Interesting Kit in the SUWS and SOWN Cupboards

By | October 30, 2022

After reports of issues with the battery with use for portable operating, a couple of us got together to work out whether the battery was dead or it could be charged back up.  Whilst we were doing this we thought we would take the chance to look through the SUWS and SOWN cupboards to see what was in these, as a lot of it has not been looked at let alone used since 2019.  Some of it may no longer be of much use but we felt it was worth documenting stuff that we had somewhat forgotten we even had.

Amateur Radio Soundcard

An sound interface for connecting an Amateur Radio device to a PC.

First, we found this useful sound interface in the SUWS cupboard.  This can be connected into a radio, computer (both speaker and microphone) and an external speaker which can be useful for demos. However, it doesn’t have any cables so some would need to be made.

Although there is other kit in the SUWS cupboard, we are fairly well aware of most of this.  Therefore, we decided to focus on the SOWN cupboard, which also contains some Amateur Radio kit but which has acquired more dust.

Packet radio with manual

Packet radio computer interface with manual

First, in the SOWN cupboard, we found a packet radio computer interface with accompanying manual.  Packet radio is an interesting alternative use of Amateur Radio.  It may be of interest to people who have recently got licenced and want to find out a bit more about packet radio.

DAB radio receiver

DAB radio receiver with splitter and mains power adapter.

Next we found a DAB radio receiver with a splitter and power adapter.  There is a German website that uses this type of receiver for monitor DAB radio transmissions.

Portable radio

Battery-powered portable radio

After that we found a portable radio that runs on 8 C-cell batteries.  If you want to do a quick setup with something like a Pro Whip antenna or an End-fed Zep, then this may be a useful bit of kit.  Although it looks like ity might require a proprietary microphone.

Box of proprietary microphones

Box of proprietary microphones

We also found a box of proprietary microphones, unfortunately, none of them look like that work with the portable radio.

Taxi radio with microphone

Taxi radio with microphone

Next, we found an old taxi radio that we paired with a nice Phillips microphone we found in the box of microphones.

Old-fashioned ammeter

Old-fashioned ammeter

After that, we found an old-fashioned ammeter.  This is probably not a particularly useful for Amateur Radio operation but looks a bit steampunk, so may be cool to use in some sort of demo.

Softrock SDR

SoftRock-40 SDR with manuals

The final photo we took was of a SoftRock-40 SDR that can be connected to a laptop over USB-A.  This is a fairly modern receiver, which is well used in the Amateur Radio community.

Beyond that, the SOWN cupboard currently stores a few other bits of Amateur Radio kit, which we did not get a chance to take photos.  In particular, all the rotator kit that we planned to use with the permanent mast we hoped to erect on the wall of the West building (above the Stag’s).  We also have an ICOM radio receiver.

Hopefully, we will have an opportunity in the coming months to better document more of the kit that the club has.  It was quite a bit of fun rummaging through the various kit we have acquired over the years.  It would be even better if we can find a use for some of this kit with our new members.

Battery Update: After 11 and a bit hours, the smart battery charger completed its charging cycle.  This suggests the lead acid battery, which we use for mobile operation, still holds a decent amount of charge, although probably quite a bit less than its original 65Ah.

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