Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Rock-Mite Comes Alive

Eureka! After changing over U2 and U3 to their correct positions I fired up the Rock-Mite and heard some sounds in the earphones.

What a relief, I honestly thought I wouldn’t get it working, so it was wonderful to hear some CW chatter and what clarity I was very surprised how clear the signals were.

Although I now have another problem which maybe a very simple issue or might well be due to the damage I may have caused by my embarrassing slip up.

When wiring up my straight key I seem to get dits only, no dahs! From talking with the Yahoo Rock-Mite group they think it’s just a wiring issue, but having tried different groundings and set ups I’m now not so sure and it maybe that when I inadvertently had the chips in the wrong sockets I may have damaged one.

As a precaution I have ordered a new 12C508A PIC microprocessor which hopefully will arrive soon and I can swap out and check. I can't wait to have my first QSO so it’s very frustrating hearing all those CQs and not being able to reply!

Changing the subject somewhat, yesterday whilst in the local Maplins store collecting parts for kit building, a voice from behind me asked "what are you building"? We got in to conversation and it turned out that Giles was from up the road and also a radio amateur.

From speaking with him his voice sounded familiar and then it suddenly dawned on me that this was the chap I hear most mornings in conversation on 80!

How strange to meet someone you feel you know but only heard on the radio, you find you have developed a mental picture of them and of course they look nothing like your image.

Anyway we had a nice chat and agreed to meet up on the bands in the future. It's always nice to meet a fellow ham in the flesh and exchange conversation face to face!

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