Sunday, 17 December 2017


of both varieties!

Its been quite a while since I did much radio, so today I finally shifted the heap of spares and other bits off of the shack desk. A quick tune about showed the HF propagation to be next to nowt, so instead contented myself with finally working out the best way to connect my keyer and twin paddle key up!

This involved making up a custom cable, allowing me to connect the phono connector keying output on the keyer, to the screw terminal posts on my Kent straight key. This was a bit confusing at first, as the HF transceiver would go into Tx and stay transmitting! This turned out to be due to having the key line inverted!

A handful of test transmissions later and the keying is up and running. Ive also added four rubber feet to the twin paddle, which helps stop it sliding around the desk!

The other homebrewing ive been doing, was to start a 6 liter batch of Turbo Cider, and a tropical WOW wine. Unfortunately, this cost me more than expected, when I found that the ambient temperatures were too low, and had to invest in a heat tray! But the cider is now bubbling away merrily.

The WOW wine, is somewhat experimental. I have calculated the ingredients (sugar content) of this to drive a sachet of High Alcohol yeast to its limits. This should hit 18% ABV, if not more! It is also based on a tropical juice mix! Ive no ideal how it will turn out, but the must smelt and tasted amazing! I suppose I will know in a few weeks!

Tomorrow is the first performance of my youngest lads school Christmas show. There was something of a panic on Friday that the show would be without stage lighting, when it was discovered the DMX controller wouldnt work! A call went out for anyone with knowledge of stage lighting to contact the school...

...well, its about 20 years since I worked on stage lighting, and ive no experience of DMX, but I offered my services anyway, on the presumption that it would likely be a simple fault.

And indeed it was. The DC input socket had been flexed a bit too much and the PCB track at the positive socket pin has cracked.

Around half an hour in the workshop, and I had linked out all the power input connections to the nearest suitable solid connection. The school had their controller back, fully working, by the end of the school day.

Ive also finally been bothered to reconnect the power supply to my WSPR beacon. This I will leave on 40m for a while.

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