Progress is being made

Gwen Patton

I've been plugging away steadily at my uBitX, as I've had the time and energy. I bought the case from Banggood and the 3d printed end plates. I liked the inexpensive case, but after it was already on its way I felt a little twinge about the shielding. I priced copper tape, but decided against it, and got what is proving to be a very nice alternative.

I bought a spray can of MX Chemicals' "Super Shield" conductive nickel coating. I put several very thin coats on the insides of the case and the end plates, after masking the places I didn't want the coating with painters' tape. Any loose excess was easily brushed and knocked off, and the rest seems perfectly content to stay attached to the plastic (the can said it was compatible with ABS, and that's what the case is made of). If I have doubts, I can get a can of clear-coat and seal it, but I don't think it's necessary.

Now that I have the case, I need to go through the few steps I'd already done and shorten some of the connector wires. I found that I'd left them too long, and want to cut down on the noise. I also want to go back over the headphone jack and wire it so I can put a speaker in the lid of the case that'll get deactivated when a headphone is plugged in. I don't plan on using this rig with my Bencher paddle, so I'll leave it wired for a straight key and use the nice one I got from (I used to have an antique Navy straight key, but I have no idea where it's hiding.) In the meantime, I'm brushing up on my code -- I haven't used it very much.

I've got several QRP rigs of different vintages, from the SW Labs 20-meter CW rig to the W8TEE/K2ZIA rig from QST, and an SDR I backed that works quite well, HobbyPCB's RS-HFIQ rig, that I primarily use for digital modes. I'd taken a breather from amateur radio for a while, and lately I've wandered back to it, glad to do something constructive with my time rather than playing video games or watching daytime TV (shudder). I became disabled in 2006, and need something to keep me active, or things start getting depressing indeed.

I'm glad to have projects such as this one to work on, and I'm looking forward to getting it on the air!

Gwen, NG3P

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