Solar Data




Cabinet PSU Completed

Today after a little too long of a wait I have finally finished the PSU's for my communications cabinet. The problem I had is the computer networking equipment needed 12 volts, not 13.8 volts that my PSU's supplied. With electronic equipment if they are designed to run on 12 volts you shouldn't run them at 13.8 volts. The extra 1.8 volts could kill equipment. So to be safe I wanted to make sure I was running the equipment on the right voltages.

I have two PSU's (Power Supply Unit) in the cabinet, one to run the radios and computer network and the other runs my work bench and hand-held radio chargers. 

I was watching Ham Nation and Amateur Logic TV last month and they showed a new little DC-DC convertor module. They cost around the $1 mark and can handle an input voltage up to 30 volts and give an output down to about 3 volts. They are meant to be able to handle up to 3 amps but I won't be going anywhere near that, I'll be running them at around 1 amp.


I'm currently using 3 units to run the ADSL, 2 network switches and I'm network hard drive. They are supplying 12 volts only to those peices of equipment while the PSU's supply 13.8 volts to the radios and other equipment.

I'm now just waiting on the linking radio for my 2m repeater to arrive and be installed and that's the communications cabinet fully completed, but for now I've completed the works I can in the cabinet. it's up to others now to supply the other equipment.

Next week I have to pick up a couple of things from Jaycar and then I can install these DC-DC converter modules on another PSU that is currently running the computer's backup hard drives. I don't use those plug packs as they take up space on power boards and can be a pain in the arse, so I use one PSU that can supply power to many things at once. I'm using 23 amp PSUs which can easily supply the 1 amp each piece of equipment needs and do it without even getting warm. Since moving over to this I'm also saving on my power bills as I'm not running a whole heap of plug packs.

So next week I'll finally complete my PSU project. I've ordered another 10 of the DC-DC converter modules as you just never know when you might need them. When they only cost around $1 each how can you not have some sitting here. My first order of them I ordered 10 and after this PSU project is completed I'll have 3 left, so I ordered 10 more. Like I said, you never know when you might need them. Plus I've got some for spaces if something happens to any of the ones in use.

You can purchase the litte modules on eBay.


My Antennas

After taking the new photos of my station I thought I better get outside and take new photos of my antennas. Since my old photo of my antennas were taken I've removed and added a new antenna. I've pulled down my AH-4 ATU (Automatic Tuner Unit) which was used for my random wire antenna and I've added my new antenna, a G5RV. I purchased this antenna when I purchased my Icom IC-7000 a few years ago but because I never really had a ATU I couldn't put it up. This changed a few months ago and now I have a much better HF antenna up. You can see the ATU in the photo's of the inside of my station. My current mast I've removed a couple of antennas and moved a couple. I still have a bit of work to do on it but this won't happen until my tower goes up in the new year.

This is the photo of my current antenna mast.


This is the mast holding up my G5RV. You can see my tower in the back ground waiting to be fixed and installed.


This is the connection box where the coaxal cable and the ladder line cable connect. The cable runs under ground through some PVC piping.




New Station Photos

Well I finally got off my backside and took new photos. One of my Station itself and another one I'll use as my Avatar on websites.

Here is my station photos complete with the new equipment cabinet.


This is my avatar photo.




New Photos

Seeing I've been making a lot of changes to my station I think it's time to take some new photos of it and my antennas. So tomorrow I'll be taking some new photos of my station and posting them here.

So look out for them. Change is coming :) 


Almost Completed

Well another week has past and that meant more work done on the fit out of my cabinet. I now have all the computer networking equipment installed. Installed new ethernet cables in the network to supply high speed Gigabit ethernet to all the computers and into the lounge room for the PS3 and Apple TV. I have also made available a ethernet cable for my repeater's radio linking equipment.


I have three radios in and now fully working for listening to services in town. I also have the radio equipment for my 2m (VHF) repeater which looks like will finally be installed and on the air in October. In the cabinet will house the linking radio and IRLP node. 

So hopefully this time next month I will be able to post a photo of the cabinet fully completed with all the equipment installed and the cabinet project completed. It's been a big project from start to now and still have a few things to do before it's finished. 

To just name a few things still needed to be done as follows,

VK2RBL radio link


Move 2 power supply units

Wire up both 13.8v and 12v supplies

Tie up the DC and AC supply cables

So you ask yourself why 13.8v and 12v supplies? Well it's because the radios need 13.8 volts to operate correctly and the 12 volt supply is for the computer networking equipment and network hard drive. Those items need only 12 volts, they can't be supplied 13.8 volts as it's too high. yes 1.8 volts can make a lot of difference when it comes to computer equipment. So I must have these two voltages in the cabinet. The cabinet will have 3 x 23 amp power supplies installed into it for the equipment listed above. 1 power supply will be just used to supply the computer equipment and the second will be to supply my work bench plus the hand-held radio charges. The 3rd one will be used to supply the radio linking equipment for the repeater. These will need their own power supply unit as they will need about 16 amps to run non-stop if needed.

The cabinets haven't cost me anything, thank god as they are very heavy and solid units and if you were to buy new would cost a bit of money. The other stuff that I've had to do with them has cost a few dollars. I've had to replace most of my ethernet cables, about 7 of them. I must say I can't wait until this project is finished so I can move onto my next one. Installing my 2m (VHF) 11 element yagi antenna so I can have a play with SSB on the 2 metre band. And then hopefully get my tower fixed and installed. Can only wish :)