Friday, April 11, 2014

More 900 Mhz Fun!

Well today is an unplanned day off from the normal working day. 

We are having some heavy, dirty, & very noisy work done here at the "The Facility".

So since I am Baby sitting the construction crews I thought I would "dust" off one of my staled 900 MHz repeater projects I had been working on in my spare time.

It is made into a scrap RLP chassis that got damaged in shipping and the front panel is also a scratch & dent special.

You see working here I have chassis options that some folks do not have.

The plus side is we have a metal brake and drill press and lots of hardware at my disposal.

I had the front panel cut for almost a year now, I got it drilled & painted this morning and I finally got the main chassis laid out & drilled today.

Glad I had lots of space here.. more holes.......... :)

So now I am dry fitting all the radio gear to see if there is any other holes and such that need to be added.

I added some more progress to the project, I had to re-drill the radio mounting since I did not allow for the front panel brackets, so everything had to move back 2 inches so it would fit.

I got to keep the duplexer holes, but I had top raise it off the bottom with some tall standoffs.

You all wonder what is inside??

  • 2 -TK-931 Trunked/Conventional Kenwood Radio.
  • 1 - Sinclair 800-900 low power duplexer.
  • 1 - DMK universal radio interface, to connect to the Allstar Network
  • 1 - Scratch & Dent RLP power supply chassis from the scrap bin
  • 1 - Scratch & Dent steel front panel of unknown model from the scrap bin.
  • Add some misc screws, fans and  such for the final hook up and connections.
Power out of this device will be about 8~10 watts, good enough to cover a 
small area or use as a low power standby repeater. 

All For Now 
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out.....

Friday, October 4, 2013

442.1500 Repeater Antenna Service and Check Out

Here are some more Images from the 442.1500 Repeater Site.
Included are the pictures from the Facebook page and some others that were sent after the fact.


442.1500 Repeater Antenna Fixing Party.
With Kyle-KØKN, Barry-WØLHK, & Neil-KØGXL
At the St. Lukes South Medical Center, Overland Park, Ks
Wednesday 10/2/2013, we got the DB-420 straightened.
Neil-KØGXL, and Kyle-KØKN did the work and they did a terrific job !

All For Now 
Comments Invited

SmØke out.....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Work & Fun At The Same Time!

Where else can one go to work and have fun at the same time?
At Duracomm of course!
Today I am working on a very large wall of LEDs that make up a 12 ft diagonal video wall.
Yes I said 12 feet!   

P6 Video Screen
I have been putting this together for a couple of weeks now. Why it take so long you might ask?
Well the system came to me with no assembly instructions and the manuals that did come were 
in another language and very little English.  So my task was to assemble this system and make 
an English assembly document so others can do it after I am done playing with it. 

Rear View of System
The hard part will be setting up the PC that will drive this unit as I believe it uses some kind 
of RS-485 signalling to send the picture information to the screens.
I love my job! :)

All For Now 
Comments Invited

SmØke out.....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

ON BEING LUCKY - A Story by TC Dailey - WØEAJ

I’m not as lucky as my Dad was, but I’m right up there.  My Dad could walk into a dance, or carnival, or the like... win the door prize, and/or walk out with the top prize, by the very act of “being there”.  Mom said it was uncanny, and almost embarrassing.

Trash Day
I’m not THAT lucky, but growing up in the 50’s and 60’s (ham radio’wise) was definitely one of the grandest times to have been a kid, interested in electronics and radio.  Municipal Trash Collection day, in Kansas City, was on a Thursday, so along with the “other” crazy kids I hung around with, all of us would leave for school early, so we could rummage through the “neat trash” that people had thrown away, and come home with old radios, and anything else that looked electronic, for absolutely NO money, and little effort.


One of THE best parts was getting the ALLIED RADIO, Burstein-Applebee, LAFAYETTE, Jamaica Radio, & HEATHKIT catalogs in the mail, and barring a drool-cup, salivating over the radios in the ham sections (that you KNEW you could never afford).

Ham radio gear back then, seemed to be in Wrinkle Paint – so very cool and “official” looking.  Black wrinkle, Grey wrinkle, & Green wrinkle were what told you that whatever it was, it MUST be cool... therefore good.  Of course, there was National’s gunmetal silver-grey, Hallicrafters’ matte black & silver, Hammarlund’s 2-tone grey, WRL’s weird grey-green trim, Johnson’s grey & maroon, and of course Harvey-Wells’ TBS-50 et. al. in grey wrinkle with red trim.  Gonset had the mobile twins in CHROME, and Multi-Elmac made the AF-67 & 68 “Transciter”with a chrome “ring” around the face, but radios had a personality – an “identity” if you will.  Simply put, they didn't all wear the same clothes.

Harvey-Wells’ TBS-50
Oh, and there was something, about gear back then... that incredible scent of Bakelite  warm resistors, wire insulation, capacitor wax, and the heady aroma of “burned dirt” atop tubes, all mixed together in a sort of ham’s “Eau d’ Cologne du Electronique” , that to this day, makes my head swim with memories when I smell it, wafting out of the top or back of yet another radio I've resurrected, or been privileged to turn on.

Multi-Elmac AF-68 “Transciter.
I just finished putting back together, a Multi-Elmac AF-68 “Transciter.  It’s a 60 watt AM & CW transmitter that was primarily intended for mobile use.  Many hams have used them (and still use them) for an AM exciter – thus the name Transciter (transmitter & exciter) at the home station, and they are a direct comparison for the famous Johnson Ranger, which has similar power and features.  Some users of the AF-67 & 68, insist that the Multi-Elmac has better audio, but it’s up to the owner.

As a kid, I saw one in a car, parked in front of the main store of the old Burstein-Applebee (for whom I worked, later on) in Kansas City.  It was SOOoooo pretty, and just looked like the ne’ plus ultra of mobile rigs (which it was) of the time.  Not long after the AF-68 was brought out (featuring the 6m band, and leaving off the 160m band), our hobby swung toward SSB, and the concept of the “Transceiver”, putting everything into ONE box.  

The companies that didn't catch on, didn't last – heck, even some that did (National, Hallicrafters, SBE, SWAN, Eldico, Heathkit & Cosmophone, among others) didn't hold onto the market, either.  

It’s been said that the Yaesu FT-101 caused the “death of Heathkit”, and I believe they’re right.. but even those “hybrid” rigs like the Yaesu’s, Kenwoods, & Drakes have good smells and memories – Sorry, but my ICOM 756 PROII works swell, but it just doesn't have that PERFUME.

dit dit. 

TC Dailey - WØEAJ

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Day Job .....LED Lights and Water and Power!

Well I feel powerful today!  
I got to shut down a major sized fountain here in the "City of Fountains" to test one of my prototype RGB LED fixtures.

" This gift to the city in the name of the co-founder of H&R Block, Inc is located at Pershing & Main Streets outside Union Station. It features 232 jets arranged in three concentric rings within an ellipse of black granite. A thin sheen of water on the flat granite creates a mirror to reflect the monumental architecture on either side. A computer choreographs an ever-changing pattern of display. On each hour and half-hour, a five-minute "high show" presents a celebration of water in movement. The fountain was designed by WET Design, the designers of the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas."
"Henry Wollman Bloch Memorial Fountain"

I am designing a LED light conversion for this fountain, one of my projects here at my day job at Duracomm. Currently there is no light show for fountain, as all the lights are incandescent warm white sealed beam lamps that are on or off. The only show is the computer generated water show as described above.
When I am done the colorful light show will complement the water show with a computer choreographed operation. This is fairly complex operation. Anyhow this is one of the many things I get to do in my day job.

Here are some of the older "super lights" in the middle of the fountain. 
16 "Big Shooters" make the big squirts - These are air driven jets here. These get changed out and new colorful LED super lights get installed. 

This is one of my prototype LED fixtures I was "dry" fitting for the conversion. Dry is the operative word here, it all was wet and under 9 inches of water. :)

This is in the pump room under the fountain.
8 high speed water pumps make the water shoot high in to the air. 232 jets make the fountain look spectacular!   

This is the mini-shooter relay panel. This is what controls the water jets on & off patterns.


Can you say explosion at a spaghetti factory!  

This where the "majic" happens, the PLC controller for the water show. 

Here is a close up of the older "super lights" in the middle of the fountain. 
"Big Shooters" make the big squirts - These are air driven jets here. These lamps get changed out and new colorful RGB LED super lights get installed. 

The fountain was completed in 2002. I am excited to get to work on this big one.

All for Now
It is back to work before the rain gets here again and I get wet.....
Comments Invited


Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Field Day Post From TC, WØEAJ - DEN

...and THIS morning, I listened to KØOJ and the AM net on a Gonset G-66 Receiver.  I got it at the Longmont, CO ham-fest; the guy had two - one he said worked, and this one "not so much"... I got IT and it's accompanying mobile p/s for $20... it looks as if it had gone through a flood or had been around some "wet".  I replaced the VERY difficult to reach "black beauty" caps, cleaned tube socket pin-jacks (a real bugger on 7 & 9 pin versions) [some of which were green], replaced one INCORRECT tube / I think he stuck it in there to make it LOOK complete... then had to try and guess which alignment coils were which, as those pages didn't download... I finally found another site which had the FULL manual (also, "not so much"), and did a cursory alignment.. maybe that's called a curse-o-ree one.  Got it kinda working... ultimately found that a .0033 tubular cap across the audio-output xfmr primary was buggered up, and the dropping resistor for the OB2 was essentially un-soldered (disintegrated solder joint) at one end... It's still a bit flaky, but worked pretty doggone well this morning.

Why'd I buy it?  My VERY FIRST Elmer; I mean the guy who FIRST showed me a real ham shack, was a chap named Carl Bruns (KØGOZ sk)... He had a '58 Buick Roadmaster (cool, in it'self), but it had a G-66 & G-77 matched pair (CHROME, yeah!), feeding a Webster BandSpanner - I mean, how cool is that - yeahhhhhhhh.  I always wanted one of these receivers... maybe because Carl had one, so now I got it... amazing critter, as it's 10 tubes, and TRIPLE conversion!  I've been running it with the Heath IP-17 HV bench supply... 12v filaments, with 210vdc @ about 70ma B+.  I still have to fix the BFO... it does work, but injection is very, very low, so I'm guessing there's yet another bad cap or resistor... or dirty pin.

TC,  WØEAJ - dit dit

PS - At the time I was sent the pdf of Carl's old QSL card, I'd just finished my 2nd. Valiant, and was LISTENING to an SX-99  (same as in Carl's shack, on the day I met him) - later on, Carl & his wife moved into a house DIRECTLY BEHIND my folks' - at 71st St, across from Antioch Middle School (Milburn JHS)