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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Free Electronic Books Online!!!

Alan WA9IRS alerted me to this technical treasure trove. Pete Millett is an engineer who, in his spare time, scans and uploads books about electronics that are no longer under copyright. Great stuff! Thanks Alan! Thanks Pete!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

WebSDR Receiver Goes to Six Bands

Those intrepid digital hams at the University of Twente have temporarily put their WebSDR receiver on six bands (we should lobby to make the expanded freq coverage permanent). It is really great. I love the waterfall display. Audio quality here is excellent. (I'm listening to 75 meter SSB now.) Check it out:

You should also check out PA3FWM's SDR page: http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/
Very interesting. I thought picture above should be entitled "The Ultimate Dead Bug."

I have successfully completed troubleshooting my old (1983) frequency counter (found some bad CMOS gates), and I just finished assembling Doug N3ZI's very FB freq counter semi-kit (thanks Jerry!)... Now I'm listening to the Web SDR receiver... The SoftRock40 kit seems to be calling me.... I feel myself being pulled into the digital vortex! Quick, someone throw me an analog life saver!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Skn Flick Trailer

Steve, N0TU, has a really good one minute video that will (I think) be the lead-in for a longer flick on Straight Key Night. Inspirational stuff. Makes you want to warm up filaments and pound some brass. Thanks Steve!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Beacon on the Echo Satellite

W8KHK gave a very nice Christmas present to the AMfone group. Check out the pictures (and descriptions) of the beacon transmitters that went into space on the ECHO satellite in 1960. Echo was the big inflated silver ball -- it was nicknamed "the satelloon." I was struck by how much the exterior of this rig looks like the solar-powered QRSS rig of Paolo, IZ1KXQ.

FROM W8KHK's POST: Here are a few more pictures of the ECHO beacon transmitter. These are identical to the actual flight hardware, used for testing and measurements. They now reside at the W2DU Florida QTH, and while the batteries have long since expired, if the solar cells are illuminated by a 100 watt bulb, or the actual sun, you can receive the transmitted beacon signal at 108 MHz. Low Tech by today's standards, but in those days it was hard to find transistors that would work above audio frequencies. Photo 21 shows a complete beacon system. To the bottom left is another transmitter, before potting. To the bottom right is another transmitter, potted and ready to be incorporated in the styrofoam "dish" assembly. Photo 22 is a close-up of the two transmitters from photo 21. Photo 23 shows an entire dish assembly, prior to potting in styrofoam. This space project, and many other early space projects from the Astro Electronics Products division of RCA will be chronicled in the soon-to-be-published Reflections III by W2DU.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

SolderSmoke 97


December 21, 2008
Tiber flooding, Italian @ (snail!)
DSB 80 "Kickpanel" project:
Rig reform
Harder than SSB?
Do we need to match diodes?
Terminating balanced modulators
An antenna for my "spot" ("net") circuit, LED
Thinking of speech processing
Driver hotter than final
VK2ZAY crosses Oz on 470 micro-watts
Using 9H1LO's grabber engine as time machine
My beacon box: 10 and 30 in same enclosure
Knights QSY to lower bands (temporarily)
Thanks for beta independence help
Why does feedback lower distortion?
W3JDR's Ne602 modeling
Grinding resistors for precision
Broken counter leads to learning logic
Wes updates site
Kanga USA is back
There is no SPRAT 13
AA1TJ's lightbulb rig
Lyndon smells the smoke
Roger KA7EXM goes to Aikhabara
Mark KI7N hits Singapore's radio row
Bob KD4EBM's feedback on feedback
Mike KC7IT fixes Christmas lights with 'scope
Frank VK2AKG on YouTube solenoid concert
Mike AA1TJ working on return loss bridges
John K7JM says SS blog makes DXCC
Jerry NR5A on Solder-SETI, b'day
Ron WB3AAL 1K QSOs from AT
Alan N8WQ: Tree battery!
Jeremy N1JER and QRP-L QRSS group build


Friday, December 19, 2008

Homebrew Antikythera Mechanism

AA1TJ's Lightbulb Transmitter!!!!

This is a really excellent example of ham ingenuity. Michael, AA1TJ, has built an 80 meter CW transmitter from the components in one of the compact florescent light bulbs.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Free Logic Simulator

My frequency counter is broken, and this is providing an incentive for me to learn about logic, JK Flip Flops and all that. Hack-A-Day alerted me to what looks like a very useful simulator program (free download).


Saturday, December 13, 2008

MAKE Resistor Video

MAKE made even the humble resistor interesting. Thanks again Make!

MAKE presents: The Resistor from make magazine on Vimeo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

SolderSmoke 96

SolderSmoke 96
December 8, 2008


Moj Music
Rome winter: Snowcapped mountains, Starlings
Billy’s Blog – Please visit!
“Make” redeems itself with LED video
80 DSB rig: LTSpice, Design, Diplexers, Decoupling
Properly terminating balanced modulators
The virtues of feedback
80 meter DSB QRP (in a contest)
Reading Recommendation: January 2009 “Air and Space”
Jupiter and Venus aligned
Saturn picture with (sorta) homebrew rig
Ben’s Balloon Beacon
Laurence KL1X in N. China – will set up QRSS grabber
Roger K7RXV and Bob KD4EBM on SolderSmells
Jerry NR5A has WSPR-mania
Scott KD5NJR on “Soul of a New Machine”
Bob K7HBG “Real radios have knobs”
Akshay VA7AAX 15 year-old listener, homebrewer

Check out our neighborhood and flea market

Go to Google Earth, or even just to Google Maps (available without download from the Google home page) and search for this: Piazza di San Cosimato, 00153 Rome, Italy. Look for the "Street View" button and click on it. Now you can explore our Piazza.

GM8EUG sent me this great link for a 360 degree shot of the neighborhood flea market. Let the picture fully download, then click on it and you will be able to look around (and up and down!) Click on this:


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pictures of Saturn with a (sorta) Homebrew Rig

The e-mail and picture I received from Randy N3UMW could easily launch me (and perhaps others) into some adventures in the fascinating world of electro-astronomy. I have a telescope. I have an old webcam. I have some PVC...

Randy's message:

Attached is a photo of Saturn that I took with a modified webcam through an 8 inch scope in my very light polluted back yard near Washington DC. I can normally only make out a dozen stars due to all of the nearby street and porch lights. Luckily this does not affect the viewing of planets.

Taking the photo was very easy. You simply remove the webcam lens and add a telescope adapter (can be made from PVC tube), then you take a 2 minute movie through the webcam and use free software to align and stack each frame of the video. The end result is a hundred times better than what you actually saw. It's funny that a cheap scope and cheap webcam can equal what the observatories were doing 20 years ago! The attached photo was my second attempt.

Damien Peach uses this same method with better hardware in better locations and takes fantastic photos. See them at http://www.damianpeach.com/

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

N1VF's MIT Balloon Beacon Transmitter

1.5 watts out on 30 meters with total cost of 25 dollars. Here is the transmitter that Ben, N1VF, and friends are using for balloon operations.
For more details see: http://web.mit.edu/bgelb/www/balloon/hfbeacon/
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column