Cricket musings


Jim Sheldon
 

First off, thanks Terry for posting the "Cricket Notes" yesterday. They
are all good advice and timely as well. I was searching for a source of
the HC-49/U larger size crystals for 3560 and finally came across a
company that has them. I first tried JAN crystals and was very
disappointed to find that they, like International Crystal, no longer
manufacture crystals. I checked on BOMAR and they are still in business
but so far they haven't responded to an email I sent their sales/tech
department. Further searching came up with a company called Expanded
Spectrum Systems that has them and the prices are reasonable $2.55 each
with some $3+ for shipping via USPS First Class Package so I ordered 3
of them. Hopefully they'll work and my 2 local friends (N0XM, N0ALO)
and I should be up on 3560 before long.

Started having problems with the keying adapter not making good contact
with the pad at the front of the Cricket so I removed the arm, drilled a
hole under where the arm would cover it if necessary and installed a
keying jack so I could plug a straight key or my (adapted) keyer into
it. I used some heavier (#20) wire from the 9 volt terminal to one side
of the key jack and I drilled a small hole close to the contact pad on
the top. Ran the #20 from the jack to it through the hole and soldered
it to the left edge of the pad so it will be out of the way if I want to
put the built on key back in service - I won't use the adapter again
though as it doesn't always make good enough contact. Great thought,
but its implementation leaves a little to be desired. A permanently
mounted jack on the main part of the PC board would have been a tad
better IMO.

Put a coat of nice stain on the lilttle Hobby Lobby box I bought to
carry the cricket and once it's dry, I'll re-mount things. Got several
nice extra compartments to carry my little straight key, the PicoKeyer &
a micro paddle, earbuds & extra batteries. I think there's room enough
in the box under the Cricket that I might rig up a battery holder
arrangement to hold 9 volts worth of C cells which should power it for
weeks. I'll put an on/off switch in that line so when that pack is off,
I'll still be able to use the top mounted 9V alkaline batteries.

Not to neglect the Bayou Jumper either, I've gotten a bit of DX myself
with it. Worked PJ2ND in Curacao on 7.025 (4006.4 Kilometers according
to QRZ) with it. He was blowing my ears off and he gave me a 559. Now
if I can just get the Cricket working on 3560 and get a decent 2nd
antenna up for 80 meters, I can work on my "Cricketeer" status.

Jim - W0EB
Bayou Jumper Agent # 006

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