KA0CDN/B Returns to the Air

words and pictures Wayne N0POH

On May 19th beacon consortium member Don Nelson N0YE noted that the KA0CDN/B 50.065 beacon was not audible at his place.  Both Dave W6OAL and I concurred.  Karen KA0CDN checked it out and let us know that whatever had gone wrong produced the unmistakable smell of charred electrical components. Due to a variety of factors including personal schedules and the unbelievably hot weather a repair trip was not possible until July 11th, the temperatures were predicted to be in the mid 80’s and would accommodate Dave and I working amidst the Day Lilies that surround the towers at “The Cat Lady’s Garden”.  Upon our arrival Tuesday Morning Dave describes what we found  “…Strange set of circumstances; Removing the twist lock AC plug from the receptacle reveled there had been considerable heat as the ‘line’ (black lead) pin was burned up and hanging in the plug. Upon closer inspection we noticed the twist lock receptacle had fairly well melted.  When we opened the ‘box’ there was a bit of an acrid odor and considerable charring of the ‘line lead’. No fuses had blown. What we can surmise is that due to an AC wire loop that rested on the bottom of the ‘box’ somehow water (not much, but some) had gotten in the ‘box’ bottom and soaked the AC wiring. The water had wicked up the ‘line’ lead, made contact with the brass receptacle and things got very hot, to the point that the ‘line’ lead pin destructed and opened the AC circuit to the power supply.” Here are some photos of the damaged plug and receptacle. Photo 1 Photo 2 The temporary repair among the flowers

Dave continues “We replaced the plug and receptacle combo (which is a temporary fix) until we can acquire a bulkhead mount, male, twist lock, receptacle. As soon as we mated the twist lock components and turned on the power supply the fans started up and the beacon keyer came to life. We checked the frequency and it was on 50.065, we checked the power output and it’s peaking at 50 watts. All is well in “Beacon-land”. We were so proud of ourselves that we took ourselves to “Bender’s” and had a good old fashioned German brat – damn they are good! It’s almost worth wishing the ‘beacon’ would break more often so we can go for brats.”