliminarily and it seems to be damn close to tolerance. I did a few screwdriver twists on the inside and applied considerable elbow grease to it on the outside and it now resides on the shelf next to a cousin that I picked up for $20 from a previous swap meet. One day, when I am retired, I will go through it stem to stern and bring it up to dead-on.

Until then, it will be a hangar queen like its cousin. Below are the before shots. I will endeavor to get the after shots as time permits.


..stay tuned.