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VA3STL has been off the air

August 4, 2009

Over the last few months there has been very little radio activity  for VA3STL and this has percolated through to the blogging. There are two main reasons for this: first, work has been extremely busy for the last few months and secondly the radio shack is part of a complete refurbishment, as the basement of our house gets finished.

The basement is still a few weeks away from being finished but a holiday has given me chance to rest and restart the blogging again. Despite not posting for a couple of weeks now, it has been a pleasant surprise to see I have been getting 50 or 60 hits daily on the blog. It appears that the popular posts are on the technical projects.

The basement refurbishment has been coming on very well as the contractors are doing a careful job. An antenna cable access point has been installed and now I have an easy way of connecting up to 6 antennas and a ground, which will allow all current antennas to be conected with a little spare.

Here are a few images showing the transformation of the basement and the shack.  The first image is after the rigs had been removed and before all the old framing was to be taken down.  You can see to old cable hanging down.

Old shack dismantled

Old shack dismantled

This next photograph shows the new cable access as well as the new framing and layers of  insulation (pink code board and then Roxul insulation).

The tubing for the new cable access

The tubing for the new cable access

This last image shows the current state of the shack with the drywall on.  You can see the cable access (above and to the right of the cutout for the phone and net socket).  Taping and mud is next.

The new shack with drywall up.

The new shack with drywall up.

Although the main station has been dismantled and packed into storage there have been some operating opportunities. I participated in Field Day from a tent in the back garden (a camping opportunity the children enjoyed).  The station was a 1B at QRP levels using the K3 powered by solar power. Temporary antennas were used – a Buddistick and a Par End Fed antenna. Gerry, VA3GLT, operated with me and we made a few contacts, including a small run on 10m which we noticed was open when tuning the Par antenna.

The RAC Canada Day contest was again a portable operation, this time from the back deck. Seemed to be easier to make contacts at QRP level and about thirty or so contacts were made.

During the vacation we spent one week at a cottage.  There I made a few contacts with the K2 and the Buddistick, but more time was spent fishing.

Hopefully  blog posts will become a little more regular again.

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