Tag Archives: TS-930SAT

Autumn = amateur radio time

Out here in Kansas, on the eastern edge of the prarie, the leaves are turning and the first frost is upon us. The time is NOW to get the hamshack in order.

(1) My VHF/UHF antenna and Davis weather station NEEDS to get mounted up on the chimney. I have the mounting brackets – thin aluminium straps that circumnavigate the chiminey. However, the roof at the new QTH is basically three stories high and the roof itself is pretty steep. Too steep for me. The solution? I am trying to get a local roofing company to give me an estimate for the job.

(2) The HF antenna. In the course of sorting through all the hamshack flotsam, I’ve started to identify “stuff” I can part with. Already I’ve said goodbye to some old MFJ TNCs, the Kenwood TS-930S, and my old TinyTrak (thank you Craigslist!). There’s more to part with and I’m still in the process of identfying them (… like an ICOM PCR-1000, TenTec RX-320, and a D-STAR DV Dongle for starters). More importantly (and back on topic), I unearthed two in-the-package wire antennas. The first is an 80M OCF dipole from RadioWavz and the second is a G5RV+ from RadioWorks. Now I need to dust off the CSV19 Pneumatic Antenna Launcher and let the tennis balls fly.

(3) Once I have my antenna situation under control, I can take the hamshack innards to the next level.

Questions to ponder:

Do I retain the hardcopy collection of QST magazines I’ve been carting around since 2005ish? Starting for the late 40′s, it is a solid collection up to 2000. It takes up a great deal of space and I have the same issues on CD. I’d like to find the collection a new (local) home, if possible.

My new job has me on the road – it would be great to take some gear on the road with me. What to take? Needs to have a small footprint. Sounds like a job for the KX1. What to use for an antenna?

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

TS-930S – no display and on the bench


I’ve got no frequency display on my TS-930S! I’ve had this problem since I arrived in Kansas (note to self: I need to pack in rig myself next move). From what I can tell, the display is probably not broken but the PLL needs to be adjusted. The problem – how do I adjust the PLL? I’ve been unable to find the service manual and I’m hoping I can find someone who has the knowledge of how to do this. I’ve popped the top, but I’m not seeing anything that looks like I should be adjusting. While I don’t need this rig to operate (I have my Icom IC-7000), I really like this this Kenwood rig. It has a wonderful sound and great sensitivity. I hope I can bring it back to life.

On SKN He Was There

On SKN He Was There

There once was a man from the city
Who didn’t know how to “dah-ditty.”
He said with chagrin
As he turned the low end,
“To not know the code is a pity.”

So he made up his mind not to bend,
To dig out his key once again,
To grunt and to try,
And not whine and cry;
And his effort was worth it, my friend.

On SKN he was there,
Someone had answered his prayer.
His fist was real clean,
If you know what I mean,
And he smiles with a confident air.
- Hunt Turner, K0HT

j-38_key

New Year Resolutions For 2008
- Maximize the time I spend with my family – make that time count!
- Improve my CW skills. Learn to use my J-38 with a bit of skill.
- Build (and make a QSO with) a QRP kit HF transceiver.

… when I return to the US
- Complete remaining contacts and receive QSL cards in order to qualify for DXCC.
- Streamline amateur radio operations to achieve the following:
(1) Home operation – redesign my home station around my TS-930S. Small footprint and a ascetically pleasing setup.
(2) Mobile operation – centered around the IC-706MKIIG, AH-4 tuner, and the Icom whip antenna. A clean install with solid performance.
(3) Portable operation – rack mounted case with IC-7000.
- Sell, trade, or give away equipment I don’t need….. less is more.

Already the 19th of November!

I’ve been falling behind on my updates…

(1) W4V – Veterans’ Day Special Event Station. I got a late start on Saturday… took a while to pack the truck. Setup at Fort Story took longer than expected – my biggest challenge was tying down the center mast after I’d gotten it vertical. It’s really a two person job and hard to do alone. But once I got the antenna up, the rest was easy. A beautiful day as well, low 70s and clear skies. The QSOs rolled in, as long as I was calling “CQ” I was getting QSOs. Sunday was a different story. The forecast called for rain, but I thought I could weather it out. I arrived at Fort Story but the winds became too extreme – no chance of getting the center pole up. I threw in the towel for a portable operation and headed home to operate. Not the same satisfaction running a special event from home, but I still enjoyed the QSOs. Even got Wyoming… which completes my Worked All States Award!


(2) Kenwood TS-930S…. my “new to me rig”. I picked this up from a local ham at a bargain. What a radio!

This piece of electronics perfection is over 20 years old, but it performs like a dream. The receiver is amazing. Also getting great reception reports on both SSB and CW. This rig is now the centerpiece of my shack.

(3) I didn’t work the Sweepstakes this weekend, but did have a QSO with a special event station celebrating Oklahoma statehood. However, I did work a sweepstakes station on 15M who was operating from the Santa Clara Valley.

(4) Also a few CW QSOs – I’ve hooked up my Logikey CMOS4 Keyer. Amazing little device, lots of features – but does a great job as a basic keyer.