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Saturday, September 19, 2015

SolderSmoke Podcast #180 Pete's Beam, Simple-ceiver, 2-B, Noodling, Homebrew and SDR?, "The Martian", Mailbag

SolderSmoke Podcast #180 is available:


19 September 2015

Pete's Antenna Project:  The Joy of Rotation!
Bill fixes Digi-Tia (after breaking it)
Shack Configured for Winter (DX-100)
Working (a little) on the Drake 2-B

SolderSmoke words we forgot to mention:
The Radio Gods
The Radio Art
The Grand Poobah
Magic Smoke
Lud(d)ite Curmudgeonism

SDR and the Homebrewer

"QSO Today" Interviews
Lady Ada interviews Paul Horowitz of "Art of Electronics"

SHAMELESS COMMERCE:  Book still free!
Start your Amazon purchases at our blog page.

Book Review:  "The Martian"

Great QSOs with W5NDS and AE5RM



  1. 2B is worth working on had one since 1975
    dave wd8cyv

    1. had my 2B/2BQ since the 1980's great ham band receiver

  2. now i m finished listen .....thanks Bill and Pete.complimenti ,bravi ragazzi :)

  3. another great show. Cant wait to hear more about the Simple-Cever. if a book is coming out, I want one. Already bought a few SI5351 breakout boards from AdaFruit to have on hand. Aj4UM

  4. Hi Bill,

    Tweaking --- adjusting for effect

    Majik smoke --- too much tweaking can release this

    Scratch and daub --- tuning stripline and microwave stuff
    quite literally by adding copper or foil or removing it.

    Drilling and blasting --- mechanical construction

    smoke and majik --- descriptions that are less than scientific and a bit obscure.

    Turning the circuits knobs --- In the design of a circuit you can vary its behaviour, bias, tuning, and so on. See tweaking and also magik smoke.

    One I've used for decades is... hexperiments, the "h" must be there and its about invoking the hex of math and science
    in an experimental project. As in, a successful hexperiment.

    Jacki Gleason used it fist and Fred Flintstone was somewhat modeled on the Honeymooners which came first. The grand Poobah and to the moon Alice stick in the mind.

    Filters with less than 5-6 crystals tend to have seriously soft skirts. Its a limitation of how much selectivity you can get from four crystals in a filter.

    That leads to now that receivers have reached a level that is very high we now need to talk about transmitters and the
    RF baggage they produce.

    An old term from a hardware hacker of some four decades back. Moving bits is easier than moving wires. I started both moving wires (hardware design) and moving bits Software development. The moving of bits is expansive
    as you can go further. That and tweaking bits is less inclined to loose the majik smoke. ;)


  5. Hello Bill and Pete,
    Great episode! When you were talking about how it will be hard or impossible to work with some of the small smd chips that are replacing through hole components I remembered a video I saw on hackaday who made a video of himself making a gps enabled geiger counter. He is working with a chip with extremely small pads, wiring it up point to point with enameled wire. It is a very cool build to behold! You always speak of Vlad; well he is alive and well, although in this case his name is Shibata. I worry about the disappearance of bigger, easier to solder chips too, but then again, we are a resourceful bunch and if we really want to put something together, we will find a way. And some of these chips can do amazing things! Here is a link to the video:


    Here is the hackaday write up:


    Thanks for all that you both do to promote the radio ARTS :-)



  6. Bill/Pete,

    Thanks for the plug and nice comments on my videos. I just posted the "part 3" video on the 2B this weekend, including the last of the obvious repairs and some on-air testing. All I need to do now is touch up the alignment...

  7. Hey Bill and Pete

    I'm pretty sure Grand Poobah is derived from the character Poo-Bah in Gilbert & Sullivan's opera Mikado. Poo-Bah was a high ranking official in the Chines court.


    Gareth - M5KVK

  8. Bill and Pete,
    Aloha. Great Show! I got the "free" copy of SolderSmoke and am enjoying it immensely. It has sparked the Knack-o-matic engine in my brain to on and now I have this "need" to solder things together. HI HI
    I am really looking forward the simpleceiver and definitely want to try and build one.


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