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Freaking spammers.

By JonathanGuthrie, 14 February, 2024

Lots of things have happened.  For one thing, I lost my job last November.  The end of the year is an awkward time to look for work, so I'm only a little concerned that it's February and I'm still not working.  I did choose to go ahead and get an Elecraft KX3 system, including a panadapter and 100W amplifier, and I also chose to send my FT-102 back to Mal NC4L to get it repaired.  Apparently, the master oscillator had failed again.  No one is quite sure why.  Anyway, all the gear is here except for the Elecraft amplifier, which is still backordered.


By JonathanGuthrie, 1 July, 2023

I've updated Drupal to V10.  I had been using V7, and it was getting quite a bit long in the tooth.  The new version has got more active development going on and should be easier to update.  Who knows, maybe it will even have fewer critical security updates.  The downside is that the theme I had been using isn't really available under the new version and I really don't like messing with the minutiae of aesthetics, so it looks different.

C'est la vie.

By JonathanGuthrie, 25 May, 2023

This week, I had a couple of interactions with a company called DX Engineering They're a big ham radio dealer in Ohio that I sometimes buy stuff from.

You see, I got laid off recently and there was a severance, and so after finding new employment, I decided to spend some of the money on some new gear. I've wanted a Yaesu FT-847 for a while now and, while that particular radio is long out of production, it's pretty readily available on the used market. So, I bought one. That's when the trouble began.

By JonathanGuthrie, 25 March, 2023

Yesterday, I got the ladder out of the garage and connected the ends of my suspect feedline to my NanoVNA, and observed that there were many, many fine dB of loss on this 20 or so feet of LMR-400. A quick check with an ohmmeter showed that the braid was shorted to the center conductor. Well, that's not good! So, I cut one end off and observed that when I put that one on, I didn't get the center conductor all the way in to the connector. Now that that's fixed and the SWRs are reasonable, communications has been achieved.

By JonathanGuthrie, 23 March, 2023

I've spent many months, er, years messing around with keyers and keys and radios and, well, ancillary appliances and appurtenances in my shack. In all that time, I haven't done much operating. Why not? Well, because I haven't had even a marginally useful antenna. I've been building a helically-wound vertical that I intend to make multiband by feeding it through an automatic tuner, but my attempt to raise it was a pretty spectacular failure and I've been discouraged since then, although I still intend to see if I can make it work I just haven't had the time or the energy.

By JonathanGuthrie, 24 October, 2022

I don't know what possessed me. I mean, how many keys does one need?

I've heard that N3ZN keys were excellent keys and I heard that Begali keys were excellent keys and I decided that (despite the cost) that I'd get one of each and compare them.

This is my Begali key. And it's just....gorgeous.

By JonathanGuthrie, 12 September, 2022

Now that I have certain, um, financial transactions completed, I now have a little bit of spending money. I've sworn to not buy any new radios until the HF antenna is finished, which is a promise I have (mostly) kept. (I just couldn't pass up the Wouxun KG-UV8E that I found at the swapmeet a couple of months ago. Honestly, I didn't even try.) The antenna is mostly done, by the way. I'll talk about it when it's been used.

By JonathanGuthrie, 27 March, 2021

Lots of things have happened with the keyer. I bought rotary encoders and had boards made and populated one and it works like a champ. Only one small error on the board, and it's in the silkscreen so I'm going to ignore it, although you can see it in the photo above. So, if you have an interest, how can you get your own keyer?

Well, start at OSHPark and get yourself some of the boards:

The source for the firmware is on Github

By JonathanGuthrie, 1 March, 2021

Well, I finally went and did it. I built the 6-meter quadrifilar helix I've been talking about for years. Okay, it's not quite done, I'm waiting for a decent pair of wire strippers to arrive, but a week ago I took a four-inch PVC pipe, some 3/8 inch dowels, some Romex, and adhesive and fabricated a QFH antenna. I used a short Python program I wrote to determine the dimensions and, well, I did it wrong. The short wire in what I built should be the long wire at the operating frequency, so the whole thing is too long for the 52 MHz design frequency.