Friday, 10 April 2015

Rig swap

It is time to meet "General Shufflebottoms". Time to move everything around for the summer.

This has been prompted by the demise of my 6m 100W linear (temporary I hope). Also snagging is that I have ordered a rig to replace one here and it has not arrived after 4 months!  But enough of that.

Meet the new General (who is back because he was sacked from somewhere else)

General back in charge is the M+E ME4T-Pro 70 MHz transverter.

Everything else has shuffled about:-

2m -
No change - Icom IC-7100 and Microset SR200 linear

4m -
WAS Icom IC7100 + TE 0610G,
NOW FT817 + ME4T-Pro Transverter + TE 0610G linear.

6m -
WAS Flex 1500 + RM VLA150 (RIP),
NOW Icom IC-7100

10m -
WAS FT817 + RM KL203 linear
NOW Flex 1500 + KL203 linear.

So what does that prove?

I can now run 100 watts again on 6m, without the RM VLA-150 linear that went arrrggghhh. I am now using again a beautiful piece of equipment, the M+E ME4T-Pro transverter. This really nice piece of kit has been off to Hungary for a make-over by Gabi (HA1YA), the man who built it in the first place. Gabi says it is working better than ever and I think he is right. Suddenly I can hear the Buxton beacon which I never heard on the Icom IC-7100.

But sadly driving the ME4T is the FT-817. This is not the best bit of gear ever (as discussed earlier in this blog). How-and-ever, it seems to be better than the Flex 1500 for this task just now. Let us just try and see. I have plugged in an outboard speaker and I use a desk mike.

It is not easy to get the FT-817 to accept data and CAT controls while at the same time sending PTT to the transverter. However, I have made up a lead to allow this and so far so good. The power output of the 817 falls as it gets hot on data. In the past I have added a fan. Right now the transverter has the fan, controlled off the PTT line via the linear. Maybe I can set the 817 on top of the transverter to share the air flow. Anyway, I have set it up so that the "PWR" control on the ME4T can cover the range by which the 817 loses umph.

If all of this work looks like a big kerfuffle to do very little, that is in deed true. The idea was that  I would have a dedicated 4m rig here by now. But that has not happened. The drawback of bringing back the transverter, just as it has always been, is that using 28MHz as the IF for the transverter gets in the way of 28MHz WSPR. Which was why I wanted to stop using the transverter in the first place. But just for now I will have to accept that.

This will last until I sack the General again and bring in the new General, who is the old failed General from somewhere else.

Never throw anything out or sell it. As soon as it is gone you will be wanting to shuffle it back into use.



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