Sunday, April 29, 2007

SLAs and K3s

Both Sandy and I had made major deliveries at work on Thursday and we both used those small victories as an excuse to take a long-overdue three day weekend. Friday was spent at Boston's Museum of Science where we took in a couple of IMAX films, an astronomy show, and caught the last day of a traveling exhibit chronicling Charles Darwin's life and work. All were spectacular and put us in a relaxed mood that lasted the weekend.
These last two days we have puttered around the house doing some Spring cleaning and fixing things that needed mending. I noticed that my two 18Ah sealed lead acid (SLA) cells had not been charged in a very long time. So, I dug out a couple of 1 amp smart chargers and started pumping energy back into them. These little two-stage wall-wart-style units only cost about $15 or $20 and can be found at most well-stocked ham fests. If I had the room to do it, I would have a shelf set up where each of my SLAs would be lovingly trickled charged whenever they were not in use. If you have the space to do it consider such an arrangement for your batteries. Check out this page for some common sense guidelines for SLAs (and for some fun animal pictures).

The other really nice thing about this weekend was that Sandy and I got to spend some time together without that looming work deadline pressure lurking in the background. As it turned out, one subject kept coming up: the new Elecraft K3 radio I mentioned yesterday. I am considering getting a K3 for my St. Kitts trip this Fall. Of course, I would get it long before our departure for the islands so I could study the device, practice with the device, and become comfortable with it. And, of course, if I purchased the radio as a kit, I would also have to assemble it! That would no doubt be half the fun. I have told people that assembling my K2 was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in the hobby. I'm certain that building the K3 would exceed even that. And, when I'm finished, I'll have what will probably be the best lightweight DXpeditioning radio available. Sandy and I have discussed this a great deal.

There are some other interesting things happening around this radio's announcement that I hope to share later this week...

In the mean time, I hope all of you planning your next DXpedition!


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