Wednesday, May 22, 2024


I was supposed to run the South Plainfield ARES/RACES Net last night at 7:00 PM local time. We hold it on the third Tuesday of the month. I went down to the basement and turned on my VHF/UHF radio that sits on the bench and ........nothing!

By rights, I should have run upstairs for an HT, or out to the car and used my mobile rig, but I still have enough Service Manager (stubbornness) in me that when something like this happens - I have to trouble shoot it - right away.

I was getting 13.8 Volts out from the power supply, but nothing at the radio. I checked the in-line fuses and they were fine. I checked the voltage at the transceiver end of the power cable and that was not fine. What the heck?

I checked all the connections at the fuse holders, made sure all the Ohm reading were zero from power supply to cable end and then hooked everything back up, turned on the radio - again nothing.  Argh!

Something told me to take a closer look at the Molex connector again. I swung the bench light over for more brightness, and sure enough, it looked like the blade on the one side looked a little bent, possibly not making contact with it's mate. I straightened it out, and snapped the Molex back together, the radio came on!

So here's the big question - how did this happen? I mean the radio was just sitting there. I don't remember moving it around or playing around with the cable in any way. I must have dome something without realizing it, because things like this don't "just happen". Do they? Molex connector innards just don't warp on their own and break contact. This one has me baffled. but it's fixed now (at least for now) so I won't beat my head against the wall trying to figure it out.

On the flip side, the Hustler VHF/UHF antenna on the car is really performing nicely. I can hear repeaters from a much greater distance than I was able to using that piece-of-crud-cheapie-antenna-that-I-should-have-known-better-than-to-ever-consider-using.  I was able to talk to Marv K2VHW on the drive home yesterday via a repeater that was a good 20 or so miles away from where I was stuck in traffic. 

The moral of the stories? Take wins wherever you can find them.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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