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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Our Dismal Digital Future?


I'm sure some would find this device appealing -- to each his own.   But I don't like it.   It seems to mark another step down the path toward the complete appliance-ization of ham radio.  Note how the control head is looking more an more like something for your car audio system, or your cell phone.  
YUCK.  
Count me out. 
Just say NO! 
Menus are for RESTAURANTS!  
RIGS NOT RADIOS!   
HDR FOREVER!   


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

From Cuba: "Technological Disobedience"



Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.  

This video made me think of the Jaguar DSB transceiver made in Cuba from the parts of Soviet-made television sets.  

Somehow I wish we were more technologically disobedient. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

"The Hobby Song" from Saturday Night Live



I kept waiting for OUR hobby to be mentioned....

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Understanding Fourier Transforms



Lots of wisdom and insight here:

http://www.jezzamon.com/fourier/index.htm

Strongly recommended for those trying to understand mixers and harmonics. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Digital Engineering vs. Analog Engineering


In  a book review Thompson makes this observation about the digital-analog divide: 

One difference might be that human beings can deal with ambiguity, and computers really can't. If you've done any Python [coding], you make the tiniest mistake, and everything stops immediately. That’s what makes it different even from other forms of engineering. When you are trying to fix a car, if you fail to tighten a bolt on one wheel as tight as it should be, the entire car doesn't stop working. But with code, an entire app, an entire website can go down from the misplacement of a single bracket. I think that's the one thing that sometimes scares writers away, because they are more accustomed to working with ambiguity.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/04/how-the-new-art-form-of-coding-came-to-shape-our-modern-world/

I am definitely more accustomed to working with ambiguity. All of my rigs are filled with ambiguity. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Understanding Digital Radios



Alan WA9IRS writes: 

Hi Bill,
Thought I would drop you a brief note.  I have been catching up on my listening to past issues of Soldersmoke podcasts and was particularly interested in the discussion between you and Pete concerning the simplicity associated with non-digital, integrated circuits and microprocessors and all of the rest of the very small miniaturized circuit elements.  You rightly pointed out that you desired (along with a lot of the rest of us) to fully understand what was going on in a circuit and for that reason desired to maintain the simplicity of transistor and discrete components in your design and build projects. 
 I agree with you completely but offer the alternative to the simple circuits in the form of the attached simple diagram of the signal flow path in a digital radio. I found this some time ago in a digital electronics magazine and thought you and Pete would find it interesting.  Perhaps this might be something to spring on Pete on 4-1-2018.
Take care and thanks to both of you for many pleasant and thoughtful hours of enjoyment listening to Soldersmoke!
All for now, 73,
Allan,  WA9IRS
My response: 
Thanks Allan, Very illuminating.   It is all clear to me now.   I feel so much better.  FB OM.   73  Bill 



Thursday, April 11, 2019

Circuit for Farhan's Satellite -- Arduino in SPACE

Farhan sent me the schematic of the AISAT amateur digital satellite that went into orbit on April 1, 2019 from India.   He notes that the circuitry is very simple.   Indeed, it reminds me of the very simple but effective circuitry we saw in satellites in the early days of the space age.  Beautiful simplicity, with an Arduino on-board.   And it is great to see that Farhan did not forget the low pass filter.  FB OM.  


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