Station Automation, Part 1

August 14th, 2008 by k8gu Leave a reply »
Station Automation

Station Automation

As a part of my long-term station plan, I wanted automatic band switching.  So, when W9RE posted to the SMC reflector that he was selling his relay matrix, I jumped at the opportunity.  NO9Z and I had previously gathered the parts to build KK1L’s 2×6 system.  However, our friend who made the board was not able to load the Gerber drill file that KK1L had provided.  NO9Z reamed his holes by hand.  I wasn’t so patient; so, the W9RE box was a great opportunity.  That liberated about two dozen nice American Zettler relays, though.  These will be great for building other components in my switching system.

Sarah suggested this morning that maybe I should take it easy today since I looked beat.  So, I started populating the KK1L controller board so I can use it to drive the W9RE switches.  One of the greatest purchases I’ve made since becoming a ham has been my Weller WES51 temperature-controlled solder iron.  I breezed through several hundred joints this afternoon no problem.  In the last month, I’ve used two different loaner solder irons while on the road, both of which cost less than $10 and it shows.  There’s nothing like having a well-cared-for tool that’s perfect for the job.

I’m missing a few parts.  So, a trip to RadioShack is in order in the next few days.  But, I hope to have this running in time for the Sprint.  I have a lot of coax jumpers to make, which implies that I will be buying some connectors.  I have hobbies burning my cash flow from every direction these days…  I suppose I should try get one of the hobbies to start paying for itself.