Ham Radio

Sunday, June 27, 2010
/ Motor Cycle?

In 1984 I obtained my full motor cycle licence as soon as I turned 17, I had been riding dirt bikes and mopeds since the age of 11 and had developed a mechanical mind early. I have been interested in motor bikes for about the same time as I have radio and I can remember fitting my Honda C-50 out with a Binatone Speedway 40 channel CB and DV-27 antenna back in 1983.

These Days I still have four motor cycles that I ride and maintain regularly but since I have been a licensed ham(2004), I have not yet operated amateur radio from any of the four machines.

I might try something with the FT-817 on one of my bikes soon, but at present I'm enjoying the ride whilst the warm dry conditions last!

For now the Toyota Rav-4 "Mobile DX Machine" & Yeasu FT-100 are both on standby.

Right, where's my helmet and gloves........
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:26 pm   6 comments
Saturday, June 26, 2010
YAESU FT-470 Battery Modification
I have owned my trusty FT-470 for over 6 years and have worked many DX with it whilst working through the FM Satellites.
I’ve used it whilst out and about Mobile as well as lots simplex and repeater use for years with excellent receiving capabilities compared to the more modern Hand held’s. I have been running with AA, NiMH 2.300mAh 1.2V Rechargeable battery’s housed in a Yaesu FBA-10 Battery case, which still works very well with hours of quality operating time.

About a year ago I managed to acquire a second FT-470 from a local rally for a bargained down price. The latest FT-470 came with an original FNB-10 - 7.2v 600mAh Ni-Cd Battery pack that held its charge for about 15 minutes whilst receiving and a lot shorter when transmitting.
To get around the faded FNB-10, I have been using the latest FT-470 with the PA-6, Dc Car Adapter/Charger, fed with a 12v Motor Cycle Battery and the original FT-470 on the FNB-10 Ni-Cd pack whilst hooked up to the Arrow Sat antenna.

I like the performance and look of the paired FT-470’s strapped to the boom but found the trailing power lead into the second FT-470 unit awkward and cumbersome. I had a quick reminder of the specs in the FT-470 Operating Manual where I read the unit would work from as low as 5.5VDC up to a maximum of 15VDC.

I had recently been given a box of 12, 9V PP3 Type Battery’s and I had a couple of old dead FNB-10 battery cases I wanted to open up and fiddle around with.

I cut out the original rechargeable cells and soldered in a couple of quick release battery leads which would fit the PP3 9V Battery’s. The new leads can also be used later for a future plan which will be to find and fit a cradle to house some more AA, NiMH 2.300mAh 1.2V Rechargeable cells into the old FNB-10 case.

I decided to connect two 9V batteries in parallel circuit to the old battery case connection point. I can now power up the second FT-470 to receive the Satellite down link frequency for a lot longer without fading allowing the use of the original FT-470 for the Transmit uplink Frequency running my Rechargeable Ni-Cd Battery pack. I can now get a few days of use out of the two PP3’s as opposed to 15 minutes if I’m lucky or a power lead and adapter wrapped around my legs. Hurray! I now have two FT-470’s working well!

As usual I enjoyed getting the soldering iron out and having a play, I am pretty pleased with the result and I will be looking out for some kind of cradle to house 6, AA Battery’s to be used for my next FT-470 job.

In the meantime I can use my long battery life Kenwood TH-F7 for dog walking and when I fancy a few more bands the FT-817 is always fully charged and ready to roll.

The QRP side of Amateur Radio for me is what its all about, I have had some superb Satellite and SOTA contacts operating with the minimum amount of power that I need which is often less than 5 Watts. Long live my exceptionally good pair of old, but still up to date performance wise - Yaesu FT-470 UHF/VHF FM Handie Transceiver’s.
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:36 pm   2 comments
Friday, June 25, 2010
Chinese Porn!!!!!
Just a quick post to inform any readers regarding the abundance of Chinese comments that have been appearing here at my Ham Radio blog. They seem to be just another source of spamming in the form of porn enthusiasts rather than radio ops/ engineering fans.

Although I am quite open minded and allow all comments good or bad to be seen on my site I've decided to enable the feature that asks to Show word verification when commenting. This should filter out the Chinese Pornsters unless of course they are truly passionate about Ham Radio.

For all those interested in Chinese porn, see the previous comments. For those who like myself will get battered by there YL's for going anywhere remotely near those dubious dodgy sites, I apologise for any unsuitable links they may have attached with the seemingly harmless if not slightly puzzling comments left by my new Chinese followers?

Have a great weekend, hope to catch some of you on the bands!
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:44 am   3 comments
Sunday, June 20, 2010
10 and 12 Meter Verticals
Whilst having a sort out I came across some old mobile whips that I had stashed away. I found my old 9 foot stainless 1/4 wave 10M whip, a base loaded 10M whip as well as a 6M whip and a 2M whip. After playing around with the various 5/8 threaded antennas I decided to erect one antenna with radials for 10M and a second for 12M by joining two antennas (6M & 2M) together.
Here is the 10M whip with radials.

Here is the 6M joined with the 2M whip which is perfectly resonant on 12M

I have been hearing some nice signals on both bands earlier today whilst using the FT-857 to listen on 12M as the FT-847 was listening on 10M. I will be TXing on both bands soon with more to come on the results of each antenna.

The new mono band verticals join the rest of my HF antennas which still comprise of a home made delta loop for 80M, another home made delta loop for 20M, and one I bought which is the Hustler 6BTV.
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:49 pm   1 comments
Sunday, June 06, 2010
On The Bright Side
After a week of holidaying at home in the glorious sunshine, our last day was spent watching the much needed rain falling hard up here on the moor top. During our travels I had managed to pick up some replacement 12V Lilliput LES lamps for my "in darkness" favourite old HF radio, the Yaesu FT-767GX.

Once I removed the screws I managed to get the iron in and replace a couple of rather short wires that were soldered to the lamp housing close to the meter. The job was tight for space (for a welder) but easy enough once I got stuck in and as you can see from the above picture the meter has two new bright lamps shining once again.

I have enjoyed using my regular Satellite radio The FT-847 on the HF bands but I have been missing my old mate the FT-767. Now that I have re-illuminated the good old fashioned mechanical meter, I am looking forward to many more hours of HF fun with the old beast.
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:51 pm   4 comments
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