I had the opportunity to make a brief visit to East Malaysia and recently found on the internet a shack for rent in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. With some last minute arrangements, my operation as 9M2/PG5M/6 was secured.
I arrived on Friday, November 16, 2007 at 00:30 hr local time at the Langkah Syabas Beach Resort and went straight to the shack to get the equipment up and running. I wanted to operate for a few hours before going to sleep. But this turned out to be a little different.
The shack was equipped with a FT-920 and FT-1000MP. I had decided to work with the FT-920 as I have one at home and more familiar with that set. Moreover, I had a microHAM interface cable for the FT-920 and not for the FT-1000.
At first I made myself familiar with the many coax cables that came through a hole in the wall. Cables were clearly labeled and I carried out some testing as I had received information that the wire antennas were not all in a perfect electrical shape, however this turned out to be better than expected. After rearranging the equipment and connections, I was ready to start to the software.
Unfortunately, the microHAM interface program didn't work. I tried all kinds of settings and made sure all cables were connected firmly and later also installed the complete interface software again, just to be sure, but still without result. Finally I found that the microHAM box did not get power from the FT-920. This problem I also experienced with my set at home of which I thought was an exceptional case. Not sure if all FT-920's have this, but the outlet on the rear panel clearly states 13.5VDC and does not provide any power.
With a small copper wire from my small 'emergency' box and a small piece of sticky security tape from my suitcase, I was able to make a provisional connection with the power supply to power the interface box which solved the problem. I had to be very careful not to touch this small wire as it could easily make a short circuit at the plug and damage the power supply.
Now the software was working, I had to sort out how the antennas were working as I was told that the wire antennas were not in good shape. With the built-in antenna tuner of the FT-920 however, I managed to operate on all bands that were covered by wires antennas.