Finally! We’ve got some serious action going on for our two repeaters – W4MT VHF and UHF (145.23.& 442.9 MHz). We have secured permission to use the site of old Fire Station 3. There is a 140-foot free-standing tower there, and an equipment room with power and environmental control.
We’ve been searching for a few years now (ever since we lost our last site), and all other prospects have fallen through. This one is a firm offer, though. Antennas should be going up soon!
I had my IC-7300 reset again in the middle of a QSO. Irritating, to say the least. I thought I had the problem solved, but evidently not.
The Samlex power supply output terminals require that you insert the power wires into them and then tighten setscrews to secure the wires and make good electrical contact. A wiggle of the wires showed that there was nothing secure about the connection, even though the screws were tight.
I did some reading, and found that the power supply manual stated that the wires inserted into the terminals should be soldered. If not, the individual strands could distort and present a reduced cross-section and thus, a reduced current-carrying capacity.
I applied solder to the power cable ends, bonding all the wires together, and then reconnected them to the power supply. I put the system through the ringer … key down, max current draw, and no reset was noted. Problem solved … I hope!
I received the SDRPlay RSP1A yesterday evening, and spent the evening getting familiar with the SDRuno software. It’s pretty complex, but allows you to interact with nearly any parameter in the receiver. So powerful!
My first hurdle to overcome was finding a USB 2.0 A-B cable. I was sure I had one in my magic tub of tangled cables, but I couldn’t find it there. I ended up “borrowing” the cable from my CW keyer. I checked Best Buy and they wanted anywhere from thirty-five to two hundred dollars for one! Must have been solid gold (including the insulation)! Amazon had one with ferrite beads for around eight dollars and it was one day delivery! Guess which one I bought?
Anyhow, using the “borrowed” cable and referring to websites and to YouTube, I got everything up and running just fine. I was listening to everything from AM broadcast to 70 centimeters. Lots of neat stuff.
It was a timely arrival, too. I had gotten on the air after work and tried to work some POTA stations and some FT4/FT8, but no luck with either. The parks stations were all down in the mud and few and far between. I think the nasty weather kept a lot of them at home. The FT stations … not sure what was going on there. I could copy them well, but they just weren’t answering. The time offset was good … I was within about 0.1 second on most of them. Just one of those things, I guess. It gave me more time to play with my new toy!
The weather yesterday was terrible! Monday the temperature was near 80 deg Fahrenheit, and Tuesday it dropped into the 30s and hit us with sleet and snow (no accumulation, thankfully!). Last night it was in the 20s and the doors on my truck froze shut and needed some serious muscle power this morning at 0530 am. So I was depressed and when I get depressed, I want to buy something 😀 !
Anyway, HRO had a Social Media Special on the RSP1A Software Defined Radio … $89.95 + free shipping for the first 100 orders ($30 off regular price). Looked neat and I had always wanted to dabble, so I sprang for one. Should be here before the weekend, so I’ll have something to play with. Maybe I’ll integrate it with my IC-7300 as a higher resolution panadapter? Who knows?
I had an issue last night. I fired up everything to work some FT8/FT4, and the rig was intermittently shutting down. I would get error messages about loss of communication with the port from Win4Icom, and oddly enough, a message from Windows Defender about how it had saved me from myself! Certainly some mixed messages!
The prime problem was the radio turning off, though. At first, I thought maybe the software was shutting it down remotely, but eliminated that. My next suspicion was that RF was getting into the laptop. That wasn’t it either!
Next, I wiggled the positive wire from the power supply to the rig … no change. Then I wiggled the black ground wire … the rig powered off! Further tugging and wiggling pulled the wire out of the terminal on the rear of the Samlex power supply. Aha!!
Evidently, the setscrew holding the wire in the terminal had loosened over time and finally, there was enough resistance to cause the voltage to drop below the minimum required to run the radio.
The moral of the story is that a simple problem can mimic a host of other problems. If your radio is shutting down, check the voltage first!