PMing Your Radio

After writing my Quiet Word about FlexRadio I realized it has been some time since my main Flex-6700 had any serious preventative maintenance (PM).

Recently I has sent my RiserBond TDR off to be PM’ed and recalibrated.  I have had a fellow ham do PMs on all mu Collins S-Line gear.

So why do I not have my other gear on a schedule for PM?

What should that PM schedule look like?  Based on hour powered up, hours on the air, the raw passage of time, or?

Most of us pull a PM when something isn’t working correctly or breaks down.

At that point if the problem is with the gear we are maintaining it is not really PM, rather break-down response, and if the gear that broke down is actually something else we find ourselves doing PM influenced by another gear problem rather than the actual unit we would be PMing.

So I have broken down my gear’s PM schedule into:

FlexRadio/4o3a and Solid State Gear, if in active use:

  • User level PM annually
  • Bench Grade PM at three year intervals

FlexRadio/4o3a and Solid State Gear, if NOT in active use:

  • User PM annually if openly stored/prepositioned
  • No user PM requirement if in sealed storage

Tube Gear if in active use:

  • User and professional PM per the manufacturer’s recommendation (user level at least annually)

Tube Gear if NOT in active use:

  • User PM annually if openly stored/prepositioned
  • No user PM requirement if in sealed storage and the gear is fully updated
  • PM prior to return to service if in sealed storage and NOT fully updated

Cables/Incidentals (only if in use as part of the station):

  • Inspection/PM annually.

Anything Outside:

  • An additional inspection and seasonal maintenance pre-winter and post winter

Anything to be Sold:

  • A pre-listing inspection and PM, including run-up if appropriate

Not certain if I will make specific inspection and PM notes for each major unit , or let common sense guide the PMs.  Hmmm….



One thought on “PMing Your Radio

  1. Kuby, N6JSX, MS-EET(ret) says:

    The problem I see is the HAM MFG’s are not adding PM data/ PMS-Card/Table with the radio OP/Service manuals. Only PM I’ve ever seen is in my Lawn Tractor/power-tools/vehicle manuals.

    PM (preventive maintenance) means different things to differently trained/educated people;
    a. for XYL’s PM only happens when the annoying dash light stays on a month ago will she then tell her close male about the light OR when the car is now making funny noises. The only for sure XYL telling the male is when the low fuel light gauge light is on.

    b. for most ‘new-generation HAMs it is when smoke is observed OR the ON/OFF no longer works OR when the PTT is pushed and no one responds to discover the coax is detached from the radio (no wonder the band was so quite thought it might be band conditions/sun-spots).

    c. for Army/Marine HAMs PM occurs if the radio was in a ruck-sack when returned from being in the field. Then the PM:
    A1R (annual & when require) is a fire hose wash down.
    D1R (daily & when required) check coax connections!
    D2R check and apply antenna grease to insure the electrons slip off the antenna for best DX distance.

    d. for Air-Force HAMs do PM per Tech-Orders that the AF HAM created. PM needed:
    D1R (daily & when required) clean/shine the radio it will comm better and further (from their tarmac days of a bright shiny air craft fly’s best).

    e. for Navy/Coast Guard HAMs it is the 3M-PMS system with daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/semi-annuals, annuals and when-required to be done per a specific PMS-Card routine. However, the HAM will need to create/write the PMS-Cards and make a grease-pencil scheduling board – only if you have the security clearance to read/do the PMS?
    [+40years ago my collateral duty aboard a Cruiser was being the Work-Center/Division/Department 3M coordinator & Div-DCPO & Duty-Section 6 MAA & Work-Center Sup – living proof no good deed goes unpunished, FTG-CPO(selectee)]

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