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Friday, June 23, 2017

The Possible Inspirations behind "Juliano Blue"

Close in color don't you think?  Dave Ishmael WA6VVL noted the NC-270 receiver's color was "Cosmic Blue."  Indeed, National noted the unusual color ("outstandingly different") in its advertising.  This now-rare receiver was produced between 1960 and 1964, so it could have influenced Pete.  Of course, the CK-722's color could also have played a role...   

BTW, shouldn't we ask Pete to get out his guitar and give us some "Juliano Blues"?  We need some music to go with the paint.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

More "Canned Seafood" Homebrew CW, from KA4IBG


My xYL hates sardines, but they look good together !

In the late 70's the community had a fetish for canned seafood and DC receivers. Do you remember the 80m Sardine Sender ? How about YL Special ? (QST Oct and Jan 1979.) I married them together in a kludged-together box made out of a bent rack-mount panel and defunct aluminum chassis cover.

The bottom board is the rock-bound transmitter. The upper deck is the receiver board. The little mini box contains VFO (so cute.) The 741 audio board is tucked under the scrounged ¼ inch jacks.

Super simple, but lots of fun. It's a handy rig for the week at the beach, although 80m propagation and beach week are 6 months out of phase.

Ed Hlywa

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Solstice Special: Midwinter BBC Messages to Antarctica

Thanks to SWL Post for alerting us to this wonderful annual event.  BBC SW stations send a special program to the UK crews at the Antarctic bases.   SWL Posts asks for listeners to record this year's program:

Here is an excellent recording of the 2015 show.

And here is a recording of the 2017 broadcast:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Fishy Rig: Herring Aid Five, Tuna Tin Two, VU2XVR Key

Haunted by a fear of rapid expulsion from the QRP Hall of Fame, I decided that I should immediately do something to establish some form of QRP street cred.  Looking around the shack, I realized that all of the ingredients were there:  My Herring Aid Five Direct Conversion receiver (completed after only 38 years), my Tuna Tin Two transmitter, the VU2XVR key that Farhan gave me, one 7050 kc  FT243 crystal.   I put it all on a piece of scrap plywood. A couple of nice connectors from W8NSA supported the DPDT T/R switch and the coax connector. I keep the receiver LO running all the time.

Now, let's be clear: running 250 milliwatts, rock bound with a Direct Conversion receiver that tunes both sides of zero beat is not for the faint of heart.  The log book does not fill up rapidly. But hey, I made one contact the following morning.  K1PUG said I was 559 in Connecticut.      

Saturday, June 17, 2017

SolderSmoke Podcast #197: Farhan, Fame, 'Fest, Testgear, SSB History, Dishal Dystopia, QRP CW, MAILBAG

SolderSmoke Podcast #197 is available:

Up in NYC, met Dave W2DAB. got Steve Silverman's HP 8640B Sig Gen.

Farhan's visit to SolderSmoke HQ
Got me a TEK1401A Spectrum analyzer
Farhan at "Geekfest" @W7ZOI

BITX40 Modules.  5,000 already.   1,000 a month.
The BITX pronunciation problem. 

QRP Hall of Fame.  I suspected April 1 reprisal!    "I am unworthy" 
Dusting off my Tuna Tin 2, Herring Aid 5 and Farhan's key from India.

The Manassas Hamfest:  OLD crystal gear.   20's and 30's stuff. Leon Lambert RX and Philmore Fixed Crystal Detector. 
 Reminder of how YOUNG the radio art is.
RELATED:  Bell System 1953 Transistor Documentary.  11 year old Pete and his CK722.
Bought some good stuff from Charles AI4OT.

Armand WA1UQO gave me a big collection of Electric Radio.  So much history and HB wisdom in there. Frank Jones and Lafayette Radio.  Jim Lamb and 1930s SSB.  

Is the CK-722 the source of Pete Juliano's affinity for Juliano Blue?
Was Wes Hayward already using Juliano Blue?

"Your rig sounds real good for a homebrew rig!" 
"Well, your rig sounds pretty good for a Yaesu!"
Related topic: Going over the Waterfall:  The SDR Superiority Syndrome.  Feathering.

ARRL Arduino Book   by Popiel.    Very nice.  Right level.  Lots of good info.


Pete's Dishal Dystopia --  Is the perfect TRULY the enemy of the good enough?

Bill's  NE602 RIG: 
Replaced OLED.  Blue one seems noisier.  Shielded it with  copper flashing.
Made me yearn for bigger boxes WITH A HOOD!


Special Thanks to our correspondent in the Dayton Xenia Metropolitan area -- Bob Crane W8SX.

Jack Welch, AI4SV 5R8SV -- Our Man in Antanarivo -- Sent me a GREAT BOOK "I, Libertine" by Frederick R. Ewing.   EXCELSIOR!

Bruce KC1FSZ  Building Scratchbuilt BITX.  On the way put the VFO where the BFO should go and had a DC RX.  FB

Greg, VK1VXG   Suggestion for WA8WDQ on Arduino serial plotter

Ben KC9DLM  Mercury PTO.  In a syringe!   No thanks! Maybe add some high voltage and selenium.  And a radium dial!  Yea!

KY3R's metalized cigar boxes!  FB On Blog.

Richard WB2PEF has revived his Doug DeMaw 8P6 rig.  FB.  But bothered by PTT thump.

Update on Dave AA7EE (from Mike KC6SAX)


Friday, June 16, 2017

KI6SN's 89-Cent Project Box Chassis

Eric 4Z1UG had a great "QSO Today" interview with Richard Fisher KI6SN.  Richard mentioned his method for making project boxes.  The commercial versions are getting very expensive, and the used ones are now hard-to-find at hamfests.  So use Richard's technique to roll your own! 

Details here:

FB.  Thanks Eric.  Thanks Richard.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dino's HW-8 Mods

Bill -

Enjoyed the recent Hamvention interview with Ed Hare and your comment about him and a Heathkit HW-8 QRP rig.  I recently rescued the HW-8 I bought on eBay that had been sitting in my project queue for several years.  As I was refurbishing the rig I found that John KC9ON ( has several HW-8 mods that are very reasonably priced and I incorporated in the the refresh.  They included replacements for the audio amplifier and the T/R relay, the “miniYAK” electronic keyer that I installed internally and built-up a external control dongle for the keyer.  Cleaned up the additional audio filter that the previous owner had installed (ancient MFJ CWF-2 op-amp filter, surprisingly still available from the MFJ Vectronics brand, model VEC-820K) and did a complete realignment of course.  The T/R replacement includes provision for a red and green LED that indicates that the rig is in the receive mode (green) and transmit (red); I was able to mount them directly behind the relative output meter using a piece of plastic drapery hardware (always pays to keep that kind of stuff!).  Finally installed a fresh S-meter mod.

RF output is ok on all the bands except for 15m and I still need to figure that out.  Getting rid of the old Molex power connector and replacing it with a Powerpole was a real plus I thought.  Have swapped out the PA transistor with several different types but the one the last owner substituted in seems to be the best (ECG488).  Have to admit I’ve never been a devoted QRP guy but love the community for it’s technical bent but since I’ve been looking for some new challenges I thought this would be a enjoyable one.

As you’ve pointed out Mike Bryce’s HW-8 handbook is a must have for anyone updating their radio and there is also a seminal 2-part article series in CQ magazine that probably started the mods craze; they appeared in the August and October 1977 issues of CQ.

Here are some pix of the clean up process and shows I’m not afraid to drill holes in a boat anchor to make it more useable!

73 - Dino

Here’s the new audio board installed:

The additional audio filter with the new 5-pole selectivity switch put in by the previous owner…had to add some audio coupling caps and clean up all the wiring.  The plastic piece over the meter was from some old drapery hardware and it now holds the RCV/XMT green/red LEDs:

I replaced the original S-meter mod with a proper terminal strip (old parts were just hanging in the air).

Here’s the solid state T/R circuit that replaced the mechanical relay:

Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column