Sunday, March 28, 2010

Success !!!

More good news on the PFR3A front. I attached up the coax connector to the circuit board and hooked up my OHR WM-1 Wattmeter and a 50 Ohm dummy load in order to fire up the transmitter to see the power out.

At first, my heart sank as I saw NO power out. My first thought was, "Oh no, not MORE problems !!!!" Then after a few quick thinking moments, I realized that it had been a while since I had last used my WM-1. I opened the case and took out the 9 Volt battery and metered it to find out that it was below the 7 Volt level. After replacing the offending battery with a fresh one, my eyes were greeted by the pleasant arc of the meter's needle headed towards higher ground.

Of course, I got results just the opposite of what the manual says, but I am pleased nevertheless. The manual states that when the PFR3A is hooked up to a 12 Volt battery, that you can expect "about" 5 Watts out on 40 and 30 Meters, and "about" 4.5 Watts on 20 Meters.

On 40 and 30 Meters I am getting between about 4.5 Watts out (maybe a little less as the WM-1's markings are not the greatest at max. 10 Watt setting). On 20 Meters, I am getting the full "gallon" 5 Watts out. I have spread the windings on the coils for 40 and 30 Meters as far and even as I could and the results that I am getting are fine, as far as I'm concerned. I suppose I could remove a winding from each of the coils to bump that up even farther; but I won't. When I operate my K1 or K2, I usually keep the power at about 4.7 or 4.8 Watts as a matter of course. So I can deal with 4.5 Watts out in a heartbeat.

The battery issue in the WM-1 was what inspired the development of the WM-2, I believe. The WM-2 allows you to power up from either a battery or a wall wart. That's a nice option and would have saved me a few anxious moments; but I'm not about to replace my WM-1.

Getting back to the PFR3A, I guess that I can now say that I am 90% complete. All that is left is the installation of the enclosure decals and the subsequent "clear coat" and then the final chassis wiring. I might take on the task of enclosure decals tomorrow night. Boy, this takes me back to my model airplane and space model days!

I hate to jump the gun; but I think my next project will be the Jackson Harbor Press LC Meter that I picked up a few months back. I would like to concentrate on building a few pieces of test gear; in order to make building and more importantly, troubleshooting a little easier.

By the way, I discovered that my little Polaroid digital camera will allow me to do some simple videos. Once the "little yellow box" is 100% complete, I will take a video of it in action and will post it here.

72 de Larry W2LJ

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