30 March 2007

Sidewinder force feedback pro joystick - it's a copper thing

As expected, there's a problem in the power plug/socket connection. I opened the joystick base removing all screws in sight and two more hidden under rubber pads (lift them carefully and remove only if you see a hole underneath). The bottom cover pops out very easily.
The power socket has large soldered pads, I plugged the AC adapter and measured voltage with a VOM: nothing. Fine, two options:
  1. solder the AC adapter cable directly into the base -OR-
  2. solder a red/black wire at the socket pads and use a different male/female connector outside the joystick
I am not going to look for exact replacement for existing parts!

29 March 2007

Sidewinder force feedback pro joystick

It arrived at ZYW Labs last night. It has some problems on the power connector. The power supply works but the weird plug looks broken. If there's no DC transfer with the socket, they will have to be replaced with more common parts.

28 March 2007

It did stop raining

Magically it stopped raining for a while, when I was home alone. So I quickly assembled the antenna, laid it on the kitchen table, connected the trusty MFJ259 and measured resonance at 142 MHz. Better to try it outside.
I moved on the balcony and using the ceiling hook I hanged the full antenna. Two ropes were holding it pseudo-horizontally; half antenna was outside, half inside...

Altought not perfect, the resonance moved up into HAM 2m band:

Hopefully in more clear space the impedance will get even closer to 50 ohm. In the evening I tightened nuts and bolts of each element.

Left to be done:
  • mark elements and respective boom position, probably with colored PVC tape for fast visual recognition
  • attach the BNC connector to the dipole box
  • find out how to connect the boom to a fiberglass mast

27 March 2007

Dipole is ready

Now that a female BNC connector has been soldered to the dipole, the 5 el DK7ZB 28ohm Yagi is ready for a smoke test. If only it would stop raining...

26 March 2007

The 5th element

The 3rd director of my 5 elements Yagi was missing the insulator/separator as designed by 9a4qv (http://www.qsl.net/9a4qv/Antenna_insulators.htm). Got hold of a rubber pipe section, dug the 10mm boom housing and drilled a 3mm through hole. Here's the result:

Once the element was mounted on the boom I noticed I could tighten the wing-nut indefinitely. The cause was the bolt pressing and flexing the insulator. So I cut in half the rubber pipe, keeping the lower part (upper in the picture).

Here's the XYL checking the result

23 March 2007

Boom drilled to host dipole

Drilled two holes for the dipole box. First 3mm then enlarged upper hole to 6.3mm. Also added screw, washer, (dipole box,) washer, nut to dipole box. Fits perfectly on the boom.

22 March 2007

5el VHF Yagi

Marked dipole box position, ready for drilling!