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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Overcome with technology!

Overcome with technology!

My-oh-my I was inundated with technology throughout December! It all started in November when I received a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9,  ordered in September. That kept me busy through Thanksgiving as I ooh and ah’d and converted my iPad friends. But even though the screen res is great and it’s fast, it still has the same problems as Windows tablets and phones. . . .lacking apps in the Amazon Store. If they would just open the platform to Google’s Play Store, it would be a great tablet. I still can’t get all the apps I can run on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. . . .which brings me to the 1st week in December.

I traded in my HTC WinPhone for the Note 3. I really liked the Winphone and probably would have upgraded to a Win8 phone, but Verizon didn’t carry any of the newer models like Nokia’s 1020 and/or 1520 and couldn’t tell me if they ever would, so I moved over to an Android phone. Luckily my wife moved from an iPhone to the Samsung at the same time, so we’ve each been learning the new phones. My wife is exploring, finding and learning much faster than me. . . . mostly because I have more toys to figure out.

Which brings me to the ham shack. I’m in the process of setting up a new Icom IC-9100. Since this is an upgrade from the 30-year old Kenwood TS-930s I had, which had its own power supply built-in, I brought up a 13.8V ps from my workbench. I quickly tired of the loud fan that ran all the time. I took that back to the bench and got a Samlex 1235M. The fan doesn’t run unless it starts getting warm and when it does kick in, it is whisper quiet. One other addition to the shack was a MFJ-993B auto-antenna tuner. Although the Icom has a built in tuner, I wanted to experiment with some off-the-wall antenna designs that may have 25:1 SWR readings…a bit much for the rig’s internal tuner, but mild for the external MFJ, which can handle up to 64:1.

Well, there’s also a few additions to the workbench, but I’ll handle the test instruments on the bench in another post. For now here’s the pics from the shack:


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