What I learned in Amateur Radio last week: always re-evaluate your assumptions

Amateur Radio is a hobby that keeps giving, there’s always something new to learn. In the past week I learned some interesting things:

  • don’t take assumptions for granted, question everything: I assumed I had been running my HF radio on 13.8v on my power supply, because that’s what it’s rated at. It has a power out knob on the front, and I’d dialed back the power to 12v a long time back because I plugged in a cable in to the front outputs to power an antenna analyzer. This was a long time back, maybe even a year or so ago. I’d assumed the knob that’s next to front outputs controlled the output just for those front outputs on the front panel, but turns out it controls the outputs for the main high amp outputs on the back running my HF radio too. I only found out by accident because I has plugged the front output into something else this week and wanted to dial back the voltage and my HF radio but out. Huh, that was surprising by know I know I’ve been running my HF radio on less than 13.8v for over a year.
  • I’ve had S9 noise on all backs lower than 20m for as long as I’ve had my HF radio setup, so I few years now. I’d always assumed it was from something in the neighborhood. I normally work 20m or 15m so didn’t think too much of it, and didn’t spend any time to trying and track down the noise source. We’ve had a security camera system that records to hdd for a number of years but recently replaced it with Ring cameras instead. I never bothered to turn off the hdd recording box until last week as it was on a shelf under my desk. All of a sudden, my background noise on 40m dropped from S9 to S1. Huh, well that was easy, why didn’t I try that sooner?

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