Monday, October 08, 2007

Pre-St. Kitts equipment check

We leave first thing in the morning two weeks from tomorrow. There is still much to do. I spent tonight doing a final equipment check for the radios, power supplies, and recording equipment. Here it is (though it will be organized better on St. Kitts).

Just before the Montserrat trip I also did this exercise. I set up a station with only those thing found in the Pelican case. I participated in the North American QSO Party just long enough to be sure thing were working. After putting 50 QSOs in the log I packed everything back up and began checking antenna stuff, coax, tools, and so on.
As fellow blogger David (K2DBK) says, "Turn in your log!" I did even for this very light effort and actually beat a few other fellows here in MA. Go figure!

I have had several inquiries about the use of the mixer and the capture of audio. The system is quite simple. The Behringer UB502 Eurorack mixer takes audio from several sources and combines them into a single audio feed. The connections are as follows:

  • Icom IC-7000 external speaker to mixer input 2/3

  • Yaesu FT-817 headphone jack to mixer input 4/5

  • Heil headphones to the mixer headphone jack

  • iPod headphone jack is connected to mixer tape in

  • Mixer tape out is connected to the Belkin TuneTalk iPod recording device

There is a button on the mixer called Tape to Mix which allows you to play back the iPod audio through the headphones without changing any wiring.
The mixer weighs very little but the brick on a leash power supply is hefty. Also, in order to keep the audio clean, I need to snap on a bunch of ferrite (which also eats into my weight budget). This is a tradeoff I'm willing to make, though, so I can meet one of the DXpedition goals: capture audio and video from the adventure so I can show people how much fun I had later!


Blogger Richard said...

Hi Scott,
Looks like a very nice setup! I too would like to record my audio, so this is very useful info! One question: How do you record what you say on the air? I don't see any mic connected to the mixer.

October 09, 2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger NE1RD's Blog said...

You can turn on the "monitor" feature of the radio. This allows you to hear your audio in the headphones. So, you don't need a separate microphone to capture the audio on your end. I meant to mention that in the post. Thanks for reminding me!

-- Scott (NE1RD)

October 09, 2007 10:43 AM  
Blogger David, K2DBK said...

Bear in mind that the ability to turn on "monitor" depends on the radio. My 706 doesn't have it (I guess your 7000 does?)

One suggestion would be to make a few test recordings before leaving to make sure that the monitor level is more-or-less in line with the output from the radio. I played in the Cal QSO party last weekend and using N1MM, I recorded my QSOs. One thing I discovered was that the monitor volume was much louder than the regular volume coming from the radio. If I really cared, I'd adjust that to equalize.

I'm really looking forward to your trip Scott, since I'm going to live vicariously through you, as any trips I'm taking for the next few months will be looking at colleges with my younger son.

October 09, 2007 11:36 AM  

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