Sunday, 25 June 2017

Yaesu FT-902DM "Restoration" Part Three

Hi,

So onto the second one the PB-1708A Rectifier A board.

Here it is ;






As you can see if you look carefully - overall not in bad condition but the two capacitor on the right look a slightly different colour and so that might indicate that they have a problem.

Either way they will get replaced with new quality 105deg electrolytics.










On the underside of the board (right) you will see the
 usual Yaesu soldering but look more closely. I've circled in red a 'blobby' or poor solder joint. Being entirely fair about it - it might have been due to heat but I think its been like this from the start 
So work starts - removed the four vertical electrolytics - again be careful they have the yaseu 'glue' to hold them still when the unit was subject to vibration when it was used mobile (!!!).










Here are the capacitors as removed, as you might be able to see the two on the left have a slight 'bulge' - they were the Atwo with the slightly different colour tops.









Below  is the ESR value for one of the axial capacitors removed from the board - as you can see not too bad with and ESR of 0.19 Ohms and 3473uF  but they will get changed anyway!












Here is the replacement capacitor an ESR of 0.06 Ohms and a capacitance of 3235uF.









Remember the bottom of the board - well after a little rework etc. this is what it turned out like :-


Not perfect but pretty good, I also cleaned and re-flowed the edge connectors, if you do this make sure that the re-flow is as thin as possible - or you might open up the edge connector in the chassis and cause intermittent problems. When I put any of the boards into the chassis I use the cleaning solution that I mentioned earlier to protect and ensure a good connection.

Finally here is the completed board :-


One final note - TAKE CARE with the insertion of the vertical capacitors !! - look at the above picture - this board is a little different - the capacitors are not all in the same orientation - check and re-check - as if you get this wrong it will not be pleasant !! - I also noted that the board itself has the orientation marked on the board - but you can't see them when you put the capacitors in - so checking is a bit difficult !! 



Monday, 12 June 2017

Yaesu FT-902DM "Restoration" Part Two

Hi,

After a little testing everything tested out pretty well, RX was sensitive and working well, all the controls worked nicely with no "scratchiness" at all or needing to "rock" switches to get them to work.

Anyone who restores or repairs older transceivers will recognise these problems ! - usually quite easy to fix with the appropriate specialised cleaners - Corrosion X - I first starting to use this when I noticed that the great Kenwood restoration guru Jim, KE7OAY used it - it is really very good!) put it in a dropper dispenser and it lasts for ever and DeOxit - I recommend not getting an aerosol but getting a dropper bottle or a 'pump action' bottle - a lot easier to user and doesn't 'spray' everywhere - wasting what is a very expensive liquid !

I'll use a combination of these on the switches and pots when I clean them up - I do when I'm restoring others equipment, as a preventative and restorative measure.

So after checking I decided to replace the bias and HT electrolytic's everything checked out OK after slowly bringing up the voltage (see previous post) but these components are over  30 years old so replacement with newer, better tolerance 105deg components with better voltage ratings where available will help to preserve the radio for another 30 years hopefully !!

So after taking precautions to make sure that the radio (and its electrolytics!!) were fully discharged and the transceiver not plugged into the mains - we begin......

So board PB1717 (Rectifier C Board) first -


Before Capacitor change
Having a really close look at this board - overall its in good condition. There was no real worries about the capacitors, although the middle capacitor on the lower row (you can just see it in this picture) did look a little discolored compared to the others, no sign of stress such as bulging sides or tops.

Other components looked in good condition, although as always with this age of Yaesu equipment (or at least the ones I've worked on) the components seem to have been inserted in the board by someone who wanted to get home early on a Friday afternoon, they are not vertical and overall pretty poorly placed.

You might think a little OCD (?) but actually vertical components help heat flow and aid reliability so I usually (very carefully!) align them.
  




So on to removing the capacitors. Yaesu put these capacitors in with a small amount of 'glue' around each one as the radio could be used mobile (!) and it was an attempt to stop vibration based failure.

My approach is to use my desolder station (a god send - if you regularly repair or restore get a decent one!) to remove the capacitors. I do one at a time and start with the big ones.


removed electrolytics



Not quite sure that the photograph (left) shows it but the capacitor on the right of the photo has a very slight 'bulge' on its base, the left hand one is flat, so perhaps just as well I took the trouble to power the transceiver up carefully and I'm replacing the capacitors !!

The white / yellow stuff is the glue that Yaesu used. The trick to getting the capacitors out of this stuff is to desolder the legs carefully from the PCB and check that the legs are free, and then carefully - very carefully gentle rock the capacitor back and forth - don't force it - you may crack or damage the PCB :( 




Just for 'fun' I thought i would check the ESR and capacitance using my Peak ESR+ tester (another great bit of kit!) - 





As you can see the ESR is .49 ohms and its capacity is just over 28uF - not too bad for a 30 + year old capacitor !!!

But I'm replacing it anyway.....







So here is a comparison to the replacement capacitor as you can see its value is pretty much spot on and the ESR is slightly better at .47ohms.

The more observant amongst you will notice also that it is a higher voltage rating - 400V rather than 350V.

If possible (without going mad) I like to up the voltage rating a little, and of course improve the temperature rating to +105deg - not sure what the original ones were but most probably +85deg. This will again help aid reliability and longevity


I wont bore you with lots of pictures of removed capacitors etc.

Remember to clean the 'glue' residue off the board before mounting the new capacitors, I use a combination of a PCB 'tooth' pick tool and a little PCB cleaner - works well.

The board has the polarity of the capacitors marked with + and - , so be sure to follow those correctly, if your thinking of doing this - you'll know that the white stripe (with the - marking!) points to the minus lead - this is also the shorter of the two leads (but don't always rely on that - sometime they are trimmed incorrectly!!)

So what was the result for the Rectifier C board ?


Finished board
Again the more observant will note that I haven't change the axial capacitor at the right of the board - simple reason is that I didn't have one in stock ! - I checked it using the peak ESR+ meter and its ESR and capacitance was fine so I decided to leave it. I've order some new ones and when they arrive I'll replace it.

On a final note - always use the best capacitors you can find, a brand name like Rubycon, Nichicon (which I try to use) etc. - others may disagree

A word of caution though - use a reputable supplier - they're are fakes out there and eBay is awash with 'good value' components. I only purchase through RS Components - they might be a little more expensive (in some cases they are a lot cheaper!) but the peace of mind is priceless - especially if your doing the work for someone else !!

Now onto the next board ........ 




Saturday, 10 June 2017

Yaesu FT-902DM "Restoration" Part One

Hi,

I Often get offered equipment to repair directly, and as you know (if you read these occasional blogs!) I haunt eBay and few other forums looking for my favourite equipment, Heathkit, Drake, Collins as well as for interesting equipment that needs repair or as its known to most advertisers "Needs TLC" or "Untested - no power supply" - all of which general means - either "I've tried to repair it and I've failed" or "I've let somebody have a look at it and it came back worse than it left" or (very occasionally) people are genuine and absolutely truthful about the equipment or situation.  

We this one is an example of exactly the last one.

I was looking on one of the forums and noted a posting about an FT-902DM with Speaker unit, FC-902 ATU and a FTV-901R transverter. These were part of a silent key estate and the seller had been let down multiple times by people offering to buy and then not turning up or making an excuse. This advert said quite clearly that they had not been powered up as the seller was worried that they hadn't been used for sometime and he knew that to just 'turn them on' was a mistake (literally a big bang approach in many instances!) and he didn't have a Variac or such to do it properly so he'd left them.

Well that's a good start I thought - at least he cares and knows enough not to just turn them on. After some email exchanges and a few pictures - which showed them as in reasonably good physical shape but very dirty and unloved, I decided to purchase them. 

I've done many re-capping / restoration /  of Hybrid transceivers for other people and I have a modern 'Digital Variac' as well an 'old' style' one for just such purposes (often used for Drake and Collins kit!)  so I thought I'd give it a go for myself for a change.

True to form, I travelled to his QTH and met the gentleman selling them, he was honest as the day is long, the kit was exactly as he described and even had manuals for all the units - no interconnecting cables (but he had mentioned that) and also no rear AUX plug (remember with this or the right pins (1 and 2) being linked together the heaters wont work on the PA so no output). The 902DM did have the all important mains cable and plug though - this is good as they are increasingly hard to find and command quite huge amounts of money if they come up (£100+ !!!)

Anyway money exchanged hands and I was the proud owner of my own FT-902DM setup.

Here's some pictures of the lineup, not sure if it really comes across on the pictures how dirty and grimey they were, not the fault of the gentleman selling them I think but they way they were stored prior to him, in a garage would be my best guess.

 From the front looks good, dirty and grubby but no real marks on the from panel, all the controls work quite smoothly and the tuning dial at least moves (although you can't tell from the picture) but it did 'bind' a little on the rear skirt - possibly it had received a knock at some time - hope the VFO and the display works! - These are notorious for the counter chip going u/s - I've replaced a couple with a great kit from a Japanese amateur Teruhiko Hayashi ( JA2SVZ ) just google it if you need one.




As you can see from the picture right - this shows some of the grubbiness of the front panel / knobs etc. Nothing really to worry about on that front some ultrasonic cleaning should have them pretty much as good as new







The FC-902 looked good although as grimey and dusty as the others as well, all the knobs were there and they all moved fairly well the band switch moved with a satisfying 'clunk' - I've repaired one where this wasn't the case and it had caused arcing on the switch - it had lost one of it bearings and it caused the switch to have a very 'sloppy' action - possibly causing the issue. No such problem with this one :) 





Another picture showing how dirty it was





The FTV-901R transverter - again fairly dirty - this one was fitted with what I think was the standard 144Mhz plug in and no others
The other side of the unit


And finally the speaker unit - this isnt the right one for 902 range but was part of the lineup as it arrived. It has a white fascia edge and so is most likely an Ft-101 one. It also has a modified front panel with a fairly crude (and not central!) 3.5mm headphone socket. It is of the right impedance though and so is a worth keeping in my view - the right size etc.




So after introducing the kit - what next?

Well power it up of course !

As mentioned earlier if you have no idea of the provenance of the equipment - when it was last used or how its been stored - DO NOT JUST PLUG IT IN A TURN IT ON !!!

I would strongly recommend that you use a variac to slowly step up the voltage giving time at each step for the capacitors to re-form if needed, I would further recommend that when you have done this (I'll go through the steps I use in a moment) that you use a 'dim bulb tester' as well (not sure what one is then perhaps don't do this work - but if your interested then there a link here which explains what it is and who to build one.

I also power all my equipment via RCD breakers as well as test devices such as this radio.

I do this with all equipment - valve or otherwise - as its best to be careful.

So my regime is pretty much this (other will have their own which is no doubt better but this works for me).

1 - Check that the radio is configured correctly for the voltages (you'd be surprised how ofther this isn't the case!) - for this 902DM the case needs to be removed and the connections on the transformer checked - others might be different.

2 - When you have the case off - have a very careful look inside - look for damaged components - especially look at the capacitors in the PSU and bias areas - if need be remove casings or PCBs to do this (especially the case in hybrid radios like this one) - if there is no evidence of damage, overheating or capacitor stress (such as bulging or weeping) then move onto 3 - if in doubt don't power the radio - replace the capacitors. Also remember Capacitors can store charge for long time and so use a 'chicken stick' to discharge capacitors especially HT side if your unsure. here's a link to one if you don't know what one is here - again if you don't know about this - ask yourself should you really be doing this !! 

3 - Re-check number 1 and 2 - do this after a break (preferably the next day)  - remember these voltages can be lethal!

4 - Time to start applying voltages, I start at 25V then step to 50V, 75V, 100V, 150V, 175v, 200V and final 235V. I leave about 30 minutes at each stage, remember this is not a quick job - take your time. My electronic variac has a current meter as well - I would suggest you also have some method of checking current consumption. Don't forget to turn the radio on when you do this (!!!!)

5 - At each step watch carefully the current consumed and look and listen for any signs of stress with the radio or anything unusual such as smell etc. If current starts to rise quickly then stop - turn off and find the reason.

6 - When you finally get to the full mains voltage - leave it on and let it settle down for at least 90 mins.

7 - Finally remove the Variac (turn everything off first including the radio !) and then connect the dim bulb tester before you switch the radio on for the first time without a variac. Then switch the radio on - the dim bulb tester will glow brightly and then should settle down to a glow and the radio should power up. If the bulb stays bright you have a problem - the radio is drawing to much current - check whats causing it. 

8 - Finally start testing the unit and realignment etc. - and don't ever forget that there are lethal voltages in the radio - its bite might be fatal !

Finally a note of caution (and a disclaimer) - if you do work like this (and possibly follow my instructions) you do so at your own risk I will not be held liable in anyway whatsoever. I know what I'm doing and the risks - every radio is different - so proceed with great caution and at your own risk - if your not sure the don't do it and let someone who knows what their doing - do it !! remember these voltages can be lethal - its not 12V !!!


So if your got this far - well done - sorry for the disclaimers but these can be dangerous radios and I'd hate for anyone to hurt themselves.

After doing all that on the FT-902DM what happened ????



Well I'm pleased to say that it came up fine - no bangs or capacitor problems - display came up fine, meter bulbs and VFO backlight worked (!) - and audio from the speaker as well.

It tuned ok on all bands and peaked signals nicely on the pre-selector.

I will be replacing the HT and Bias electrolytics on the rectifier boards as the next step - in the meantime I will start testing and see what else needs doing. I may well recap the whole radio but the HT and bias are the most important - even if it did power up no problem after all my trouble to carefully step up the voltage - you never know though so take care !!

Overall a great result so far !!!

73s
Chris



Saturday, 8 October 2016

TS-790 Repair

Sometime ago (in fact over nearly a year ago!) I purchased a Kenwood TS-790 from eBay. It was described as for parts only or repair -which if you read my occasional post's you will realise its how I like  them !

I've repaired three of these for others and I own one which I love. In the repairs I've carried out previously no PA blocks had failed but one had ALC problems (faulty diodes in the 144mhz section), one had poor soldering the PIN diodes of the PA and one had been transmitted into (!!!) and so needed the front end of the 2m section rebuilding.

This one was especially interesting as it had the rare UT-10 (23cm) module, the pictures of it showed that it was in a dirty state and un-loved, the sub receiver LCD display was not working. The advert did say that it received on 144Mhz (the only band they tested) but there was no output on transmit at all, the inference being that the PA blocks in TX section were blown.

So when the auction ended I found I had won it for a very, very good price, especially remembering the UT-10 module faulty or otherwise !!!

Upon receipt the 790 was as described - dirty, unloved and definitely in need of work but did indeed have the UT-10 module !   

Initial testing proved the advert accurate, no transmit at all, it did receive (actually really well to spec on the Stabilock 4031) and the sub display was indeed dead.

Easy bits first - the Sub LCD display was working just not illuminated - the two 12v bulbs had were blown. I ordered (a long time ago!) 100's of the right bulbs with wire ends and current and so, 20 mins later the sub receiver was illuminated evenly and working nicely.

I also noticed that on SSB there was no ALC action at all, and regardless of the mike gain, the ALC was end stop (!).

At this point work intervened and I put it away for another day !

Fast forward nearly 12 months, my conscience pricked me and I had some time so I thought I'd take a closer look.

I started on the 144mhz, sure enough no output. I'm lucky enough to have a genuine service manual and so set about checking it against that, basic's first, voltages, tx switch voltages, all were OK. I went through the setup process, all were there or there, with a little adjustment all were put as per the service manual, but no output at all, checking the PA section everything looked fine. I disconnected the input to the PA stage just in case it should spring into life and to aid fault finding.
I checked again and the ALC on SSB was end stop and so started to check the ALC area's of the circuit (below)

(Copyright Kenwood)
It has a fairly standard approach to ALC with feedback from the PA sections being fed into the ALC board within the IF unit - its not unusual for this to fail, but the voltages were within reasonable levels. However on pin 7 of the unit the ALV should have been around .62v but there was none. Checking where this is derived from the 'SW' unit which turns out to be the RF power and Mike control board. 

So I have a close look at the RF Power / Mike control, it seems very slightly loose (i'd assumed it needed the collet ring tightening up) but upon closer inspection its the pot itself. Now all have a little movement, but this seems slightly more that usual.

I remove the board from the front panel and have a closer look. The front of the pot is definitely not quite right (see below)


So I de-solder the pot from the board and test it - sure enough the dual gang power pot (front one) is open circuit.

Luckily these are fairly often used in Kenwood kit and I know that I have one in a damaged front panel that I replaced on a TS-850 for someone else. - result !

I remove it from the panel, check its working (it was) and then put it in the SW board and re-assembled the front panel. 

I check the voltages now as sure enough they are correct now, the ALC isn't end stop on SSB and so I reconnect the PA stage, connect to the Stablilock and sure enough there the right output that can be controlled by the RF power control. 

Result - Fixed :)

So 144Mhz fixed and onto 433Mhz

Start again checking all the usual voltages and suspects - they are again all correct, I work back from the PA and check the input to it from the 433mhz RF section - there is an output (ie input to the PA section) but it seems very low (according to the service manual). I check and reset / tune the whole 433Mhz sections . PLL, 430Mhz section etc and get a massive output of 0.2w (200mW) output (according to the Stabilock !)

There clearly isn't enough output from the 433Mhz section to drive the PA blocks, so I disassemble the 430Mhz RF board so I can get to the bottom (all surface mount of course!) where the active components are and start checking the voltages vs the service manual (below is the section from the manual).

(Copyright Kenwood)

Prior to this element of the circuit all the inputs and voltages on each active device were correct, I expected the final pre driver (Q244) to be faulty but the voltage were correct, working back I then checked  Q223 - again all voltages correct, then Q222 (2SC3357) and found that the emitter voltage (.75v) was not present - I then check the bias components - all were OK, these are all SMT so I checked all the soldering - all were OK, so a possible faulty transistor.

I didn't have stock - so ordered up a replacement (in fact 5) NEC equivalents.

They arrived a couple of days later, genuine NEC ones (watch eBay for fakes there are lots of them!), I removed the 'offending' transistor with the hot air rework station, and replaced it then cleaned the flux off.

I re-assembled the board and tested the bias on TX and - nothing :(

Oh dear - I Then realised that in turning on and off the 790 I had selected 144 not 430 (!) 

I then set the right band, and voila the right bias was present and the output of the driver board was about the right level.

I reconnected the 433 PA unit and there was the correct output.

I noticed on this 790 as with ALL the others I've seen there was no heat sink compound on any of the PA units and so I will ensure that there will be some before I finish,

I spent some time doing a complete setup from the service manual, and all was well

RESULT - fixed.

Now onto the 1.2Ghz section..

TBC


Sunday, 24 July 2016

TS-950SD repair

Long time - no post !



Well, I've been buzy, changed jobs (twice) and so any time I've had I've concentrated on home and fixing radios.

But now things have settled down a little, I will return to occasionally blogging about fixing kit that I've acquired - in order to help others and record how they were repaired.


TS-950SD  

I found this lovely radio on the UK website hamradiodeals.co.uk which was out for a swap and clearly labelled as non working with an interesting fault.

After a little thought I contacted the poster (a lovely guy named Mike) and a deal was done for the transceiver.

I picked it up (never trust couriers even for a faulty radio) as whilst the fault might not get worse the physical condition of the radio may well do so !!

The fault as described was the receiver had a 60db carrier (FSD on the S meter) after warm up and no signals could be received regardless, the TX was perfect - full output on FM and SSB. On the bench sure enough on switch on there was no receive (also no FSD on the S meter), TX was indeed perfect in all modes. So the description was (unusually in many cases in my experience) spot on :)

So left the transceiver on for a few hours and sure enough after a while the s meter went to FSD. During the warm up I checked controls etc - all were fine with the exception of the RF gain control (which apparently didn't function) and a total lack of audio / signal receipt. I also checked the sub receiver - which did have audio and did receiver albeit at a poor (insensitive) level.

So I'd already down loaded the service manual and familiarised myself with it and so I started to look at the receive chain / receiver gain control parts of the transceiver due to the symptoms noted above.

I checked the audio amp by injection a suitable signal into it on the main receiver  input to the AF amp and sure enough it worked fine. So onwards.

I doubted that it was a PLL problem as the sub receiver (which shares elements of the PLL) was working fine with low receive, but thought I would check, by carrying out an alignment as per the manual all was fine.

This looked more and more like an AGC type fault (as there was no RF gain control operative) effectively the RX looked liked it was turned hard off when the fault was present. I checked the manual to see where I could check the voltage and noted that there was a couple of nice test points used on the alignment that would give me a good start (see below).


So Fluke to fore, measured on main AGC and to find that it was way off (can't remember the actual voltage and didn't make a note - D'oh!!!) , the sub rx was sligtly off but was adjustable to the required level (2.8V).

Making progress :) 

So started to measure voltage in the AGC area and established that they were not correct in the fault state - also they weren't stable (to be expected in an agc circuit - but these varied by volts not mv and were not signal related!). (circuit below)



the voltage (13.5, 14.5 circled in red) were all over the place and are derived from the 15v line (red on the right).

So why is the 15V line variable and where does it come from ?

Answer it comes from a sub board on the control unit called the trx board (circuit below)


And sure enough its a right pain to get to :( - its location is below



So removed the Control unit and decided to remove the trx board from the unit (thank you decent desolder station - makes this a breeze!) to take a look at the board - sure enough R156 and R157 solder flow was poor (in fact when I touched R157 it fell off the board !!


The components check out OK but I decided to replace them both just in case, I also re-flowed the rest if the components on the board as well - just to be sure.

Replaced the trx unit onto the control unit, and ensured that both that unit and the one close to it were bent away from each other to help with any heat issues - although I'm sure sooner or later (an certainly in hot climates) this fault will re-appear, the control unit is located behind the front panel as so there is not much (if any) air movement and so this almost certainly is the root cause. - I considered a small fan but in the decided that this wouldn't really work effectively.

I re-assembled the control unit with all its connectors, rechecked all and then tested again.

First thing I noted was there was noise in the receiver (I forgot to turn down the AF gain!!) and it blasted me :), secondly (when I turned the audio gain down!) - was the the RF gain control now worked correctly - ie as I reduced it the s meter slowly lit up until it was fully lit (ie fully reduced gain).

I checked the test point on the signal unit and it was still wrong (to high at 6.3V) but I could now reset it to the correct level (2.8V).

The receiver was now functioning correctly - I then did a full re-alignment of the transceiver as per the service manual - and it is now totally within spec and working exceptionally well.

Hope this might help others in the future.

Job Done :)

73s
Chris

Friday, 28 June 2013

So did the mast work ?

So, the question needs to be asked......

Did it work ?

Well the answer is ( I Think ) a resounding yes :)

The reason for no posts recently (other than being busy at work) is that I have entered two yes two contests.
Ground Level (more or less!)

The Practical Wireless 144Mhz low power and the 50Mhz Trophy contest.

Here are some pictures of the 144Mhz set-up the first one is it ready to be pumped up and the second one is it fully pumped up and ready to use.

Did it work - well I think the answer is definitely yes ! I ended up with 77 contacts (remember this is a low power - in this case 3W) contest, the furthest away being GI4 which is 419Km away, also some first for me with my first GM station on 144Mhz, as well as my first Isle Of Man station and my first French station on two - for me a brilliant personal result - I've entered the contest but as it is predominantly a portable contest I'm unsure how a fixed station like myself will be placed, several portable stations I worked had very large serial numbers !!!!
Final Height - and in use.

The best part was 30 minutes after the contest had finished, I had dismantled the antenna, the mast was 'let down' and stored away and everything was back to a 'normal' garden.

So it absolutely hit the mark with regard to the design spec that I set myself on both the time to get ready and the time to remove it.

It was so successful that I decided I would try the next weekend the 50Mhz Trophy Contest  (RSGB), This is a 24 hour contest, but does have a six hour fixed station section (6F) that seemed reasonable.

So I removed the 6M antenna from the loft space (this is a dual band 6M/4M with 3 elements for 6M and 4 for 4M).  I used the same arrangement that I  used for the previous weekends 144Mhz contest, but learnt that I could use the step ladder to aid the mounting of the rotator and antenna, and help make this truly a 'one man' operation. Here are a couple of pictures of the antenna in place and at the full height.


50/70Mhz Dual Band Antenna @ full height

As you can see it looks good (well I think so!), it was pretty gusty and so this time I took the precaution of putting two guys in the direction of the prevailing wind.

I'm pretty sure it didn't need it as it wasn't moving at all before I deployed them, but better safe than sorry.

Again, did it work ?

Well I think again a resounding yes !

I worked 38 stations, with a combined score of 340825 (claimed) , conditions were very poor, with only one or two sporadic E openings, my best DX was ES1MM/2 in  locator KO59DI this is a distance of 2045km. I also worked my first GM on 6M, and into Iceland. 


50/70Mhz Antenna close up
Whilst I was very pleased with the overall set-up and how things went the conditions were truly dire. Considering I only have a 3 element antenna and only use 100W I did pretty well, I'm currently 4th in the 6F part of the contest. Others are running larger antenna's and much more power (2 or 3 times more) so not too bad in my view.

Again the mast came down really quickly and within 25 minutes, it was back to a 'normal' garden with no mast or antenna visible.

So is the mast a success - On balance I think yes, two contest entered, both pretty convincingly - which I wouldn't have been able to without the mast. result :)

Now to up the power on 6M and get a better antenna - onwards and upwards - literally !!!!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Ordered my 144Mhz antenna

After all my hard work on the mast, I thought I would give it an airing in the PW 144Mhz low power contest this weekend (Sunday).


This is a low power (3W) contest and so it will be interesting to see how it goes. Of course to do this I need an antenna and so after looking around I thought I would try the 9 element 144MHz OWL Super-Light Yagi made by.innovantennas in Essex (www.innovantennas.com) to a G0KSC design.

Looks like a good gain figure and also a reasonable boom length as well. I will be picking it, as they are quite near where I am during the week, up so that I will have it ready for the weekend.

Now just to get the feeder and the rotator all sorted :) - I've got both (including the rotator cable) just got to get them all connected and sorted out. Something for Saturday I think.