Podcasting since 2005! Listen to Latest SolderSmoke

Saturday, October 31, 2020

SolderSmoke Podcast #226 The U.S. Election, Solar Cycle, uSDX, Hermes, HP8640B, SGC 600 Sig Gen, HA-600A, Mailbag

SolderSmoke Podcast # 226  



About the U.S. election


Mars:  Setting early, will have to shift to evening observation.  Weather has been poor. 

Sunspot Cycle 25 is underway -- SFI 78, SN 32  

The Gliessberg cycle

Pete's Bench:  #49,  #50,  uSDX,  Hermes Lite

Bill's Bench: HP8640B,  Global Specialties Corp 6000 counter, Lafayette HA600A.


Peter VK2EMU Sent me copy of 1947 Handbook.  Thanks Peter

Brad W1BCC Spotted 10 S-38s for 80 bucks on Craig’s list.  What’s going on here? 

Dale K9NN sent both Pete and I care packages with very cool part, including DG Mosfets

Stuart ZL2TW sent me Les Moxon’s Antenna Book.  TRGHS. Moxon will be back! 

Alvin N5VZH got his receive converter with a little Tribal Knowledge from SS. 

GM4OOU The Bitsy DSB rig from Scotland

Peter VK3YE DSBto DC incompatibility SOLVED

Paul VK3HN's Digital SWR and Power Meter and Low band AM TX VFO/Controller FB Videos. 

VK2BLQ alerts us to article about Jac Holzman of Elektra Records. 

AA0ZZ great message on assembler language and writing software the hard way. 


  1. Just listened to the show while I was spreading straw over some new grass seed. I am itchy now. Bill Nye the Science Guy shared your Trump/Science views too. Here is his podcast. Randy, K7AGE


  2. Bill and Pete - really love your shows and have been listening since you started. I truly wish that you had thought twice before you decided to dive into politics. I would hope ham radio could remain a largely politics-free zone but I guess that is not to be. We don't need more voices that divide us.

    I have dear ham radio friends on both sides of the isle and as a scientist and engineer can attest that neither side has a lock on science. Global warming denial, anti GMO and anti nuclear advocates are all ignoring science.
    73's Jim- WB4HYY

  3. Jim: We gave it a lot of thought. The SolderSmoke podcast has been on for more than 14 years. This is the first time we have felt compelled to say something about an election. I think the fact that this is the first time we've done this says something about the gravity of the situation we face.

    This is not an ordinary election. I think Trump represents an existential threat to our democracy; it would be wrong -- three days before the election -- to just focus on our radios and pretend that this threat doesn't exist. So we spoke out. I think it was our duty as citizens to do so. I hope a few people do what we asked. 73 Bill

  4. I appreciate your decision and comments regarding the election! Thanks for taking a stand for democracy.

  5. Bill and Pete:
    I am voting for the best president in my lifetime Tuesday. Guess we will have to agree to dis-agree. Neither of our votes are likely to change anything. Idaho is as likely to go Blue as Calif is to go Red!(although I remember when Calif was Red).
    I have listened to all of your podcasts and will continue to do so.

    Dave - WB6DHW

  6. Bill and Pete, I don't care who Kim Kardashian thinks the president should be,I don't care who Ted Nugent thinks the president should be and I don't care who Bill and Pete think the president should be. You've lost another listener.

  7. I am so over US politics. Its like the pox and infests all aspects of daily life. I am Australian, its been all over our news for months. Old white guy, old orange guy, we are sick and tired of hearing about it.

    Ham radio was one place i could escape the endless partisan torture. Very disappointed that you have broken the sanctity of ham radio being the last bastion of no religion, no politics.

    Very disappointed, you forget that you have international audience. America is not the centre of the universe.

    10 4 good buddy, Baxter out.

  8. The Solder is gone. Change the name to FodderSmoke.
    Your show was great entertainment. You gracefully highlighted the joy of oscillation.
    Your podcast was an escape from the daily grind and dismal outlook that the media continually feeds us.
    We are continually bombarded with political fodder from both sides.
    You have betrayed us lovers of the radio arts.
    You have introduced the ploy of pontifiction. Very clever.
    You will probably apologize. Maybe not, after all this is the most important election in the history of the world.
    In the future I will be ready with my dump button to avoid the next force feeding of your political views.
    More propaganda disguised as the truth.
    Great job SolderChoke.

  9. I've been listening since Episode 1.

    After all these years, and all their work for us, if we can't take a few minutes of Editorial Comment, we're a pretty weak and faithless crowd.

    You guys will have to pay to have me hauled off. Will be patiently waiting for the next episode.


    Brad WA5PSA

  10. Great Podcast as always but P L E A S E, stay on topic. Amateur Radio is my hobby, my enjoyment, my escape from the stupidity. I listen to your podcasts (every one) for tribal knowledge and inspiration from my Ham Hero's, not to be blatantly told what to think. Don't lower your excellent programme to their level. Strike one guys.

  11. Well, since you went there,
    Coming from my elders, I expected better.
    Look around at how all the media is controlled by just a few corporations. And you wonder why it is all the same? Look at how all the giant corporations have made themselves de-facto platforms, installed on every cellphone you buy. Now look at how they are censoring everything but what they dont agree with. Have we not learned anything from the past?

    Have you looked into Event 201? Operation Lockstep? Agenda21? Am I only allowed to believe Fauci, oh, wait a minute, all the other doctors that are saying its a fraud are being censored.

    Has anyone done any studies on the damage that has been done since the lockdown? The suicides? The foreclosures? The home abuse?

    Any studies been done on forcing an untrained population to wear a bio-hazard, likely spreading more germs than it is helping?

    Am I supposed to throw my common sense out the window and trust know liars? Id rather the US not end up like China with its social credit scoring system and mass surveillance, but I think it may be too late.

    You guys are way behind the curve, but keep drinking the kool-Aid.

    1. This is what happens Bill when you open ham radio to politics. It becomes another platform turned into a fuckwits for trump rally

    2. Bill,

      After a lifetime of service to the United States in the Army and the Foreign Service, you've earned the right to speak your mind in retirement. Pete as well, of course, for other kinds of service. I'm a retired professor of American History, so for some I'm one of the "elite" enemy, and nobody ever cared what I thought anyway. If I had an audience as you do, I'd feel duty-bound to speak as well.

      That said, I'm not going to listen to this episode until a while after the election--which probably won't actually be over for a few months. I'm too sick at heart and too demoralized by the state of affairs. I've long-since stopped going to club meetings (where I'm below the average age!) because I couldn't take the constant right-wing cant and jaded geriatric bleating.

      Fortunately, I carry MP3s of all the episodes of the Juliano Epoch on my cell phone. I listen to those all the time. It's clear you've made every effort over the years to keep politics out, but now is an exception justified by the circumstances. If you lose listeners as a result, that only means you've separated the wheat from the chaff and the dross from the gold. 73, Todd K7TFC

  12. I bet that was a hard decision to make, no doubt reinforced by the comments here.

    It's really easy to skip the politics if you don't like it people.

    Personally I think at this point a plea not to vote for trump is practically a public service announcement. Tough decisions about things that will have an immediate impact on loss of life need to be made. Trump isn't making them.

  13. Sorry Bill
    Keep politics out of amateur radio, I turned your podcast off.


  14. Bill and Pete,

    You guys are top notch, the best. I appreciate a good debate and I don't think amateur radio can be above the fray. We Deplorables get lectured plenty by the mainstream media, but I for one welcome a good debate and an occasional jab.

    I'm also a former U.S. Army veteran─Fort Gordon, 1981. I got my Ham ticket when I became an NCO because I knew that the Hams were the best Signal soldiers. They had the tribal knowledge.

    I truly hope that my own Arizona does not become a Blue State. I was not an admirer of the late Sen. John McCain─a politician for whom the epithet RINO fit like a glove.

    I wish that DJT really were the Machiavellian madman and Isolationist portrayed by CNN. Pretty rich to blame the man wanting to shut down the borders and ostensibly "putting kids in cages" for spreading Covid-19.

    Only 1 percent of Covid cases are acute, and the mortality rate is 3 percent of all of the cases worldwide that had an outcome. Let's not panic.

    For whatever his faults, DJT has done a better job minimizing what George Washington called Foreign Entanglements, especially the pointless Forever Wars of the past few administrations. John McCain and Hillary Clinton were particularly odious in the habit of advocating the misuse of the American military to seek what JQ Adams called Monsters to Destroy.

    This election, in the plague year, has been notable for the burning and looting of Democrat-run cities. The corporate news media shills try hard to blame it on the Deplorables, but I hope the electorate is not buying it. You present this election as an existential choice. I wish.

    From my observation, learning critical-thinking skills is far less of a priority nowadays than being a "woke" Social Justice Warrior.

    But the Left has a fundamental problem with Democracy, as you called it.

    They 1) tend to see their own literal violence as Freedom of Speech, and 2) they see their opponents' Freedom of Speech as literally violence.

    There isn't a lot of honest debate and dialog going on here, and not much respect for inter-generational tribal knowledge.

    I find it pretty rich when Democrats play the "Science is Real" card. Where is this secret hidebound tome of Science?

    What most caped Harry Potters don't seem to understand is that Science is a METHOD, a complicated human process of revision, not a reification of scripture. You make it all sound black & white.

    Quite a few Deplorables are actually scientists. My octogenarian Dad was the Senior Scientist who worked on reliability engineering problems like the Space Shuttle SRBs and Reactor meltdowns for the national laboratories. He helped do the modelling on a large Wind power array in Idaho as well, and is not fond of fossil fuels.

    I made the mistake of voting for the Clintons in 1992─and we all make mistakes. It was draft dodger Bill Clinton who cancelled the Integral Fast Reactor project as it neared maturity, thus wasting billions of dollars in research on clean nuclear energy.

    In my view, Democrats in general have no clue what to do about the anthropogenic climate change that they flail their arms wildly about. Some of them sound like 12-year-old Amy Carter lecturing the President on nuclear proliferation.

    We can agree to disagree on politics and I think you are wrong.


  15. Bill,

    A simple statement to remind your U.S. listeners to vote for the candidate THEY believe to the best choice would have been sufficient. I too agree that this is the most important election we have faced as a nation. However, don't tell me who to vote for. I'll make my own decisions and if I want your opinion on it, I'll ask. Instead you chose to use this platform to propagate your own political views.

    But I respect your own decisions, your political views, and your right to use this podcast as you see fit. I'll continue to be a listener as long as the content remains to that of amateur radio and electronics. If the political
    propaganda continues to wade in, I'll have to move out.

    I always enjoy your podcasts and the insight you and Pete provide to amateur radio and the electronics hobby/community.

    And old saying I've taken to heart; "Believe half of what you see, none of what you hear. Do your own research, stand firm on your beliefs, and vote from your heart."


  16. 'Show me where a man gets his corn pone and I will show you his politics.' ~Mark Twain

    This was once my escape from the political madness on both sides.... I will not be back.

    Harry, KM3D

  17. Another great one guys! Thank you.


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