Sunday, October 29, 2017

Even More "Good News - Bad News"

Well, I just couldn't let it go.  I had to see what I could do to resolve my issue tonight without waiting to call Elecraft tomorrow.  I read the manual - no help.  I searched Google and eBay for an N-Male to N-Female 3 dB, 10-watt (or more) attenuator but nothing in my price range was available except from China and that won't get here by next weekend's contest.

However, the ever-faithful Mr. Google, did give me a hint.  I found there is a menu setting in the K3S (CONFIG: XV1 PWR) which sets the maximum K3S power output for the current transverter band.  I checked that menu item and mine was set as CONFIG: XV1 PWR = L1.50 (which is the highest level) so I turned it down to the bare minimum which was L .01 and then looked at the K3S PWR control.  Instead of the previous minimum of 0.1 mW it was now 0.01 mW.  WOW, did I just find a way to lower the power even further out of the K3S?   WHUMP - Yes he did!

I turned the amp back on, set the WSJT-X software to Echo mode, and lo and behold, I no longer had 800-watts out of the amp?  At that level "0.01 mW" and with an Audio Line Input of "1" there was no measurable power out.  I played with the Line level ending up at "10" and I brought the XV1 PWR level up to 0.02 mW and got 200-watts out.  A further increase to 0.03 mW and I now had 400-watts output.  I can work with this!!!

I'm pumped now!  Bring me the moon tomorrow and I'll try echo testing for real!  WHEEE - this will make it MUCH easier for me to get some good sleep tonight instead of worrying about this problem.

But, every time I find a solution or make a step forward, Mr. Murphy pulls me back.  In disconnecting the 1/2-inch Heliax feedline connected to the CX600-NL relay from the Bird 43 wattmeter in order to connect it to the amplifier input, I must have flexed that cable a little too much and WHAM! - the NEW $112.50 CX600-NL relay self-destructed.  This would NOT have happened if that blasted RG142 cable had had the N-connectors installed properly!


That happened before I was able to test my successful adjustments above and I had to rely on a double-female "N" barrel connector to replace the relay.  I "might" be able to put the N-connector back on the relay if I can find a small enough Allen wrench but at this point, I'm just happy to have the power output of the K3S low enough to work with while continuing to pursue this project.

Now I really am going to bed and try to get rid of this shoulder cramping obviously brought on by all this stress!

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