Monday, February 12, 2007

Got the TenTec 238B High Power Antenna Tuner and an MFJ dummy load into the shack this evening.

Time to play with the antenna tuner and my current antennas.

A couple interesting discoveries.

  1. My rig's SWR protection circuit will "fold back" the power to about 10W.
  2. It takes about 30W to get the 238B's SWR meter to set correctly.
  3. The 238's tuning procedure assumes that its SWR meter is set correctly.
  4. Things tune easier if you understand what the instructions REALLY say to do when the best match is obtained when the capacitor is set to zero. (Go to the other side of BYPASS)
  5. The G5RV Jr REALLY sucks on 30m (I knew that, but rediscovered it).
  6. My 80m EFHW inverted-U tunes pretty well on 30m (I didn't know that)
  7. Next time I'd rather play with the antenna tuner using an antenna analyzer rather than my nice expensive rig...

It was funny discovering the feedback between the rig's SWR protection circuit and the tuner as I was dialing things in. As the tuner was tuned better, the SWR would go down, allowing more power through and generally messing with the metric that I was using to judge "success."

Once I figured out what was going on I could compensate, but things were really weird for a couple of minutes... ;-)

All in all a good evening. It will take one more evening to formally characterize the antennas and create appropriate "cheat sheets."

Once I have that down it will be time to lay in...

(crack of thunder and organ music)

.. the amplifier.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

The plan was to get up at 07:00 PST and work the VT, DE and MN QSO parties this morning before taking the dog to the vet, a long delayed Home Depot visit and a couple other errands.


There were too many things going on this morning to make any coherent progress. Most of the signals I heard were FOC contesters. The RTTY signals I was hearing were mostly rag chews. The phone was scattered all over the place, but no testers.

Finally answered a FISTS CQ and picked up another set of FISTS & CC #'s.

The best laid plans of mice and me...

Oh well... Perhaps I'll get on and try the Mexican RTTY contest this evening.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Futzing around with the sx/260 and my UPS.

The goal is to have the sx/260 running a Telpac node and be able to ride through any minor (up to about one hour) power outage.

So I needed to install the UPS software.

GAG! The software weenies have taken over the world "UPS Server" "UPS Agent" "UPS Console"

GAG! GAG! I _just_ want to have the UPS tell the computer to gracefully shutdown.

I don't want to "play" network administrator.

And after all this? I still probably have the computer plugged into a "surge" outlet rather than a "UPS" outlet.

Need to check more tomorrow.

Not to mention that the network equipment UPS croaked a couple months ago. Prolly just needs new batteries, but... one more hassle.

Back at it...


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