Happy Holidays from AB4D...


I have almost completed the switch box that I have been writing about over the past few months. I still have to finish wiring the rear panel, but I am hopeful that I will have it completed before the New Year. I was never able to find a suitable speaker grille for the box, so instead I routered one out of matching red oak.

For the speaker, I found that smaller speakers would not give out enough audio and I could not find a local source for a new speaker. However, about 15 years ago I purchase a 5 inch 10 watt speaker from Radio Shack for a project that never materialized. This new old stock speaker actually works fine, so I decided to use one of my surplus parts in this project. I am glad I have a tendency to hold on to things, You can never tell when you are going to need a hard to find part.

I will upload a few photos from the building process and a photo of the completed product in my final post about this device.

On another note, I have also been working on another new project, actually I have two additional projects going on. The first is to replace all the capacitors in a signal generator I purchased from my fellow 3938'er, Reid, W2HU. The Generator is a 1947 Philco signal generator and it will eventually find a place on my work bench ("It's Pretty", as the reverend WB4HG would say). The nice thing about the generator is not only will it produce AF signals it will also produce RF signals up to 200mhz. So it should be useful once I finish refurbishing the generator with modern components.

The second project I have going is my intent to install a tower, which I wrote about last year. I have given a lot of thought to this subject. At first I was all gunge ho about getting the tallest and strongest tower I could obtain within my ham radio budget. But then I began to think "how much tower does a person need?" "How much money do I really want to invest in a tower?" After seriously pondering these questions, I settled on a heavy duty 55 foot tower, the US Tower HDX-455. My main interests for DX is 20 meters and above, and a 55 foot tower with a decent tri-band yagi should work well for me, as I do not have many trees close by to block my signal. Another concern was strength, I was willing to sacrifice height for a stronger tower, I have been informed that the HDX-455 can handle 12.5 square feet of wind loading with a 90 mph gust with a 1/2 inch of radial ice. Seems like a very strong tower to me and should pass muster with the folks at the county.

I have already contacted my county about my intent to install a tower. At first the planning department thought I would have to obtain a conditional use permit (CUP) with a slew of restrictions and fees. However, I have been informed that because of PRB1 and the Virgina state law that protects amateur's who want to install a tower for their station, the county attorney concluded that I am pre-emptied from the requirement to obtain a CUP. To install my tower, I will only have to obtain a building permit, have certification plans with a Virginia PE stamp to show the tower can withstand a 90mph gust with a 1/2 inch of radial ice, and I may have to install some plants for screening. I plan on pursuing this after the holidays.

Happy Holidays to all, and 73.