Two days ago, my GPSDO (which I rely upon in the lab as my 10 MHz reference so that I can do accurate Si5351A calibrations, upon other things) stopped acquiring GPS lock. Nothing significant happened in the lab that I was aware of, so I wasn't sure what the issue was. I was just hoping it wasn't a problem with the GPSDO itself. Fortunately a little bit of troubleshooting allowed me to determine that the coax cable from the antenna mounted on the exterior of the shack to the GPSDO had developed a fault. I shouldn't be too surprised by this, as I was using an old bit of RG8X that I've had seemingly forever. I'm lucky to have Ham Radio Outlet in the area, so one phone call and a bit of a drive later, and I had a new length of LMR400 to use as a replacement. The RG8X gave marginal performance, so upgrading to LMR400 was definitely worth it, as I now have even stronger signal levels than before. It's a good reminder that everything degrades, and you can get bitten by entropy at any time.
Regarding the Empyrean campaign, I'm currently in the process of creating a panelized version of the PCB and sending out for quotes. The components to populate the PCBs are now all on-hand. My goal is to send out the panelized PCB for manufacturing within a week. While I'm waiting on those to arrive, I'll be working on the design of the Empyrean test jig. I already have some toggle clamps for the jig and a rough idea of how I want to execute it. Stay tuned for further updates!