Icom IC-781 status

The W5RRR IC-781 was taken out of commission during 2017 Field Day because we observed intermittant noise crackling on the receive and transmit signals.

It got on the bench for troubleshooting.  Based on online owner’s knowledge sharing, areas of known weakness were:

  1. cracked solder joints at the crystal filter in IF

  2. Phased Lock Loop unlock

  3. IF FET 2SK125s

We’ll I screwed something up.  After removing the RF module the whole receiver chain is white noise.

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Fixing a bad trap on the yagi

In preparation of the TH7 Yagi, Keith, Jerry, and John put finishing touches on the beam by re-measuring and lightning connections while the beam lay on the saw horses.

A final check with the MFJ259 VSWR bridge showed a poor resonance with at 20m.  Even we knew that the resonance with be displaced due to the close grounding effects, the 13 MHz resonance was way out of normal.  John quickly checked the traps for continuity and immediately found an open.  The team used Jerry’s tailgate to conduct a quick disassembly and inspection.  Oddly, the connections looked normal, but one end of the coiled wires had poor connection to the aluminum tube.  John flattened the wire, burnished surfaces, applied some Penetrox compound, and nursed it back into it’s protective shell.  Upon completion, the resonance was definitely better, but still low.  After the storm we’ll inspect the others.  

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Saturday Aug 20th Tower-Antenna crew (photos)

Here’s a series of photos of the team that came out on Saturday.
CLARC (Kelvin, Levi) teamed up with us (Keith, Larry, Jerry, Bob, Tanner and Dave) and together, we worked all morning thru mid afternoon.
The tower sections are pre-assembled and the TH7DX is pre-assembled as well.  All major work is ready for the Friday Aug 25 big tower/antenna construction event.

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Dumb n Dumber

That’s me.  On Saturday Aug 19th, the temperature was formally logged at 98F (Heat Index 103). The W5RRR tower team all worked under the sun for 6 hours. Several had also used Sunscreen and everyone had sun protection hats… except me.
This is kinda a public service announcement and reminder that the Texas rays of warmth takes no prisoners during the lazy unhazy days of summer. Sun protection should include sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and loose apparel that protects the body…

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W5RRR 80′ Tower takedown and makeover

W5RRR 80′ tower is undergoing a major makeover on August 25th.  Rusted sections of Rohn 45G tower sections will be replaced with newer pieces.  The guying system will undergo an update with new hardware and rescued brackets.  A newly rebuilt Ham IV rotor and a HyGain TH7DX tri-bander (10/15/20m) will be installed, replacing our tired and broken 20m and 15m monobanders.

The club is looking for any and all volunteers will to help out on either this weekend on August 19 for prep work (TH7DX and tower pre-assembly ) and on August 25 for the whole tower/antenna disassembly and reassembly.

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SSTV for ARISS 20th anniversary

N5FWB, successfully downloaded ARISS Slow Scan TV pictures a couple of weekends ago using his TS-2000, Signalink interface and a 2 meter ssb horizontal loop.  Is is just one of several he successfully received.  Nice job, Jerry.

In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of ARISS, Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images were transmitted using a computer on the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using the ham radio, specifically the onboard Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver. The event was only a few days long concluding at 18:00 UT on Monday, July 24.

The 20 year history of ARISS was celebrated with the pictures of 12 unique images showing the amazing accomplishments of ARISS over the last two decades. SSTV signals were be sent to earth at 145.800 MHz using FM.

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Deep Space Ham Radio, anyone?

John, AB5SS, is an avid weak signal ham.  He enjoys the challenges of microwave including Deep Space Network (DSN) reception and propagation.   The photo represents Canberra, Australia’s 3x 70m Deep Space dishes tracking the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn.  With the advent of all the neat digital signal processing SW out and some smart antenna configurations, John wants to do some DSN ham work at the JSC club.  Any takers?  Paul Marsh, M0EYT, is moderator of the yahoo group amateur-DSN.  He successfully received telemetry from the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn… using only minor modification using an off the shelf 1.8m dish manually steered.

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Solar Eclipse QSO Party

Information from Jayant, KG5LJZ.

Upcoming solar eclipse is coming soon August 21 and hams will be conducting testing during this event.  The objective of the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) is to flood the airwaves with contacts, all measured by the automated receiver networks of the Reverse Beacon Network, PSKReporter, and WSPRNet. When those observations are combined with the logs from individual stations, the result will be one of the largest ionospheric experiments ever performed. Here’s how  hams can have a starring role…

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