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W7TFO Hints & Kinks: "Fear & Loathing in the land of Engineering"

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N6YW, May 31, 2016.

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  1. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was part of a team that recently rebuilt the KOOL-FM transmitter site for CBS (now Entercom).

    Shown is a transition from 6" Heliax down to 3-1/8" rigid line. The 6" was originally longer, and carried 52kW @ 95.5 MHz up to the antenna.

    I cut it shorter, and installed a new female connector ($!), then made up a gas-stop adapter plate to hook up to the 3" line from the output switch matrix. A new, more efficient antenna now requires just under 30kW, so 3" rigid will handle that.

    The Heliax is pressurized at around 4PSI, but the indoor lines are not. Note the common-mode protection ferrite ring on the line.

    Rigid is not very forgiving if you are off in your measurements...

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    WC5P, AE7BT, N6YW and 4 others like this.
  2. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    1..Take an old Bakelite octal tube socket and cut all the pins off short and push them out.

    2...Secure a 1/4" or 5/16" bolt of sufficient length, washers, & nuts.

    3...Punch, drill, or saw the proper size holes in your bulkhead or other location. Mount with suitable hardware.

    4...Place the bolt thru the center locating hole in the socket as shown, connecting your heavy gauge wires. Tighten securely.


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    W1TRY, AC0OB, N2EY and 4 others like this.
  3. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lots of vintage electronic gear has Bakelite parts; knobs, handles, bezels, panels.

    This stuff called Lustra works well at bringing back the shine:

    You have to really get all the dirt & grime off first, but it is best to use hand soap & water. 409 cleaner and the like will ruin the surface irreparably.


    K4KYV, WA1ZMS, W1TRY and 1 other person like this.
  4. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've found painting threads on stainless steel fasteners with milk of magnesia will ease removing without so much of the usual galling.

    This is especially effective when those bolts are used in a high-heat environment.

    Graphite, powdered mica, oils, and greases just don't do as well.

    W1TRY, KA4KOE, AD5HR and 3 others like this.
  5. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A cheap 'Greenlee' radio chassis punch at IKEA. Yep, there is one fer $13.

    It goes by the name "FIXA", comes with a little tubing cutter as well.

    Nicely made, punches a hole just under 1-3/8", perfect for most tube sockets as shown.


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    WA1ZMS, W1TRY, N6YW and 1 other person like this.
  6. W7TFO

    W7TFO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you build via panels and cabitnets, a good finish is desirable. I have found a source for a really tough spray paint, marketed for touch-ups on powder coated items.

    Available in hundreds of colors. I've used some of this and had excellent results over hardware store aerosol cans. And they mention Faraday cages!

    W1TRY likes this.

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