Monday, November 30, 2015

IC-7100 control head mount idea

I needed a temporary control head mount for my IC-7100 when using it in my work vehicle. I tried some of the usual cup-holder mounts with the flexible necks but they moved around too much. I wanted to be able to put my elbow on the center console armrest and my hand resting on the control head. While sitting in my favorite thinking spot (garage), I spotted a Harbor Freight welding rod holder. I wondered how it would fit in one of my cup-holders in my work Jeep. The fit was almost perfect but too tall. I shortened the rod holder with a saw until I got the right height.

Next I cut off a nub from the lid of the rod holder that is used to tie the lid to the other half of the rod holder. Now I had a flat spot to place the IC-7100 control head. I figured out where the 1/4" hole needed to be and drilled the hole. I used a large rubber flat washer between the head and the mount to keep the head from spinning.

Final touch was to paint it black to match the interior. Now I keep a spare welding rod holder around for other possible radio mounting emergencies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Power center for field work

Here are pictures of my second power center that I built. It is used for portable use and sometimes for voltage stabilization during mobile operations. The box has a 35ah lead acid battery, power poles on the battery side and power poles on the dc-dc converter output. It also has 12v accessory ports along with USB ports. Below is a run down on the parts used.

Minn Kota trolling motor battery box
35ah lead acid battery (battery commonly found in wheelchairs and scooters)
Blue Sea battery breaker
30 amp self-resetting circuit breakers for each powerpole
TGE Electronics DC to DC booster
Lots of lugs and shrink tubing!

The little toggle switch on the left side is for switching the volt meter between the battery side powerpoles and the DC converter output powerpoles.

Rocker switch on the right is for turning on the DC converter. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Managing QSL cards with DX Engineering photo frame

I would love to have a nice shack with a wall lined with QSL cards but that is not possible. A great alternative is a photo frame and scanner from DX Engineering. All of my QSL cards have been scanned and uploaded to the photo frame. The photo frame displays the cards in a loop.

Here is a picture of the photo frame.

Picture of the scanner.

The scanner does not copy full size 8 1/2" x 11" such as some contest certificates. For those I use a full size scanner and transfer the file to the SD card in the photo frame. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

ICOM AH-4 tuner

The AH-4 by ICOM has to be one of the easiest and versatile pieces of ham radio gear I have experienced. I use when mobile,  for portable operations and occasional home use. Here are photos of a trailer hitch mount I will be using for the National Parks on the Air program and the Missouri QSO Party.

Mast is a S9v31 product.
PVC is 3" with a 3" to 1 1/2 adapter.
Wire is a rubber coated test lead wire which is very flexible.