Thoughts on High RF Environments

Jim, WD5IYT, and I went roving in January again (last week) and had a blast.  We were QRV from 6m-24GHz (11 bands).  One interesting thing that happened a couple of times was a step-function shift in audio on received signals on a few bands.  Unfortunately I do not have a recording of this, but imagine if you have a VFO that tunes in 100Hz steps and when you are listening on sideband, you just click the knob a few times.  This was also heard on my transmit signal.  Apparently, RF is getting into my GPSDO — an HP 58540a (400W of 2m no doubt) and causing it to either reset or get confused about where it is.  It always quickly recovered, but this underscores the need for some shielding on the 10MHz lines running around if they will be exposed to a high-RF environment.

Back from the dead

OK, so there I was one Thursday night a week-and-a-half ago when my Internet at the house went dead.  I checked a few things and called AT&T.  I was told that my connection had been “accidentally disconnected.” Oh, no problem … just reconnect it, right?  Well not so fast… over the next five days I would spend about 5 hours on the phone with AT&T only to find that 1) I’m in an area where DSL won’t work (well why did it work before?), 2) the disconnect was a “hard disconnect” and would require four days to reconnect, 3) that of the approximately 15 people I talked to no one seemed to know how to get me back online fast.  In the end, their final prognosis was “the CO doesn’t have enough capacity to reconnect you.”  HUH?

I am in the process of cutting all my cords to AT&T and I have successfully migrated to another provider, away from my house.  Really, it was getting to be a pain hosting my own email anyway so it was time to get away from the $100/month commercial DSL line and onto a cheap hosting provider with service level agreements.

My mail has been moved (same address though) and the web is at another site.  Hopefully I will not have to do this again anytime soon!  I hope this didn’t inconvenience anyone.

73/Steve