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/
This is me;
VFH/UHF/and HF digital rig is a Yaesu FT-857D all-mode, Bencher paddle via MFJ-464 Keyer, 100Watts max,no amp, into Cushcraft A13B2 "Boomer" 13 el yagi, G5RV variant, or Imax2000 verticle.
I use a Yaesu FT-840, HRD-Controlled, for 80m thru 10m VOICE modes with Heathkit SB-220 Amplifier, into 40M Delta-Loop @ 50ft.
My STBY radio is a mint Yaesu FT101E model, gifted to me by my bud, William/WI4E.
In the workshop, (Carol calls it a "man-cave"), Icom IC-7000, ldg tuner, into 40M dipole, V-58 vertical, 3 element 2M beam.
My old Dodge Ram pickup holds an Icom IC706MKIIG w/ LDG RT100 tuner into a Hustler on the bed rail, and a Comet dual-band whip on the roof..
I LOVE MY COUNTRY GIRL!!
Doesn't she look great? Especially with Carol standing in front of her? ;) Just kiding -- "She" isn't mine.
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.
I acquired a new toy for my last birthday. It worked perfectly when I purchased it, and until I tore it down. The amp, however, wasn't exactly "ready for prime time".
Again, it was fully operational as-purchased, and I'm 100% happy with the deal the seller and I made. It's pictured here before I kindof got carried away;
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. I'm glad I did, judging by what I found -- But oh, God, what have I done??!!!
Above; 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 NOS toggle switch from a TL992 because it matched better.
Below; 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 of base temperatures going above 200degrees C. I have a new matched pair of RF Parts 3-500ZG's to drop-into those new sockets.
Below; 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.
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!
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 install new ones -- I apologize 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...
RF loves carbon paths and turns them into noisy, unintentional short circuit "interstates" in no time.
Above; The face is now unpluggable, two molex connectors, four corner screws, and it's in my lap!
Above; Just 5 wires left to hook up, but they're all supposed to be bias. I was extremely confused by those!! It took me a while to sort all the schemes out.
Above; The tube sockets are in and the grids have now been directly-grounded to the chassis, as opposed to that convoluted path through those resistor/cap thingies.. The old sockets cleaned-up fairly nice with a cotton swab dipped into some cleanser paste, and chucked into a cordless drill -- Then, I threw them into a box with the tubes and shipped them to another Ham...
I had sold the original tubes in the "Swapmeet" here on QRZ. The for sale post lasted all of 20 minutes! That fellow deserves those cleaned-up sockets for buying the tubes so fast. Anyhow, the new tubes are in those new sockets now, and I have all proper voltages (still not sure about bias yet). I still need to install the parasitic supressors and it should be good to go, if I learn how to adjust the bias. I am considering installing a thermo-switch (like those found in coffee pots) to interupt the vacuum relays whenever maximum pin temperature is exceeded. If so, I will document how I configure that, and how it performs, here on my page.. I'm close!
A bit too late for MY rebuild project, 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!
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!
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..
1816588 Last modified: 2015-03-26 18:39:13, 19899 bytes
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