3/26/2009

Hello All, John here.

Derek had to go order his new glasses, finally, so he is not home yet. We all know Derek is not the most “delicate” person with fragile items, and his current frames have taken quite a beating. I doubt I will be able to solder them another time as the metal is becoming quite degraded from all the heating and cooling.

I’ll start with the new antenna. I ordered a Diamond V2000 Colinear Tri-bander from an eBay vendor. I wanted a bigger (Higher Gain) VHF/UHF antenna for the “Base” and this one seemed to fit the bill. Of course, my luck with antennas is they never do exactly what they say they are supposed to do. It works awesome on the 2 meter band, with low SWR’s all the way across, however, it almost works “Too” well, as now I am picking up some interference that wipes out half the local repeaters. We haven’t played with it much for distance yet, but I am sure on 2 it will do well. 440mhz is another story, It only has acceptable SWR’s from about 430 to 436, and that is after I trimmed all I really want to from the radial. Speaking of that the radials don’t seem to make much difference, so I might just ditch them for the cleaner look, and less hassle putting it up and taking it down. 6 Meters is not nearly what I hoped for. It has high SWR across the entire band, and I am still getting RF back to the radio on the coax (the display does some goofy things). Now, I can tune out the SWR with the LDG, but I have to figure out this RF feedback problem. I did try to put a current balun at the base of the antenna (Rolled up a number of turns of coax, and tied it off) and that did little to nothing to help. I have a couple theories, one is the RF ground from the radio to the camper frame is just about the right length for a 1/2 wave on 6, so that might be it, but I really can’t shorten, I might be able to lengthen it some to get it off that frequency. The other is I have really cheap RG58 coax going to the antenna, and I would like to replace that with a better RG8, or RG8U, and maybe try a professional made coax balun. We will see. As Derek said before, I get more fun out of station building that I do being on the air…

The other significant event that I wanted to share was about Blue Moon Mobile RV service. Rodney Simms, the owner, called me today. He wanted to hear my side of the story, and went on to explain his take on it, but seemed very concerned to my opinion. He claims that the electrode was replaced with a Norcold part, and that is all they use. He stated that they called Norcold to question them, and that Norcold had switched vendors for the part. That wasn’t the story I got from the Norcold tech department… Whatever, that wasn’t the beef of my complaint. I voiced the real concern over the fact that the refer worked fine before the tech started, and there was really nothing wrong with the part. In the end he saw my position, agreed to refund that part of the bill, and apologized. He also said he would be making a process change as to how their technicians handled similar situations as far as communicating charges and replacement parts to their customers. Rodney seemed very concerned, seemed to appreciate the feedback, and apologized, which is what I really only wanted anyhow. Was it “window dressing” to shut me up and not bad mouth his company? I don’t know… I think he valued my feedback, and his response worked on me. If it was an intentional “Bill Pad” I really don’t think he would have responded. Yes, I would call them again if I was in this area and needed service done that I could not do myself, and I am happy with his response.

So that’s about it, I am off to try some more 6 meter stuff. Have a goodnight.

John

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