Monday, September 23, 2013

5ft Hole, -200lb Rock, +6000kg Concrete, 48ft Tower, 3element Yagi

Earlier on in the summer the tower plans started with selecting the site. I chose "up" behind the house because this would give an extra 8 to 10ft and would help get the antenna above the surrounding tree line.
 

4ft done, one more to go.
The hole digging went OK for the most part. It just took time and patience.

200lb Rock
The one "event" of note was the removal of what must have been a 200lb stone that some glacier must have left behind.

The concrete was supplied by the folks at Cruickshank out of Kemptville.


Cruickshank


I used a plumb, twine and a sledge to help the tower true while the pour happened.




The tower went up in sections 6 8ft sections to a height of 48ft.

After operating the Seppir on the garage roof for a few weeks, to make sure it was all in working order it came time to hoist it up the tower.  The antenna weighs about 60lbs and is 39ft tip to tip on a 16ft boom.

Raising the antenna
Getting the steppir on the mast was most difficult because the mast clamp is between the elements of the 40m loop element and there is a lot going on in a small space.

All strapped in

Here is a good shot of the entire setup.

On Top
 There is no way I could have gotten this done without the help of my son Hudson.

Ariel and Hudson
73 for now
Adrien

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Canadians at the Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm

Hej Hej!

The unusual record number of very fit folk at the hotel was a give away that something was happening in Stockholm this weekend, the question "what could it be"?

Bib 11, Kirsten Sweetland
Well,... the Vattenfall World Triathlon Stockholm  was this weekend and the women elite race was today. I was happy to see two Red Mapleleafs in the swim-bike-runing, makes you proud in a Canadian kinda way.

Bib32, Ellen Pennock
More photos are at my PBase albums. I'm happy I stayed in town, the afternoon pasted quickly and it was fun to see some of Canada's Elite.

Way to go girls!
Adrien

 









Friday, May 24, 2013

The New QTH

Hi  OM

Well, this has been a long time coming but we have moved from the cramped noisy city to a mode spacious and quiet QTH.

The station has been setup,  a quick run down of the shack is
  • Palstar AT1500CV Tuner
  • Kenwood SM-230 Station Monitor
  • Kenwood TL-922A Linear
  • Yaesu FT2000D
  • iCOM 756 Pro-III
  • Kenwood TS-850S
  • iCOM 7000 (for 2m)

The Radio Shack

The QTH is 33 rural acres south of Ottawa and the power line noise of the old QTH is no longer a problem.

Country QTH

The lot is 450ft wide by 1km deep, so there is plenty of space to imagine and work with.

I am really looking forward to getting back on the air.

73
Adrien
VE3IAC

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013 - Silent Lake

We are here gain.

http://acomeau.blogspot.ca/2012/02/link-to-past-operation.html

The link above, will take you to my post from last year's winter Yurt field operation.

Enjoy.

Adrien
VE3IAC/P
73 




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Can you hear me now!? Kenwood TL-922A

For some time I have had my eye on a few linears, and when this one showed up on eBay recently I could not resist. The Kenwood TL-922A unit was for sale and a weekend trip from Ottawa to Manchester New Hampshire made a safe and enjoyable way to get the unit home.

In the picture below, the amp is shown along side of my father's (VE1JNA - SK) Kenwood TS-850SAT, and these do make a nice pair.

Kenwood TS-850SAT and TL-922A
The TL-922A is a heavy brute coming in at 31kg. Flipping this beast over, when working on it will leave marks on your desk if you are not careful!

The HV supply has two modes which change the plate voltage from 2.2kV to 3.1kV for CW and SSB modes. In SSB mode this amp is specified to generate 1kW out for approximately 80W in. (This is what the curves at the back of the service manual say!)



Call me old fashioned, but if you are like me, then you too believe radios must have plenty of knobs and switches to be interesting. I should add that the metering on the TL-922A also meets my expectations too.  I know analogue meters miss the peaks but there is a satisfaction in seeing the physical needle move as you tune up the amp.



TL-922A Metering

Many folks have commented on the physical build quality of this design, and I will add my comments to the pile-up. I did not confirm when this unit was built, but being of the late 1970's, I can say this 30 year old unit will be here for many years to come because it does not show its age. I was very lucky because the previous owners, and I do not know how many there were, have taken good care of this amp.

TL-922A

Kenwood TL-922A

I have picked over much of this amp from outside and in, and in terms of modifications, there are only a few.
  1. The Tubes are a pair of 3-500Z's from the good folks at RF Parts.
  2. The suppressors are the original Kenwood items and have not been changed out.
  3. The 10M band addition was done as described here
  4. The HV caps have been replaced with Cornell-Dubilier 210uF 450VDC
  5. The SS-100 Universal Soft-Start from Harbach was installed
Thee are two signs of undesired operation, but first I must say that the unit was very clean otherwise. The 1000pf 15kV plate cap, in the center of the image below, has a odd "scar". You can see it in the picture below. The discoloration is highly localised on the edge of the cap, and is "baked on" in that it does not rub off. I am unsure what would have caused this.

Burnt Plate Cap?
The bandswitch was ruined and I had half expected this to be the case. I was able to get a new switch from Multi Tech Industries . Although it took me a bit longer to get it in, it was a easy job none the less. You do have to be careful to make sure every thing gets connected back to where it started.

Installed Multi Tech Band switch
Interestingly, the amp was able to run on all but 20m. A close inspection of the 20m input filtering led me to a pair of mica caps that had been pushed against each other. This caused their leads to cross and touch, shorting out the inductor. Simply fixing this, made the input SWR drop from over 100:1 to 1:1 and 20m was now in business too.

Shorted input filter for 20m

As an example, operating on 40m, the setup below shows 55W in and 650W out. The plate and grid currents are 450mA and 150mA.

55W in and 650W out

Having only had the amp for a few weeks, I know this is going to be a good addition to the shack. If you are in the market for a this piece of Kenwood history, I hope you are able to find an Amp as well cared for as I was able to.

MHz       1.8    3.5     7     14     21    28
Band      160m   80m    40m    20m    15m   10m

Plate     3.5    7      7      14     21    >21   
Load      0      1.8    2.2    4      4.2   4.8
Ip (dip)  Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes   Yes
Ip        480    500    500    500    500   350   (mA)
Ig        200    150    180    175    150   150   (mA)

HV       1900V  1900V  1900V  1900V  1900V  1900V  at load

Pout      550    600    700    800    625    435   (W)
Pin        65     55     75     70     55     40   (W)
SWRin    1.5:1   1:1   1.3:1   1:1   1.3:1   2:1

73
Adrien
VE3IAC

Sunday, October 21, 2012

VE3IAC/2 et l'île Verte

Welcome.

IOTA NA-128 is an island group in the Quebec province of Canada in the St Lawrence Seaway. IOTA indicates that this island group is well claimed by 43% of participants. l'île Verte is one of many islands in this group which includes a 350km stretch of the St Lawrence Seaway.

NA-128 Island Group
With your help we completed 153 QSOs. My thanks goes to all who answered my "CQ de VE3IAC/2 IOTA NA-128" call. I realize that pileups can be hard to get through, and I appreciate your patience.

QSOs
From a volume perspective, notable QSOs are all of those from Europe and Middle East. I am always amazed how many operators there are in Germany.

New for me was Iceland, Aegir Olafsson TF2CT, many 73s to you.

Noel Hammond ZR6DX of South Africa at 12600km was especially nice, 599 both ways.

I must not forget 9000km South America stations in Argentina Horacio Cortadello LU6EHO and Dani Grezzi LW1DG.

The operation station included a Yaseu FT2000D Transceiver running 200W SSB through a Palstar AT1500CV Tuner into a twin lead fed DX Engineering 80m Doublet. 50watts was run on 10m and 20m with a YP-3 Portable Yagi .

VE3IAC/2 Operating Station at Ilse Verte NA-128
The station also used a Icom 756 Pro III Transceiver running 100W SSB through an Icom AH-4 Tuner into the twin lead fed DX Engineering 80m Doublet.

VE3IAC/2 Operating Station at Ilse Verte NA-128
YP-3 setup for 10m Operation
The view facing Europe.
Lighthouse on the North Shore

Here is a link from the last time we were here.
http://acomeau.blogspot.ca/2010/04/iota-activation-of-na-128-by-ve3iac2.html

73 OM
Adrien
VE3IAC/2

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nirvana, MoonLite and M27

It has been a while, too long in fact, since I have been under worthwhile dark skies. I had heard rumors of a place called Nirvana. Sounds like a nice place, and it was indeed.

Nirvana is a dark sky location, where "OAFs go when they have earned enough observing karma". It is also known as the Irvine Lake Airstrip. Near Bon Echo Provincial Park. The site is a tidy 2.5hr drive from Ottawa at 45° 1'47.64"N 77°15'50.53"W and is in a cozy little dark sky pocket dew west of the city.

Nirvana
The air strip is usually a peace full place, but I would suggest that if these folks beat you there, you might not get much sympathy asking for "red lights please?".  army.forces.gc.ca @ Nirvana

The evening sky showed exactly the right number of clouds.

Blue Skies
When I left town I was unsure if I would have company so I brought my pal along with me.

My pal Kayleigh

I have had my scope for several years. The main scope is a Celestron C11, on a CGE mount with a William Optics Megres 90mm refractor piggybacked. Both scopes provide excellent visual as well as photographic performance. Either can be used for guiding while imaging with the other. It is a pleasure to have both together because the WO90's field of view is so generous compared to the higher magnification powers of the C11.


Celestron C11 w/ Willam Optics 90mm on CGE Mount.

The new toy, is the moonlite focuser with High Resolution Stepper Motor with MoonLite Mini Controller options. Software was changed up to 


Moonlite Focuser

The CCD camera is the QHY8, which I have described in another post.

I admit I had a devil of a time getting my goto's to be as good as they usually are and spent a good deal of the time wondering where my objects were!  After thinking it through the next day I'm convinced I must have not adjusted the balance well enough and it was the extra weight of the focuser throwing the slews off. I will be more carefull next time.

The end result of the evening was a single image of M27, an object I have done before. I was very pleased maxFocus, and MoonLite focuser was able to find focus better than I have ever done in the past by hand.

Image Info.

QHY8 at f/10 on C11 captured 15 x 200sec images for a total of 50min and were stacked in maximDL. 
Autoguided with Orion StarShoot AutoGuider on WO 90mm.

M27, Dumbell


Dark skies...
Adrien