Hardware in Transit!

Some great news this weekend! The LP-500 is bought and paid for, as is the Flex 6500 and the Comet CHA-250B. I was also notified by the Flex Service Dept. that my 6700 is ready. The FlexRadio units will arrive together on Friday, and hopefully the LP-500 arrives around the same time. All hardware in transit!

These are the last few items to complete the station. Once installed, the radio rack will be moved back into the operating position, and the shack furniture will be put back into place.

I’m a week away from wrapping up all the new hardware!

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Comet CHA-250BX Wideband Vertical

Comet CHA-250B

The Comet CHA-250BX was delivered a few days ago. Today I assembled it and mounted it on a ‘test stand’ in the back yard, next to the W6LVP Loop. Tomorrow I will run some LMR-400 coax down there and we’ll see how the 6500 plays on this antenna. Right now the 6500 is connected to a non-resonant dipole antenna, so here’s to hoping the vertical does a much better job.

The CHA-250BX will be ANT1 on the 6500

Before I can run the coax I have to replace the cover on the window in the shack. The current window covering is a piece of heavy duty art board of some kind. This art board material was never intended for use that would expose it to the elements. It is weathered and it’s shape is distorted, so it must be replaced. I plan to install a piece of Optix Acrylic to cover the open space above the air conditioner. I have a L-R sliding window so I’ve had to cover this open space ever since getting the air conditioner. Once this is complete I’ll have a better pass-through for all the cables. I also hope to pull in some of the rotor cable slack off the roof, into the shack, so I can reconnect the satellite rotors.

I’ll add a couple of sand bags for good measure

My ‘test stand’ is the bottom part of an old umbrella stand. It seems to hold up OK but I’ll probably add a couple of sand bags.

Everything they said about it is true!

The CHA-250BX performs exactly as claimed. I replaced the window and ran the coax today [SAT 12/22] and the 6500’s internal tuner tunes this antenna fairly flat on all bands! 1.3:1 was the highest reading I observed today. I’ll post more exact results later on.

This antenna will be used primarily as an RX antenna for SSTV/Digital modes. Low power, 100 watts max TX, “bare foot” no amplifier. I managed to tune through a few bands this afternoon and so far it looks like a winner.

Just what I needed in a wideband antenna!

Santa Claus will be a day late with the LP-500 (it’s arriving WED). The LP-500 is the final component of the 2018 hardware upgrade. I joined the LP-500 waiting list in May 2018 at number 200 something, these days, the list is much shorter as they catch up to demand.

Once the installation of the LP-500 is complete, I’ll be looking forward to “buttoning everything up” with the radio gear and reinstalling the shack furniture.

Don’t forget the Geochron 4K!

When the shack furniture is back in place, I can finally install the other LG 32UD59-B 4K UHD monitor and Ergotron Arm! This monitor will display the Geochron, and I can tell you right now, it looks killer!

I’ll use the Geochron to learn how to work, and better understand, the “Grey Line“. I hope to develop some new DX’ing skills in the process. Working Grey Line DX will be a new thing for me to look forward to.

On another note…

I was unable to pull in any significant amount of the slack in the satellite rotor cables. It will require a roof climb. My HF rotor also needs it’s control cable replaced (after 14 years in the SoCal sun) So these will be done at the same time, but no time soon. It’s time to get operating.

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