I was just about to reach for the phone and chew some more on the shipper when the parcel arrived in the office.
It had been opened in customs and one of the radios had been removed from it’s bubble wrap and was perched unceremoniously on the foam packing pellets. It looked well used. Been a while in the car this puppy. Dust still visible in the nooks and crannies. Customs can not have been impressed. A plastic bag with some wires and 2 mics rounded it off. No mobile brackets included. No manual, no box. A big radio, similar in size to the S-9 but the heatsink sticks out the back a long way and the PA section is also bolted on between heatsink and radio…Looks more functional than asthetically pleasing to the eye. No silver knobs and roger beeps here.
A quick dash back to the house (It was 4.30 pm anyway!) and on to the bench and fire them up.
Took a while to find the on/off knob. Needed my glasses to see what went where. And where the heck is the channel switch? Must have fallen off en route….Turn the light on. Radio is black and markings are small. Not used to the position of the knobs and switches. OK..push some buttons to change frequency…nice to see it is not stuck on 26.000.0……big relief.
Something seems funny with receive…bubbles and squeaks. Doesn’t sound clear. Call 299 on triple five. Jesus he sounds terrible. Says I do too. "Something wrong with that radio Dave!" Bugger. Shit. Oh well, I guess that is life, one more left…better pull out the other one and see how it goes. This one looks much better! a 20 year old radio and still looks like new! Eee Ha. Plug in ,fire up and same problem. Bubbles and squeaks. Doesn’t seem possible. Just spent US$150 fixing them up and have the parts still in the box to prove it. Same bad audio received TX report. This one seems a bit stronger and louder. "Try Europe Dave " suggests Geoff…"I hear Rob 19DX077 out there." Yeah…probably just overpowering Geoff on the short skip…Spin the beam toEurope. Rob was also not impressed. Peter 35AT160 chimed in and said he thought it might be conditions but was not normal audio from me. Worse than S-9? Impossible…surely…
But hang on…things are getting better…did the radio warm up or conditions change but the signals are starting to sound better…and there are a lot of them. France and Italy calling on top of each other on 555. Could still copy Geoff in the back of the beam on the AR3500. Nothing but noise and Europe on the S-9. Wow. Impressive. Low down this radio is very sensitive and heaps of volume to bring up the signal as well.
Back to Darwin and Geoff…"Sounds alright now Dave..What did you do?" I don’t know me. Must have been conditions. Geoff said it sounded between the S-9 and the 257 in tone which puts it in the middle of the range. Good. Whew….
Locals on SSB like it a lot too…