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Author Topic: Embarrassment time...  (Read 4293 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 359




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« on: March 05, 2013, 02:27:57 AM »

You know all the problems I was having with my Kenwood TS130? Turns out the mic gain was turned down too low.  Roll Eyes Tongue Apparently the resistance of my dummy load is far less than that of my antenna, so what was an acceptable setting for the DL was not so for broadcast. I had to do on air, late night live testing to find the correct mic gain level. I also had to recalculate my tuner settings. Frustratingly, the SWR on 15m won't go below 2:1, so I just can't use 15m.  Angry Go easy on me, I only got my General in October 2012.
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1984




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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 02:35:01 AM »

Tough luck or Murphy's law. You are honest, many prefer to remain silent.
So take it as a gain in experience.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1674




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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 03:52:53 AM »

Been there done that:No different than figuring out that my K-1 did not transmit or key very well without key plug in the jack. Grin
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 05:50:21 AM »

If the radio starts to heat up quite a bit when you're on 15 meters, then you should worry, but a 2:1 SWR really isn't all that bad.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 05:52:40 AM by K1CJS » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 3839




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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 09:10:11 PM »

ZOL:  I echo POL's response!  If we would start a thread there on the dumbass things each of us has done in our radio careers, it would be never ending!  Welcome to the club.

When our group started training in the power department, we were told by the Engineer-in-Charge to "own up" to any mistakes we make.  He explained that this eliminated the need to look for a problem where none existed and life could go on.

You doing this gave closure to your "problem" and everyone can move on with that little bit of knowledge filed for the next time a similar problem comes up.
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K8AC
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Posts: 1474




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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 06:20:57 AM »

Bryan - a few comments since you're new.  Avoid use of the term broadcast - that isn't appropriate for amateur operation, although I understood what you were getting at.  If your tuner is properly adjusted for the transmission frequency, the transmitter should see the same impedance whether operating into the dummy load or the tuner/antenna.  Depending upon the impedance matching range of the tuner and the impedance presented by the antenna, it may not be possible to adjust it so it presents a 50 ohm load to the transmitter.  You didn't mention anything about the antenna or tuner, so can't comment on your particular combination.  As someone else mentioned, a 2:1 SWR should not preclude you using the antenna on 15M, but I don't know at what point the TS130 begins to fold back power as the SWR rises.  Most modern rigs will tolerate a 2:1 SWR at full power output.  The resistance of your dummy load should be very close to 50 ohms - measure it.  Properly adjusting the tuner should allow you to present a 50 ohm load to the transmitter with no reactive component, so it should make no difference to the rig whether you're transmitting into the dummy load or the antenna.  In the real world, it isn't always possible to adjust the tuner for that and there will be some residual reactive component to the impedance, so that you may see a small difference in the measured output power.  At any rate, good luck with the TS130 and your new General license.
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 10:59:13 AM »

Bryan - a few comments since you're new.  Avoid use of the term broadcast - that isn't appropriate for amateur operation, although I understood what you were getting at.  If your tuner is properly adjusted for the transmission frequency, the transmitter should see the same impedance whether operating into the dummy load or the tuner/antenna.  Depending upon the impedance matching range of the tuner and the impedance presented by the antenna, it may not be possible to adjust it so it presents a 50 ohm load to the transmitter.  You didn't mention anything about the antenna or tuner, so can't comment on your particular combination.  As someone else mentioned, a 2:1 SWR should not preclude you using the antenna on 15M, but I don't know at what point the TS130 begins to fold back power as the SWR rises.  Most modern rigs will tolerate a 2:1 SWR at full power output.  The resistance of your dummy load should be very close to 50 ohms - measure it.  Properly adjusting the tuner should allow you to present a 50 ohm load to the transmitter with no reactive component, so it should make no difference to the rig whether you're transmitting into the dummy load or the antenna.  In the real world, it isn't always possible to adjust the tuner for that and there will be some residual reactive component to the impedance, so that you may see a small difference in the measured output power.  At any rate, good luck with the TS130 and your new General license.

My antenna is a Radiowavz G5RV Jr. fed into a Ten Tec 228 tuner. I don't know what my dummy load is, it has no markings. See my posting about my dummy load in Misc. It's possible that the dummy load is not working at its original specs (it's pretty old).
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1435




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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 11:15:42 AM »

You are probably seeing that almost everyone has made similar mistakes. I bet you will not make that one again! Don't worry, there are only 11,624 other mistakes you can make throughout your time with amateur radio.

I do suggest not getting in the habit of quickly wiping the tip of your soldering iron on your blue jeans to clean off the dross. Sooner or later you will be soldering while wearing shorts. Just trust me on that one.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 05:18:33 AM »

...Don't worry, there are only 11,624 other mistakes you can make throughout your time with amateur radio....

Gee, I could have sworn I made more than that during my years...  Grin

Quote
I do suggest not getting in the habit of quickly wiping the tip of your soldering iron on your blue jeans to clean off the dross. Sooner or later you will be soldering while wearing shorts. Just trust me on that one.

That or thin polyester pants--maybe even worse!

73!
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 09:08:42 AM »

Yup, we all have made similar and dumbass mistakes.

I remember bringing home my brand new Kenwood TS-940S/AT.
At the time it was my very FIRST "bought new in the box"
rig. Was I excited! $2,500 1986 bucks! Fired that puppy up and
NO AUDIO on receive. OH God, NO!
Twenty minutes later I figured out that it left the
factory with the RF Gain turned all the way down. DOH! Grin
73, Ken  AD6KA
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1674




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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 10:07:01 AM »

 Re: AA4HA  Reply #7

I trust you Tisha, I wouldn't want to ruin my blue jeans either. Grin
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KE4GNK
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 10:05:55 AM »

Heh, I guess I am NOT the only one that figured out the hard way that wearing shorts when soldering was a BAD idea.  And the quick wipe on the pants bit with a hot solder iron was an easy-to acquire bad habit.

Still have the scars.  Now I have a real soldering iron with a stand and a sponge to do the wiping.  Much less painful.

The WORST one that ever happened to me was I was at work, wearing shorts, and the guy that sat right next to me was using an Exact-o knife with a VERY sharp fresh blade to clean up a circuit board he was repairing.  Long story short, he slipped, and slashed a nice 3 inch cut into my leg.  We were both totally shocked, then BOTH started laughing at the absurdity of it all while I grabbed some Kimwipes and put pressure on it to stop the bleeding.  At least he missed the tender bits...

My buddy was still totally embarrassed for a couple months after that...and I really did not blame him for the accident.  Superficial cut healed quickly, but from then on we were a heck of a lot more careful using knives in close quarters...
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M0HCN
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 03:39:20 PM »

Actually, damp sponge is not a good way to clean a tip, better to use brass wool as it does not impose the thermal shock that can strip the plating from the bit, and yea tip cleaning on the jeans is a BAD plan.

In other notes, it works better when it's plugged in!

... Take one large wirewrap board full of 4000 series cmos, some of it sequential, place said card into rack in industrial control system, start getting phone calls at odd hours about automation failures.

After much swearing, and far too many late nights, eventually find that the power supply switch was set to O-F-F and the thing was being powered from the logic lines via the input protection diodes! Worked fine until one too many inputs went low where upon the thing would loose its internal state.
Move switch from O-F-F to O-N and everything worked perfectly.

Regards, Dan.
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