Last March I was 50 so my YL bought me a RM KL405 from Moonraker (UK). The amp lasted about two weeks despite running low power, I was offered a replacement from Moonraker and was told that I would not be able to return the so called new replacement should it go faulty. With this in mind I made sure I took the greatest of care to minimise any possible risk of over powering the amplifier and have only run 5 to 10 w on SSB with a maximum output of 180w out. After using the amp for a couple of weeks the pre amp became stuck on which was annoying but it seemed to be working ok. Last week I was in my shack and heard an interesting station so I gave a shout out. I noticed straight away that the output was down thanks to my West Mountain Radio PWR Check. So I decided that I will have a look to see if anything was obvious in the way of a fault.
The first thing I saw was the sticker and hand written note which seemed a bit strange for a so called new replacement. Then I noticed a resistor was completely blown off of the board and solder was splattered everywhere. On closer examination and a bit of solder spatter removed I repaired the preamp switch which had been in short circuit due to the spatter. Unfortunately the damage to the output is beyond my electronic ability so I decided to pack the amp away until I decide to either throw it away or donate to Someone who can use any components.
The solder can be seen below stuck to the front panel and spread around over various components.
As for the lesson learned. I won't be buying any more RM equipment from Moonraker and I won't be believing that their customer service is as good as they make it out to be. And finally if you work in the repair service at Moonraker do you recognise the handwriting on the repairs sticker of the so called new replacement.
I am also unsure as to how the date on the sticker is one year before I purchased the amp if it was a new replacement which arrived in April 2017.
It's been a while since I posted which has been mainly because of the poor propagation on the HF bands. I have made a few decent DX contacts on 15m and 17m which have been good on occasion. Otherwise nothing to spectacular has been happening here at the home of M0YKS.
As usual during the winter months I enjoy listening lower down the HF bands especially on 80m and 40m. To do this I use a HUSTLER 6BTV vertical and also CAROLINA WINDOM antennas. I have had both in use for 8 years and the outcome is that the vertical is excellent and the WINDOM is good on transmit but far too noisy on receive to continue using it. With this in mind I altered the off centre antenna of 131 feet to a balanced equal legged 80m dipole by shortening one leg to 65 feet and adding 15 feet to the other leg to make a doublet of 130 feet which I soldered and clamped together. I didn't require another Multi banded wire as I have my Cushcraft MA5B, HUSTLER 6BTV and 20m Delta LOOP, I had decided to try a more resonant mono band 80m dipole in the hope that I might pick out the DX on 80m a bit better. I will let you know my findings over the next few weeks. So far the dipole is showing 2.5 swr and seems to receive less noise and has cleaner sounding signals. Catch you in my next post or on the bands soon. Best 73 de M0YKS Simon
Update first couple of hours
After a couple of adjustments I managed to get the swr down to 1:2 - 1:3 across the 80m band. The reception is very nice with a significantly reduced noise level on the new dipole compared to the WINDOM. I am very optimistic about the dipole so far. Best 73
Its been quite a while since I operated my satellite set up which comprises of a 15 element 435 Mhz X beam and 5 Element 145 Mhz Yagi mounted on a GS-5500 elevation rotation controller into a YAESU FT-847. Tonight I managed to get into a new one for me EO-88 as well as a couple of other SSB satellites. I enjoyed the tests as I familiarized myself with the operating technique and equipment and I will be trying my luck over the next few evenings on the amateur satellite bands as HF on an evening after work is not very reliable at the moment due to poor conditions. Listen out for M0YKS via the ''birds'' as well as from the mobile on 20m most mornings. Best 73.