Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's That Time Again....

Field Day, that is.
After spending about 10 hours replacing the connectors on the cables between the rotor control box and the rotors themselves, I decided to mount the elevation rotor back on the mast and test them. They worked fine, so the next step was to put the cross boom through the elevation rotor, and mount the antennas, hook everything up, and play radio for a while today.
WELLLLL....right about the time I tipped the tower over (again!) to get the elevation set right on the antennas, I noticed I had mounted the elevation rotor UPSIDE DOWN,
The sad thing is that it's marked "UP" right on the top of the rotor, and I missed it.
A few P-Touch labels later, AND flipping the elevation rotor around, I finally had things bolted together and up in the air.
Only had one satellite with a decent pass, VO-52, and right about the time I made a contact with a guy back in the midwest, the satellite was low enough in elevation that the antennas were pointed right at the roof, and I lost him.
Oh, well....I have all week after work, and all next weekend to get things debugged. It should be easy, as once I got the operator-induced mechanical problems solved, the antennas moved properly under control of the tracking program running on my laptop, and the radio tuned correctly, too.
And I only suffered one minor injury. Somehow when I was wrestling with the tower, I scraped a good sized chunk of skin off the back of my right hand.


  1. Good idea to 'preflight' the system... It's always nice when it works as advertised when you need it to! :-)

  2. Yeah, and it gives me practice operating through the satellites, too. It's quite a bit different than operating on HF or VHF/UHF "weak signal" modes. Before I had the laptop running everything, I'd manually adjust the Doppler shift, and my son would watch the tracking display and keep the antennas pointed within 5*~10*.
    Guess you could say he was my EWO or RSO!


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