"Supercharging" the CC Skywave- 11 New Detailed Photos
Transplanting a 7.5" replacement loopstick into an ultra-crammed C.Crane Skywave Ultralight is one of the most technically challenging modifications in the hobby, and certainly not recommended for beginners. Although those with close-order professional soldering experience, great eyesight and steady nerves can survive the experience, the entire process is a severe test of confidence, patience and determination. When you consider the $89.95 price of the basic Skywave and the $169.99 price of the SSB model, the fact that you will be terminally violating the manufacturer's warranty doesn't exactly provide much reassurance.
Because of the nightmarish nature of the modification and the need to fit multiple sub-assemblies together like pieces of a complex puzzle during final reassembly, the procedure has never been written up in a construction article, and probably never will be. Despite this there really is a straightforward method to the madness, and the undeniable fact is that the "Supercharged" CC Skywave has become the obvious standard of superb performance on exotic ocean beaches during "Frequent Flyer" DXpeditions. No other modified Ultralight has its unique combination of high quality, compact size and thrilling performance. As such, my three DXpedition partners for the November Kauai DXpedition deserve one of these for their best chance of success.
Eleven new high-resolution photos of the technically demanding modification are posted at the following links, detailing the transformation of a modest stock Skywave into a "Supercharged" thriller. This model is destined for long-time frequent flyer Craig Barnes, who was the first to demonstrate the awesome potential of Kauai, Hawaii transoceanic DXing during his April 2017 trip. All of these photos (and the original ones) are planned to be uploaded into an album on the Ultralight Experimenters site.
1) Initial disassembly https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/cry82zrq5af4zahbics9yag93x3qmus5
2) RF board unscrewed and exposed https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/6sad98w7doq3q28eu19d1uslxrtstr2v
3) Back of RF board exposed https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/qtuijpuh4dm6mgu61gmjnnn62ifzzwqz
4) Stock loopstick removed https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/fzgshlqvvp8rx32qu5a595wturvplc63
5) New loopstick Litz wire initial routing https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/iihqaniv1ah2gpl1bz6477owvrvbl3nt
6) New Litz wire routed and cut https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1hj26k83tkjiwbjulsqdglyet5ou31fl
7) New Litz wires tinned https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/1ahcj9eitwpabpew163lxaim5ssvo4uq
8) Final soldering of new Litz wires https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/662wcs91wmhjdox8tmmfwuirf02o0njm
9) Final reassembly (good luck!) https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/uec2xd8t2e8by2kvsyhsxt839d61gq9n
10) New loopstick attached to orange frame https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/tovjhl58tj46c7lumwlogo6kytbnfwe7
11) Newly "Supercharged" model receives 972-HLCA in the predawn darkness https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/ve4mmanqtfdbfsip74nuqozga7sms62m
972-HLCA at an S9 level on the transplanted loopstick https://dreamcrafts.box.com/s/gv5nke071wjnznlgo45sqxh89emqzhu3
73 and Good DX,
Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)