Saturday, May 28, 2022

6m: Finally a little opening over the Atl

This season has been very low in openings across the Atlantic Ocean so far.  Here hoping a change is on the way.  Nice little EA8/CU opening this morning.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Crisis averted!

So it seems like just about every year there's some sort of major malfunction with my station right around April or May LOL.  Just before the 6m season starts.  This year was no exception to that!

I started to notice the past 3-4 weeks that my RX would simply drop out.  Like completely.  I was all mentally preparing for having to make some major changes with my main radio.  I kept trying to isolate where the issue really was, as finally I was disconnecting the coax from my amp to my band-pass filter and decided I'd bypass the band-pass filter just to see how it would behave.  There's about a 3 foot section of LMR600 there with N-Type connectors on each end, and on the end towards the band-pass filter lived a 90-degree N-Type Elbow adapter.  I noticed after I removed that the I didn't have any more issues with my RX dropping out.

So I took a closer look at the pins on this adapter and found it had been arcing for a while.  This connector sees 1300w fairly regularly.

It's now been about 3-4 days and the problem of RX dropping out has gone completely (I hope I'm not jinxing it!)

Here is a few photos of the connector.  This is NOT the first time I've had issues with N-Type connectors and high power.  It's not really a surprise but I wasn't seeing any SWR spikes so I didn't suspect this at all.

Anyway...should you be using Type-N connectors and have weak RX or no RX suddenly after TX'ing, check your connectors!  This is the 3rd time in 20 years I've had one of these things fail.  Sometimes they fail really badly too!  This wasn't spectacular thankfully!

Notice the pitting, and burn marks!  It's really high time I stop using Type-N connectors, I've never had a UHF connector fail.  I'm sure they can, but it's highly unlikely something like this would happen at the power levels I use.  

Thankfully this issue didn't cost me anything except a few sleepless nights!

6m: Lil one-way EU opening