Tag Archives: SB-220

Hamshack Hula

I have been steadily working at getting the hamshack into some sense of functionality. Back in June, everything was looking good. I’d moved everything from the old house to the new house and adjusted for the more “constrained” space that my shack now occupies. I was just about there… and then my household goods from Korea arrived. Lacking time to adequately put everything in its place, boxes ended up getting dumped in the hamshack.

The basement gameroom has been my primary focus for the last two months. We got the new couch, the arcade cabinet is working, the pinball machine needs a bit of work, and the cocktail arcade cabinet is doing great. Now that the gameroom is just about where I want it, I’ve turned my attention back to the hamshack.

Before I moved my workbench to the new house, I should have taken a photo of how I had the pegboard setup. Being gone for year and not using the bench, I had no idea of what I had hanging where. Today I was able to get the workbench in order after spending a few hours sorting through the boxes that had come from Korea.

I’ve also started parting with equipment I don’t need or will probably not doing anything with. The Kenwood TS-930S is now sold. Hopefully the Heathkit SB-220 will soon be sold. Also the Radio Shack HTX-242 that was in the XYL’s car until I upgraded her to a TM-D710A is sold. It is time to get rid of the FT-1500Ms as well. Being a proud ownder of the Yaesu VX-8GR, I can now part with my trusty Kenwood TH-D7A(G). I am continuing to rumage through the shack pulling out what I really don’t need. So far, Craigslist has been working well. I’ll use eBay as a last resort.

So with my efforts, I can actually reach my operating desk, turn on the computer, sit down.

…. now I need to get an antenna up, something more permanent than a Buddipole.

Station goals


I set a few goals back in July and thought I would take a look at my progress:

What I want to accomplish in the Kansas Shack:
- HF phone and CW operation; 80m-10m
- HF digital modes (PSK-31, RTTY, PACTOR III)
- Computer logging
- 2m FM base station
- APRS weather station, interfaced with a dedicated 2m transceiver
- Online weather page, showing current weather conditions
- Separate, organized workbench

HF phone and CW operation; 80m-10m – my HF activities are centered around my IC-7000. I would like to get the TS-930S up an operational, but I am afraid that is not in the budget at this point.

HF digital modes (PSK-31, RTTY, PACTOR III) – I am using my RIGblaster Plug & Play for digital modes… other than PACTOR III. I have not yet hooked up my SCS PTC-IIusb Modem.

Computer logging – I do have Ham Radio Deluxe loaded now, but I want to find a good linux version.

2m FM base station – currently the FT-2800M for the job. I do have some plans to move my IC-208H from the truck into the shack. That will give me a 70cm capability in addition to the 2M. The truck is getting a new rig… more on that soon.

APRS weather station, interfaced with a dedicated 2m transceiver – I am using a FT-1500 for the job, connected to UI-View32 and receiving data from the Davis VantagePro2. The problem here is that I only have the one antenna up so this limits my ability to hop on the local repeaters from the shack. I need to either get a coax switch to be able to switch between the two rigs or put another antenna up.

Online weather page, showing current weather conditions – yes indeed… I think this is working pretty nice.

Separate, organized workbench – also a success… although it seems to be too crowded with stuff. The best part is the pegboard for tools – I no longer have the problem of quickly locating the tools I need.

Overall, I am happy with the progress I have made getting the shack in shape. What I want to work on now:
- New antenna for HF
- Fix up the ARSIB
- Get the SB-200 amp working
- Transition all shack computers to Ubuntu linux

Mini-Hamfest (a.k.a. – our Moving Sale)

Although yesterday (5 July) was not strategically the best day for a yard sale, the XYL and I were running out of time as the movers are due to show this coming week. We’ve have a lot of extra “stuff” and tried to strictly enforce the rule that if it hadn’t been used/touched/worn/opened/looked at since the last move in 2005 it was time to get rid of it. I’d also acquired an amazing amount of ham stuff (the XYL has a different terminology for it). I could sell it on eBay, but I didn’t want to invest the time or energy… nor the trips to the Post Office. Here’s what was up for sale:

Heathkit SB-220 amplifier
MFJ Versa Tuner V, MFJ-989C
Astatic D-104 microphone
ICOM AT-180, HF+50MHz Automatic Antenna Tuner (in original box, very good condition)
MFJ 6 Meter SSB Transceiver, MFJ-9406 (includes AC power supply)
MFJ 6 Meter Tuner, MFJ-906
Cushcraft 6 Meter 3 element beam (well weathered)
Ten Tec RX320 (with manual)
ICOM IC-PCR1000, Communications Receiver For Computer (with manual)
Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus (with manual)
Pakratt-232, Model PK-232 MBX (with manual)
MFJ Multi-Mode Data Controller, MFJ-1278 (with manual)
MFJ TNC 2 Packet Radio, MFJ-1274
MFJ Deluxe Code Practice Oscillator, MFJ-557
MFJ Electric Keyer Paddle with Memory, MFJ-442
Dymek DA100E, Active Receiver Antenna, 50kHz-30MHz (with manual)
Radio Shack Amplified Base Station Microphone, CAT NO 21-1173
Radio Shack SWR/Power Meter, CAT NO 21-534
MFJ-8128 VHF 114-220 MHz SWR/Wattmeter
MARS Model LE-2 Hybrid Phone Patch
Heathkit Hybrid Phone Patch, Model HD-15 (with manual)
Quad magnetic mount for antenna
Various Hamsticks and Hustler single band mobile antennas
Various amateur radio books

We did have quite a few hams show up and my prices were incredibly reasonable if not down right ludicrous. The MFJ 6 Meter SSB rig went quick, but I’m surprised no one grabbed the 3-element beam. All the three of the phone patches sold (I had two Heathkits) – that surprised me. What all surprised me was why I had three phone patches. All the Hamsticks and Hustlers went. Some of the books. Bottom line – I was able to find new homes for a lot of gear I wasn’t using and got a bit of reimbursement in the process.

Anybody need an MFJ Deluxe Code Practice Oscillator?

What’s amazing is the amount of gear I still have that I’m unwilling to part with and is coming with me to Kansas.

Sunday in the shack

I was successful in transferring the WX station duties to the computer out in the garage. I first had to get the Davis Weather Monitor II talking with the computer – which was accomplished after I changed the COM port speed to 2400 baud. I then transfered all the Weather Display files from the computer in the radio room out to the garage. The Weather Display software started up, green lights indicating that it was taking data from the Davis Weather Monitor II. But I didn’t have any sensors plugged in yet, so the only data being displayed was the indoor temp (now the garage temp) and the barometer. The outdoor temp sensor is located near the garage, so I was easily able to reroute the cable into the window of the garage and connected it to the Davis Weather Monitor II box. The outdoor temp came up right away. The next challenge was setting up the FTP for my weather webpage. The Weather Display software has great wizards that walk you through setting up different aspects of the software – the FTP setup had such a wizard. And now the webpage is getting updated every 5 minutes. Great! I still need to (1) reroute the wind direction and speed cable to the garage (requires me to get on the roof), (2) find some place to put the rain gauge (may require me to get on the roof), and (3) get the webcam hooked back up.

Spent some time cleaning up the radio room. I finally unpacked the MFJ-989C tuner that I got to go along with the Heathkit SB-220 amp. Neither are setup – that’s a project for another day.

I was also able to make contact with MI3JQD, operating from Northern Ireland… and a CW contact on 30M with John, K9??? in Indiana.

Radio Room Reconfiguration

Spent some time today reworking the shack…. still have a bit more to do.

(1) I was using two different power supplies – a PS-125 (25 amps) for the IC-706MKIIG and a different power supply for the FT-2800M (2M FM), and FT-1500M/KPC3+ (2M FM packet). I am now using the Alinco DM-330MVT (32 amps) to power the IC-706MKIIG and the FT-2800M. I’m now using the RigRunner 4010S for power distribution. I still need to make a power cable for the RigBlaster so I can get rid of the wallwart.

(2) I moved the FT-1500/KPC3+ and the other power supply out to the garage. My intent is to hook it up to the garage computer. I’ll be able to access the packet functions over the network.

(3) The weather station is down! I plan on getting that working off the garage computer as well.

(4) Heathkit SB-220 – now in the shack. But I’m still a long way from getting it operational. I need to make a list of everything I need to do to get it operational. Part of that will include putting my heavy duty MFJ tuner into action.

A few updates from the shack….

Scouts: received my Radio Merit Badge pamphlet in the mail today. Between the pamphlet and web resources, I want to put together a course package for the merit badge. One of the gentlemen I work with has a son who is interested in pursuing the Radio Merit Badge… so I need to get crackin’.

Army MARS: put in an application for Army MARS. The VA state rep told me it will be a couple weeks before I get my MARS callsign and initial training information.

US Army Amateur Radio Society: picked up a few more members. need to make contact with the Iraqi folks to check on the status of the pending YI9 applications.

DX: made contact with one of the newest DXCC entity… Montenegro! The YU6AO Montenegro DXpedition team now has a Web page at http://www.yu6ao.info/ and a log search at http://www.yu6ao.info/log.html … I’m in the log!

eBay: purchased an ASTATIC D-104 microphone. Should be a fun project adapting it for use with my IC-706MKIIG.

Local ham swap: made a deal to purchase a SB-220 Heathkit HF Linear Amplifier! This should give me a little more motivation to improve my antenna situation. Also need to acquire an antenna tuner.

Lighthouse QSL cards: finished my QSL cards for the Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-062) and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (USA-212) activations. Some of the Currituck Beach contacts are getting a North Carolina lighthouse key chain/compass/thermometer. Tried to get those to fellow ARLHS members.

W4M Special Event Station QSL cards/certificates: everyone who had sent me a SASE has been sent a QSL card (and certificate if they provided a large envelope).

SkyWarn Net: checked into the Chesapeake Amateur Radio Service (CARS) SkyWarn Net. They had made recent improvements to their repeater and have greatly expanded the coverage.

QST Articles: SB-220 Heathkit HF Linear Amplifier

1970 August QST p. 45 Heath SB-220 Linear Amplifier (Recent Equipment)

1974 December QST p. 47 SB-220 on 6 Meters (H&K)

1978 November QST p. 40 Heath SB-220 Modifications

1979 February QST p. 20 Upgrading Your Heath SB-220 Linear Amplifier (Feedback: Apr. p. 27; Jul. p. 50; Nov. p. 56)

1980 January QST p. 25 All Solid-State QSK for the Heath SB-220 (Feedback, Feb. p. 44)

1988 January QST p. 45 Using the SB-220 Amplifier with Solid State Transceivers (H&K)

1988 September QST p. 45 No Holes Standby Switch Modification for the Heath SB-220/SB-221 Amplifier (H&K)

1989 February QST p. 42 Improving the Heathkit SB-220 Amplifier

1989 November QST p. 25 Circuit Improvements for the Heath SB-220 Amplifier–Part 1

1989 December QST p. 41 Circuit Improvements for the Heath SB-220 Amplifier–Part 2