Friday, January 23, 2015

We all know someone who does this......

Normally I do not blog about funny things....
But when i bumped into this picture on 9gag.com I could not resist to shamelessly rip the picture and post it here....

Reason be that we all are HAM amateurs and have some level of electronics skill....
There for we get people who come to use asking to fix something for them which they have successfully sent to electronics heaven with the following method..... Especially the tin foil....



I hope this made you laugh as well..... (the slow-blow comment did it for me :) )

73's

Alex
PA1SBM

Sunday, January 11, 2015

K-PO KPS30SW : Fan noise and differences

Hello all,

At the last HAM fest, 2 fellow HAM's, William (PE1BZF) and Herman (PE1GDF), told me that one salesperson was selling low-noise PAPST fans which fit in my PSU's.

My PSU's are 2 identical K-PO KPS30SW PSU's.... well, I thought they were identical......

Let's start with the first one......
The KPO front and back.. with crappy fan....


So what am i replacing it with..... This nice PAPST fan.... Twice as beefy :)



So i open up the first PSU....... And swap over the fan.....


Here you can clearly see the fan is twice as thick....

So after the fan was fitted, I installed the psu back on it's spot and turned it on... just a little less air noise, no more rattling and humming, but more important, at least twice the airflow.
I am one happy HAM with this change.....

So, time to start the second PSU..... and i was in somewhat of a shock....
Biggest difference was..... A bi-metal thermal switch thingie... Or whatever they are called in English.. (please let me know in the comments... ;) )


This was not the only difference... This one was build much cleaner, less past and glue stuff...

So a big thanks to the people at KPO for making cheap PSU's which do the job quite well, but who are in no way consistent in what they build :)

Dont get me wrong , both PSU's do the job well, and are in no way bad PSU's, especially when you remember that for 30 Amps you only have to cough up 80 euro's....

73's
Alex
PA1SBM



PC headset interface for ham tranceivers.....

Hello all,

A while back I wanted to have a Heil headset.... They look awesome, are very high quality and just are one of the best you can get...
With off course two downside..... you did not build anything yourself, and the price can be a lot of money for a person.... they are not dirt ass cheap.... (for a reason though, see the first comments)

For me , the first reason was the most important. As I know (and have seen) that headsets have a limited lifespan, I wanted to build something that would make replacing the headset when my desk chair rolls over it very cheap....
And I came up with the thought that a PC headset should be as good as well.... and a lot cheaper....

So after discussing this on the local repeater which I use in the morning driving to work, Gerard (PE1OUD) told me he had some schematic from somewhere  that worked well for him, but was for a FT879,  and he had no idea if this would work on a TS-480... so he send me this by mail....


As we were all in assumption this should work on any/most transceivers I started to build this
So I made this , and i made it into a nice housing.....
And this is what it turned out to be...... The Headset interface 001 by PA1SBM Design  



And open it looks like.....



I did tests with Hans PD0AC and Tom PA2TSL, and due to them living wayyy to close to me I had to turn off all audio processing cause it was just too loud... after I did that, on SSB, FM and AM it sounds very good. I use a dirt cheap Logitech H110 headset on these tests.

You wil notice that I used proper mono audio signal cable for the audio lines inside the interface box.
The cables from and to the PCB both go through ferrit clamps to make sure the RF stays out.
All the other cables I use have no ferrit beads or clamps on them and it works fine like this.... 
There will be one more addition when I get the material... I will coat the inside with adhesive copper shielding. just to make sure all the HF stays out of this box as my transceiver is next to it , and the antenna's are just on the other side of the wall from my shack.

This will be a very nice addition to have when working you all in the PACC contest :)

73's
Alex
PA1SBM

Saturday, January 10, 2015

PACC 2015 is upon us !!

Yes !!!

Again the only contest I like and join is getting close.

The PACC....
1200 UTC, 14 February - 1200 UTC, 15 February 2015
More info at: http://pacc.veron.nl

Last year my results were as good as you would expect from my station.
I came in at 41st of 155 dutch ppl contesting in my category (single op, low power, SSB)
So this year I am going to try to finish higher... so I am keeping my fingers crossed for good conditions and low QRM....

Preparations have started... I scheduled my days off, and I have started to build a headset interface for connecting a simple PC headset to my TS-480.. More on that in a next post though :)

So I told my YL that I was going to participate again... and I told her the dates...
Her response was: "Oh nice on valentines day..." and some grumbling before and after the short sentence. Somehow I started to think she was not so happy with this.... And it turned out I was right....
So i now have bribed my girlfriend, with a nice diner at the Argentina place where we used to live, so I can participate... another 100 euro's gone... but oh well.... at least I am gonna have a nice diner ;)

Until the next post!

Alex
PA1SBM

Belate happy new year and stuff

Hello all,

Sorry for being away far too long......
Work has gotten the most time at the moment, together with a more healthy life style.

But 1st things first...... Happy new year!!! that this year may be full of special contacts, new DX and awesome contests, and off course lots of love and good health.....


As my work is very busy at the moment, and I never get enough rest... so , as I got stuck with too many holiday days.... This resulted in 45 days for this year... oh my god :)
So, for the first 20 full weeks, I have Thursdays off....
This should enable me to spend some more time on my hobby and on the blog as well.....

The second time consuming thing is that me and the YL are trying to live a more healthy life...
This includes losing weight and exercise more.... So we try to go out every single day to walk through the city for about 45 minutes to an hour....

Next post will be concerning the upcoming PACC

73's
Alex
PA1SBM

Friday, October 3, 2014

Zero ohm..... with a 1% fault tolerance.....

Sorry for the long wait on a post.... real life sucks out all my energy at the moment....
But, Last weekend I went to a HAM fest, and I bought some nifty things.....
Among the stuff I bought was a huge pack of 1% 1/4 watt resistors.... 2850 of them....

Hans, PD0AC, who is a personal friend of me, always had a little joke on the local repeater about how he was looking for a very special resistor....
He was looking for a 0 Ohm resistor... but it had to be a 1% fault tolerant one, 5% was not accurate enough....
Now this let to many very hilarious talks on the local repeater on where to get the 1% version...

So I was unpacking my 2850 resistors, and sorting them out till i found this wonderful thing...........

It's a bit hard to see but it's black/silver...... iPhone4 does not have a really awesome cam on it ;)

So, Hans, i found your resistor.... you can get some next time you visit....
Unfortunately your little joke is now obsolete ;)


I hope to finish up some small projects this weekend...... If I do I'll post about them...


Till the next time!
73's
Alex
PA1SBM

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kent paddle key kit.....

Today the doorbell woke me up from a nap on the couch.....
It was the Dutch postal service with a package....


This made my day, cause I was already hoping it would arrive today as I ordered it on Monday.
Now I did not want to order this be for I actually learned Morse code, but I could not help myself, and it felt like the missing part in my shack....

So after I opened the package up, I ended up with this....


This was very well packed... really really really well... And I had read some stuff on the Kent website of parts missing... well mine was complete, and as all parts were in zip-lock bags, I assume they solved any logistic problems there might have been.... everything looked and was packed way above my expectations....

So, after about 45 minutes all the parts transformed into this......

It's not set up yet, nor is there a wire... wanted to put a blog post up first :) .....

What was very obvious from the start is the amount of precision and craftsmanship has gone in to this.
It's amazing to be honest. at the going price, which is really not bad at all, this is as well for a starter as an experienced CW ham. (which was already told to me by my good friends PA7TWO and PA0RHA)

So three cheers for the people at Kent Engineers for making these awesome products.


73's
Alex
PA1SBM