Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pete-K4JAC Antenna Work

After breakfast this morning, Mark-KA4CID and I went over to Pete's-K4JAC house to give him a hand taking down an antenna that he needs to do some repair work on.  It's a vertical antenna that's mounted on a mast up on the roof.  Pete's wife told him that he was too old now to get up on the roof.  Pete turned 83 today!  So that means that 82 must be the cutoff age to climb up on the roof for the rest of us now! 

Mark and I climbed up and after disconnecting the radials, some guy wires, and cutting the mounting hardware, we were able to lower the antenna down to the ground.  Pete's gotta do some straightening of the tubing that was bent in a wind storm.  Once he's got that done then we'll go back over and help him put it back up.  Sure was good to spend some time with Pete.  He's got a wealth of knowledge about radios. antennas, and electronics in general. 

While we were there Pete showed us an old Heathkit organ that he put together back in the 60's.  I never knew Heathkit did those!  But that thing is packed with electronics.  What an interesting piece.  Pete's wife says it still plays as well as it did when Pete built it.

Pete has a great supply of old parts and test equipment.  He knows that Mark and I are both in the process of restoring vintage radios and he told us not to buy any parts that we might need, to check with him first since he probably has whatever we're looking for.  What a great guy. 

Pete's antenna farm on the rooftop

Mark disconnecting feedline and radials


Mark is not 83 years old yet so he can climb on the roof

Vertical antenna safety on the ground

Pete gave Mark an piece of test equipment that he needs to work on the vintage radio he's restoring

Pete showing us the Heathkit organ that he built back in the 60's

"Under the hood" of the Heathkit organ

"Under the hood" of the Heathkit organ

"Under the hood" of the Heathkit organ

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Formal Message Handling Class

Had a great formal message handling class tonight here in Savannah.  Thanks to our Georgia Section Traffic Manager, Charles-K4GK for making the trip from Sandersville to deliver his informative training session.  If anyone knows how to move a piece of traffic, it's Charles!  Lord knows he's been doing it long enough.  We're fortunate to have operators like Charles in Georgia.  What a great asset he is.

Charles covered the use of the ARRL Radiogram Form as well as the ICS213 Message Form.   Charles also explained the Nation Traffic System and how a message is move thru it.  It was a great interactive session with lots of good questions.

We had about 15 operators in attendance tonight representing Chatham, Effingham, Bulloch, and Liberty Counties.  Kevin-KW4B was able to arrange for us to meet in one of the training rooms at the Candler Hospital IT Building.  Great facility for training.

Now it's up to us to pratice what we've learned so that we'll be ready and able to pass traffic in and out of our neck of the woods.  We plan to continue to incorporate traffic handling during our local drills and exercises and we also plan to have some local practice nets.

Charles, K4GK imparting wisdom

This is what it's all about

Charles, K4GK - Georgia Section Traffic Manager

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hallicrafters S-53A Update

Got to spend a little time today working on the S-53A.  Still needed a 5Y3GT rectifier tube so I got the suggestion from Ralph-W4REQ to check with Pete-K4JAC.  I emailed Pete and sure enough he had an old 5Y3 in his stash and told me to come on over and pick it up.  So on the way to church tonight I stopped by Petes and got the tube as well as some diodes and a tube base in case I want to build a solid state rectifier instead.  Pete also drew up some nice diagrams for me to follow if I go that route.  What a swell guy.  Pete needs some help lowering one of his vertical antennas so he can do some work on it so I told him I'd come by sometime and give him a hand.  Seems like a fair trade.  That's what I love about ham radio! 

After church I went ahead and took the case off the radio so that I could clean out the glass from the old broken tube.  Also found the washers and nuts that are supposed to hold the transformer to the main assembly.  These nuts had evidently come off at some point and allowed the transformer to come loose and hit up against the rectifier tube thereby shattering it.  Got it secured now.  Gonna do a thorough cleaning on the inside while I have everything apart.  Also need to replace a toggle switch that controls "Standby/Recieve".  I'll start searching for one of those next.  The dial face is also bent inward and is causing the tuning for the Bandspread and Frequency to be obstructed.  Still trying to figure out what I need to do about that. 

That's it for tonight.  I'll work on it some more this week.

View of the back with the case off

Serial Number

Underside Circuitry

Some of the broken tube glass that was floating around inside

Replacement 5Y3 Rectifier Tube that I got from Pete-K4JAC

Replacement 5Y3 Tube that I got from Pete-K4JAC.  Note the diagrams that Pete drew up for me.

Broken glass inside the radio


Closeup of some of the components