Posted on Leave a comment

Stock Baofeng Antenna Problems

Recently I’ve noticed my usual mobile rig, the Baofeng UV-5R, has had very poor receive, and non-existent transmit.

I did a power test on the radio, and confirmed it was still outputting it’s rated RF power. Trying another antenna proved that the radio was fine.

Time to tear down the antenna & see if it can be fixed!

Stock Antenna
Stock Antenna

Here’s the antenna, just the factory rubber duckie. As with all these antennas, they’re a compromise between size & their efficiency.

Naked Antenna!
Naked Antenna!

Giving a gentle pull to the antenna sheath while it’s attached to the radio allows it to come apart. The quality actually doesn’t look to bad. It’s very similar in construction to my Diamond X-30, just on a much smaller scale.

At the bottom of the antenna is the matching network, an inductor & ceramic disc capacitor. Here lies the problem with this antenna.

Dry Joint
Dry Joint

Here where the capacitor joins onto the feedpoint from the SMA connector, the solder joint has come away. This was a very poor joint to start with, and the solder hadn’t wetted the capacitor lead at all

After cleaning the joint, and applying some flux, a new joint was easily made with some Real Solder.

Repaired Joint
Repaired Joint

Here’s the joint freshly repaired, the antenna is now back to full working order. It even seems to work better than the others I have đŸ™‚

Posted on Leave a comment

The Truth About DWP Cuts From A DWP Worker On The Front Line

A bit of a shift from my usual content, but I thought this deserved a place for people to see. Only relevant for people of the UK though.

“I’m a DWP worker sticking his head above the parapet and hoping not to get shot…

I work in a busy Jobcentre and my customers are those 25+ who’ve been out of work for 13 weeks or longer. Probably 60-70% of the one hundred or more people I see every week [who] are evidently not fit for work and yet, in theory, it’s my job to whip them through the same hoops as everybody else, persecute them, attempt to stop their benefits and generally shame them into applying for all manner of wholly unsuitable jobs that they’re never going to be able to do.

In reality, what I do is tell them the system sucks and advise them of ways they can stay beneath the radar, or suggest they sign off JSA and move onto ESA and do whatever I can to make the transition as trouble free as possible.

On the other side of the office to me are the Pathways team, who deal with customers on ESA. We all know that over the coming months most of them will be forced to migrate over to the JSA bods like myself and we won’t be able to cope with either the numbers or the particular problems that this customer group represents.

The point of all this waffle is that the policy makers have embarked upon their catastrophic journey without consulting the frontline workers who, without exception in my experience, KNOW that the planned changes CANNOT work.

I would advise people worried about a forced transition from ESA to JSA to be brave and try not to lose too much sleep about it… It’s just not do-able in the real world, there’ll be a horrible mess and people’s lives will face some awful but shortlived disruption and then it’ll be business as usual.

Also, for those who face the indignity of having to venture into a jobcentre from time to time, please be assured – the majority of those who work in them are actually on your side, and have probably less faith in our political masters than you do, and just as much awareness as yourselves that all their vitriolic guff about benefit scroungers and feckless layabouts is simply empty, venomous scapegoating…”

 

Please feel free to copy and paste this to your own notes/blog, etc. Spread the truth.