Recently a friend went for a holiday trip to Japan and I asked his help to look for a GHD GN807kit G paddle, and I was lucky that he was able to buy one for me because the shop in Tokyo has no stock at the moment but was ready to place a quick order for the paddle before he departs.

The paddle come in a nice white box clearly labeled with the paddle type.

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The contents are carefully wrapped in a bubble plastic container with individual parts put in separate small plastic bags along with the construction manual in Japanese characters.

ImageThe individual parts were carefully packed into separate bags.

ImageAfter inventory taking, now let us start building the kit:

– The first step in construction is to screw the ground post (also functioning as the median or the right/left lever separator.

???????????????????????????????Remember to screw the jumper underneath the base and notice that the cable shoe hole size is different. Make sure that the hole match the screw.

???????????????????????????????– Next prepare the lever mechanism, and here I made a mistake not putting the correct lever on the correct place…. note that the yellow color sticker should be on the opposite side….facing downwards in this picture. As a guide the longer axis of the lever should go to the base of the paddle while the shorter one should be place on the upper part. Another important point is to look for the silver plated contact points, it should face to the outside and the contact points should be level with the black median screw. 🙂

– Next is to install the hex adjustment screws from the bottom of the paddle base, this is to prevent the lever from dropping down.

Notice that in the picture above the hex L driver was still inserted to the hex screw.

– Next is to install the lever mechanism base, notice that as I have mentioned before that the lever is on the wrong position (the color sticker side should be on visible in this position). and therefore the lever position should be reversed. Notice also that the biggest screw that will secure the lever mechanism is visible. This is the screw that will secure the moving parts and therefore the largest screw of all the kit (You can see that the other screw is still not there).

– After placing the top part of the lever mechanism part the paddle should look like this:

This picture was taken after I have correctly place the lever (with the colored sticker facing upwards.

Another picture of the correct assembly taken from above is here

???????????????????????????????You should have no problem in aligning the lever mechanism with the installed bearings because the parts are precisely manufactured, should you have any problem in putting it together then the fault is with you not the parts, so inspect again what is wrong.

– Next is to assemble the spring mechanism. It should be easy but take caution when installing the spring, not to stretch/pull it because you will damage the spring. Below is one of the spring base (there are one for each lever)

???????????????????????????????These are the springs

???????????????????????????????And this is where the spring base should go

???????????????????????????????And this is what it looks like when both spring assembly has been done.

– Next installing the hand piece should be easy, one for each side.

???????????????????????????????– Next, installing the contact point also should be no problem. Just inspect the plastic isolators and align the position correctly and you should be done in minutes.

You can see the isolators in this picture, one on the right and left has been put in it’s place the other two should go to the bottom part of the base. When you screw, please take caution not to damage the plastic isolators by screwing too tightly.

Below is a picture taken when one of the contact points has been installed.

???????????????????????????????After you have installed both contact points then you are already 98% done. Below is a picture taken when the contact points are already assembled.

???????????????????????????????– The last thing you have to do is to make adjustments to suit your preferences. That is to adjust the hex screws for smooth mechanism and securing it with the supplied bolt. Make sure that you have a smooth mechanism before you secure it with the bolt and after that you simply adjust the  spring tension and the contact space to suit your preferences. I like a light tension and a close contact for easy control at a higher speed, choose whatever you like.

Below is the picture of the securing bolt in place at the bottom of the base.

???????????????????????????????You can also see the bottom plastic isolators in place with the screws.

All in all I enjoyed assembling the paddle and I found it very nice to use. The parts are of high quality and as has been said precisely manufactured which make assembly easy and fit. The only complain I could think about is that I like my cable to go underneath the paddle (in this case the easiest way to assemble the cable is from the paddle top which look a bit untidy for me) but you can simply  (with caution) assemble the cable from the underneath by adding a ring at both contact points before the plastic insulator and secure the ground cable to the middle separator.

I hope this will help others in their effort to assemble a GHD paddle kit, I like building my stuff therefore I enjoy it. Please share your comments I would be very happy to know what others has experienced. 🙂 vy 73 de YB6LD Donny

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It start quite sometime ago when I fall in love with what the ham radio operator called CW, a mode of communication where one use Morse code to communicate with others.

Normally people start first with a straight key, and I have done myself a favor by buying an affordable Kenpro hand key model KK50. The hand key serves me faithfully and I had many enjoyable CW QSO with that key. However when your ability grows and you can copy faster, you also need to send faster too. A hand key IMHO will limit your sending speed to around 18 to 25 wpm (words per minute) and will not be comfortable anymore to use especially on extended time with speed above that. One need another device to send at a faster speed.

There are options to send faster, like using a computer to generate the code while you just type the words you want to send or you can also use the bug (a semi automatic mechanical keyer) which can generate the dits mechanically and manually punch the lever to produce the dahs. It is a nice device and gives one a unique personality to your transmission. While using a computer is very helpful in contest, but it is not suitable for daily QSO (it becomes very dull and takes away your personality). The downside of using a bug is, it comes with a heavy price tag. A good bug will cost you more than US $ 200 and besides that, one need to master how to tame the bug.

Therefore I choose the other option, an electronic keyer.  An electronic keyer is an electronic device that can produce the dits and dahs automatically and is widely used today for CW QSOs. The other advantage using an electronic keyer is at present time, most new transceivers have an electronic keyer build in, thus the only device you will need is a paddle.

A CW paddle is basically a mechanical switch with two inputs that can be grounded either one or both at the same time, and it comes in a variety of models and make. Some even cost more than US $ 300 which is far beyond my budget.

In the 80’s here in Indonesia ham radio with limited budget usually look for a lower priced Katsumi KM23 paddle,

Imageand most owner of that paddle replace the rather ugly base with a polished iron base while others use a combination of acrylic and iron base to improve the looks.

I have one of those modified Katsumi KM23 paddle with a combination of iron and acrylic base, and have used it for many years. One of the weakness of the product is, the bearings that support the paddle tends to wear out and as one can see that the paddle levers depends very much on the bearings. Therefore if you own a damaged KM23, it will become unstable anymore.

I have to admit that my CW transmission with a paddle is not perfect (lack of diligent practice) and the unstable paddle increase the mistakes I made during my CW QSO. Thus the quest for a decent paddle starts.

Good paddles comes with a price, starting from more than US $ 100 which in my condition is beyond my budget. However GHD Key a Japanese manufacturer under JA7GHD produced a reasonably good paddle in a kit form at a lower price which suits my budget the GN807 Kit. It comes in several varieties like GN807Kit G that has a grey finish for it’s base (the cheapest), GN807kit C with a chrome plated base and a fully assembled version the GN807A. Since I enjoy building my own stuff it suits me very well, The assembly time is about 30 minutes (including the mistakes I’ve done) considering that I was not able to read the Japanese characters. The finished parts are precisely manufactured and the the feel while using it, is excellent.

Should some who was not able to read Japanese characters happened to obtain one of the kits need an illustrated step by step building (with pictures), the weary soul will find refuge in my next article soon to be published.

I have to admit that with this paddle I will still be tempted in the future (if I have the ability) to purchase a more expensive, better paddle, although the GN807kit G is surely a very good paddle. I’m looking forward to have enjoyable time with the new paddle.

When a friend posted a picture if the old Sibu Sarawak airport at Facebook, I recalled the time when me and my family returned home to Indonesia in 1968.
A young boy at that time, I was very excited, not that I was about to stay at a place of which I don’t know much for the time to come, but more from the fact that I’m going to travel by air for nearly all of the day.
In those days air travel was not very common for everybody (remember the Air Asia slogan “Now everyone can fly”), took a long time but other mode of transport was even slower.
We all know at that time, even you travel by air one cannot just simply fly from one city to the destination city directly. Very seldom one flies for more than an hour.
I forgot the exact date when we start the trip but it took us more than 3 days from Sibu Sarawak to Medan North Sumatra. We have to fly from Sibu airport to Kuching International airport by a MSA (Malaysia Singapore Airlines) F27

The MSA logo

and then hopped into a comet 4 (one of the first commercial jet powered plane ) to Singapore Paya Lebar airport. Then we have to wait for 2 hours before we embarked to another F27 bound for Subang airport (one of the best in the region at that time also called Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport) and stay there for 2 nights. Well actually the reason for the 2 nights was that we have to settle some of our immigration papers at the Indonesian embassy at KL before we are able to return home.
After the immigration business was done in KL we board another F27 to Penang, but we have to have a short stop at Ipoh airport for some passengers while the engine were still running.
Since there was only on flight from Penang to Medan Polonia airport at that time we have to stay for another night in Penang George town before taking the last flight on the trip to Medan.

Now one can do it in just half a day with a single stop over at Kuala Lumpur.

You can view the picture of the comet 4 and the F27 by clicking the link above, nowadays most of the airlines use either a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 for domestic or regional flights.

The 3rd day we were determined to complete the trip on schedule so we start very early at 5 am in the morning.

preparing for departure at dawn

 

The lights were still on and it was still dark (you can see the hotel name “Bungo Kincai”) and my cousin making final checks before departing, but then Murphy intervene again. On a crossroad we were unable to read the signs clearly and took the wrong direction, instead of following the east route we accidentally took the central route towards West Sumatra and there we lost about 130 kilometers of distance and 2 hours driving time.

 

 

 

We have to bear the consequences of not reading the signs carefully, we have to face convoys of overloaded trucks, and just bet the trucks were slow and we have to wait until the road is clear to overtake.

Overtaking a convoy of trucks

Again time were wasted. Moral of the incident is if you are not sure of direction, stop and read the signs clearly and if needed ask for direction

The load is twice the truck capacity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On entering the Riau province the road conditions were drastically changed, seems that the maintenance were poor although there are repairs but it seems that the road cannot withstand the overloaded trucks.

Damaged road under repair

We were forced to close the car windows due to road dust and use the air condition and that add additional burden on the car 1 liter engine and our speed were again reduced to average 45km/h.

 

 

After several hours of drive we decide to give the car engine and ourselves a break and we stopped at a restaurant for some coffee. Seems that the owner of the restaurant came from North Sumatra and named the restaurant “Kisaran” a town in North Sumatra.

The restaurant name is Kisaran a town in North Sumatra

Pekan Baru is just another 125 km more and we were convinced that we will reach Pekan baru just in time for me to catch the night bus to Medan. Very unfortunately Murphy decide to join us again just after we left the restaurant the rain pour down heavily and our engine starts to jerk again. No choice, we have to clear the fuel filter from water, and it happened 3 times before we reach our final destination and finish the trip at midnight in Pekan Baru.

For my cousin he achieved his schedule and Pekan Baru is his last destination but for me I have to wait to take the night bus from Pekan Baru on the next day, but then there was nothing to write since I was really dead tired and fall asleep all the way long from Pekan Baru till Medan.

November 26th 2010

We started early the next morning in order to even the lost we achieved yesterday, so we took off at 5:30 am. The inn provided us with our breakfast, just plain rice with omelette and it is enough since we have plenty of cookies in the car.

The trans Sumatra east highway

 

The trans Sumatra east highway is in good condition and facilitate us with a smooth driving away from Tulang Bawang bound for Jambi our next stop for the night, but Murphy decide to intervene.

The first of many fuel filter cleaning

 

Just after entering Kayu Agung in the South Sumatra province the engine start to jerk. Quickly we analyze the situation, engine was serviced a day just before departure, the ignition plugs are new and even the distribution system were made sure working properly before departure so we guess that there must be fuel problems and probably the petrol is not dirt free so we decide to clean the fuel filter, and later we found out that we have forgotten one important fact that after a long period of time water condense at the fuel tank and accumulates so eventually it will enter the fuel filter and how can the car keep going when you feed the car with water? This lesson thought us to remember to check when we are using a car which is not new and it tank has never been cleaned. We do not have the facility to separate the Hydrogen and oxygen to be able to use the hydrogen from the water yet at this moment. BTW we have to stop six times to do the fuel filter cleanings before we reach our final destination. Morale of the story do not count that there will be no incident, there are so many things that we tend to overlooked each time when we plan.

The Palembang famous Ampera Bridge

With much difficulty and engine jerks we finally reach Palembang at noon time and start looking for a car garage to repair our car. The new color of the Ampera bridge at least cheers us a bit but we are again late.

The flyover going out of Palembang to Jambi

After repairing the car, we take no time and immediately depart for Jambi with stomach a bit complaining and it is 2:30 pm when we took our lunch just at the outskirts of Palembang on the way to Jambi.

We were not sure whether we were able or not to reach Jambi for the night but when we were tired and looking for an inn at a small town before Jambi all is full so we have no choice but to continue the journey to Jambi. Tired and hungry we reach Jambi at 10 pm something that we did not intend to do but was forced to, on the other side we reach our 2nd day target, Night at Jambi at a simple inn.

The door at the right corner leads to our room at Jambi

When you are tired an aircon really helps to get asleep soon, and we decide to start very early next morning.

November 25th, 2010

After more than 10 years, recently I have another opportunity to travel from Bekasi to Medan by driving a car (actually not only me but we). The car driving is only from Bekasi to Pekan Baru and the last leg of the trip was taken by Bus.

After more than 10 years surely the condition must have changed very much but some remain the same, the following pictures will tell more about the story.

Since our eye sights are not as well as 10 years ago, we planned to avoid driving in the dark and decide to stay for the night at the nearest town. We start early from Bekasi at dawn in order to be able to reach Palembang (our planned first stop for the night) before dark.

Our first fuel stop before we start the journey

The picture on the left is when we start the journey filling our car tank full of gasoline at the gas station, just to make sure that we will not stop until half way of our first day journey plan.

 

The drive went smooth but on the way we saw remain of an accident on the highway.

an accident on the highway

 

 

 

 

We reached the west end of Java Island (Merak crossing harbor) at 8 am right on schedule and get ready to board the ferry.

Queuing up to board the Sunda strait crossing ferry

However the boarding process took nearly 1 hour….

Sumatra after 4 hours, see the Lampung province sign

 

 

The cruising time actually is about 2 hours but again docking and disembarking from the ferry took nearly 2 hours, so we lost more than 2 hours driving time (Sumatra is just very near but we cannot do anything).

This is not Bali but Lampung

 

 

 

 

The weather is fine and we passed through a newly developed route (a shortcut) directly towards Palembang the south Sumatra province capital.  Formerly we have to pass Bandar Lampung and Metro which is about 150 kilometers additional distance. The area passed were populated by Bali trans-migrants so no wonder we saw many Hindu temples along the roadside.

Our first refueling stop

 

It was already late in the afternoon when we stopped to refuel and straighten our weary legs but Palembang is still quite far and unfortunately our comfortable driving speed is just around 80 kilometers per hour, so we lost much time.

Our stop for the first night

 

Since we agree not to drive during night-time we have to stop at last at Tulang Bawang and stay for the night here. We have to stop anyway since it was raining heavily and our line of sight distance is very near, should we forced ourselves to continue the risk of having an accident will increase dramatically.

It is day 1 and we were not able to keep with our schedule mostly because of the time lost during the strait crossing.

(Sorry if the pictures are not properly aligned I have still a lot to learn on publishing)

Under my current financial conditions, it is not easy for me to travel a lot but then chances come unexpectedly and after 5 years I have the opportunity to visit Jakarta and Bekasi again. It is nice to notice that there are lots of improvements but other things remain the same. The following were the details.

This Airport bus station is a newly added feature of the SOETTA Airport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new feature of the Jakarta SOETTA airport is the airport bus terminal. It is now more convenient to wait for the bus that goes to your destination and you don’t have to pay the ticket on the bus but you can purchase it at the terminal. The counter is located below the indoor unit of the air conditioner.

Outside of the Airport bus station waiting room

The picture beside is the boarding place of the Airport bus. However the bus terminal bus does not serve only the Damri official airport bus but also out of town buses like Primajasa that goes to Bandung.

To ease the traffic flow the authorities introduced electronic toll road payment as you can see at the picture below.

Now you can pay the toll fee electronically

New shopping mal are everywhere

New shopping malls and condos are everywhere. This one is build near the inner Jakarta toll ring road. Ramayana dept store is everywhere and you can see that Carrefour is also invading.

New electronic gates are being installed at train stations

As you can see at one of the pictures the Jakarta commuter train service is going to introduce electronic gates and electronic tickets for Jakarta commuters. This picture was taken at the Bekasi railway station. However Bekasi railway station still serves medium distance trains like those going to Purwakarta. The electronic gates were being installed at all stations in the Jabotabek area.

Commuter train is gaining popularity for mass transportation

The service was also upgraded. Now economy class commuter trains have air conditioners so during hot days or rush hours it helps a lot. The doors are also working now so it was much safer, at least safe from falling out and pickpockets. Hopefully this transportation system can ease the traffic burden on the roads.

TransJakarta Busway has expand it service to reach new destinations

The other now so new introduction is the transjakarta busway system, however they have expand the corridors where they serve. Before in 2005 it was only Blok M and Jakarta Kota but now they have opened at least 5 new corridors serving nearly all parts of Jakarta. Unfortunately the route where they came near to the railway the stations are quite far apart (except for the Gambir station) so when you are in a hurry to catch a train it is possible that you will miss the train, so you have to spare ample of time. This picture was taken at the Pulogadung terimal located at East Jakarta.

Traffic jam..... the real Jakarta

Something doesn’t change…..  Traffic jams and the discipline of the road users. You can see that the traffic lights have change to green and we simply cannot move because our way is blocked and if the condition get worse soon it will be a total jam.

Vegetable seller remains as usuall

The next good thing that remains is the man who visits the housing complex every morning to sell food (vegetables etc.). They have variations now, not only the come on modified tricycles like this but now you can see that some of them using old minivans. It is nice that you can buy your daily need just in front of your doorsteps. The vegetables are fresh from the farm they buy it from the vegetable wholesalers.

New highrise buildings

And yes as it is in big cities all over the world new high rise buildings are appearing everywhere. One can be amazed on how fast they build these buildings, and also wonder who are going to buy and use all the facilities? No wonder with so many construction projects in Jakarta people are coming to look for jobs at least as a construction labors.

These are some of the changes and one cannot see and record all the changes on a short visit, but I hope this can give you an idea of what is going on.

Enjoy the pictures.