I am a 62 year old retired utility inspector, living in a paid-for, tiny wood frame home with my XYL (Carol) and two minpins (M.I.A. and Bambi). Carol and I are Christians and anti-communist "Florida crackers", (Carol was born in Arcadia, me, in Miami). We now live in Lehigh Acres, Florida, a large community in Lee County, just east of Fort Myers on the northern border of the Everglades.
This is our local club; http://www.fmarc.net/
I've been a rare contact on 40M for the past three months, or so due to the termite remodel, and tree work requiring my wire antennas to be pulled for a while. I did get one inverted vee back up on 40M. I hope to recitfy the other issues soon, and be able to get back to checking-into the "Hole-In-The-Wall" net on 7.880MHz at 10PM EDT (03:00hrs gmt ).
I QSL100%, card gets card... I also QSL all SWL reports 100%. I've never been interested in 'contests', and I'm not really into DXing for the sake of it anymore. But I'm always interested in meeting and making new friends and just plain, old rag-chewing -- DX, or otherwise... So please say "hello" if you hear my weak station.
Base; Radio room;Rig-1 is a Yaesu FT-857D all-mode, Bencher paddle via MFJ-464 Keyer, 100Watts max,no amplifier, Rig-2 is a Yaesu FT-840 HRD-Controlled for 80m thru 10m;
Rig-3 (workshop); Icom IC-7000
Antennas; Wire dipole and Loop 'variants du jour' at apprx 30feet. a Cushcraft A13b2 "boomer" at 55feet, and an Imax2000 at 60feet. 40M NVIS at 30ft(currently on the ground for tree work)..
Mobile; Icom IC706MKIIG w/ LDG RT100 tuner into a Hustler on the bed rail, and a Comet dual-bander on the roof.. Yeah, My Ram1500 doubles as a "porcupine"
I acquired a new toy for my birthday. It worked perfectly when I purchased it.. At the time, I had no 220V service in the shack, but I do now. ;) The amp, however, isn't exactly "ready for prime time".
Again, it was fully operational as-purchased, and I'm happy with the deal the seller and I made. As-purchased pictured here;
One of my many mental illnesses is, I can't leave things alone when I get them. I wanted to internally-inspect it, and evaluate it's overall condition before hooking it up.... Oh, God, what have I done??!!!
Well, I've cleaned up the chassis a bit, re-faced the front in black. It still had the original paper 'lytic and the original single diode for the bias supply in-place! So I gave it a new cap and a full-wave bridge pack, only to rip all of that back out for another configuration later! I built and installed the Harbach RM220 metering board, and a Harbach Soft-Start module. It had a STBY toggle switch added at some point in it's long history, but I installed a toggle switch from a TL992 because it matched better. In an effort to protect the tubes from vibration damage while cutting the chassis out for the new switch, I removed them. Upon inspection, I found the sockets to be badly pitted. The tubes, though still 100%, are showing the result -- or cause. I'll run them until they begin to 'soften' ;
So here my birthday present sits, 'ripped limb-to-gut' on one of the benches, waiting for the money to buy new tube sockets. I also ordered the QSK board and parts to populte same, to kick the new Jennings vacuum relays properly. I'm going to remove the added "soft-key" module and metering protection diodes as they will be redundant after the QSK and other mods are installed. With a little over $1100 invested, it should make a reliable, compact, legal-limit machine.
Well, the tube sockets are in. I found an interesting layout on N3COB (Glenn's) web page, that is basically the route I'm taking with mine. I'd like to thank Glenn for his help and corespondence outlining his experiences, and the awesome schematic he emailed me! BTW, I think I'm going to direct-ground the grid pins on those sockets.
There are new and interesting "finds" at every turn in this AMP!
I'll bet these are overlooked by many who replace their tubes, because even after I had the tubes out for a couple of weeks, I STILL didn't notice this until last Wednesday, when I removed the old suppressors from the plate cap connectors to make new ones -- I appologise for pic quality here. I don't know why, but this is the clearest pic out of six that I took, and could not re-take them because I "took care of it" before posting this update.... Anyhow --
Take a close look at the top of the one on the left, and you'll see pitting and carbon black around the screw hole. Also, the screws were blued like a gun barrel from RF heating. I stuck the connector on the right onto a 1/4" shaft, chucked it in my cordless drill, and cleaned it up with a brillo pad. As you can see on the right one, there is still a bit of pitting and screw-scoring around the screw hole. I re-chucked the puppy and used 400 wet-or-dry sandpaper, and that took care of the pitting too. I sanded and re-polished both, and they came out better than new, in that they have a mirror finish on them now, so they should make a more complete contact than before..
A bit too late for MY build, as I went with the W7RY and Harbach upgrades, but there is another awesome modernization available for this amp in the UK;
It's a bit more expensive overall, but it appears to be a very comprehensive approach to upgrading/protecting Heathkit and other amps, or for controlling homebrew designs. As for my Heathkit -- it may be down for a while... I really need to see a psychiatrist about this obsession of mine!
This is my radio Room 12/3/14.
This is my workshop before the termite damage was found;
This is one of the benches from the workshop. Subterranean termites made a city in it!! It was a "ghost town", though, because we actually found them in the radio room remodel last year, with an actual active colony in the baseboard... We then had the house treated. I made a bunch of exploratory holes in the walls and ceiling thruout the house, and this was all I found. I hope this is the last of it.
The work shop is back in operation after the remodel... I NEVER want to go through that ordeal again!
The tower failure after TS Debby, 2012.
Please PM me if you happen to find one that doesn't link as it should., and I can and WILL re-post it. For some unknown reason, Youtube has lost some of my videos, and their links would then go nowhere fast. I have them backed up. They can't delete those, can they? I don't know why that happens, but hey -- I'm retired..... I have all day to put them back! :)
FLORIDA'S WEATHER CAN BE A REAL DOWNER.
This is what T.S. Debby left me with;
And all I wanted to do was straighten-out a bent element!
The pic below is my IMAX 2000 after a 2010 lightning strike. That tears it -- I'm making another aluminum stick!!!
These two pics are of my tower after a severe summer storm in July of 2011. I temporarilly had the guys off for a hazer-lengthening procedure that I hadn't quite completed when the storm hit. Lesson learned; NO antenna/tower work should be performed in the Summer here... PERIOD!! The antenna WAS a Comet beam.
A short GIF showing Florida in it's own orbit around the Sun as seen from the SOHO Spacecraft, which is located somewhere in God's County (around the Tennessee/ Carolinas area someplace no-doubt).
God must really want me to switch hobbies...
"Threes", Y'all... I hope to QSO soon. And remember to Keep your friends smiling -- Even the MEAN ones!!!
The original page template was designed by my good friend, WI4E, Willy -- Content, of course, is my fault. :) All outside images were in public domain. All my additional images can be considered public domain also.. I just ask that you use discretion and tact if you use them..
1728425 Last modified: 2015-02-24 17:59:48, 19008 bytes
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