Archive for December, 2009

Projects, projects, projects

December 11th, 2009

There are lots of projects going on here at the ranch and I’m not sure where to start. So, I’ll make a dreaded bullet list. A lot of this stuff has been a long time coming and I haven’t even had to spend much money on it, just time.


  • Some PJ2/K8GU cards are still in the queue since USPS didn’t like the “gift” (a laser-engraved poker chip) I was including with them—need to get padded envelopes.
  • No KP4/K8GU cards have been replied to since I don’t have a card design yet. This will be a photo card.
  • Plan to have all direct QSLing caught-up by the New Year.

HF station:

  • QRV on 80/40/20 with full SO2R.
  • Right TS-930S still needs a new set of MRF-485 drivers (although it puts out a few watts).
  • Left TS-930S needs PLL/master-oscillator alignment so it will go to bands other than 40 meters.
  • Built IK4AUY 2N5109 push-pull preamp from QEX article—needs finished and tested.  Have enough parts to build two, but might go with the simpler W7IUV design for the other instead.
  • Plan reduced-size K9AY for 80/40, maybe 160.
  • Plan W3NQN RX filters to go on the K9AY ahead of the preamp.

VHF/UHF station:

  • Wired in Jones plug(s) for the rotator.
  • 50-MHz transverter project is stalled awaiting parts orders (SM caps and toroids).
  • Do a planning cost analysis of 50- and 432-MHz transverter costs vs buying a used FT-817.
  • Ordered W1GHZ 903- and 1296-MHz boards and kits with W8ISS.
  • Plan PAs for 903- and 1296-MHz transverters.


  • Bought new keyboards and mice for sakhalin and formosa.
  • Thanks to the generosity of a friend, sakhalin now has two Seagate Cheatah Ultra320 10-krpm 36-gB disks.
  • Added the old 1.7-gB IDE disk from the “ham computer” to sakhalin so I can still run TR.
  • Added the extra RS-232 ports from the “ham computer” to sakhalin for rig control.
  • In the process of configuring sakhalin to triple-boot Windows 95 (aka MS-DOS 7 for contesting TR), Windows XP (so I have it), and Xubuntu.
  • Plan to migrate formosa user data (not much of it) to sakhalin.
  • Plan to convert formosa from Xubuntu to OpenBSD using 20-gB drive from sakhalin, plus 120-gB already inside.
  • Plan to migrate crete server contents to formosa.
  • Plan to convert crete back from Ubuntu Server to “ham portable computer” running Windows 95 (aka DOS 7).
  • May run a network drop to the basement to use crete in the shop.
  • The MacBook (vieques) still just works.
  • So does the OpenWRT box (home).

And that’s just the hobby stuff!  Well, most of it.