Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Explosion Danger Lurks!

I work for an electronics division of Watts Water Technologies, "Explosion, Danger Lurks!" is an early Watts safety film reel that highlights the dangers of unprotected water heaters and the critical
need for Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valves. According to The Watts Way (a history of Watts published in 2004), the film was created in the 1930s as part of an educational campaign to get T&P relief valves specified in safety codes around the US.


Sunday, October 02, 2016

Kraft Hockeyville - Oct 2nd 2016 - Lumby BC

Well today's the day. Earlier this year our little town won the national Kraft Hockeyville Contest. We won money to fix up our aging arena building, we also won an NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the LA Kings. Alas our little town was just too small to host the NHL preseason game in our arena so our neighboring city of Vernon BC is lending us their facility to host the Practice and televised Game. There were ticket raffles to both events and Kelly and Molly are in Vernon right now attending the Practice session. Other events occurred throughout this weekend including the Stanley Cup in Lumby yesterday and both NHL teams doing a meet and great with our local minor hockey teams early this morning at our arena.

I would like to thank everyone in Lumby who organized and participated in this event. It's been a huge effort for a small community to organize and I'm so proud of the excitement it's brought to my hometown. Thanks also to Kraft and the NHL for making this contest happen each year. Best of luck to all the town's entering in 2017.

Molly and Michela skipped the massive lineup and took a quick photo from behind the Stanley Cup display table.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Elecraft KX3 and T1 Working Together

I did some testing this morning and once I figured it out I needed to document it for myself (and anyone else that's interested).

Attached to an 80m OCF Dipole antenna I tried the tuning sequence between an Elecraft KX3 QRP Transceiver and the Elecraft T1 pocket QRP Auto Tuner.

NOTE the SWR readings off my 80 OCF dipole are higher than normal and I'm fairly certain I know that some branches and leaves are to blame. Another job on my to-list this fall.

This combination actually works very well together even though most KX3 owners have gone the route of adding the internal KXAT3 tuner option. I was on a budget and ordered the KX3 as a kit with no options other than the hand mic. I intend to add options later as I can afford them. My hope was that my existing T1 tuner that I purchased for another QRP rig would integrate well enough with the KX3 that I could use them together until I purchased an internal KXAT3.

As you can see from the quick video demos they do work well together with a few button presses in the correct sequence.

1) Press and hold the PWR/TUNE button on the T1 until the solid green light appears, then release.
2) Within 3 seconds you must press and hold the XMIT/TUNE button on the KX3 until it switches into tuning mode and starts transmitting a CW tone.
3) The T1 tuner will instantly start working and the KX3 display starts showing you the SWR readings and the power output of the radio.
4) When the T1 stops chattering and the KX3 display shows the final SWR reading press and hold the XMIT/TUNE button again until the radio exits the tuning mode and stops transmitting tone.

On a good antenna the sequence is very quick. On a more challenging scenario like a long wire it can take more than 5 seconds to try various options until it settles on the best result.