Monday, March 28, 2016

Update on SEOC station

(Some of this was posted on Facebook, but not everyone is on FB, and there are some details at the end that weren't in the FB post).
Pretty interesting (and tiring) day at the SEOC Saturday. A group of us were there to install the HF antennas. It was a LOT slower than expected. It took us some time to locate the color codes for the feedlines coming in from outside. We had previously dragged cables inside the Auxcomm room, but the furniture turned out to be not what was expected, so about half those cables still need to be dragged somewhere else.

But the outside cables were an experience. There are 40 cables coming into the building, 13 of which are ours. For some reason the contractors decided to use only two colors of tape on the 23 feedlines from the big tower. So, were there 14 pieces of white tape on that cable or only 13?

Just a few of the incoming cables

We had not previously located the surge protectors for the control cables for the tuners, so we had to tear up even more floor. Of course, that made every step inside something of a challenge.

Things were even worse outside. There was a couple inches of mud over frozen mud, so half the time when you picked up your foot your boot would stay put. The other half of the time you would slide on the frozen ground lubricated by quicksand, so a few times one or another of us would be unable to avoid getting horizontal. Not much fun in that mud, but at least it was soft.

Inside not a lot better. There is a LOT of equipment, most of it not where it belongs. A lot of things I didn't recognize, and things I expected to find I didn't. But we got plenty of exercise carrying heavy stuff around. Do you have any idea what a 50 amp Astron weighs? Or an 87A? There is so much stuff in the room a lot of things we couldn’t find until after we needed them. We kind of cobbled up end insulators, and Bob found a center insulator, but it turns out there was a box of insulators, baluns, pulleys, other antenna stuff hidden under boxes of power cables.

In the end we only got a single antenna up, and we're not all that happy with that one. But we have something for Wednesday, anyway.

A big thanks to WD8BCS, KE8ACA, KC8LTL, and especially K8RDN for some really hard work under very suboptimal conditions. Still plenty of work to do, but I think it is going to have to wait until it gets drier, or colder.
So, remaining work to be done:
  • Move the MARS and CAP feedlines across the room
  • Move the VHF/UHF feedlines down one slot
  • Get holes drilled in the blue workspaces
  • Finish moving the equipment to the proper slots
  • Locate CAP and Trbo radios
  • N connector on CAP feedline under floor
  • Might need connectors both ends of Trbo feedline
  • Get Fred or Jeff to program Trbo radio
  • Arrange some sort of mount for VHF heads
  • Set up packet station
  • What is the deal with the tuners?
  • Get correct wire antennas in place once the ground is firm
  • Set up Pactor station. May want to chat with WB2FTX on the best way to set up the software.
  • get power to the digital position
  • Build or acquire cabinets or shelves for storage
Lots of work to do, a few areas of concern:
  • Not real sure what power supplies are what, and if we have enough.  Seems like there is a bunch but it gets skinny when you start assigning them
  • The tuners appear to be only for long wires.  Not clear that they will work for the G5RV antennas.  We do have some 4:1 baluns that might work OK for CW (the radio has a built in tuner), but for Pactor that will limit us for the time being (will have to use a manual tuner so we won't be frequency agile unattended).
  • We need to upgrade the tuner on the loop so we can use the Alpha.
  • We probably need some lessons on the Alpha
  • We definitely need some lessons on the MotoTrbo
 In addition to this, the MARS and CAP stations are pretty much untouched.  There is a CAP VHF antenna and feedline, and feedlines and towers for MARS, but not much else has been done.

1 comment:

  1. Another nice thing. We discovered at the base of the large tower, the box contained a long extension cord, enough to reach out to the weatherheads so we could solder out there.


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