Fun Summer Projects

Field Strength Meter

I was reminded yesterday how careful you have to be when it gets too hot or too cold outside. I spent all weekend outside for quite a few hours – and while I took many breaks in the shade and drank lots of ice water, I was in the mid day sun in the heat for quite some time. I was pretty tired yesterday at work – trying to recover from the weekend – but I am very, very pleased with the outcome of the UrbanBeam on the AB-577 tower. That was a big project and it feels great to get back to a better height antenna wise. In fact, while I loved my N6BT DXU-32, in retrospect, that was a giant antenna – and it proved how strong these AB-577’s are. Like the Collins Gold Dust Twins, they are an engineering marvel, actually. I do feel a lot safer with the UrbanBeam up top – its a pretty heavy antenna, but no where near as big and heavy as the DXU-32.

Playing with different keys – which led to an epiphany and new direction CW wise for me

I have more than just one Summer Project, and am very excited to get started:

  1. Get the Begali HST III online and plugged into the next project on this list
  2. Build the 3 input, 4 output key switch box – use it with 4 rigs
  3. Continue my W1AW Nightly 40M Code Practice copy using just my noggin
  4. Play guitar – its not radio – but there are tubes and a vintage amp involved!
  5. Continue my personal training at the gym. I have lost 4 pounds in the first 2 weeks
  6. Steampunk lamp – made with iron pipe fittings and vintage cord and a Bakelite plug and switch
  7. Finalize my inverted vee antenna – and take down the DX Engineering DV-40-P
  8. Start DX-ing using the QRP rigs
  9. Get the D-104 working with the KWS-1. That reminds me – finish fixing that brass tape problem that lowers and raises the “slug rack”
  10. Sell the remaining excess gear
  11. Fix the Rat Pack switch box problem – it seems like the shack control box has one flaky position
  12. Make a home brewed loop antenna – and possibly move the SW-3 to above the workbench shelf

    http://makearadio.com/loops/index.php
  13. Make some circuits to give me excuses to continue my test equipment education – I had a blast trouble shooting the KWS-1 issue
  14. Figure out some new on the air “pursuit” – perhaps County Hunting – maybe QRP?
  15. Look into FT8, but only if its involves using a “special” transceiver – such as a QRP rig dedicated to the mode and hooked up to the laptop in the shack
  16. Create a presentation on the Gold Dust Twins for Pacificon
  17. Go through the exercises in the electronics books I have to learn more about electronic theory
  18. Get my under the house shop in order
  19. Continue my “re-reading” of some classics – after 1984 I think I will soften things up with maybe Patterson by William Carlos Willaims – my pediatrician (!!!!!!)

One thing that has fallen off the list is the remote tuner idea using the Collins 180S. Maybe some day – I will keep the two that I have because I do expect that hanging a wire antenna from the AB-577 opens up some new ideas an an antenna testing “platform” of sorts.

Work is super busy, but these days I love going to work and also love my weekends. I’ve been reminded in this past year how important it is to have balance – in fact, mixing things up a bit, trying new things and breaking up your routine is not tiring – its energizing. I do have a glimpse into why some say they are more busy in retirement than when they were at work – if you have the drive and some interests, there is a lot you can try and do.

And it all adds up to “re-creation” . . . .

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