This afternoon, I took some time to work on the problem of running coax into my study at the parsonage so I wouldn’t have to keep moving the radio, power supply, microphone, key, computer, etc. out to the table on the back porch just to operate. It wouldn’t normally be a problem except for the fact that I couldn’t drill any holes in the wall or otherwise do anything destructive to the house since it belongs to the church.
Today, after lots of looking and poking and prodding and thinking, I suddenly noticed a gap near the top of the storm window frame. The screws holding the frame to the house were not long enough and had pulled free from the house. This was nothing I did. I just discovered it upon inspecting the window. I was able to slip a length of coax through that gap from inside my study to outside the front of the house. I made a quick trip to our nearby Walmart and purchased a small bag of longer screws, a screwdriver (since I didn’t have one handy) and some white Duck Tape. I replaced the short screws with the longer screws and closed the gap around the coax entry point. I wrapped the white Duck Tape around the coax outside so it would blend in to the white paint on the vinyl siding.
I had plenty of coax to reach to a concrete block already sitting near the foundation of the house behind some tall shrubs. I used the C-clamp to attach the MP-1 antenna mount to the cement block and attached the antenna to the mount. With the antenna fully extended, only the very top of the antenna is visible above the shrubs and not very noticeable at that. I attached the radials and spread them out from the mount in various directions in the grass. Since they are black, they are also not noticeable. I’ll just have to remember to temporarily take them up from time to time before the caretaker mows the yard!
After I finished all of this, I hooked up the 450D and turned it on. 20 meters suffered from an S-9 noise floor and I heard no stations. Without tuning the antenna, I changed to 40 meters and heard a couple of CW stations. I had to get back to my office since I took time in the day to set everything up, knowing I wouldn’t be back again until after dark, so I didn’t have time to do any operating. I shut the radio down and now I’m back in my office at church writing this post.
Figuring out the coax problem opened a lot of doors for me. I now have the radio set up on my computer desk in the study. This will allow me to interface the radio to the computer using CAT for easier logging and, possibly, computer control of the radio, although I’m not sure how often I will utilize that feature since I prefer working hands-on with the radio itself. Having the radio inside will also allow me to use my Shure SM7B broadcast mic for voice contacts along with the DBX 286A microphone processor I have used for years for radio and voiceover work. I’m sure the mic will require some tweaking to get the audio right, but it’s sure to be better than the supplied MH-31 hand mic that came with the radio.
I’m aware that I have not yet posted the video review I promised. Perhaps I will tonight, now that I have everything pretty much set up the way I want it.
John — KQ8X