Salty Ham post.

I’m a little salty, or perhaps just bitter, or both, that the South Florida Hamboree seems to have disappeared again.

A few years back I got it restarted after a long time missing in action, and it was going very nicely. Last year was its first time taking place in a neat venue in Fort Lauderdale, since the Miami-Dade Fair Expo Center would much rather host a far higher paying gun show every other freaking weekend.

But it’s almost December and I saw not a peep from them other than that someone within the club was whining about a financial loss that happened back in two-thousand-and-smegging-three. I guess everyone there would rather just sit around and whine than hold a useful event.

No announcement of a show this coming year, and since the date would have been in late January, it just isn’t happening. The website isn’t even loading anymore.

It may be strange I’m this disappointed considering I now live on the other side of the country but damn it I didn’t put my passion into this to have it just laid to waste again.

Image not related at all: ShitpostBot 5000 template transmitter-594c4f02e4685 in action. One guess as to who created this useless template 😉

Now that’s PA efficiency!

My theory as to what’s happening when a Crown Broadcast transmitter reports a VSWR below 1.0* is that it’s managed to oscillate in such a way that a wormhole has opened up around the antenna system that’s actually sucking the radio waves right out of the system and porting them into another dimension, where listeners are happily enjoying the mysterious signals.

Be sure to inform your sales department that potential sponsors can be heard in alternate dimensions!

.dronF

deep thoughts

I’ll always take “Sorry, we just don’t want to spend the money” over “Sorry, we won’t spend the money…. But here, enjoy this rococo piece of rushed to market garbage we bought sight unseen at the NAB show after the vendor bought us a fancy lunch and we’re expecting you to deploy in the facility.”

Random stolen transmitter meme related? I forget who I lifted it from but it’s so true

PTEK combiner. Shibe version.

I have no words. This thing is so wack i didn’t even recognize I was looking at a classic Wilkinson combiner implemented using cast off garbage. I’ll let the shibes speak.

The exciter power divider. This seems to depend on the external jumpers

Shitposting Electromagnetically

This miniscule coax from Pasternack carries 500 watts over its… 26-28 awg center conductor??!!

Also yes I know, time to repaint

Fnord over IP.

The best thing about voice over IP / digital voice networks for amateur radio is that there are so many of them!

You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, yet none interconnect. There is a mailbox here.

> open mailbox

The mailbox contains a QSL card.

> read QSL card

Linguini Mountain

Names changed to protect the innocent.

And guilty.

Here we go. Before you read this you will need to take some reasonable precautions:

i love VFDs

The road up Linguini Mountain is the kind of thing either dreams or nightmares are made of. It’s well maintained but narrow and unpaved. One edge is a small anti erosion ditch that could easily snag a wheel; the other edge is…… Let’s not think about that too hard, but man what a view

After a switchback that inexplicably shut down the truck engine and those VFD readouts pictured above went blank…. Umm…. Yeah… I made it

Okay, no clue what’s with that but let’s just go inside.

At the far wall sits this generator. It’s too small to run the transmitter so there’s an emergency backup relay system that switches the exciter output straight to the antenna if the site is on gen power, so it remains on the air at low power.

Beyond this point, uhhHERE BE DRAGONS

This transfer switch….. I have no words.

Not exactly what Burk Technologies had in mind for their ARC-16 control ports but ok

Wait maybe on the other hand that was better

Wait what’s going on here

No this can’t be

That isn’t seriously—–??

The air filter was not in use, it ought to be just squeaky clean in that cavity..

Gonna cautiously assume that’s at least 240vac exposed

Old marti repurposed to send telemetry but wait what’s that?

And where’s it powered?

Wait wait enhance

That’s… A tree spine jamming the wires in

Reportedly this QEI won’t run if you put the cover on

That twisted pair bridge wire runs who knows where

Welp. Looks like i have a project.

The Harris HPX adventure

It’s big. It’s highly efficient, for a tube rig. It can do analog and HD. It runs the damn lowest stack temperature I’ve ever seen. It’s full of Linux. It has… a curiously labelled hidden pushbutton I’m amused and scared of. It confused so many other engineers they called me in to shape it up! It’s… the Harris Broadcast HPX! (GatesAir branded, nowadays.)

And it inspired me to invent…. transmitterwave

This post is very image heavy so I’ll split it to avoid an endless front page on my blog.

The HPX.

Remember when the following tag was <lj-cut text=”Read more…”>? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

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The problem with air conditioned cabinets in Florida

These boxes are everywhere around here because certain equipment that needs to be stationed outdoors isn’t happy with the 96 degree F summer outdoor temperatures. They’re an outdoor weather resistant enclosure, with an air conditioning unit attached through one side.

Chill.

Air conditioning units have two functions. They reduce temperature and humidity. The amount of humidity they remove is proportional to the amount of time the unit is in cooling mode.

This cabinet is very well insulated and has a very low heat load… Watch this Nautel loooooaf along…

Standing next to it, I saw that little a/c pack start maybe once every 10 minutes, for about a minute at a time.

 

Brace yourself, the results ain’t pretty.

 

Fungus Among us?!

 

This curious white fungus is attacking rubber parts…

 

 

Various points of moisture or fungus damage…

 

And as an added bonus, open this cabinet on a hot humid day and you’ll be treated to the horrific sight of the equipment becoming soaking wet while still actively running…

 

Insects have been attracted to the cabinet by moisture… This is after a big vacuuming, the junk stuck to the cabinet ain’t gonna yield to that alone…

 

So what’s the solution? I can think of a couple things.

A) do not oversize the air conditioner. This is tricky as heat load is unpredictable and failure to remove enough heat would quickly cause a shutdown or equipment damage.

B) place constantly on LED lights inside to inhibit this mold/fungus growth.

C) use humidity controls on the a/c or a dehumidifier if possible. Not sure if you could easily fit a humidistat to this unit as it’s got its own integrated microprocessor control (hidden behind that piece of filter)… But who knows.

 

 

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