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Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't miss Thomas and his Minima at Pacificon!

Thanks for the kind words Thomas.  Be sure to have someone do a video of your presentation.

You truly have The Knack -- proof of this is your reaction to your wife's departure for field research in Senegal:  "IT'S SOLDER TIME!"  That's the spirit! 

Too bad about the chickens, but hey, they died for a good cause... 

Dear Bill,

I have been listening to your podcast for about a year now. I think you were right to say that one episode a month is a reasonable limit to avoid listeners getting addicted. At some point in January I was listening to you every morning and every evening in my car, a very serious case of addiction.

This is also the time that Farhan chose to announce the Minima and my wife to go to Senegal for 3 months for a field study (she is doing a PhD in Sociology). I think it took me less than a week to run to the shop, get most of the parts and start melting solder!

In two weeks from today I will present the project and my build at Pacificon. I would really appreciate if you could mention this on your blog because I am sure there are other listeners who will be there and curious for some homebrewing-materials. I hope to delight them!

For your own pleasure there are some pictures and videos on my blog: http://www.sarfata.org/ham/minima/ 

Pacificon Schedule:  http://pacificon.org/ (My talk will be at 10:45 in the Portland room)

My presentation will retrace my journey building the minima. From the first smokes on the crystal filter when I was not even sure how to test it, or what results to look for ; to the amplifier where I am still battling some oscillations (by the way, if you had not talked so much about them, I would never have understood what was going on!).

This project has taught me that radio is a lot less black magic than I thought. It bridged the gap between the maths that I can understand but not really "see" and the sound coming out of the amplifier. It made me realize that once split into stages, a radio is much better understood and testable. Without a doubt, this has been my most ham-enriching experience and I hope to convince more people to build a minima, preferably Manhattan style! 

(In this public setting, I will probably not discuss killing chickens to exorcize my amplifier but I thank you for the tip ...)

I got pulled back from homebrewing by life and work this summer but I kept the last three episodes of Soldersmoke on my phone. They were my safety parachute and I listened to them last week on the way home to give me the extra boost that gets me to melt solder or fix bugs until 3 in the morning on a tuesday. I don't think I will ever be able to express my gratitude for all that I have learnt reading the book and listening to you but I would like to start here: Thank you!

Please keep the podcast going! I have really enjoyed the new format with Pete. 

kk6aht / f4hdq

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

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