My Ham Shack - Your Shack. Pictures. Blogs. Projects.

Derek Lyon-McKeil
Extra Class
AI6F Ham Since 1993
United States

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Other Callsigns
M0GVK in the UK

My Ham Radio Interests
Emergency Communications, General playing around with radios. Doing VE sessions.

My Shack is a 1987 Suburban 4x4 that started life as a news van. It was converted to a satellite up-link truck and then surplussed out. They took the TV gear and antennas but left me the 4kW generator built in power distribution system and dual battery system.

TM D-710

Other Interests
Volunteer with Cal Fire Volunteers In Prevention. One of my duties is working in a fire lookout tower. I also get to work on the communications van. I'm a member of the Military Vehicle Collectors of California and I have a 1954 Army ambulance. I also enjoy railroading and maritime history.

Sunnyvale ARES, Sunnyvale CA.

Isolation is the Key

From AI6F

1/6/2011 5:59:23 AM (1 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

In an earlier post I mentioned putting a new alternator in my shack (truck). The new alternator has everything built in and requires only one cable to the battery, no ignition wire for the field. In order to make this work there needs to be a bit of voltage back from the alternator to the battery. This is all good except for the battery isolator that isolates the two batteries thus not allowing any voltage back to the alternator and in turn not creating the all important field. So as a quick fix I bypassed one side of the isolator. Now, by bypassing one side I still have "protection" to one battery but not the other and sure enough the protected battery went flat taking the unprotected one with it.

Conveniently enough, when the mast was removed to put on the satellite dish they left a lot of the electrical components in the truck just disconnected. There are two solenoids up front right by one of the batteries. I was able to use one to set up mechanical isolation of the two batteries. I got lucky.

The other solenoid I'm going to use for booster cables. I have a connector that I'm going to install so that I don't have to pop the bonnet to give someone a boost.

Read the 1 comment after the break below.


by N0VF 1/8/2011 8:28:57 AM

Looks like a fun project! Keep us posted on further progress.

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