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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Yet Another Household Item Useful to Homebrewers: Toilet Bowl Cleaner for PC Board Fabrication


We have already been using Desitin ointment for heat sink compound, kitchen breadboards for radio breadboards, Scotchbrite pads for polishing, nail polish varnish for toroidal core coating and Olive oil as a field-expedient lubricant. (Am I forgetting anything?)   But I must say I was a bit taken aback by KV4QB's mention of his innovative use of the dilute hydrochloric acid in toilet bowl cleaners in his PC board fabrication process.   Good one DuWayne!   Eric Guth went the extra mile be suggesting a recycling of the liquid. 

This was a really interesting QSO Today interview.  Listen here: 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

SolderSmoke Podcast #203 Winter, Transceivers, Antennas, DC RX, uBITX, Mixers, 'fests, MAILBAG

N6QW in 1959. Building an SSB transceiver
SolderSmoke Pocast #203 is (FINALLY!) available: 


24 March 2018

--The reasons for our delay. 
Winter, Computers, College, Family Trees, Lawyers....

-- Winterfest 2018 
-- Pete launches 2018    THE YEAR OF THE TRANSCEIVER
-- SDR -  Satan's Digital Radio?  
-- Direct Conversion Receiver Projects
-- Mixer Musings 
-- A Thailand Troubleshoot 
-- Nor'Easter knocks out Bill's Moxon -- An appliance replacement? 
-- Homebrew Electret Mics.  Seriously.  
-- uBITX Build with Rogier
-- Civilized Crystal Testing
-- Baofeng! 

N6ORS's SDR rig
Mike Rainey's DX-100

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Haunted by Hallicrafters At Winterfest

I was on the verge of not going to the Vienna Wireless Society's Winterfest Hamfest this year.   We had just returned from a long trip.  I was tired.  Armand WA1UQO bailed due to a family obligation. But, since this is about the only hamfest that regularly attend, and because it is only about 5 miles down the road, I went.  

As soon as I got there I started wondering if I should have stayed home.  Here's why:  Hallicrafter S-38s.   Just about everywhere I turned, there were S-38s.  I had never seen so many of these EVIL  AC/DC trandformerless widow-makers.  I watched in horror as innocent hams reached into their wallets and bought these little monsters.  "Does it work?" asked one victim. "Well," said the seller, "it hums like crazy when you turn it on."  Yea, I'll bet it does.  (The guy bought it.) 

It was kind of a Hallicrafters day.  I even saw an Hallicrafters TV!  See above. 

Nothing big followed me home.   I got a couple of nice variable caps (one with a reduction drive).  A Radio Shack speaker.   Some coax.  A project box of BITX40 size.   A Weller soldering gun  slightly less beat up than the one I've had since age 13. 

I got to meet Richard Choy of Midway Electronics.  He has a business out in the Shenandoah Valley and is selling a neat little 2 watt CW transceiver kit.  Go to midwayelecrronics.us/qrp for more info. 

Oh yea, I got a kick out of this ENORMOUS BFO.  I almost bought it for Pete (who is so fond of tiny little oscillators).  This is a real Boatanchor BFO.  I wonder how many Si5351s you could put in that box? 

Thanks to VWS for putting on the 'fest.  In spite of the S-38s, I had fun.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

WA1UQO's Discrete Ceramic DC Receiver

Armand writes: 

The attached picture is your DC receiver. A little tweaking left to do as the range right now is ~ 7.44Mhz to 7.032Mhz. I used one of Farhan's trifillars and a couple of air coils that you gave me last year.  Listening to the Wisconsin QSO party as I type. 

FB Armand!  The receiver looks great.  I hope others will follow your lead and build this simple little receiver for 40. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Homebrew Your Own Electret Microphones

Don't be such a microphone appliance operator.  Whip up some of your own electret material and turn it into a mic.  Imagine how the audio adjustment guys will react when you tell them you are using a special, tailor-made,  homebrew electret material that gives added PRESENCE and BRIGHTNESS and SPARKLE.  Wow.  Minds will be blown.  A cottage industry could be launched.  

I realize that I tried to fool you guys with a bogus story about making your own Rochelle Salt mics using Tartar sauce.   But on this one, I'm not kidding.  Check out Hack-A-Day's excellent article: 


Monday, March 5, 2018

Great Video on Crystal Motional Parameter Measurement

Who out there can save us from further Dishal distress?  Who has one of these fantastic bits of old test gear and is willing to donate it to the cause of accurate filter building?  

Thanks to Tore LB4RG for alerting us to this gem.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Moxon Destroyed

The north-east region of the U.S.  is experiencing a very strong winter storm.  These storms are called "Nor-Easters"- that describes their track up the coast.   Here, we had wind gusts at 71 mph -- that was around what we had with Hurricane Sandy.  But no rain or snow down here -- it is a different story in New England. 

I was on the air, having a nice chat with Ivo OP2A on 17 when suddenly my SWR went way up.  I knew immediately what had happened.  I stepped outside and saw what you see above. 

Oh well, we had a good run.  It went up there on July 20, 2014.  Not bad for some fiberglass poles from Amazon, some scrap lumber and some wire from Steve Silverman (thanks Steve).  

To tell you the truth I was kind of hoping this would happen.  I'll replace it with a Moxon or a Hex that covers at least 20 and 17.   

Thursday, March 1, 2018

N6ORS and "Satan's Digital Radio"

Hey Bill,

I just finished testing the new rig.  Better sit down for this......
Its an SDR (Satan's Digital Radio). Actually its an estension of an
earlier experiment You might remember the 'Franken SDR". The Franken sdr
worked so well I thought I would make a companion for it and built a QSE 
(quadrature sampling exciter) and an amplifier chain to go with it. The rig
used G3PLX's fantastic SDRTX software for the transmit and DB0JBJ's
wonderful HDSDR software for receiving. The original idea was to make
a small rig for Digital comms, but I decided to add a Mic for voice, also
there is a 'Hardware" audio Phaser already in the building stages 
(you can calm down now).

A few specs. The RX is fantastic , -135 noise floor and the audio is
so clean that it copies wspr signals to -33db. The transmit is 
12 watts and the phasing audio sounds so nice that my wife says 
"thats your terrible voice exactly."So if you catch me on Sunday night
 and i dont sound 'yellowee' enough and you justdont like that 
no-crystal-filter sound just say  "Hey , Dont phase me bro"

See Ya on the bands,
Keith N6ORS

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