Genesis G59 and Hardrock-50

Just finally finished up my Genesis G59 and Hardrock-50 amp.

Been a long time in the making.  I started the G59 over 3 years ago and the Hardrock-50 last year.  The G59 was the most work of the two,  it is not a beginner’s kit, but with some experience and patience you can get it done.  They just kitted up another 100 kits, so if you want to get into SDR and want an all band radio with a 10w amp, go to http://www.genesisradio.com.au/G59/ and order one while the supply lasts.  I will post some reflections on operating the unit as I go along.

rsz_g59andhardrock50The Hardrock-50 is a great little kit that is as high quality as anything I have built, including Heathits.  The amp goes together in a few hours and just works.  The quality of the components are second to none.  It takes 5w and puts out 50w, great for people experimenting with SDR kits like myself.  Wander over to https://www.hobbypcb.com/component/virtuemart/hardrock-50-hf-power-amp-kit-detail?Itemid=119 and order one today.

July 6, 2014 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Projects

Know what you want to do

It’s been almost a year since my last post.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to keep doing a blog.  I seem to get all excited and work on it for a couple of weeks and then life comes and smacks you in the face and it takes you a year to recover.

I won’t go into any personal details, but will give you a quick update on my ham activities.

First, the last few posts about the ham shack upgrade/redo.  Just ignore them.  I enjoyed it for about 11 months and then we decided that someone else in the house needed to have their own bedroom.  So the ham shack has moved out into the garage into my office.  While I enjoyed having the shack in the basement, it has worked out being in my office.  When I have a little down time from the business, I can turn around and work JT-65 and now JT-9.

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August 12, 2013 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Random Thoughts

Ham Shack Re-Engineer Final Post

We are finally to the ending phase of the Ham Shack Remodel/Re-engineering.  As you can see from the enclosed pictures, it was a pretty major overhaul.

The first picture shows the overall layout of the shack.  I spent less than $100.00 and build a table/desk out of 2×4′s and 24″ shelving.  It is all screwed together so that I can knock it down and move it to a new location.  All the wires where hung up underneath the desk so that I can clean under it easily.

Ham Shack Picture 1

Equipment additions included a Kenwood TS-590s, TS790a, Uniden Trunk Tracker III scanner,  wireless wx station and a dual rack mount 25amp Powerwerx switching power supplies, and a Fujitsu PC with dual wall mounted 24″ LCD displays.

 

 

 

 

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August 17, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Projects

Re-Using a Astatic D-104 Mic

I have been busy blowing up the Ham Shack and re-building it this summer.  More on that later.  Astatic D-104

One of the primary goals in doing this, was to make sure as much as possible everything in the shack served a purpose and got used.  We live in a small house and space is at a premium.  I looked around the shack this spring and realized that all but a few things I had in it where basically just for decoration.

One of those “Things” was an old Astatic D-104 Mic.  I got it when I purchased a Heathkit HW-101 about 3 years ago.  The PO threw the mic in since I didn’t have one for the HW-101.  I kept it because the XYL and one of my daughters thought it looked “Cool”.  Well if I could get them to show at least some interest in may obsession, I wasn’t going to complain, so it just sat on the desk.

So, I decided to see if I could make it useful again.  It wasn’t wired to work on any of my new Kenwoods and from what I researched, the original mic elements where pretty tinny and this one had been replaced at one time with only god knows what.  I did a little more research and found the Heil Sound made a retro fit kit to put one of their elements in the D-104.  I was excited about that and went to all the usual sources to order one.  unfortunately, no one had one and one site said it was discontinued.  I then went to Heil’s website and sure enough, I couldn’t find it listed.

So in desperation I emailed Heil and asked if I could at least by the components to rebuild the d-104.  I was surprised to get a response back almost immediately from Bob himself.

“Allen

We make the kit with the new HC  5.1   Best to call Jerry at 618 257 3000.
He can help
Thanks
BOB HEIL, K9eID”
So I called Jerry and the element was $50.00 plus shipping and I had it in 2 days.  Wow, talk about customer service.
I followed the instructions and put the element in.  Then I rewired the switch in the stand to make it work with the Kenwoods and put a new mic cable and 8 pin connector on it.  I have gotten really good reports back and am using it on my TS-790 for now.  So for $50.00 and an hours worth of work, I now have taken something from the bench and put it back to work.
Till Later, 73
Allen
KBØASQ

July 22, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · 2 Comments
Posted in: Random Thoughts

Ham Shack Upgrade II

Some more upgrades to the shack.  I picked up a 8 month old Kenwood TS-590s a couple of weeks Kenwood TS-590sago.  It matches the TS-790 and I have always been a big fan of Kenwood.  So now I finally have my all Kenwood Shack.

First impression of the Kenwood are “Wow”.  The setup was easy, just a single USB cable and I have the Cat control and USB sound card setup for digital.  I seem to be able to hear and get into QSO’s with less power.

I will post more impressions as I go along, plus some pictures of the rebuilt ham shack when I have time.

June 27, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Projects

Ham Shack Upgrade

I am in the process of upgrading the ham shack.  I collected a variety of different rigs over the years, most of them vintage.  A few months back, I was looking around the Office/Shack and realized they took up a lot of room and I hadn’t turned most of them on in over a year.Kenwood TS-790

So I started to sell off most of the vintage stuff.  I got rid of my Heathkit SB-104, and my SB-200 amp.  I have couple of  old Kenwood Hybrids left to go and a couple of HW-101′s that I plan to sell yet.

Then the other day I realized that I always wanted some modern Kenwood equipment.  So I found a TS-790A on ebay and I just got a TS-590S.  So as soon as I get them setup, I will have my Kenwood shack.  Now I need to sell my Icom 746pro.  The Motorola Spectras that I have been using for UHF and VHF will get put in my Scout that I am restoring.

Now I need to redesign the shack so that it is not so cramped and I have a bench area.  I think that is what I will do for Father’s Day.

June 15, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · 2 Comments
Posted in: Projects

ePFX300

Finally made it to 300.  I have to give most of the credit to JT65-HF

KBØASQ's eQSL ePFX300 award

May 3, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Random Thoughts

Upgrade to the antenna farm

Butternut HF5B

Just purchased a used Bencher Butternut HF5B 5 band Butterfly beam Antenna off of ebay.  Now I just need to get a good rotor and I will be set.

The beam needs a little work so I will post some pictures as I go along.  Excited to try out some targeted QSO’s.

May 1, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Projects

America at a crossroads

I just read a really informative article interview of  Neal DeGrasse about our space program.  I agree with a lot of what he says.  It seems the last couple of decades we have invested money in making money out of thin air.  Wall Street, the financial markets you know the “Services industry”.

While that is important, we seem to have lost our way in the world and ultimately the universe.  If we won’t or can’t make investments in science and technology, we will just have to accept the fact that we will eventually suffer the fate of all great empires.  Mediocracy.

March 5, 2012 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Random Thoughts

Fall Ham Shack Activities

The ham shack has been pretty quiet since Field Day. Getting work done, other hobbies and vacation.

At the beginning of October, I got to work again and made some changes on my antenna. I added a Comtek W2FMI balun from DXengineering and changed to using a LDG AT-1000Pro antenna tuner. What a difference! No rf in the shack any more and instant tuning.

I have been running JT-65 HF mostly and I am playing with the latest version of JT-Alert. It’s a great upgrade and Laurie, VK3AMA is doing a wonderful job with the upgrades on the program.

That’s all for now, as winter sets in I will post some more info on the various projects I will be working on.

October 19, 2011 · Allen - KBØASQ · No Comments
Posted in: Random Thoughts