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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

There's Good News and There's Bad News

Well, Yesterday didn't go according to plan in the slightest....

I started the task of erecting in UHF/VHF beam - the antenna has 3 elements on 2m and 5 elements on 70cm:

I'm trying to mount the antenna so it's pointing upwards at an elevation of about 27 degrees. To facilitate this my mate crazy Paul has made me a plate - exactly to my specifications:

Well, as you can see, this plate is nothing like thick enough so I am having to have another made in with a more substantial base material.

I also discovered yesterday that the brackets I had bought to mount the pole on the house, which were called 9" stand off brackets, only stand the pole off the wall by about 6". This isn't enough to clear the eaves so I am having crazy Paul do some welding for me to correct that little issue also.

Now, the good news is that my surface mount project is moving along slowly:
If you expand the image you can see how good or otherwise I am at "extreme soldering". Trying to neatly solder these tiny components is simply nuts - I don't recommend it.
The kit came from:

http://www.radio-kits.co.uk/

and is supplied as an extremely nifty package; all the components are split into bags containing a number of identical parts. So, for example, you may install 3 identical transistors, 10 same value capacitors and 6 same value resistors. This means that mixing up the bits and installing the wrong part in the wrong place should be close to impossible. This is a good thing as trying to read these tiny bits is rather tricky - I have to use a magnifying glass and then it's still close to impossible.

The downside of this method of construction is that you can't build a bit, test a bit. This is always my preferred construction method. Debugging this board once complete is going to be tough. The instructions are really clear, however, and so far it's all going together well. Time will tell....
Anyhow, I'm planning to press on with this project today, and here is the obligatory cat photo:
Crazy, Hugh?

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