Rebuilding the 80-40-30 Meter Trap Dipole

After more than 5 years of operation, one of the antenna leads on my homebrew 80-40-30 Meter Dipole broke at the center balun connection.

This dipole has served me well, allowing me to easily utilize those lower HF bands. While I did not use 30 meters much, it was nice being able to go there when I wanted to.

I climbed the tower and lowered the entire antenna to the ground. Once I was back in the shack, a quick look made it obvious that I needed to better weatherize the traps. The sun had pretty much destroyed the exposed inner conductor of the coax on the inside of the trap forms. With this in mind, I went about rebuilding the traps with new coax.

Trap Test Setup with NanoVNA
Trap Test Setup with NanaVNA
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B&W Antenna Switch Repair

Some time in the past, I have picked up several of the B&W Antenna Switches at a hamfest. They were purchased at a good price, just $10 each, and appear to be of pretty good quality. I got two 6-position switches (B&W Model 595), and two 3-position switches (B&W Model 593).

Last month, I decided to put them to use in my remodeled hamshack. So I dug them out of the parts bins, and gave them a quick multimeter test.

One of the 6-position switches had a problem with the grounding arrangements for unused connections. As they are switched from antenna to antenna, they are supposed to put a ground on all connections except the one currently in use. This switch was not doing that.

B&W 595 Antenna Switch as Received
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Kenwood SW-2000 Wattmeter Lamp Replacement

I’ve been busy lately rewiring my hamshack. In the process, I have been doing some minor repairs to equipment that has deteriorated over the years.

My Station Wattmeter, a Kenwood SW-2000 that I bought new in 1983, had long ago burned out its incandescent bulbs for the meters. So it is time to replace them with some new LED bulbs.

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3018 CNC for PCB Milling?

I have started learning how to mill PCB boards using a benchtop CNC Router.

3018 CNC Assemble
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Thunderbird Hamfest 2020

I always find good deals on test equipment on the West side of town. This year’s Thunderbird Hamfest continued that streak.

I found an HP 3435A Digital Bench Voltmeter and an HP 5314A Frequency Counter at a reasonable cost (Total of $25 for the two).

They are both functional.

HP 5314A Frequency Counter
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