SCARS Newsletter April 6, 2018

In This Issue
Making An “Old” Radio New, Follow-up

Pixie Build, Part Two / 
Online Ham Stuff
Dates To Remember
The Doctor Is In / 
This Week’s ARRL Letter
ARRL DX Bulletin / 
Amateur Radio Newsline / 
Ham Nation / 
Odds and Ends / 
Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles  _…_._

In This Issue

This week’s Newsletter continues the “Project Edition” theme.
N5OP sends an update on his Kenwood TS-930S refurb job,
N5HZR has Part Two (of three) of his tips on building the Pixie Kits that a whole bunch of you ordered,
I introduce you to KD7VUM’s wonderful DIY/Info site,
Ham Nation chimes in with discussions about repairing stuck rotators “at the top of the tower”, an evaluation of “heat shrink tubing”,
and the ARRL Letter leads with a “Ham Census Update” and other good stuff.

It’s not in “Dates”, but Green Country is the weekend of the April club meeting, and if you are inclined to go, the Friday evening session is really, really good.
You can find EVERYTHING you need to know about that at this link:

I HOPE that you haven’t packed-away your Winter Clothes yet,
and have a great weekend – see you on the air!

Making An “Old” Radio New, Follow-up

Kim, N5OP, sends this follow-up to his post from last week. GOTCHA!

Recall that I said “everything works?” Well, this morning I learned that, no, not everything works. The rig had no tx audio for ‘phone. While I don’t operate phone much, it’s on the switch and so I think it oughtta work. There wasn’t even a little audio, there was no audio at all to the tx. None. Zilch. Nil. Nada.

I get home tonight and decided “Alright, immagonna wrestle this to the ground!” and dig in. First off, I find that the schematic is wrong: it misnumbered and mislabeled the audio connector on the signal board. No worries: I trace everything back and determine that, yes: the wire from the mic connector to signal board is good and, yes, it’s plugged into the right spot. But, as I touched the connector, I thought to myself “Self, does that connector seem a bit loose to you?” It seemed to wiggle a lot — especially compared to the other connectors. “Well… That can’t be good.”

OK! Fine, Murphy! Have it your way! I’ll take the signal board out! Again. Twenty-plus connectors and ~20 screws later, it’s out. I look at the audio connector on the foil side. Well, I’ll be dipped!

The land to which one of the pins is soldered has come up from the circuit board material because the copper foil adhesive has failed. And… Could that be? Get the magnifiers out… Yes! The foil is broken right at the solder pad! I repair it and decided to do some preventative maintenance on a couple of others in the neighborhood. Mind you! I’d never worked anywhere near there!

It’s back together and Lo! And Behold! now it really does all work. What would I do with all my spare time if I didn’t have to fix this beast? Oh, yeah: be on the air with it.


Kim N5OP

If you plan on doing stuff like this, one of your FIRST things to buy is a self-supported magnifier, or at worst, wearable magnifiers. For Kim (and you if you should go down this path), he gets to keep his beloved radio for another decade or two of enjoyment rather than trying to hunt down someone else to do the repairs and mods, or junk it altogether and shell-out for a new/different rig.

[Editor’s Note: My DIY projects usually involve such high-tech components like “bailing wire”, which I submit lasts much longer than paracord!]

Pixie Build, Part Two

This week we talk about actually building the radio. You’ll see from the photo below that our parts have all been organized, and you should be able to proceed with the installation. The resistors are on the top, capacitors to the right, inductors and diodes to the left, and the egg carton is full of little parts and pieces. Grab a copy of the Installation and User Operation manual from the web page, and you’ll be ready to go.


Next you can start mounting the parts on the board. This process is usually called stuffing the board. Take a look at the circuit board, and you’ll see two different looking sides. The side that has all of the wording and part labels is the top, or part side, of the board. The other side is the bottom, or solder side, of the board. The general rule is that you mount the shortest parts first. Start with the resistors, diodes, capacitors, and inductors. Place each part, one at a time. Make gentle 90 degree bends in each part lead, and push them into the proper holes on the circuit board. Press the part into the top, or part side, of the board, and spread the leads on the solder side of the board to about 45 degrees, keeping the part from sliding out. Be very careful with the first part you place. Make sure you’re stuffing the board from the correct side.

Typically you place all of the parts of a given type, like all resistors, then double check that you’ve placed the correct resistors in the correct holes. Solder these parts in place, verifying that the solder has connected the board to the part and the piece is mechanically solid. Heathkit reports that 90% of their problems were caused by bad solder connections. Take your time. The assembly is the FUN part of these projects, don’t rush through it. When all of the leads have been soldered, use your side cutters to clip off the leads. Be careful when cutting the leads, hold the lead as you make the cut. If you don’t, the wire will fly across the room causing damage to your, or someone else’s eye.

Once you’ve done all of the resistors, repeat this process with the capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, crystal socket, LM386 socket, and all of the other items. Place the parts, verify their proper insertion, solder them in place, and clip the leads. Check off each part as you place them on the board. Between each type of part, take some time to inspect the board. Make sure all of the solder connections are solid and make sure there aren’t any solder bridges that make connections that shouldn’t be there.

Next week we’ll put the final parts together, and the fire up the transmitter!

73 de N5HZR

Next week, “Part The Last”.

Link of the Week

KD7VUM, Brian Eisenhauer, lives in the little burg of Wickenburg, Arizona. He also has a pack-down-running-over website with all sorts of projects, info, and ideas. Check out his page of DIY antenna projects here:

Online Ham Stuff

New This Week:

The Running List

Away from home and have a hankering to hear The Bands?
Go here:

Heathkit Virtual Museum
Ham Radio 2.0
Charts, Propagation, Antenna Patterns, LOTS of stuff:
Foothills ARS. Also, Lots of Stuff, but good Technical Presentations:
K7AGE’s Youtube channel. How-tos here by the score
ARRL’s “Identify noise source by sound” links (this is good!)
Dragnet Radio:

Share your favorite online Ham resource with others! Send me those links!

Dates To Remember

Some VERY important events are scheduled in the near future which you need to put in your planner:

April 14 – SCARS Monthly Meeting – Topic: Digital Mobile Radio DMR

April 21 – SCARS Spring Picnic – “In The Country” details next week

The Doctor Is In

The Doctor’s Latest Podcast is titled

The Doctor sez:
Receiving every signal is not always a good thing — especially when you receive them all at once! The Doctor describes why proper filtering is important.

Listen to it here-> The Doctor Is In Podcast

The Doctor’s Homepage is here: The Doctor Is In

This Week’s ARRL Letter

Read it all here: ARRL Letter

ARRL DX Bulletin

DX Bulletin 15 ARLD015
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT April 5, 2018
To all radio amateurs

ARLD015 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by
UR4NWW, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest
Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.
Thanks to all.

AGALEGA AND ST. BRANDON ISLANDS, 3B6,7. A large group of operators
are QRV as 3B7A from Saint Brandon Island, IOTA AF-015, until April
17. Activity is on the HF bands with five stations active using CW,
SSB and RTTY. QSL via F5CWU.

KENYA, 5Z. Kees, 5Z4ZC is QRV on 40 to 10 meters using PSK31, JT65
and FT8. QSL via PA3CPK.

CROATIA, 9A. Dusan, S52DG will be QRV as 9A/S52DG/p from Krk
Island, IOTA EU-136, from April 12 to 15. Activity will be holiday
style on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

BHUTAN, A5. Zorro, JH1AJT, Jin, JF1IST and Champ, E21EIC are QRV as
A5A until April 11 while meeting with an official from the ministry
of health, sports federations and the BOC National Olympic
Committee. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8.

THE GAMBIA, C5. C5WP is QRV until April 13 while performing charity
work. Activity is in his spare time on the HF bands using SSB and
FT8, with some activity on 60 meters a well, and listening for
sporadic-E openings on 10 meters. QSL via ON7WP.

CAPE VERDE, D4. Mike, CT1IUA is QRV as D4IA from Sal Island, IOTA
AF-086, until April 9. Activity is on the various HF bands using
mostly CW. QSL to home call.

PE0MGB and PE1FLO will be QRV as HB0/home calls from April 7 to 14.
Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using mostly CW with some SSB
and various digital modes. QSL all calls via PE1FLO.

OGASAWARA, JD1. JN2AMD is QRV as JN2AMD/JD1. His length of stay is
unknown. QSL to home call.

SABA, ST. EUSTATIUS, PJ5/6. Rick, AI5P will be QRV as PJ5/AI5P from
April 9 to 16. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to home call.

FRANZ JOSEF LAND, R1/F. Eugeny, UA4RX is QRV as RI1FJ from Heiss
Island until September 2018. Activity is generally on 160 to 10
meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via UA2FM.

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, S9. Helio, CT1ENW is QRV as S92HP from Sao
Tome City, and is here until January 31, 2019. Activity is on the
HF bands, and 6 meters, using CW, SSB and various digital modes.
QSL to home call.

TUVALU, T2. Antoine, 3D2AG will be QRV as T2AR from Funafuti, IOTA
OC-015, from April 8 to 15. Activity will be in his spare time on
160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, JT65 and FT8. QSL to home

EUROPEAN RUSSIA, UA. Special event stations UE57G, UE12APR, R12APR,
and R108M are QRV until April 15 to commemorate Yuri Gagarin’s first
flight. QSL UE12APR and R12APR via R3LO, R108M via RK3LC, and UE57G
via R3LD.

UKRAINE, UR. Special event call EM30N is QRV until December 31,
2018 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International
Radioamateur Club WW. QSL via UR4NWW.

AUSTRALIA, VK. Andy, VK5MAV will be QRV as VK5MAV/9 from Cato Reef,
IOTA OC-265, from April 9 to 18. QSL via RN3RQ.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The North American SSB Sprint Contest,
NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, LZ Open 40-Meter CW Sprint
Contest, PODXS 070 Club 20-Meter PSK 31 Flavors Contest, SARL
VHF/UHF Digital Contest, SKCC Weekend CW Sprintathon, Mississippi
QSO Party, Missouri QSO Party, Texas State Parks on the Air, Florida
State Parks on the Air, SP DX Contest and the EA RTTY Contest are
all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The 144 MHz Spring Sprint and 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday
Sprint are scheduled for April 9.

The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test, RSGB 80-Meter Club SSB Championship,
Phone Fray and NAQCC CW Sprint are scheduled for April 11.

The ARRL International Grid Chase runs during all of 2018.

Please see April QST, page 84, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest Web
Sites for details.

Always Latest version at the top here:  ARRL DX Bulletin

Amateur Radio Newsline





NOTE: The “SCRIPT” and “AUDIO” above are hotlinks. 

Live links, Script, and Audio here: Amateur Radio Newsline – Latest News

Ham Nation


Episode 345’s highlights:

“Repairing a stuck rotator at the top of a tower,
celebrating Samuel Morse’s birthday,
George tests out heat shrink solder sleeves,
the W4R Special Event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club,
and more!

The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation

Go watch!

 Odds and Ends

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles

Link below lists all the ARRL-related hamfests within a 250-mile drive of Norman for about the next 5 months. Lots of good ones close to Norman.

As always, News, Links, Repeater Info, Hamfests, Licensing, General Help & more linked from the sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG !!!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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