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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

So Much Cool Stuff on Pete N6QW's Blog

There is so much tribal knowledge, so many good ideas.  Be sure to visit Pete's blog regularly.  


He needs the meter from an SBE-33.  Somebody out there must have one.  

Check out his stepper motor antenna tuner video.  

And be sure to leave some comments or to send Pete an e-mail with feedback.  I live in fear that he will think no one is reading and then stop posting.  We can't let that happen!  

Monday, March 25, 2019

Apollo 11 -- The Documentary

My wife is a kind and tolerant person.  Proof of this is that she went with me to see the Apollo 11 documentary that we recently posted about.  

I think you have to be a geek and/or have The Knack to really like a 90 minute documentary with no audio other than Walter Cronkite's reporting and the recorded dialogue among the participants.   But of course, I loved it.  Amazing video, especially of the Saturn V.  

Bob Scott KD4EBM found this great interview with the film maker: 


Audio only (downloadable)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Amazing New Geostationary Amateur Satellite -- LISTEN ONLINE!

Wow, quite a step forward in the amateur satellite world.  Qatar and AMSAT-Germany have collaborated to put an amateur radio repeater in geostationary orbit.  That's pretty amazing.  Read more here: 


Read about a group of Norwegian students working on a satellite station for this bird: 



We can't hear this thing from North America -- it is flying over the Congo.  But stations in its footprint are putting their receivers online -- you can listen to the 10 GHz downlink via WebSDR: 

UK WebSDR:   https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/

Brazil WebSDR:     http://appr.org.br:8902/

Sunday, March 17, 2019

DISAPPOINTED! No Takers on Mechanical Filter Question! SAD!

So, in our last podcast I asked the group to take a look at two pictures of a mechanical filter that I had recently taken out of its case.   These pictures appear above and below. After a discussion of magnetostriction,  I asked the group if they could spot anything unusual about this particular device. 

I expected many responses.  What did I get?  CRICKETS!!  What is wrong with you guys?  Are you spending so much time with software and FT-8 and lines of code that you can't deal with a simple analog question like this?  SAD! I guess I will have to answer the question myself.  Scroll down. 

The diagram below presents the conventional Collins arrangement for a mechanical filter.   Note that at the input and at the output there is a coil.  This coil creates from the signal a varying magnetic field.  Because of the principle of magnetostriction, this field causes the resonators/rod assembly to flex and vibrate, much like a musical tuning fork.  At the output, this means that inside the core of the output coil there is a piece of metal vibrating at the signal frequency.  This will produce an output signal.  

But take a look at my little mechanical resonator.  Where are the input and output coils?  
THERE ARE NONE!  See those little rectangular things at either end?  Those are piezo-electric crystals that are MECHANICALLY connected to the disc/rod assembly.  So when the signal comes in, it is applied electrically to the piezo material which then physically vibrates. This vibration passes through the filter and to the piezo device at the other end. There the mechanical vibration results in an electrical signal at the output.  

So, I think it is time for you all to hang your heads in shame. Perhaps go to the doctor to see if you still have The Knack. Ask for forgiveness from the radio gods.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

We have lost our spiritual leader: George Dobbs G3RJV, SK

Yesterday we received the very sad news that George Dobbs, G3RJV has died. 

I think it is no exaggeration to say that with George's passing, we have lost our spiritual and  philosophical leader.  The founder of the G-QRP Club and Editor of our beloved SPRAT journal, George took his strong technical skills and his talent for writing and combined it with the wisdom about life that came from his religious vocation. He was a prolific writer and speaker, and in all his work you will find a unique combination of the technical and the philosophical.  Not only did he teach us how to build our own rigs, but he taught us why we should build them.  

We talk a lot about tribal knowledge -- George was definitely the source of much of that.  But he went beyond that and also became a major source of what we can call tribal wisdom.  He was one of our tribal elders. Instead of speaking to the tribe around a roaring fire, George spoke to us through SPRAT, through articles in other ham magazines, through his books, and through his talks at rallies and hamventions, many of which have been preserved in YouTube videos.  George's friend Tony Fishpool sent us the one embedded below. 

We are of course very sad to see George go, but we can all take comfort in the fact that he will -- through his writings and through his recorded talks -- remain with us. For years to come people who feel a strange urge to build their own radio equipment will find themselves reading George's work or listening to recordings of his melodious voice.   They will find there not only the needed technical information, but also the encouragement and tribal wisdom needed to carry on.  There will be a bit of George Dobbs in all their rigs.  In that way G3RJV will stay on the air.  And I know that George would be delighted by that.  

73 G3RJV.     

Friday, March 8, 2019

Viking Rigs Save the Day!

I attribute the success to the Times Sequence Keying.  And, of course, to the analog VFO.  
Thanks again to Jeff Murray. 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

SolderSmoke Podcast #210 Boatanchors, Magnetostriction, VFOs, AM, CW, SSB, Mailbag

2 March 2019 

SolderSmoke Podcast #210 is available: 


Alexa, Marie Kondo, berets, and ham radio

Bi-Coastal Boatanchors
BATTLE CRY: The Vintage SSB Preamble! "We are NOT ashamed!" 
Bill's HT37 and Drake 2B 
Pete's National National NCX-3  TRGHS
Mechanical Filters
Why did Collins go with mechanical vice crystal filters? 
The foam deterioration syndrome in mechanical filters.  Sad. 
Please send any unwanted Mechanical Filters to Bill. 
BONUS QUESTION:   Look at the filter below.  What is different/special about this one?

Pete's antenna trouble
Pete's FB amplifier troubleshooting
Recent improvements in the uBITX finals
Pete's design for a VFO for Bill (and an indoor antenna tuner!)

Bill's VFO for Pete:  HRO dial and gearbox driving a rotary encoder

Guido PE1NNZ puts the QCX on SSB
"The Secret Life of Machines -- Radio"
HB HRO dial from DL6WD
WA1QIX's USB D-104
"The High Frequency Oracle" 
DeMaw's LC filter receiver
Godzilla and Ham Radio
Bill's poor quality SSTV images from space (what happened?) 
Listening to AM on an SSB receiver
Mixed feelings about CW 

M0KOV's mom took him to the doctor due to THE KNACK. 
M0JGH getting married (ALWAYS LISTEN TO PETE!) 
Jac's FB Receiver

What is different/special about this one?

Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column