Write up to come.
A lab power supply can cost a lot for a good multi channel one. I dont want to spend $300 + dollars on a 3 channel psu, so I am making my own out of an ATX PSU and a handful of buck and boost converter modules. The good thing about doing things this way is that you do not have to play with 240v.
The specs will be 3.3v, 5v and 12v fixed supplies, 2 times 3-12v variable supplies and 12-30v variable supply. A cornucopia of supply rails with the 12v rail able to supply a maximum of 20 amps, i will not want for power when I am home brewing circuits and need multiple supply rails.
The buck and boost converters are off ebay, they also have current limiting, which is nice I will have them turned down to less than an amp most of the time, and the most they can supply is 5a, i will never get close to hitting the max on the psu even if i make something that tries to draw a lot of amps.
Mocking up the layout after making the base of the case.
The entire case will be framed in alloy angle as i have no bending facilities.
Cutout and mounted the psu to the back panel.
Front panel is as crooked as a hillbillies tooth thanks to not owning a real drill press and using a dremel drill press for doing the pilot holes. I will probably keep it and not have a do-over, now its on to the rats nest of wiring and building in the rest of the case.
So I decided to finish work early today and nick off and play some radio. Packed up the ute and headed off to VKFF-1493, Bunyaville Conservation Park, one of the new parks that have been added in VK4. The park is on the north side of Brisbane and only a short drive from my home. After setting up I gave the CW a go, as is my usual way to kick off a park and and in short order had 6 contacts in the log. There were a couple of calls i could not work out, a vk3 and 7 qrm and qsb at times making those weaker signals very hard to copy.
Switched then to SSB and worked another 19 stations including park to park contacts again with Hans and Lesley VK5YX and VK5LOL working portable from Idailia NP in far west QLD, out near Blackall. VK2,3,4 and 5 worked only in the somewhat trying conditions. Any hoover, this is a nice easy park for me to get to, and I will head back next week in the middle of the week and finish off the 44 for this one.
Thanks to those all who called in and or took the time to work CW also. We need more park CW action, so cheers for being there.
The sign at the front gate.
Some typical Brisbane bushland
Ohhh the velvet rope, you cannot cross the velvet rope.
Operating Position: -27.374336, 152.968746
So the final installment of all this activation activity was The Great Sandy. We were camped on Lake Cootharabra and I used this as my base camp for the activation’s of Tuchekoi, Tewantin and Woondum. I did not put a full activation of this park on as I have done it a number of times already. But rather just chased the other activators for park to park contacts.
We had this pair of ducks decide that our campsite was going to be their campsite for the whole weekend. They slept under the table, chased away any other birds and pretty much took ownership of everything. Pretty funny.
Woondum is also another new park. It is also a SOTA peak and i did a dual activation for both programs. I am not much of a SOTA person, this was my first SOTA activation ever. SOTA in vk4 is a lot of work for little reward, most peaks are low value, this one was 1 point, and most require a lot of effort to climb to the summit.
Anyway, this summit was also a drive up and a short walk. I made 56 contacts from VK1,2,3,4,5,7,8 and ZL. As well as park to park contacts with VK4AAC and VK3ANL. It was also nice to have Sid and Adelle ZS5AYC and ZS5APT call in, who are both back in VK4 again visiting with family. Both are very keen on SOTA and will be out and about doing activation in the not to distant future.
Activating Position APPROX -26.262834, 152.813716 using google maps, need to use SOTAMAPS to get the exact summit co-ords.
Tuchekoi National Park is one of a number of new parks that have been added to the VKFF list in VK4. This was the first activation of this park. I was only on the air for a small amount of time but managed 25 contacts in vk2,3,4,5,7 in somewhat trying conditions. I need to start to remember to use my phone to take some photos of the location.
Operating Position -26.363480, 152.829172
Thanks to all the chasers today, made for a very successful first activation of Clear Mountain Conservation Park, VKFF-1511
Big thanks to those who called in CW, especially Allen Harvie who I managed to destroy his call about 5 times before i got it right HIHI and thanks for the patience 🙂
Managed a whole swag of park to parks with Rob VK4AAC/2, Andrew VK7DW and a surprise call in from Hans and Leslie VK5YX and VK5LOL/4 who were in Moorrinyah National Park in the middle of nowhere in QLD. Also a quick SOTA with VK3GRK as well.
No DX, but, I was hearing US dx on 40m. not that they could hear me. All in all, had a good activation and enjoyed the couple of hours out portable.
Operating Position: -27.290364, 152.893480
Setup on top of a hill.
Nice RF quiet location, the only QRM was from the traffic on the main road.
DO NO ENTER. Ohhh do not cross the velvet rope or bad things might happen.
Gave the new CW key mount a go from this park and it worked a treat. Almost makes the most horrible key in the world usable.