I think I have mentioned this before. A quote from Robert Burns, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry".
That described my yesterday. My plan for the day was to replace the coax to the HF9V with the 150 feet of RG213 that I had purchased from DX Engineering last Autumn. I was just about to get started when my wife Marianne called out, "Larry, there's something wrong with the washing machine!" Sure enough, she had loaded the machine and was about to start a wash cycle, and it filled partially and then just ........ stopped. Dead in its tracks.
Step 1 - Cancel the cycle and get the water out of the machine.
Step 2 - Remove partially wet laundry to a basket so that my XYL could take it to the local laundromat.
Step 3 - Breakout the laptop and Google and YouTube.
These machines are so sophisticated these days with microprocessors, control boards and touch panels. Gone are the days when all you had was mechanical timers that regulated and controlled the wash cycle. Luckily, through Google, I found a YouTube video which described how to run a diagnostic on the washing machine. It boggles my mind to even write "run a diagnostic on the washing machine."
Anyway, I did that and got a F51 error which seemed to indicate a problem with the rotor position sensor, whatever the heck that is. An accompanying article suggested unplugging the machine for two minutes to clear out the capacitors on the control board in order to reset the microprocessor, and then run a wash cycle, as a first attempt to fix the problem.
I grabbed a few dirty pieces of clothing and tossed them in the machine along with some detergent. Fingers crossed, I closed the lid and punched the proper buttons. Everything worked! It seems the problem is solved with the exception that the spin cycle seems a bit louder than it used to. A new rotor position sensor runs about $100, so if it eventually gives out and we get the same error again, I'll order one of those and will give it a go.
Needless to say, figuring this out and then carefully monitoring a couple wash cycles took a big chunk out of my afternoon. On the bright side, while waiting for a cycle to get done, I walked over to the other side of the basement where my shack is and I put a PL259 one on end of the RG213. Putting a PL259 on RG213 is extremely simple. I found these instructions found on eHam to be most helpful. They were written regarding installing a PL259 on LMR400 - the procedures are the same:
"Any standard PL-259 fits LMR-400 exactly, and perfectly without any modification to the cable or the connectors. I've installed hundreds of these on LMR-400s and use ordinary Amphenol 83-1SP PL-259s.
You *don't* peel back the braid of LMR-400 for this operation, where'd you hear that? That won't work at all. The correct procedure is the same as installing a PL-259 on regular RG-213/U.
The braid must remain in place exactly as it was originally, and the only thing you strip is the black vinyl jacket. Leave the braid right where it was, under the jacket and tightly braided over the foil. The best way to prepare the LMR-400 cable end is with a sharp (new) single-edged razor blade, cutting through the vinyl jacket, braid, foil and dielectric all in one single slice and leaving only the center conductor, stripping all else (with a single cut) back about 3/4" from the end of the cable.
Now, you have a copper plated aluminum center conductor sticking out and the rest of the cable fully intact.
Now, measure back 1/2" from the edge of the vinyl jacket and use much less pressure to strip only the jacket, and leave the braid, foil and dielectric intact. This only takes gentle pressure, not the several pounds the first "strip" requires.
Pull off the jacket.
Push the PL-259 over the end of the cable so the center conductor protrudes through the end of the center pin and when you hit an obstruction, that will be the cable jacket hitting the internal threads in the PL-259 body.
Rotate the PL-259 body clockwise while applying gentle pressure to the connector, and it will screw itself on to the cable jacket. About four full rotations are required to fully assemble the connector on to the cable, and when you're done, it won't twist on any more, and you'll see the braid showing through the PL-259 body solder holes.
This entire process takes fifteen seconds if you know what you're doing. It can take forever, and never come out right, if you don't.
I am hoping and praying that the weather next Saturday is good and will allow me to get this done. As of right now, the forecast is for a cloudy day, but with very low chances for rain. I'll take it. If I can that done and the coax on the W3EDP exchanged out, I will be happy camper.
This morning, I had to chuckle when I read John K3WWP's diary entry for yesterday. He was writing about his DX Streak QSO for the day:
"Sun Aug 06 2017 8:50PM - It doesn't get much harder than this. I hate to make a DX station work so hard to get me in their log, but some folks have a tremendous amount of patience and will stick with someone till the QSO is complete. They will put other station trying to break in 'on hold' so to speak and continue to work with the one station till he is in the log or it becomes hopeless. That pretty much describes what happened between me and SP5ELA on 40M a little while ago. It must have taken about 2-3 minutes for him to get my call, but he didn't give up. I guess I must have sent my call about 30 times before he got past K3W and finally sent K3WWP TU 559. Thanks to him, the DX streak goes yet another day."
What caused me to laugh was when I saw the station he was trying to work, SP5ELA and then going back to his words - "but some folks have a tremendous amount of patience". I had to send him an e-mail basically telling him that, being of Polish descent myself, I'm not sure if it was a matter of patience so much as it was probably more of a matter of stubbornness! I've always been told by my grandparents that stubbornness is a trait common among the Poles. And I find it true with myself, once we start something, we're not likely to give up on the task, no matter how long it takes!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!