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Monday, September 27, 2010


I've been getting some increasingly desperate messages about SolderSmoke withdrawal symptoms so I thought I'd better send out a status report. Also, one listener wrote in addressing me as "The Grand Poobah of the SolderSmoke Brotherhood." Wow, with a title like that, I better get going with the podcasts!

Most of the stuff is in the shack. The workbench is assembled. I'm trying to set up for both 220 and 110 (lots of Euro gear accumulated over the last ten years!) Surprisingly, Home Depot doesn't sell 110 to 220 transformers. And I live in an area where LOTS of people move back and forth across the pond. I may have to press my old autotransformer into service.

Most of my really old gear -- the stuff that went into storage over the last decade -- should show up in a week or so. This means my HT-37, DX-40, DX-60, Lafayette HA-600 etc. will be reappearing on the scene.

I hope to get some beacons (uh, I mean MEPTs!) on the air soon.

Unfortunately my ancient computer gave up the ghost during the trip. Hard drive is making scary noises. This will slow down the podcast as I have trouble putting it together with Linux only (which is what I'm operating with now -- thanks Jorge! Without your help I'd be completely off the net) Anyone have any version of Windows I could legally use?

But the Drake 2-B is doing fine. I'm listening to 75 SSB as I type.

Hang in there loyal listeners. Perhaps some of that nicotine gum would help. Or, better, some REAL solder smoke.

73 from the GP


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Climbing a REALLY tall tower

No thanks, I think I'll stick to tree-supported dipoles.


Thanks to Brent, KD0GLS for sending along this really scary video.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting Settled -- Slowly. Yogi Berra on Theory and Practice

I've been getting some "Are you alive?" inquiries from SolderSmoke fans. I'm happy to report that, yes, I am still around, and doing fairly well. This move back to the states has been a bit more difficult and complicated than previous transfers, but slowly the shack is starting to come
together. Moat important: The Drake 2-B survived the journey!

It may take me a few weeks to start emitting whistling S sounds and Gong noises ("Wow, that's awesome!') but hang in there, new SolderSmoke episodes are on the way.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share with you a Yogi Berra quote sent to me by Brent, KD0GLS. I think this is especially appropriate because my grandfather actually played for the New York Yankees:

"As I make my way through the back episodes of SolderSmoke at a stately pace and hear you speak of Bletchley Park, I'm also reading "Secrets & Lies" by Bruce Schneier, renowned cryptographer and internet security expert. In his book, I read this timeless quote that immediately made me think of our hobby:

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
Yogi Berra"

Thanks Brent! Thanks Yogi!
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