Darned RF and cheap USB leads

Well that’s a fail. I tried a dry run today for when I hopefully go portable. Whip on the car on a magmount, tuned nicely for 7.074MHz for FT8, but the rig manages about a second of tx and then straight back to rx. I’ve had similar before with RF getting into the USB leads.

The setup is pretty standard, FT818, Signalink, Z817 tuner, lead from rig to Signalink, lead from rig to tuner, lead from Signalink to USB hub for audio, lead from tuner to USB hub for CAT.

First off, the tuner refused to tune. One ferrite cured that and it was happy with a match (of course I forgot to try a 1:1 unun here). But lots of ferrites later and still no go on tx. The trouble is likely to be the long USB lead to USB dongle for CAT control, or the USB hub. Actually I can do without the hub as the MacBook has two USB ports and I only need two for this. In fact, for FT8, which is my aim here, I can do without the tuner too.

But now the sun has moved round onto the car and it’s too hot to fiddle. Hmmm…

Almost mobile

Getting ready for a trip in early July, hopefully /A from a hotel and also /P from the car. I might even manage one POTA. I am just assembling the final items such as this LiFePO4 battery, the smart charger for which has no lights or any indication of when it has finished charging which I found a bit odd. Anyway, it is on charge ready to see if everything plays properly together while still parked on the drive!



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