When something doesn’t work, it’s probably not connected properly….
Over the years, operating in different contest, expedition and reasonably complex stations, I can’t count the number of things that haven’t worked quite as they should. And over the years, most of the time, the same problems have been rectified by doing something as complex as plugging it in properly, or switching something on! It’s just so true!
This morning, I had a slight variation on this theme. I came into the shack and I thought it would be nice to try some 144MHz FSK441 Meteor Scatter, as I’ve not done any serious MS for ages. A few months ago, I recommissioned one of the 144MHz amplifiers, capable of 300W or so and I thought I’d give it a blast this morning.
I set up the computer with WSJT and adjusted the drive from the FT847 – warmed the amplifier up and tried a test. Click, click, click from the amplifier with no output. Hmmm. I made a new patch lead between the rig and the amp a few weeks ago – I think it’s ok – but I checked it – fine. Tried the FT817 driving the amp – same issue. I was starting to think that perhaps it was something to do with the 5el yagi, so I went to the back of the amplifier to disconnect the beam and try the vertical antenna.
And then it struck me. When I reconnected the new patch lead – I’d connected the antenna to the input of the amplifier and the patch lead from the rig to the output! With the amp not switched on I hadn’t noticed! Swapped them over and I could see healthy amounts of output again.
Of course, by the time all that had been done – it was time to get on with the day, so no MS QSOs for me this morning.
A silly mistake, but at least they are always the easy ones to fix.
I try and label the ends of each lead so if I do disconnect some kit or other then hopefully I re-connect it properly but maybe each lead should also be numbered at both ends as well and then write the number of each lead and what it connects to. Sounds a great idea eh? Perhaps one day I may follow my own advice!!!!