110417 - We are getting the place done - here is the kitchen
110407 - VE7PCA working on the kitchen floor - 1 inch high density Styrofoam, vapour barrier and then lino in the kitchen.
110403 - The floor going in
Bill's Workstation - Flex 5000A - SPE Expert 1.2K
Jeff's workstation - All Icom - and having a nice steak on a Friday night
110218 - Went to work from the Field Office today - absolutely beautiful day - about 8 degrees celcius, sunny and dry. Got to the "Project" and noticed immediately that one of our antennas was down. It is a Cushcraft five bander - it was temporarily placed at one end of the C cans - and tie wrapped in place. It looks like the one inch pipe broke, at a connector. There doesn't appear to be any damage to the antenna, but we'll see tomorrow. Here is a picture.
Surprisingly, it seems to have snapped the heavy duty tie wraps - must have been the wind. We are going to try and get the 30 foot tower up and guyed tomorrow, and this was one of the antennas we were looking at putting up.
101212 - We worked the ARRL 10 Meter contest this weekend. Two contacts on Friday afternoon, two contacts on Saturday and few more on Sunday. Friday I worked into Australia on 20 meters with about 600 watts. Saturday we had company at the project for breakfast - group of us got together down there and talked radio. We were hit pretty hard this weekend with the Pineapple Express - lots of rain.
101129 - Jeff, Al and I were by the project on Saturday. We spent the day there - nice bbq - in inclement weather. Bands weren't really busy - but we just hung for the day. Jeff got the 12 volt wiring tied in - with some assistance from Al. It isn't fully tied in, but each workstation now has a fused link into the Power Room - and is tied into 2 x 160 amp hours of DC battery power. We still have to tie into the main battery bank on the roof - about 800 amp hours of Liquid Ni-Cad batteries - but we need some additional cable to come our way for that to happen.
We are now at the point where each workstation has both 12 and 24 volts - with the 24 volts tied into a voltage converter. Two stations have 8 amps at 12 volts - and my workstation has 30 amps - converted from 24 volts to 13.X volts. The 12 volts will be nominal so it will depend upon the charge of the batteries.
Each trip we continue to add something - and keep improving the station. We will be putting up another tower - 24 to 30 odd feet in the North East corner of the fenced lot. We will put it up as a temporary tower - with guy wires. We plan on putting the five band yagi on it - as a temporary solution. It will give us one more antenna to play with.
101106 - Did the Ham breakie at the Golf Course today - good get together, a few laughs and lots of fun. Did some running around - got some more parts for the project, and then headed down there about 10 a.m. Fired up the Genny - and let it run for about 1.5 hours. I wired in the new 24 - 12 Volt converter. it will take 20 - 30 volts DC and convert it to 13.5 volts (nominal). This is tied into the main 24 volt battery bank at this time. They may be moved to the Ni-Cad battery bank - which would need to be restrapped to 24 volts. I did up the wiring for the converter - and then waited for one of my buddies to come down there and double check my work - didn't want to let the smoke out. Here is a link to the unit - the 30 amp one http://www.ict-power.com/resources/downloads/pdf/800-053-000_ind300_WEB.pdf
Al came down there with his work van, and hooked up the Biolet 30 NE composting toilet. Whoo hooo - we have a toilet. It hasn't been broken in yet - but it is installed. I need to paint the black pipe white - and the composting mulch has been put in. I need to do up the instructions and install the toilet paper dispenser. Yes instructions - that ought to be a treat.
I also picked up a piece of aluminum today - about 3. 5 inches wide, and 8 inches long. Al installed in, and using Torx screws, tied it into the C cans. The base unit is installed - and will look for a UHF power connector at the swap meet tomorrow. Left to do is to tie in the power, and the coax connector. Jeff wired in the 12 volts, with a momentary on / off switch to the Hi-Q 5/80 to make it go up and down. This should be an interesting addition to the antennas at the project. It wasn't perfect, but the tuner would bring it in, and it was a huge improvement on where it was before. We're on the right path.
The big Easy - Dave Easingwood was down there today - and he took a run at the 5 band yagi. He was assisted by Ben - the Electrical Engineer - it was good to see them both down there, and they made some good progress.
I worked the Philippines today - I think that is the first time for that country - at least from the Project. Huge pileup - worked him 99 watts, barefoot - and first call! Whoo hooo - on the A3S. I tuned up the new yagi that Dave and Ben were working on - on 17, and had a very nice contact into Japan. It is nice to have 17 on a yagi - rather than the 80 meter dipole and a tuner. We're going in the right direction.
Al has a buddy that will rent us a rough terrain man lift for a very reasonable rate a day. We need to look at getting some more yagi's in the air - Jeff wants to look for some mono-band yagi's on top of the telephone poles - we've got the rotators - we just need to build some brackets and get them installed.
Last weekend the guys did a contest while I was back in Ottawa (Ontario) at a RAC meeting. They had a blast. Jeff is working on giving me a write-up and I will post it as soon as I receive it. There is another contest coming up December 10/11 - Gary Skett is going to take the lead on that one - and I'm expecting to be able to participate in that contest.
101023 - Heading down to the project tomorrow, Sunday a.m. Gary VE7AS may come down for a visit. Al VA7MP plans on coming down in the a.m. - we are going to try and install the Biolet Composting Toilet - the 30 NE model - non electric. Instructions are here http://kbis.goexposoftware.com/2009/FORMfields/uploads/brochure1url1236267385117138280.pdf
With some luck, I'll also get some more antennas hooked up to my Flex and SPE 1.2K Expert amplifier. We pulled in another 10 cables to my work station a while ago. I need to hook up three antennas - to the three antenna switches - likely the 80 meter and 40 meter dipole (maybe the 20 meter dipole instead), and the Hi-Q 5/80. This will let me bring these to my workstation - and then switch them between the Flex and the Expert. When attached to the Flex - I can transmit up to 100 watts - with the built in antenna tuner. In addition, I can use the second receiver in the radio - on any of the non-transmitting antennas - to listen to other areas of the bands, or to use as diversity reception on the transmitted or listening frequency. When connected to the amplifier - it gives me some additional antennas to use as well - so I can switch between the Yagi on 40, 20, 15 or 10 to see how the dipoles or the vertical compares.
101008 - Jeff was at the project today - and between working some stations, he got a lot more things done in the Coax Transfer station, another antenna up (doublet - 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters). Here are some pictures:
Jeff's Workstation above with the 24 to 12 volt converter
Coax Transfer station - coming together - We now have antennas to three workstations. There is over 5,000 feet of core-line run through the two C cans - for wiring, coax, etc.
101002 - Spent the better part of the day at the Project today. Brother Paul and Christian came down and they worked on installing the linoleum in the Coax transfer room and the Power room today. It got the lino out of the way, and it will make it possible to install the Composting Toilet in the Coax transfer room. Here are some pictures of where the project is at - didn't take any pictures after the lino was in though.
Looking West along the top of the two C cans. The two pods in the background - one containing the generator, and one containing the liquid Ni-Cad batteries
A3S with the 40 meter add on - at about 30 feet
Looking North from the top of the C cans
Looking North East from the top of the C cans
Looking South - up the access road. The tar was put in to cover up a depression in the roof - which was allowing water to pool. This was a potential leak issue, and I think contributing to a condensation issue that we had last winter.
Inside - looking East - that is the Coax transfer station in the background, and Jeff's workstation to the left.
Again looking East - Bill's workstation to the right - with the porch and storage in the far background.
Looking West to where the kitchen will go in.
Coax transfer station.
And the current switching arrangement.
The porch - still a lot of extra 'stuff' being stored out there.
The East side - only one door open into the porch.
Standing at the East side of the compound - the 2 meter and 440 yagi antennas in the foreground.
Bill's operating position:
Jeff's operating position: