Why did I overlook the simple?

What is going on?
Back in November 2017 I ordered and built the Funk Amateur FA-VA4 antenna analyzer kit. The kit was built and passed the smoke test without issue. I then went through the calibration process and it was successful (so I thought). I was not able to get the unit to work and I felt it was due to user error and tried to run the calibration again but without success. No matter what band I checked the SWR was off the scale. I even connected the device to a dummy load without success. I read and reread the manual and even checked out some YouTube videos and was just getting more frustrated so I was thinking of selling it to someone who knew how to operate the unit. As I watched more Youtube videos it seemed like a very straight forward unit to operate. Over the course of a year or more, I picked up the unit and tried to figure it out but just could not.
The issue
This past week I picked it up again and was looking it over but in so doing for some strange it occurred to me to open up the kit and look over my work. It's embarrassing to say but as I looked the board over I saw that the female BNC connector  I did not solder the BNC center pin to the PCB board!!! I soldered this pin, did a reset to the unit and then ran the calibration again BUT this time the calibration took a lot longer. Once it was done I connected it to my Endfed antenna and checked 15m this is a band that I know the SWR is decent. Low and behold the unit worked as it should way back in 2017!! I just can't believe that I overlooked the obvious to open the kit up and have a look around. I now get to discover this great unit that I built years ago.
All is well 
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “Why did I overlook the simple?”

  • Bob DeHaney DJ0RD/WU5T:

    A DUH moment. Even more embarrassing when someone else points it out after a 30 second look…

    Vy 73

  • Richard KWØU:

    Thanks for being willing to share your experience, Mike. We all do things like this, and it could have been worse. I read about a ham who couldn’t get his new rig to work. Many tests, correspondence with the manufacturer, etc. Eventually he discovered that he had the radio plugged into a dead socket.

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Bob, yes very true and it has happened to me with my wife when she has pointed something out to me in less than 5 seconds regarding a DUH moment I was having.
    Thanks for stopping by Bob and have a great weekend.

  • Mike Weir:

    Hello Richard and good evening, I always want to share my ham experience the ones that don’t shine on me in a bright light way……it’s all about learning and at the same time having fun with it.
    Thanks for taking the time to read the post and comment.

  • John G0GCD:

    Don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all been there.
    I worked in customer support for a technical component supplier for many years and lost count of the number of times that I had to delicately suggest that a faulty unit might work better if it was switched on! In most cases, the customer had overlooked the obvious and got stuck immediately into detailed analysis of the fault. My advice is always STOP, have a break and start from the top. Are the batteries actually charged?
    It is satisfying when you find it, isn’t it. We aren’t all brave enough to admit it publicly though. We’ll done!

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning John and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the post, thanks for the kind words and yes I have been here before in the past. As for me, I’m not proud the way I look at is……….”it is what it is”. Thank and have a great what is left of the weekend, John.

  • Mike G3JKX:

    It is always a great idea to make sure the correct aerial for the band you want is plugged into the correct socket on the rig.
    73 all.
    Mike G3JKX
    PS Guilty as charged

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Mike thanks for sharing and regarding these “events” we have all been there.
    73 and have a great what is left of the week.

  • Erwin Serle / PE3ES:

    That is cool, I have the same unit. It works (since first build). But have since then made many interesting other mistakes.

    Thanks for the write up!

  • Mike Weir:

    Good morning Erwin, yes I am very happy the issue was as a plane and simple as it was. Thanks for taking the time to comment Erwin and stay safe during this time.

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