Amateur Wiring

I’ve picked up a couple of Mirage “brick” amplifiers over the past few years.   I’ve also rewired the DC cable on each and every one.  Here’s the latest.  AWG 10 to AWG 16 transition?  Seriously?  I know it technically doesn’t matter too much for a short run, but these amplifiers suck down a lot of current and I just don’t see cutting corners on that.  Maybe I’m a purist…

Ethan Miller, K8GU, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Maryland, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Amateur Wiring”

  • Michael N5TGL:

    Ethan, I’ve seen a LOT of “ham-handed” attempts at repair/maintenance/installation. I picked up a 2m mobile recently where the person had cut off (!) the molex about 1″ from the radio. Why god, why?! The worst part is that SOB sold me a radio that didn’t work, after he assured me it was “fine”. Shame on me for not getting his call.

    Another one was where I recently bought a beam, and the fellow told me I should bring some disassembly tools. Ok, no problem, I brought my cordless drill with a socket attachment and a crescent wrench. Well, I get to going on taking it apart, and here this guy come with a set of vice-grips (!!) so I don’t have to “mess with that crescent wrench”. What the heck, dude! You might as well just brought me a hammer and chisel so I could beat the bolts off of it.

    Now the fellow there was a nice guy, and gave me a heck of a deal, I just gotta wonder where a person’s head is at when they come up with these ideas? I don’t want my nice SS hardware all boogered up with vice-grip marks! Granted, a crescent is’t the best thing to use (should grabbed my open-end wrenches) but it’s a damn sight better than a vice-grip.

    My dad’s been going through a single 3-500Z amp lately, and he’s uncovered a ton of schlock “repairs” on it.

    I’m afraid most people really shouldn’t be allowed near a soldering iron, haha.

  • k8gu:

    Michael—amazing stories! I once saw a gum wrapper defeating a glass fuse…I think that’s the epitome of cheap/lazy/etc. MacGuyvering something temporarily to “get home” or improvising with tools because you are in a bind is one thing… But, it just gets me that of all of the blood, sweat, and treasure someone has expended to obtain and install that new piece of equipment, they cut corners on something that takes a small amount of time and costs less than lunch out or, at worst, a case of beer.

    As I opined in an old essay on my web site, there are a number of hams who believe that once they’ve passed the license exams they are certified experts on all things radio and electronics.

  • Sid, 5N0SID:

    “Michael—amazing stories! I once saw a gum wrapper defeating a glass fuse…I think that’s the epitome of cheap/lazy/etc. MacGuyvering”
    what we in the telecommunications industry call “for now jobs” – jobs carried out to clear the fault or repair “for now” and never getting back to complete the work more professionally or correctly!!!

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