Another HF rig on the way

Been looking for a Kenwood TS-520S or Kenwood TS-530S for a few weeks. That was the rig in production when I was first licensed back in the early/mid 80’s. Always enjoyed operating the hybrid rigs, and this will be bring back some fond memories. Ran across TS-530SP listed as in excellent condition on the net. Photos looked good, the seller has a good rep. So I purchased it. Contacted Bob Heil about a microphone, for this older rig. He suggested the Heil HM-12, with a high impedance transformer installed for the best sound quality. That too is on the way.

Kenwood TS-530SP

Playing around with solar power

Picked up the 100 watt solar panel kit from Harbor Freight yesterday with a 20% off coupon. I’ve been wanting to configure at least one of my stations (Yaesu FT-991A) to be 100% independent of the power grid for quite a while. This is basically a ‘starter kit’, however it should be suitable to fill my needs. Assembly was straight forward, and positioning the 4 panels was the same. Connected the charge controller to my battery bank, plus to a 400 watt inverter, and the kit immediately began charging my battery bank. The kit also came with 2 – 12 VDC lamps that produce quite a bit of light. So far I’m pleased with this kit, and if it performs as expected I may look into expanding the system for even greater power production.

Night vision optic

Playing around with my first ‘night vision’ optic. Went with ‘night vision’, over ‘thermal’. Both have pros and cons. The ‘night vision’ fits more into my needs. Purchased the ATN 4K Pro 5-20X, plus the IR850 Supernova, and the ABL 1500 laser range finder. Took it out for the first time yesterday to run some simple test. The ‘one shot zero’ works very well. Scope holds zero very well. The IR850 Supernova illuminator is a huge upgrade from the stock IR850 that comes with it. Can see in pitch black darkness for hundreds of yards, with very good target identification. The ABL 1500 is accurate. So far tested out to 300 yards, and it was dead-on accurate. Once I develop a load for this setup, and enter the ballistic data into the scopes computer, I simply range the target, and place the cross-hair on where I wish for the projectile to impact the target, then press the trigger. No more hold-overs, or guessing the distance.