We had a great time at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum today operating amateur radio station WW2COS from the radio compartment of the B-17 "City of Savannah". Steve-K4SDJ and I arrived onsite around 0800 and promptly connected our exteranl antennas for HF and VHF/UHF. Jeff Hoopes arrived shortly thereafter and we got the 12v and 24v distribution up. Double checked all electrical and RF connections then fired up the BC-348 and the Kenwood ham station. Steve setup the information area outside the aft hatch and and spent most of the day interacting with museum visitors.
I got some good comm checks on the HF rig and the dual bander and then turned my attention to the 70 year old BC-348 Reciever. Uh oh, trouble. The tuning knob will not turn and frequency indicator wheel is blank. Hmm....time to open it up and see what's going on. I pulled the case off and was able to get a good look at the tuning knob gears. There is a leaver of some kind that locks the gear if the tuning knob goes past a certain point in the frequency band. I freed up the leaver and tuned the knob back into the band. Tuning knob now turning freely and the frequency range is now visible in the window. Whew! Slid the unit back in the case and powered it back up. Good to go.
Takes a good hour or so for the tubes to warm up and the occilator to stabilize so I began to make some contacts on the ham station. The bands were in pretty good shape and the station performed pretty well today. After several local radio operators came through for a visit I got streaming video feed up and running so folks good see us operating in the compartment. Had the feed streaming here to my blog. Seemed to work real well.
Spent the rest of the day making contact with hams all across the country and talking with visitors to the museum. Toward the end of the day Henry Skipper, the CEO of the museum asked me if I would do a quick interview with the local ESPN Radio affiliate who was doing a live broadcast from the museum for Veterans Day. It was fun. Got to talk about our involvement with the restoration project and what it's been like to work with 70 year old radio equipment.
Radio interview complete, it was time to shut things down for the day. Powered everything down, killed the video feed and packed things up. Looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow. We'll be at the museum early in the morning to provide communications support for the "Flying Fortress 5K" race that raises funds for the project. After the race, we'll be back on the air with WW2COS.
WW2COS ready to go with our new callsign plate
BC-348 out of it's case to troubleshoot and repair tuning knob
Not how you want to start the day......with a broken radio!
I am a member of the Coastal Amateur Radio Society and the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Radio Club and am currently serving as a new ADEC Metro Atlanta ARES. I am also a communications unit director with the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Communication Team and a volunteer with the Red Cross SAF (Service to Armed Forces). Been married to Lorie for 31 years and have five children ranging from age 18 to 29. I have one son that served as an Infantryman in the US Army who served in Iraq and a daughter that is serving in the Georgia National Guard. Ooooooaaahh!!!
Yaesu FT-857D for HF and UHF Yaesu FT-2800M for VHF Kenwood TS-440S Kenwood PS-50 Power Supply Kenwood SP-430 Speaker Kenwood MC-60 Desk Mic Astatic D-104 Desk mic Yaesu VX-7R Quad Band Handheld Radio Shack Pro-96 Digital Scanner Astron SS-25M DC Power Supply RIGrunner 4008 DC Power Panel LDG Z-11 Pro Autotuner MFJ SWR Wattmeter LDG FT Meter Yaesu MD-100 Desk Mic RadioShack External Speaker G5RV for 80M thru 6M G5RV Jr. for 40M thru 10M Homebrew J-Pole for VHF/UHF Homebrew ground plane for 2m/70cm RS ground plane ant for Scanner Comet CF-416 Duplexer MFJ-259B Analyzer Dell 530S to run all radio related sw Ham Radio Delux Program Echolink Program Winlink Program Bu-Tel ARC96 Scanner sw La Cross WS-3610 Weather Station B&D Portable Power Station Honeywell HW2000i generator
Mobile Station Components
Yaesu FT-857D for HF Yaesu FT-1802M for 2 meters Icom ID-800H for UHF and D-STAR Yaesu VX-2R HT for portable op RS Dual band magmount antenna Low profile magmount for 2 meters Low profile magmount for scanner High Sierra Sidekick antenna for HF