Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adcom System is Alive


Well, I finally have a system assembled in working order. It consists of a GTP-350 Pre-Amp purchased from Ebay, a GTP-535 Amp purchased locally, an old Pioneer Single Disc CD Play, and an old PowerBook that is connected to the Pre-amp providing access to my iTunes library and FLAC recordings. I'm using a set of Sony tower speakers and in search of something with a little more quality.

I bought a set of high-end analog interconnects for the pre-amp to amp and cd player to pre-amp connections (in transit).

All-in-all a good system so far. Here's a picture, not the best, from my iPhone.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Man it's Cold...

Hello All,

After a day of warm temperatures in the mid-atlantic old man winter is on his way back. Not having an inside permanent station setup has brought my radio time down to near zero. I got on for a few hours last Friday, after fabricating a window pass through for my cables only to discover that the recent solar flares were wrecking havoc on my tiny 5 watt signal. So, with my radio time down and my boat up for the winter I've taken on a new quest. It is to assemble a vintage (circa late 80's early 90's) solid state audiophile grade stereo system. I've zeroed in on using all Adcom gear and starting with a small 2-channel system for my soon to be new reading room / office and then maybe moving up to a multi-channel system for my family room.

To accomplish this I've been scavenging both e-bay and craiglists for possible deals. I've won two actions (1) for a Adcom GFA-535 100W Power Amplifier and another for a GTP-350 Pre-Amplifier. Today, I received the GFA-535, took it out of the box and it appears to need a little TLC. So, while not a radio it is an amplifier in need of some electronics assistance. From a few searches on the Internet (luckily it came with the service manual) it looks like this might just be the case of some old and tired fuses. I'm off to radio shack tomorrow to buy a few replacement parts and give it a try. The pre-amp will go out fedex tomorrow, it was sold in "working-order", so with any luck it may be here early next week.

Keep checking back for updates on my latest project.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

NY State QSO Party - 2009

Hello All,

I know it's been sometime since I posted, external commitments have kept me busy. I had a chance to operate on 40Ms for about 2 hours yesterday. During this the NY State QSO Party was in full force and I was able to work many stations in a relatively short period of time. I used my Yaesu FT-817 and 40M OCF Dipole running 5Ws.

Here is a video from my contact with K2QMF on 40M.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

ICOM 735 Plastic Trimmer Caps

Hello All,

Well I finished up replacing the plastic trimmer caps in my ICOM 735 (IC-735), in the end after a few trips to the hardware store and Radio Shack I assembled the right collection of tools and was able to remove the old caps and replace with the new ceramic caps.

When I first encountered the problem of the distorted voice I went to and posted a question to the Elmers post. I discovered that ICOM had used a set of plastic trimmers that were prone to failure. The solution is to replace the plastic trimmer caps with ceramic ones.

I used the following link as my overall guidance for replacing and tuning the trimmer caps. Also, the ICOM service bulletin can be found at the following link, The only delta I found from the preceding link and reaching success was abandoning the idea that you could desolder the top of the metal box (containing the PLL trimmers). In lieu of this I purchased a desolder iron from Radio Shack for $10 and removed the entire box from the bottom of the board. This eliminates the need for a "heavy-duty" soldering gun. The desolder iron has a suction device built into it, which allows you to extract the solder directly from the board. The picture on the left is a photo after the trimmers have been replaced, however the large metal box on the bottom left is where the trimmers are housed.

After removing the box from the bottom you will see what is shown in the picture to the left. I took this picture after replacing the old plastic trimmers, however it gives you an idea of what is under the "hood". From what I read in multiple posts the bee's wax is a "stabilizer" for the trimmers and prevents noises caused by motion and movement of the radio in the RX and TX audio. I used my DVM to adjust each trimmer cap to approx. 6.5 Volts as specified by the service manual and previous link provided in the blog. You'll also want to reference the service manual for reassembly.

I purchased my parts directly from Icom and they arrived just a few days later. All in all, once you give up on trying to remove the cover from the top (at least in my case), it turns out to be a fairly straight forward job.

Here are a few more photos of my installation prior to reassembling the radio.


Monday, August 31, 2009

My OMISS Number!

Greetings All,

I got my OMISS member # tonight, 6644, while checking into the 40M net.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook w/ Mac OSX Backend

Hello All,

I've been searching for a good logging program for sometime now. Not being very high on MS Windows and it's long term reliability and stability. I'm a Mac/OSX guy, however one of the best HAM radio application suites I've found is Ham Radio Deluxe ( only runs in Windows. With the recent release of HRD Beta version 5, the developers have created a new stand alone logging program (HRD Logbook). I've been experimenting with the HRD Logbook for a few weeks and have grown to like it. It also allows you the flexibility to use either MS Access, MySQL, or SQL Server for its back end.

So, I setup a small Windows XP VM in Parallels on my Macbook for which I'm running the front end HRD Logbook and DM780 (for PSK31) applications, on the back end I installed and configured MySQL server on my iMac (connected to my home network). My iMac has a 1TB RAID 0 attached to it and is my primary iPhoto and iTunes sever and backup.

Setup is fairly straight forward:

Step 1: Download HRD Deluxe Version 5 from the HRD Website (

Step 2: Download MySQL Server from (I used the Mac OSX 10.5 x86 Version)

Step 3: Download the MySQL Administrative GUI Tools from

Step 4: Install MySQL Server (I created a symbolic link to my RAID e.g., ln -s /usr/local/mysql /Volumes/RAID/mysql)

Step 5: Install the MySQL Startup Item from the Disk Image

Step 6: Copy "cp /usr/local/mysql/my-large.cnf to /etc/my.cnf"

Step 6: Start the MySQL Server "sudo /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start"

Step 7: Install the MySQL Admin Tools on your Mac

Step 8: Login to the localhost as root (probably no password unless you set it)

Step 9: Click on Catalogs and create a new db called hr_deluxe

Step 10: Click on the accounts tab and add a new user, I called mine hrd

Step 11: Click on the right arrow and look for the % sign under the user name and click on this

Step 12: Select all of the available privileges and move them into the assigned category

Step 13: Install the MySQL OBC connector ( on the Windows machine that will be running HRD

Step 14: Install Ham Radio Deluxe

Step 15: Launch the HRD Logbook

Step 16: Click on Tools and then ODBC Manager

Step 17: Click "Add", Data Source Name = hrd_logbook, Description = HRD Logbook, Server =your mac's ip, User=hrd, Password=what u set, Database=hr_deluxe, click "Ok"

Step 18: Click on "Logbook", then "Databases", then "Manager", click on "Add" then click on the drop down under "or select" and select hrd_logbook. Then enter your user name and password for the "hrd" user

Step 19: Enjoy

HRD Logbook allows you to readily import ADIF files and exports from other HRD Logbooks, so if you are traveling you could use the local database and sync when you get home.

Here are some screen shots of portions of the install. When I have some more time I'll attempt to align with the steps.


Friday, August 28, 2009

OMISS Member Application

Hello All,

This afternoon I submitted my member application to the OMISS association. Earlier in the week I made 3 succesful contacts with current members, which qualified me for member status. Membership is $7 for your lifetime. OMISS is a worked all states net, which promotes and supports the aquisition of the WAS plus the net specific awards they sponsor.

More info can be found at .

I'm looking forward to posting my member number.