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Sunday, December 4, 2011

SolderSmoke Podcast #139

December 3, 2011


Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Billy's Birthday (on the range!)

Astro-Knack: CCD camera in the telescope. Solar astronomy.

Winter approaches: Shack heating by Heath, Halli, Hammarlund and Drake.

2B troubles on 17 meters.

Rig Re-Cycling: Rebuilding 17 meter rigs from the last solar cycle.

Azores DSB re-build: Oscillator troubles then adding a JBOT.

Manhattan style construction and the need for urban renewal.

Book Review: Steve Jobs. (Woz has the Knack!)


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


  1. You've discovered the Wayback Machine... what a great tool that is! I don't know what browser you use. I do know that both Firefox and Chrome have browser extensions for the Wayback Machine. If you go to a page that doesn't exist anymore you automatically get an option to try looking it up there with just a click or two.

    Or.. if you want to see an older version of the page you are on just either right click the page or click an icon in your browser (depends which browser and which extension you installed). I like that option for all those domains that got bought up by advertisers.

    I bring this up because I find it especially helpful with homebrew ham pages. There are all those personal websites out there where people write up their projects but then lose interest and let the site lapse. There are a lot of old links to good stuff that are out of date. It's been especially nice to have this since Geocities was turned off.

  2. I'm surprised no one's commented on the skips in this week's podcast. They're pretty frequent starting around 53 minutes in. There's a skip right in Woz' most important quote.

    I blamed my pod at first, but just pulled down the mp3 on my work PC and the skips are in the mp3. I wish I could explain why of how this happens - what software is creating the mp3?

  3. Woz is the uber-knack-master of all time, and always has been in my book. His Apple II design is a work of genius in getting ten pounds of function out of five pounds of parts.

    One of many examples: Apple II was the first personal computer to use DRAM memory chips, which were brand new then and kinda scary even for us pros. DRAMs store data as charges on tiny leaky capacitors. Every 20 milliseconds or so they have to be refreshed.

    Everyone else had counters and logic just for refresh. Woz arranged the Apple II's display memory, so reading out the pixels to the TV screen 60 times per second did the refresh too, at no cost in circuits or performance. The elegant design of a pure knack genius.

  4. I noticed the skips also. There's one at 53:32.
    Good show though, as always!

    Bill N5AB

  5. Indeed! I really enjoyed it, especially all the down and dirty debugging of your JBOT. Great stuff! Thanks and 73!

  6. Another great show Bill, keep up the good work! I have an old sound card you can have, and a few older laptops I would be willing to donate for the cause. Email me at wisehart77atgmaildotcom to see if its worth your effort take a look at them.

    Chris, KJ4GUU


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