Monday 29 July 2013

A few small jobs to complete

Since the weather has been so agreeable, I’ve really taken to going out /p more and more. Its quite a challenge for me I can assure you – I have a high demand job which requires me to be on hand at any given moment and as such to date I’ve only actually taken 3 days holiday since May 2012 !

Nevertheless I have gone out portable with my trusty KX3 and my 3rd iteration of my QRP go pack, which I’m now very happy with, but before I go out again I do need to complete a couple of small jobs.

Its always an issue when out and about. What power will I need, how much battery power have I got, how much it weighs etc. I’ve had a 7.2Ah battery from the get go. It went with me to Scilly, Skye and has always been in the rucksack, no matter the pack configuration. I’ve pretty much always taken my Solar panel and the charge unit that accompanies it, And I’ve always been looking for a solution on how to make it cable friendly. It always gets knotted up, and always ends up as a rats nest. In fact the last time I went out I did break one of the crimp connectors, where the cable gets knotted, unknotted and wound up again. I’ve got a fix and I will be posting up an elegant solution to this issue in the coming weeks.

Headset adaptor
Again this another little job that I have been putting off for weeks. It’s a simple adaptor that will allow me to use an external PTT while using the Heil headset. It consists of 2 sockets (1 for mic, the other for PTT trigger) and a 4 pin 3.5mm plug.  I intend to have this made up this week, so I can try it out on the following weekend. (weather permitting)

And finally a cracked knob on the KX3 needs replacing. The guys at Elecraft were awesome. A quick phone call stateside and they arranged for me to have a replacement knob sent out free of charge. It seems they are “Evaluating” an issue with some of the knobs. This job will be completed quicker than the time it has taken to type it up.

On my next trip out my son is keen to come along and show off his fire making skills, so I anticipate some male bonding, eating sausages, and drinking tea, both of which cooked over a fire. This sounds more dangerous than it actually is, but in the last few months I bought myself a folding firebox that folds flat and contains a little camp fire. Its excellent for when I am out portable and want a quick cup of somthing warm.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Radio in the sun

A rare day off provided me the prefect opportunity to go QRP for a few hours. My preferred location for such events is Hackpen hill. Its quite close to my home QTH and provides high ground, some varying terrain and the opportunity to hide away in the rough.

I also videoed the outing too, determined to get used to iMovie and perfect my filming skills – and complied a quick video of my Go Pack, Antenna installation and I was hoping for a few good contacts. But as you will see from the film I only spoke to 2 people.

My go pack is possibly heavier than most, but I don’t trek up mountaintops and really only walk about 5 miles.

Anyway here is the clip.