Webcam – some lessons learned !

So having got my webcam up and running with streaming, i had to migrate the streaming server to another PC (in this case a macbook) and relocate the USB cable going into it.

I resumed my daily antenna observations with the inclusion of checking over the camera and re-routing the cabling from the camera so it would be ‘free’ from the mast allowing more length into the ‘shack’

Come the afternoon I’m now perplexed why i can TX and seem to get out well, but RX is non-existant, apart from 18m, which seems odd. I walk the path backwards of changes, of which there have been a couple in the shack with the QRM bonding and all, to try and work out why my reception is so bad.

As i work thru the devices directly connected to the transceiver, no change in reception. I then go out and check the mast, no problems there. I unplug all the connections between mast and and tuner. No change ! What on earth can it be !

At my whits end I relocate the macbook and suddenly see the usb cable from the mac to the camera, albeit on the 2m/70cm mast, it now does have a different ‘vector’ from mast head into the shack.. could this be the source of my problems.

Low and behold, unplugging the mac and the webcam suddenly the channels come alive again. I had created a USB transmit antenna blocking pretty much everything.

I set about removing the camera and cable from the 2m/70cm mast and tidying the cables I had previously disconnected. Full filtered resumed, minus the webcam 🙁

After all this I remembered the advice from the ARRL and Youtube videos “EVERY THING IS AN ANTENNA, EVEN IF YOU CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE”. Hence why my issue had occured, i saw it as a USB cable, but it was an antenna, and blocking my HF.

I probably can fix this, but I’m already battling QRM and I want to reduce issues, not add new ones, so for now the camera stays off, but I was glad of the experience and I could fix and understand the issues.

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