N4DDP and Shack

N4DDP and Shack
N4DDP in native habitat

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Some of us Take a bit longer . . .

Ok, So I am building an oscillator for my SMD BitXxx(20.) A long time ago my dad taught me how to read the codes on capacitors – 1st significant digit, 2nd significant 3rd is the multiplier.
So … why is it so hard to get the #$#$@ thing down to 4 Mhz? When I started I had a 19Mhz VFO (vice 4!) Let's think about this -- a cap marked 104 is 1 and 4 zeros pico-farads (10,000 pF or .01 uF) a 103 is .001 or 1000 pf. Now what is 330? I thought my dad had taught that (my fault, not his) it should be 330pf (cause zero makes no sense as a power of ten!) At the age I learned it, I thought that 10 to the 0 was absurd. It was not until later that I learned that it was equal to 1. So if the caps I was using were 330 pF they would have been marked “331.” It was when I was trying to figure out what a 681 cap would be if 680 were 680 pico-farads . . . that the light finally came on and I realized the error of my thinking. Wow, it only took 40 years to straighten that one out! Think how fast it could have happened if I had had a capacitance meter!

So now it makes sense that my Oscillator is going at 18 Mhz instead of 1.8

My shack building continues on. I finally created a hole in my exterior wall so I could feed cables out in another way besides through the open window (not popular around here and it does look a bit tacky.) So I finally got to tear into Vinyl siding and put in an external outlet box (J-Box.) It came out pretty nice. I will have to put some photos up.

I also figured out that my screening is Al . . . not fiberglass. I was trying to figure out why my mag-loop was so badly de-tuned when sitting on the screen porch near the edge. I still have yet to make a contact on that antenna as my stupid microphone quit working on the Yaesu (another long story!) and my confidence in my CW skills are still pretty low.

Someday, I will actually be able to talk on Ham radio!

No comments:

Post a Comment