Build your own power distribution box; blue radio displays

Just a couple interesting links I wanted to make a note of:

dcboxI was calling the local 2M net Sunday night and one of our very new hams, Tom, KK4VWX, mentioned he had crafted his own power distribution box. I mentioned on-air that I was interested in checking that out, since these boxes are slightly overpriced for what they are. I do love the PowerPole system though.

So a day later, Tom e-mailed me the above link to the plans for the box, and he shared some experiences and tips from building it.

From Tom’s e-mail:

  1. Be sure to ‘bottom out’ the Faston connectors before soldering. I didn’t do that for one pair and I ended up pushing it in further when seating a fuse and ended up breaking the copper trace on the other side. Soldering both sides of the copper board might have helped with that. You might want to solder with a fuse in place to keep the alignment straight on both legs.
  2. Use a small screwdriver to loosen up the Faston connector. It’s much too ‘grippy’ when it comes out of the bag. Too easy to tear the Faston out of the circuit board when inserting or removing fuses.
  3. Get the LED holder for the power indicator LED. Much easier to secure it into the project top.
  4. Cutting the top of the box was not easy. I used the printout as template, but it still was not aligned properly for the fuses. Maybe practice makes perfect….
  5. The 12vdc source wires should be twisted along their length before adding the Anderson PowerPoles at the ends. The twisting will cause each conductor to rotate with respect to the other conductor as you twist. Twisting will reduce the RFI by a significant amount from the power leads.

Thanks Tom!

FT-8800 in blue to match my car?

FT-8800 in blue to match my car?

Elsewhere on the web, I ran across a link that describes how to change the LCD color of the Yaesu FT-8800. Now this is admittedly pretty wacky… but I’ve developed an obsession with having blue displays on everything (we all have our psychotic hang-ups I guess). I thought about buying the FT-350 for this exact purpose. Some rigs, such as those made my Kenwood, offer a choice of color. My FT-817 and FT-847 both have nice blue displays. I’m stuck with amber on the K3 and my new FT-8800. Or so I thought!

I doubt I’ll be pulling my new (used) rig apart anytime soon to desolder surface-mount LEDs, but the prospect is certainly intriguing and wow, that blue looks beautiful.

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