Monthly Archives: May 2020

Radios need servicing too

Have two radios down right now, and one other radio needing minor service.

One of dead transceivers is a TenTec Jupiter, that simply won’t start. I’m a bit short of diagnostic time & even more short on the skills, so it would have to go out for service. The trick is where to send it? Or is it even worth repairing?  I have several, so perhaps this one just gets broken down for parts?

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Considering a HF Mobile Station in one of my Vintage Cars – a 1974 Citroen DSuper5

I’m considering a HF Mobile Station in one of my Vintage Cars, a 1973/74 Citroen DSuper5 that I am in the midst of renovating.

Here is a picture at the start of the project:

1973/74 Citroen DSuper5

The car project needs to complete before I’ll consider adding a mobile station.  That is expected to happen in next several weeks.

Then the question is whether to do a 1970’s style classic station or use up to date radios?

I’m leaning towards modern gear, as I could hide the station in the glove box and trunk, and with a removable antenna setup I could avoid the “Gendarmerie Nationale” unmarked squad car look when at car shows (if they return).



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Non-Radio – Brewing Kombucha

I’ve had a couple emails asking if I do anything besides radio?  Over the next couple months I’ll trickle in a few posts in the “Non-Radio” category sharing some of my other passions.

The first one is Brewing Kombucha.  Briefly Kombucha is a biological fermentation of sweetened tea that ends up a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, effervescent sweet & sour drink. 

Here is the bottling from a May 23rd 2020 batch – Root Beer, Dandelion & Burdock, and Elderberry:   

Using 375ml flip-top bottles

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RBOG SOCKiT DRIBOX 200 Enclosures

The boxes arrived early and I swapped the temporary (and leaking/condensating) tubs for the SOCKiT DRiBOX 200’s I started discussing a few days back at:

Here is one as installed.

DRIBOX installed RBOG-Vee Array Leg 2

The boxes seem made well, and after a few months I will open them up check to check how things have gone.  The have a jelled-gasket, top & bottom, that seals around the wires.  I ran the ground out one end and the twin-conductor antenna wire out the other.

They are UV rated, but digging I cannot find out what that actually means.

There will be three tests coming up for these boxes:

  • Will they stay dry?
  • Will the UV wreck them?
  • Will they survive Winter’s cold and snows?

As the domestic market for these is the UK, and primary export market is Europe, they may be pushed a bit to survive what Wisconsin Weather can dish out.

More in about 6 months and a year.



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How many Zombie Satellites are Up There? Scott VE7TIL found another one

From the ARRL:

British Columbia radio amateur Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, has found another “zombie satellite,” as he calls them. This time, he tracked and identified radio signals from the experimental UHF military communication satellite LES-5. Tilley says he found the satellite in what he called a geostationary “graveyard” orbit after noting a modulated carrier on 236.7487 MHz.

“Most zombie satellites are satellites that are no longer under human control, or have failed to some degree,” Tilley told National Public Radio (NPR) earlier this month. It’s not clear whether LES-5 is still capable of receiving commands.


One wonders how many of these Zombie Satellites are up there?



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RBOG at the Far End – Enclosure Solution SOCKiTBOX DriBOX 200

Enclosures for electronics left in the open environment need to be weather-tight, waterproof, provide UV protection and provide some level of physical protection.

An RBOG (Reversible Beverage On Ground) antenna has a transformer at the far end of each leg of the array that needs protection.

A lot of hams improvise and I was eyeing some of the planter pots, which I though I could use inverted.

Then while I was out in the gardening shed looking for a pair for suitable flower pots, a deer went by, and then a woodchuck.

Pondering I thought my flower pot resting on wooden stand idea was likely to be upturned by the wildlife, and most likely would not be waterproof all year around.

So I started looking at commercial options and settled on the SOCKiTBOX DriBOX 200 as the solution I would try.



SOCKiTBOX DriBOX 200 is the smallest of the offerings, and I truly hope the actual green is not quite as bright.

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