05 September 2017

Time flies!

Years go on and on... After close to 3000 amateur radio repairs (and some test equipment ones), I still find from time to time some real challenges. And my interest to learn more on the RF field are still here. So, I guess, that means all is going fine :-)

I have upgraded my lab quite a bit on last years. Here you have some pictures of the different parts of it. Please, don't be too hard telling me some areas are too crowded, I know and am working on that!

LAB1 is where I develop most of my dayly repair work. You never have too many displays on hand:

And it is also my main ham radio station (yes, hidden below some layers right now). This is half ot it. The other half is still more hidden:

LAB2 is where older (mostly tubed) ham gear is located, along an auxiliary workbench:

Then LAB3 is the R&D area:

This is it for the in-house area. There is more outside it, but it is now too crowded to be shown ;-)

Well, back to repair!!!

See you soon.

73 Jose EB5AGV

22 November 2013


Judging by the low post activity on my blog, you could think I have no longer interest on radio repairs... No way!

What happens is exactly the opposite: since June 2012 I am working full time on radio repairs. You can check my professional WEB at: AGVradio

As you can imagine, the problem now is that I have little time to write on this blog. Well, it is true, but I also have lots of repair experience to share.

So, as time permits, I hope to start blogging again... let's see what happens!



03 May 2012

(Spanish) Bienvenida a los lectores de Radioaficionados (URE)

Quiero dar una bienvenida especial a todos los que han llegado por primera vez a estas páginas desde la revista de la URE. Es para mí un placer poder compartir con vosotros mis aventuras en esta interesante afición.
Espero que encontréis algo de interés, tanto en este BLOG como en mi WEB principal:


o en alguno de mis otros BLOGS:




01 March 2012

A new repair project: Collins 30L-1 amplifier

Well, sometimes dreams come true... as it was the day when a ham friend offered a non working Collins 30L-1 amplifier. It was missing some parts (tubes included), but overall it was pretty fine and obviously repairable.

Here you have some pictures of it:

Since I got my S-line back in 1997 or so and then my KWM-2A in 1998, I was looking for a fixer-upper 30L-1... and now it has arrived. Great!!!

I have started a new page on my WEB to deal with its restoration:

EB5AGV's Workbench: Collins 30L-1 restoration

I am actively working to find missing parts and hope to complete the write up as repair progresses.

Yes, I am a happy camper :-)!


03 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Hi all,

I am sorry for the lack of posts. As you could imagine, that means that I am still pretty busy with the radio repairs. I have been able, though, to regain some of the lost fun factor, by filtering better what I take to repair and also by scheduling some of my own equipment repairs mixed with the other ones. As a sample, I am now working on two large test equipment projects, which will be soon appear here as sepparate posts. So life goes on :-)!

I hope all of you have a nice 2012 which fullfills your best expectations.



15 September 2011

The Fun Factor

Sorry if this is not a technical post, but it is closely related with my amateur radio equipment repairs.
Back when I began to fix my own radios, at the end of the 1990s, it was a treat for me to get them working again. It was so nice that I began to buy nonworking radios just for the fun of fixing them. So the Fun Factor back then was high.

Then, some people around (other local hams) needed to fix their own rigs and I began to fix rigs for free for other people. Soon I found that there was too much work to do and, as a way to keep the flow controlled, I began to get some cash from the repairs. So far, so good: Fun Factor was again at a reasonable level, if not so high than before.

But now, some years later, I find myself overflown by rigs to fix and, luckily only sometimes, also by angry people who want the work done NOW. And CHEAP. So, steadily but irremissibly, the Fun Factor has gone down and down and down... and now is close to zero. I have almost completely stopped to use my own rigs and, seldomly, fix my own nonworking rigs (which I have in large quantity, waiting for care). So I am fixing other people rigs about 95% of my hobby time and just a 5% of the time is devoted to, for example, write on this BLOG (now you can understand why it has so few updates!)

But I have taken a decision: I want the Fun Factor back. So I plan to carefully filter what I am going to fix for other people. No more bulb changing, simple mods or even just admitting to fix abused rigs. I am sorry, this is not an NPO. I want to use my hobby time to learn about RF circuits, operate my radio station and fix my rigs. And, then, fix some other people rigs. But not the opposite!

Sorry for these ramblings but I needed to write this down so it will be an unbreakable decision. You will know if I succeed by the number of posts here!

Thanks for reading :-)


28 February 2011

Back to SATs! (2)

Well, there were some problems with my antenna setup of last week... one of the problems is that I have replaced the sepparate rotor controls (Yaesu G-400RC and Kenpro KR-500) for a all-in-one Yaesu G-5600B (note that I have replaced only the control box, which I bought used some years ago). I have done this in order to control the rotors from the PC easily, as the G-5600B control includes internal relays and has buffered positioning signals.

But one problem is that it is a South referenced control... and my antennas were North referenced. This was not hard to fix :-)

Then a worse problem arised, as there was some miscalculation on the 2m elevation antenna and one director collided with the 6m boom from about 50º elevation... not a good thing!

In order to fix the bent element, I needed to access to the 2m Yagi. But it was too far to reach. So I modified the antenna position by displacing the elevation boom. Current positioning is shown on next picture, with the elevation antennas pointing to sky:

I have also reshuffled the rigs on my main radio station position, so now I have a rig devoted to SATs (Yaesu FT-847), another for Earth work :-) (Yaesu FT-736R) and another for local work (Kenwood TS-790E). Of course, all of them could be used in the others roles, but this is my first approach.

I have ordered an AMSAT-UK LVB Tracker Kit (I have ordered the cheapest one, as I plan to do a custom case and add my own display and buttons) and will work also on the FT-847 CAT control from a tracking program (I will look for a program which cares about Doppler)

So, all in all, things are progressing!