The Pause

Radio downtime can be valuable, if you use the time wisely

Progress in converting the station to VHF has ground to a halt. The Diamond Tri-Plexer that I ordered around the first of December has been further delayed.

At first, I was told to expect it around Christmas. Now they tell me it’s not expected to ship until mid-March. This thing must be made of pure Unobtanium and frankly, it puts me off Diamond. I’ve started looking for an alternative, but that unit has the precise pairings I’m looking for. 144, 432, and 1.2G with 12-inch tails and fittings that match the three different antenna connectors on the IC-9700 and the incoming feedline connector.

ICOM IC-9700

If I can find another unit that meets my requirements, I’ll buy it and at least get the new transceiver on the air using FM. It’s nearly three months old and has yet to be used!

But everything else is on hold. We’re having a new roof installed sometime over the next 6 weeks. The mild winter weather has emboldened our contractor and now he’d like to do the work during his off-season and will give us a discount to do it sooner rather than later. So, I’m not keen to install any aerials overhead in the work space over the house until that’s complete.

By the end of March, I should have a new roof and the beginnings of an aluminum antenna garden. But for the moment, my radio life has hit the pause button. Not that there still isn’t plenty of other things to be done. My QSL backlog is impressive, even by my own standards and I should be working on that. 

It’s not all bad. The pause has given me time to better plan and prepare for the new and improved ham radio shack. I’ve created some drawings that document all the connections and cable routings. All the IP addresses and network settings have been recorded and I’ve created a detailed bill of materials for everything in the hope that it will make replacement easier if ever needed.

I’ve even labeled all the power lines and cables and scanned all the manuals and receipts so I can access them in an instant, wherever I roam.

I guess the moral of the story is patience, and that radio downtime can be valuable, if you use the time wisely.