Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aug 24, 2011 B-17 Radio Compartment Work

Great view of the aircraft.  That's me in the window of the radio compartment.
 Got to spend a couple of hours at the museum today with Mac-KF4LMT doing some work in preparation for our next communications event on Sept 17th.  Since the last work day we have ordered and recieved a new tuner for the Kenwood HF radio so that we can better transmit on the 80 meter band.  The Kenwood TS-480 internal tuner wasn't quite cutting it on 80 meters so we had Dave, one of the project managers order a new LDG KT-100 auto tuner which has a control cable connection to the TS-480.  Perfect.  We spent some time determining exactly where to mount the unit and decided to attach it directly to the HF rig which is under the radio table.  Mac suggested we use some "Superlock" tape which I think will work just fine.  Went ahead and installed the coax jumper and control cable to the Kenwood and will mount the tuner on the next visit. 

We also had Dave order us a small, low power FM Transmitter to interface with the BC-348 Reciever so we can send the audio output over the air so that it can be heard on regular ol FM radios outside the aircraft (or anywhere in the museum really).  This keeps us from having to run external speakers to the outside of the aircraft and gives us great flexibility in allowing visitors to the museum to hear what's going on inside the radio compartment.  Thanks to Carroll Baker-WX4Y for this great idea.  Mac and I tossed around some ideas on where to mount this unit and will install and test on the next visit. 

While at the museum today we discovered that the HF dipole antenna had been the victim of a very strong wind gust during a recent afternoon storm.  One of the poles of the dipole pulled away from the center feed point so we repaired that and hoisted the antenna back up into it's normal position.  Will put the analyzer on it and test everything on the next visit.

Also noted a couple of new items in the radio compartment since the last visit.  Bob McDonald and John Finch have completed the fabrication of the Liason Transmitter mount and have installed the transmitter on the bulkhead.  It looks great!  The team has also added fire extinguishers in the cockpit and the radio compartment.  A must addition now that we have electricity running thru the aircraft!

I still continue to work on documentation and drawings of our equipment layout and wiring as well as a "preflight checklist" for the systems.

Overall a great day working on this phoenominal project!

Newly installed BC-375 Liason Transmitter

Looking aft with newly installed BC-375 Liason Transmitter on right and Tuning Units on left

Closeup of BC-375 Liason Transmitter.  Plan to have this working in the future.

Our new LDG  KT-100 Antenna Tuner for the amateur HF Radio

Our new low power FM transmitter to carry the BC-348 Reciever audio out of the aircraft

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