Whenever heavy thunderstorms with ground to earth lightning is predicted we have no choice but to take the remote off line and disconnect antennas. Take a look at http://www.lightningmaps.org if you unexpectedly find the remote off line. Such is the case tonight.
Hello ops. Here’s a couple of bits of information that will ensure less stress on the equipment and ensure longer operating life. I happened to notice a couple of things while in my office/shack that might not be apparent to remote operators.
- When engaging the rotor be sure that it comes too a complete stop, then wait 5-10 seconds, before changing bearing again. This ensures that the break will fully engage and stop the momentum of the beam before restarting. Otherwise it’s like stopping a rotating beam in mid air and reversing course. This is not good for the rotor. The rotor on the radio face will say “moving” while rotating, however, the break isn’t fully engaged until about 5 seconds after the radio face says “ready.” a little patience here will keep that rotator working a long time!
- Similarly, when you turn on the amp, please wait about 30 seconds before transmitting. The amp has a delay circuit upon start up. I have observed an occasion where the amp relay is turned on and the op keys the transceiver within a second or two. The amp is not ready. It is generally a good idea to allow some time after turning any amp on before transmitting. My AL1500 has a built in 180 second delay circuit. You have to warm up the 8877 tube for three minutes before transmitting.
- A little patience will ensure that the remote remains available and maintenance free for a long time. Thanks to all of our fine operators.
First, we had widespread electric power and internet outages due to the weather last here last night. Thus, the remote was off the air unexpectedly for about 15 hours. All seems OK now, about 2030 UTC Sunday. The outage gave me some time to do some housekeeping with some new behind the scenes power strips, cable harnesses, etc. Second, another significant improvement here is our faster broadband. We are now getting around 200 mps +/- which I presume will have some noticeable affect on latency/delay. 73 for now, Ed
Congratulations to Chris Flinn/W8WOT. Chris got his general class license this past week and made his first HF contact via the K8EA remote yesterday, December 7th. The QSO was with KB3WAV on 40 meter SSB. Great going Chris. 73, Ed