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The 1MC ~ AKA the "The Bitch Box"

 The 1MC AKA ~ The Bitch Box.

For those who served in the US Navy especially aboard ship the "1MC" is the Main Audio Communications System that is used for communicating to "All Hands". 

You have seen it in the Movies -- The CO gets on the 1MC and announces, "Now Hear This! This is the Captain Speaking". Sailors being sailors gave this a nickname -- "The Bitch Box" as many of the messages dealt with complaints or commands. 

What shipboard Navy man doesn't remember the sound coming over the 1MC: "Sweepers Man Your Brooms, proceed with a clean sweep down fore and aft"?

All of us have heard the civilian version of the 1MC when we visit Wal Mart or Costco in the form of the PA Announcement. "We need a cleanup on Aisle 6". 

These days those same words have come home to my QTH. In effect, my home is Aisle 6.

My XYL was in hospital for two months earlier this year and although at home is not fully recovered and may not be for some time.   So, I along with hired staff get to play caregivers with me doing about 60% of the effort when the hired staff is not here. 

Reflect back on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan when many of our troops suddenly were exposed to the IED (Improvised Explosive Devise). Well at the N6QW QTH, we now have the IDE (In Diaper Explosion). I know this sounds gross in a ham radio blog but it none the less is a reality of life. So perhaps my blog is my form of 1MC. "Now hear this we have an incoming IDE in Aisle 6". It is OK to laugh!

Believe it or not I find that humor is a great coping mechanism, and my caregiving has taught me a whole lot about PPE. I have regular orders of rubber gloves, KN95 Face Masks, cleaning supplies, and medical aids such as foot operated pedal bikes. A new skill is to swap out the small oxygen bottles in less than 20 seconds. 

The key to remaining sane is the use of disciplined processes and to think three steps down the road. My formal engineering training has really paid off. 

Sadly, there is little time for ham radio either building rigs or even operating. But I have found that arising at 3 AM does provide about 75 minutes of free time to work on stuff before the daily processes takes over. 

I now find that many of my projects that were say 95% complete can now be recycled to finish off that last 5% -- and are good candidates for the 75 Minutes of normal time. One such project is the Spilsbury Tindall Replica rig. 

This was how it was left (95%). I thought the yellow background on the frequency display looked harsh and should be "rounded" and there was no S Meter. BTW that is a 2.4-inch, ILI9341 type display with a lot more pixels than the 1.8-inch ST7735 type.

The display has been "Rounded" and we have added an S Meter which is still to be added in 'hardware' but the display part is in the software. I am hoping for another 75 Minute window to do that piece.

I note that the audio output (fed into an external amp) has a bit of a raspy sound. Need to add that to the list of further review/evaluation. The IF Module is the Plessey Amp version and the whole module is SMD.

Never lose your sense of humor and I must now retreat, as I just heard the call on the 1MC "Incoming IDE on Aisle 6".

Pete N6QW

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