Saturday, July 9, 2011

2010 ARES Simulated Emergency Test Results

2010 Simulated Emergency Test (SET) results are in. Georgia came in #1 in the nation. Chatham County came in #4 in the State of Georgia! Way to go team!  See complete details at the ARRL website.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting Closer To Transmitting from "The City of Savannah"

Did a few more things today to get ready for our first official transmission from the radio compartment of the B-17.  Spent some more time with Jeff Hoopes who is installing all of the electrical distribution which makes it's way from the battery system under the cockpit through various switches, relays, and fuse panels back to our terminal strip in the radio compartment.  Got sidetracked talking with Jeff about both of our military time in the 80's flying into places like the Azores and Iceland.  Turns out we both spent time at both places right about the same time.  Ahh, the good ol Cold War days.  He was Navy but I forgive him.

I got the coax feedline routed to the amateur radio gear and secured to the bulkhead.  Will finish up the power distribution tomorrow.

Spent some time with Bruce the Facilities Manager of the museum learning how to operate the lift that he got for us to use.  This big piece of equipment is awesome.  Hope I can remember all of the controls tomorrow when we use it to reach the top of the light posts where we will install our antenna supports and pulleys. 

Also talked with one of the amateur radio operators in Shreveport who is going to set up a radio station in front of the B-17 at the Eighth Air Force Museum at Barksdale AFB next Wed.  We plan to make contact with them for our first official transmission.  The two museums have formed a relationship as they both have B-17 restoration projects in the works and they both highlight the great legacy of the Eighth Air Force.  The Shreveport Amateur Radio Association are really excited about making contact with us.  I'll be coordinating times and frequencies with Mike Hawkins, KF5FCY as we get closer to the event next Wed.  We can't thank these guys enough for stepping up to give us a hand with this project. 

Will post another update after tomorrows work.

Coaxial cable antenna feedline routed from inside left wing up through radio room floor to under radio operators table

Another view of coax

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6th, 2011 B-17 Radio Work

Had another productive day at the Mighty Eighth.  Still trying to tie all the ends together for our first official radio transmission from the compartment next Wed afternoon.  Bruce now has a route planned to exit the building for our antenna feedline.  John Finch is building a bracket and installing our lightning arrestors in a weather proof box to be mounted on the side of the building.  Once that's done we can install the connectors on the other end of the coax and hook up our external antennas which we hope to do on Saturday. 

Another big event occured today when one of our radio team, Carroll Baker, WX4Y formally donated a fully restored BC-348 Reciever to the project!  Jerry McLaughlin was only too pleased to accept!  Carroll purchased this radio almost a year ago and has been meticulously restoring it to it's original condition both electronically and cosmetically.  It looks great and Carroll assures us that it sounds great as well.  This will definitely be our flagship component in the radio compartment.  We hope to be installing and testing it in the compartment on Saturday and actually operating with it next Wed. 

We'll back out on Saturday to finish the electrical wiring, terminate the antenna feedline, install our antenna, install the BC-348 and test everything.
Carroll, WX4Y with the newly restored BC-348 Receiver

Jerry McLaughlin accepting the newly restored BC-348 Reciever from Carrol Baker

Carroll has spent the last year restoring this BC-348 to original operating condition