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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soul in an Old Telescope


I like this telescope.  The owner built it in 7th grade and is still using it at age 70.  I'm still using the Drake 2-B that I bought with newspaper route money, so understand the sentiments.  

http://makezine.com/2013/07/29/through-a-diy-telescope-brightly/ 

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Soul in the Old Machine: HW-101 Saved From Workshop Cannabilism


Most of our correspondents did not like the idea of me trying to convert my Heath HW-101 into a BITX-101.  But, thinking that I still might to this,  I decided to take the old rig off the shelf and see what it looked like.  I liked the looks of it -- lots of space, simple circuitry,  nice belts and gears for turning the many variable capacitors, no black box ICs.  I could see traces of my earlier repair adventures -- electrolytic caps that had been replaced, the plastic dial clutch that I'd "fabricated" myself.  Then I decided to try to fire it up. Hey, the receiver sounded very good.  Next thing you know, I was getting the transmitter going.  Then I was working DX on 20.  By the end of the afternoon, I knew there was no way I would be tearing this old rig apart.  There is simply too much soul in this old machine. 

More on this in SolderSmoke 154....




Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Friday, July 26, 2013

EXCELSIOR! Happy Birthday Jean Shepherd

 
 

NPR's "Writer's Almanac" alerted us to this:    Shep was born on this day in 1925.  I realize now that that made him just a week or so older than my dad (who was a big fan).

Here is a really nice site with info about Shep, ham radio, and his call sign: 


EXCELSIOR !!!!!!!!!!!

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

HB-101 ? BITX-101?

 
 
OK, so I've been wanting to build a BITX-20 for a long time.  Then Steve "Snort Rosin" Smith sent me a nice 9 MHz filter, and I started to think about using it to build a BITX 75/20.   But I don't really like 75 meters too much...  And I have this Heathkit HW-101.  I like it very much, but these rigs do not age well:  Too much heat, too many cheap components, tubes on PC boards... yuck.  I got tired of fixing it.  I've occasionally fantasized about scrapping most of the HW-101 circuitry and turning this rig into a 100 watt linear amplifier. But I didn't have the heart to do this.  Then, on the way to work yesterday it hit me:  Why not take the beautiful bi-directional circuitry of Farhan's BITX design and use that to solid state most of the HW-101?    Obviously I'd retain the finals and maybe the driver, and the CW and SSB filters.   The VFO could be transistorized.  Maybe I'd retain the tube AF amp.  I'd like to add 17 meter capability.  Pete Juliano took an HW-101 and added a digital dial (that's his rig in the picture).
 
What do you guys think?  Am I nuts?  Or would this be a worthwhile project? 


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Nanomembrane Laser Detector Receiver

 

I like it!  Here we find some cutting edge radio technology that does not involve millions of microscopic transistors and thousands of lines of code. And it can be explained in a few paragraphs without resort to exotic math.  It even makes use of our beloved LC resonant circuit.  Quick, where did I put Billy's green laser?  And where can I get some silicon nitride? 
  
http://m.technologyreview.com/view/517336/physicists-detect-radio-waves-with-light/

Thanks to Jim, AB3CV, for sending us this.

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Monday, July 22, 2013

Earth as seen from Saturn


Look closely.  We're the little dot.  Photo taken July 19 2013 by the Cassini probe.   People were waving!  Really:  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23914-shiny-happy-earth-photobombs-saturn-snapshot.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|online-news#.Ue2_i2DD-ic


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tour of WLW 500,000 Watt Transmitter (video)



Well, you know that you are really in the high power big leagues when your transmitter requires a cooling pond, and you have to put on welding goggles before you examine your tubes!  I especially liked the bit about how they built the transmitter BUILDING from the packing materials used to ship the transmitter (my operating desk is made from a box used to ship my HT-37!). 

This is all really amazing.  They built this thing less than ten years after the initial launch of commercial broadcast radio in the U.S. 

Thanks a lot to Randy for doing this video and to the guys who gave the really excellent tour.

My apologies to the QRP purists who I know will have been deeply disturbed by this presentation.

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Oldest Drake 2B? (now with pictures)

Bill and Soldersmoke readers,
One of the earliest and still surviving Drake 2Bs is owned by Paul Brock (K4MSG) of Hamilton, Virginia.
Paul is very much into Boat Anchor Ownership and Restoration.  
 
If you are interested, look at his write-up titled “The Magic of Boatanchors” http://www.k4lrg.org/Projects/Magic_of_Boatanchors/index.html
 
 
K4MSG’s Drake 2B Receiver s/n 2052
 
In my perspective, this receiver is still an absolute “Keeper.”  
If anyone has a Drake 2B older than Paul’s,  we’d love to see it.
We have all surmised that the first 2B was serial number 2000, from the first production run back in April 1961.
Paul’s radio could have easily been one of the first receivers to hit the market.
 
Interesting sidebar; The early 2B and 2As do not have the red scale log scale adjustor button.  
 
I remember these when they first hit the market. They seemed so small compared to the Hammarlund, Hallicrafters and National triple conversion receivers from the same era.
Most Old Timers felt they were not going to get their monies worth with a tiny receiver sitting next to their big 60 to 100 Lb. transmitter.
In 1962, this was a very modern radio both in style and performance. Coupled with the Q-Multiplier/Speaker you had a superb receiver which worked extremely well on C.W., A.M. and S.S.B.
 
My first experience with the Drake 2 B came at Skyview Radio Club near the Pittsburgh, Pa area back in 1965.
 
 
 
Here is one of those early ads that show the Drake 2B without the Red Scale Slider Button.
 
 
 
 
Happy building and melting solder everyone.
 
73’s De -=WA3EIB=- Harv. Albq., NM
 
Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SolderSmoke book for $16

QST gave the book a very nice review in their August edition.  But they got the price of the paper edition wrong -- it is definitely not $45!  The normal price is $20, but with the coupon code SOCIUS you can get it for $16 through 19 July. 
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/soldersmoke

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Monday, July 15, 2013

Grayson's Thermatron Timeline

Our friend Grayson put a lot of effort into this very interesting timeline of tubes (aka valves, or thermatrons).  Thanks Grayson!

http://hollowstatedesign.tumblr.com/

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Friday, July 12, 2013

book review in qst? GOT IT

Thanks to those who sent me the review.   Got it. 


I heard the August qst has a review of the soldersmoke book. I'm away
from home. Could someone email me the review? Thanks 73

Friday, July 5, 2013

"I Make Stuff" Chuck Stottlemyer (video)



More about Chuck Stottlemyer here:
http://makezine.com/2013/07/02/movers-and-makers-charles-chuck-stottlemyer/

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Visit to the Arduino Factory (video)



Named for an Italian bar, produced by cool people in Ivrea who wield soldering irons and wear T-shirts that say "Make it Simple."  You gotta love Arduino! 

Today I will finish connecting my Arduino Uno to my Doug Demaw Lil' Slugger 10 Beacon rig.  Code (computer code!) by K6HX. 

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Knack Book News: New Blog, 25% off Sale

Explosions of savings! Save 25% off your next order by using code FIREWORKS. Offer expires July 5th at 11:59 PM. (Offer cannot be combined with other offers. Offer not valid on services).

Our friend Grayson has launched a blog related to his new book Hollow-State Design:
http://hollowstatedesign.tumblr.com/

Over the 4th of July holiday you can save 25% on two of Lulu's GREATEST Knack-related books.  Just use the coupon code FIREWORKS when making your payment. 

For SolderSmoke:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/soldersmoke

For Hollow-State Design: http://www.lulu.com/shop/grayson-evans/hollow-state-design/paperback/product-20987562.html


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Society for Model and Experimental Engineers



Wow.  Stop what you are doing and take a look at the four short films about a group of intrepid British knack victims.  Very nicely done.  Really captures the allure of the shack/workshop.

http://makezine.com/2013/06/28/the-makers-of-things-2/




Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column