I mentioned previously that I had won a tuna tin 2 at a NORTEX QRP meeting. Well, I’ve finally started building on it. Step 1 is to read the manual. I know. . . shocker. . .
The Manual is pretty straight forward, but I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t actually come with all the parts required to make a working transmitter. You need your own antenna jacks, your own T/R switch, and not surprising. . . Your own tuna can.
For those of you unaware, my wife (KG5WCI) is a vegetarian. Before we got married our prenuptial agreement consisted of this.
- I promise not to cook bacon or eat tuna in the house.
- She agrees to never have a dog that she carries in a purse.
Now. . . before we continue I think I need to address the elephant in the room. Many people feel like I made a poor bargain. But lets be real. . . when I got married my diet consisted of frozen Tony’s pizzas, Burger King (nearest fast food), and Jersey Mike’s (around the corner from work). So its not like I was cooking a lot of bacon.
Back to radio!
As you can see, its not like I can run out to the store and buy a can of tuna. Consuming it at home is not in the cards and consuming it at work, well. . . thats complicated. Primarily because I’ve not made my own lunch in at least a decade and given rule number one exists it’s not like the YL is going to make it.
Luckily. . .
I have friends. A friend at work was listening to my dilemma and rather than running scared, as one should do. . . she mentioned that the next time she makes tuna casserole she will bring me the empty can and even rinse it out. (So as not to even come close to rule number one. #blessed) This actually worked out incredibly conveniently as this friend and her husband are expecting now and canned tuna is expressly not permitted for expecting mothers. Not to mention, she is likely to enact rule number one in her home at least for the next 90 days. 🙂
A week or two later a chicken of the sea tuna can wonders into my life and the adventure it seems is officially ready to start. The first step was to map out the can and figure out the dimensions and how the top will fit mechanically. The manual gives a couple of options, but I’m enamored with the concept of the full open can. This means the bottom of the can needs to be cut out.
Here my friends is where I exhibit the first word in Amateur Radio. What I should have done was put the PC board on top of the can and got a sense of where the hole in the can needed to be. i.e. how big the finished hole should be.
Instead. . . I tried to leave a little bit of the can so I could mount the PC board to the can. Unfortunately after cutting the can out, I discovered that I couldn’t orient the board in a way that did NOT short out a trace. In addition, the edge of the PCB will go right to the edge of the can no matter how big the hole is. There is no need for “structure” to attach it to.
It was time to cut a bigger hole. Unfortunately once I had a hole, it was nearly impossible to cut more metal with a nibbler. It was just too flimsy and wouldn’t “bite” off, which means I just had to bend the metal over. Not an ideal solution, but it worked. We are off to a good start. Hole is cut and its time to mount the hardware.
More to come soon. . .
I’m a relatively new ham. Got my license, joined a club and I’m having fun! I enjoy CW, pedestrian mobile, backpacking, and I dream of building radios at some point. At present I have a wife and daughters so my building time is limited.
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