Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Thursday, August 2, 2018
While building a stone slab base for a new shed near to the Hustler, I noticed the ground radials I laid out all that time ago have started to break up, I have already noticed broken wires that seem to be appearing all over the place!
The present position of the Hustler and the area of the new shed, I think I'll put the antenna on the other side of the trees in the paddock.
Ground radials can be a black art in themselves, you can get away with as little as about 12 but it not always recommended unless you have very wet soil. When I first installed the hustler there were about 60 and they seemed to take forever to lay out, but it was definitely worth it. The ground plate was a home brew effort, basically a piece of aluminium bought off Ebay with the holes drilled and then small bolts place in every other hole, I could then attach each wire or a combinations of joined wires to each bolt with a small nut, fairly basic but worked well and saved me some money.
The cleaned up radial plate.
So I've disconnected the Hustler from the ground radial plate and disconnected the old wires and given the plate a good scrub and it's come up reasonably well. Next week if I get the chance I'll clean and then replace the antenna in its new home and then think about putting out the new ground radials!
What fun, the first spot I placed the hustler I raised it up I was touching a telephone wire a 1 in a 1000 chance, typical! so I had to move further than I liked, the only issues was adding some extra 15 feet of coax.
The 2nd move of the antenna went according to plan with little fuss and no more telephone wires in the way. A tip worth remembering is to make sure everything is well greased up or lubricated in some way, it makes dismantling so much easier, I was very surprised how everything came apart so easily, but this was due to me lubricating when first assembled! I've added about 6 ground wires so far and a small amount of wire netting, I'm not going to rush just take my time and add more ground radials as I go along.
So far the SWR is a good 1:1 across all bands but the important thing is the resistance which ideally should read around 36 but at the moment is a 45. I suspect by adding more radials (about 7 more) it will come down to around 38/40 and then as you add more it will slowly reduce but not by any great amount. The average is about 12 to 15 but obviously if you can add more it will improve. A few years ago I would be going beserk adding as many as I can but now I'm a little slower and I'm getting reasonable results so I'm taking things slowly!
Monday, April 30, 2018
Before I let her go and when we were in negotiations I tested the radio one more time, just to see that she was running OK and to have one more little play and she didn't disappoint. Admittedly the receive is slightly down on the FT1000 but not by much, but every time I put out a CQ I got a reply back. These radios may now be old but they still pack a punch, I'll be sad top see her go!
Good bye old girl, I'll miss you!!
Monday, April 9, 2018
The standard FT1000 is similar in build to a d version except no BPF-1 filter or TCXO or any CW/SSB filters.
But reading through the information on this FT1000 I noted all filters had been fitted and a BPF-1, so the only missing part was the TCXO, so you could call it a d version of sorts and the guy only wanted £700 for it. Yep, I could live with that.
I tracked down the owner via the site and made an offer of £600 minus the auction fees if he didn't sell from the auction site. Sure enough at the end of the auction no one had bid, so eventually he came back to my offer, I had an FT1000!
Within the week I had picked it up and returned it safely back to my QTH.
It turns out the previous owner got it from his father who had bought in the States 20 years ago used it once and given it to his son the present owner, he had used it only literally 5 times and all he had done was switch the voltage for UK use. He had then put it away for storage, presumably to use at some stage, but never did. The transceiver was immaculate not a scratch anywhere, pristine condition, brand new, it looked as if it had been stuck in time!
I took the cover off just to check all the filters were there, they were and on turning the radio over I looked at the TXCO it was the upgraded TXCO-1 !
Switching it on the receive, it was superb and on transmitting I was getting excellent reports, better than the 950SD, nearly as good as the 9000, I could hardly believe it, I'd been so lucky.
These transceivers in their day were the ones to own, but to pick one up at this sort of price even today was indeed a stroke of good luck, I now had this FT1000 the original grand father, as back up to an FTDX 9000, not bad!
To make the day I saw another FT1000 not in nearly as good condition on the same auction site for £1100, I couldn't believe it!
The decision to keep the Kenwood 950SD is down to am I going to use it now I have the FT1000?
Comparing both, I have to be honest there is probably not much in it but the FT1000 has 200w rather than the 150w of the 950SD. The receive capability is definitely towards the FT1000 but not by that far. Both are fabulous rigs, I think I'll wait and see, if I do sell the 950SD it will be for a similar price I paid for the FT 1000, so someone will be getting a bargain!
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Time has shot by and once again I find myself having to service the old W3DZZ! It was way back in Feb 2013 that I last took it down and did a proper service so I think it’s about time I did do it again.
Then it’s just a simple case of getting the old MFJ 259 out and seeing if the traps are still doing their job, the traps are showing a reading of 6.0881 & 6.0840 a little low as I want them both resonating at approx. 7.1 MHz, so I undo the waterproof tape and reset them by just gentle spacing the coax and taking readings from the MFJ. Eventually I get them both reading 7.1MHz and it just a matter of gently re taping checking as I go that both stay at the correct resonance.
Tuning the W3DZZ should always begin with the 40m working outwards, it's easier that way. Sure enough the maintenance work causes the SWR on 80m to be 1.0 at 3.600 so it has moved, I just needs to be trimmed a bit more, I'd like it around 3.7500. Typically as soon as you adjust 80m and get that right the 40m has moved and is reading a little high at 1.0 on 7.200, so I'll have to add a little more wire to drop the frequency down a bit.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The traps needed some checking and adjusting from sitting in the shack doing nothing and now I'm happy with the 80 meter trap it's 1.5 SWR at 3.600, but the 40 meter trap needs more work to get the SWR in the sweet spot, it's a little high at the moment. Once both traps are ok I can concentrate on the actual wire, it's 14 gauge and I need to make sure all the measurements are correct. The actual tuning is fairly easy but Len does state the 7Mhz will probably need rechecking and adjusting and on a quick test I've already seen its the 7MHz portion causing an issue.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Saturday, December 23, 2017
It's Saturday morning the 23rd of Dec around 10.00 am and on 14.190 I'm hearing ZL3JAS Jason in Christchurch in conversation with Roy VK7ROY and a station in Chile CE3YG! God I love this FTDX 9000!
Once again, just being patient and quietly listening to what's about, you can hear some amazing stations.
The interesting thing is I've been playing around with the Kenwood 950SD for a few weeks, deliberately keeping away from the Yaesu. So after a few weeks I thought I'd give it a try today and boy what a difference!
The Kenwood is an extremely good radio, but it's a whole different ball game when listening with the Yaesu. The clarity is amazing, I'm using the same antennas, just changing the radio. You can hear stuff on the Yaesu that just wont come up on the Kenwood no matter how hard you try.
I must admit at one stage I had my doubts about keeping the FTDX9000 simply because of it's size and of course the cost. It would be easy just to let it go and have some spare room on the desk and pick up a load of cash.
But on hearing and reminding myself just how good it is, I find myself thinking I must be nuts! ...........Happy Christmas everyone.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
I must admit when I'd got home and set the radio up I was pleasantly surprised, the condition of the bodywork was exceptional, not a scratch anywhere, which you would have thought for its age there would be something and when I switched on the receive was very clear and quiet and by adding the filtering I could zero any CW signal right down. Which when you think about it is not strange, after all at one time this was along with the SDX and the S was Kenwood's Flagship Transceiver.
A further update is I've managed to track down an SP-950 so all I need now is a decent desk mic and I should be OK.
Recently I've been playing with the Rockmites, digging them out from the back of the shelf in the shack, dusting them off and checking they are all working correctly. I'm always amazed at the fact that I have the FTDX 9000MP which can produce 400 watts of power and retails now at £8000 and yet at the other end of the scale I have three Rockmites, built by myself that produce 1.5/2 watts, and cost around £30 each. I can contact locals in the UK or Europe and have a good CW QSO, it does make you think.