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Shack RF – The Unwelcomed Return 21 - October - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Shack.
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Many of us have experienced the mischief of RF in the Shack.  Computers that freeze or act badly, distortion on our audio, shack components that lock up or other RF induced issues if we’re only have a bit of problem.  RF nipping or burning fingers, electrical things damaged or burt cables if it is really bad.

Stray RF in the shack is also considered not good from the health angle, as RF exposure is never a good thing.

Some of the causes can be loose connectors, lose of grounding, component or cable failure, cable interaction, overload, or other harder to identify issues.

Currently I’m experiencing some RF operational problems, mostly centered on certain 20m frequencies.

They started when I switched to the Palstar AT-Auto Antenna Tuner and SPE Expert Amplifier.

So first order of business will be to swap each of those out to see if it goes away.

Since it is specific frequency areas, I’ll be looking at the cables, including cable lengths next.  Also how they all ended up physically.

I’ll be double checking by grounding system.

Sometimes the physical proximity of shack components (stacking or what is side by side) can cause some issues, so I’ll look at that.

If I am still facing issues then, I’ll decide if it is ferrite beads on all the computer cables next.

Of course I can minimize operations at the 20m frequencies that are acting up and continue to leave the issue for another day. With the rare exceptional Autumn weather calling for outside work, afraid it will be left for another day.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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