The final chapter of the Geeky stuff: The Signal Side-Band radio (SSB) is working ~ I think.
I spent some time last week getting the SSB working. Ed, my H.A.M. friend, gave me a bunch of stuff. He also gave me awesome advice. Ed is retired Coast Guard and rebuilds vintage aircraft radios for a hobby. I think he sort of knows what he is doing when it comes to this fancy radio stuff ~ unlike me.
Ed provided me with coax cable that was better shielded than the stuff iCom suggested in their instructions. I pulled out the coax I previously installed and routed this new fancy coax down a different path so not to interfere with the other electronics on board. I installed ferrites. I’m not sure what they are or how they work but, I now have them. They look nice. I installed a low pass filter. Again, I’m not sure how it works or why I have it, but it’s there doing something very special. And, it looks nice! Per Ed instructions, I used a two-way Bird Watt meter. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. I think it is to check for returning something or another power. While, I wasn’t really sure what I was checking, the numbers were within what Ed said they should be. That’s good enough for me.
I can now hear other people talking on the radio. When I transmit, my AIS no longer crashes. My computer doesn’t randomly reboot. These are all good things. I tried to get a radio check by transmitting on some of the non-emergency channels. No one answered. However, there are a lot of buildings around us and other sailors in the marina tell me they have trouble getting a good transmission out while at dock. And, we are next to a huge mega yacht so, that can’t help. Next time we are away from the dock, I will be below deck on the SSB. Keep your ears on good buddy. Cream Puff is on the air.
This weekend project started in November 2013. Granted, I did take some sanity breaks to rethink my mental well-being. The jury is still out on that. Well, I guess it could have been worse. On the bright side, I didn’t electrocute myself. And, you don’t have to read about this SSB anymore.