Re: homebrew Y/N Answered from the UK

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From: laurahal@microsoft.com
Date: Mon Feb 21 1994 - 12:48:00 EST


I'm relatively new to being a licensed amateur, but have been around the
hobby and an active SWL for years. In an era where appliance operators are
the norm, and where many new hams don't even know how to put up an HF
dipole, I'm prepared to be lenient on the definition of "home brew", and I
would hope others will be too. If you build something from a kit there is,
at least theoretically, a chance that you might understand something about
how the thing works and might have learned something along the way. This is
far more constructive than endless debates about pizzas and cookie dough and
rather than scaring people away from homebrewing, may encourage them to try
modifying equipment, try experimenting with things, and maybe build the
occasional item from a kit, or completely from scratch. Which is what we
want, after all.

I bought one of MFJ's antenna analyzers over the weekend, BTW. The one that
goes from 1.8 to 170 MHz and has a frequency counter. Great fun, and useful
too. The only ergonomic glitch is putting batteries in the thing: you have
to open up the case (8 screws!), put 8 AA cells in the holders, hook up the
connectors, and bolt the whole mess back together. MFJ's quality control
seems to be improving - the PC board looked good, and they got the frequency
counter module from Opto-Electronics. But whoever installed the output
connector could use soldering lessons. I compared what the MFJ machine told
me with SWR readings from my wattmeter, transmitter loading (on the ham
bands, of course...) and received signal strengths. All showed strong
agreement, like when I set the MFJ machine to 15260 kHz, twiddled the
transmatch for 1:1 SWR, turned on my FRG-7 and heard the BBC at S9 from
Ascension Island. Changing any adjustment on the transmatch sent the signal
down into the noise...the blasted thing won't find me a match on 10, 12 or
20m, but from what I hear on most weekends, this is not a major loss...

73 from Burnaby,
laura VE7LDH


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