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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A Paraset and the Heathkit SG-6 Signal Generator (Video)

Mike WU2D put out this nice video (above) about whether or not he should part out his Heath SG-6 signal generator, using the parts in a Paraset construction project.  I faced a similar question years ago: 


I just solid stated the SG-6.  I was influenced by Farhan and the drinking straws that he picked up with his kids at a McDonalds in Hyderabad. 

As with the QF-1, I say to Mike: GO FOR IT OM!  You need those parts for other projects.  Don't feel bad about the SG-6.  But keep that switched coil assembly -- it is quite useful. 

Ham Radio Workbench: Stuffing Digital Stuff Into Poor Old Boatanchors

Let me start by saying that I LIKE Ham Radio Workbench.  But I found a lot in the current edition that I disagreed with.  The whole panel seems to be chuckling at the older gear.  And the guest is from... Flex radio.   So what do you expect?  The title was "Radio Rejuvenation" -- I expected something different.  I thought we'd hear more about how to get old tube radios going.  Instead, the  focus seems to have been on how to take an old radio and stuff an RTL dongle, or a Raspberry Pi, or a Flex radio in there.  Yuck.  

At one point they are laughing at old magic eye tubes!  They wonder if there is a digital way of recreating this tube in digital form.  Sorry fellows, that has already been done: 


Even an analog guy like me spotted that one. 

Here is the show:  


But hey, like I always say:  To each his own.  I'm sure many people like this approach.  It is just not for me. 

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Will KI4POV on QSO Today with Eric 4Z1UG

I really liked Eric's interview with Will KI4POV:  


Will has appeared on this blog and podcast before: 


There were a lot points in Eric's interview with Will that resonated with me: 

-- Will told about how his very understanding and perceptive wife KNOWS when a homebrew project is not going well.  Yea, we have the same situation here!

-- Will mentions the wisdom of Wes Hayward, Doug Demaw, and Pete Juliano.  

-- Eric mentioned that there is a bit of his own blood in most of his homebrew projects. One slip of he screwdriver is often enough.  My projects also often have a bit of my A+ in them.  This adds soul to the new machine. 

-- Will spoke of S-38s and HW-8s.  I have both these devices here with me in the Dominican Republic. I  have used both of them here.

-- Will mentioned the magic that comes when you listen with a receiver you built yourself.  Yes. 

-- NanoVNA.  Yes, very useful.  

Lots more great stuff in this interview.  Thanks Eric and thanks Will. 

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Electronic Toys and Their Influence on Us

Mike WU2D recently put out this interesting video.  I vaguely remember the springs on the Radio Shack kits -- I also remember (bitterly) not being able to get their shortwave receiver to work.   I really wanted to tune in HCJB and Radio Moscow.  This probably led me to ask Santa for a Lafayette HA-600A receiver in 1973 or so. 

An earlier influence was the little intercom kits.  I think they worked over the AC lines?   We took some of them to the beach bungalows we had in Lavallette NJ.  With them we were able to speak clearly to similar units in nearby bunalows.  Wow, that was cool. That got me interested in radio. 

Cassette tape recorders were another early influence. I still have a recording I made with a tape recorder I got for Christmas, probably in 1972.  I used this recorder to practice CW for the ham exam. 

I managed to escape the CB madness.   But I came close to falling into the groovy psycho stuff of the early 1970s.  I remember the Transcendental Meditation gizmos.  I never built one, but if I had I may have been better off with CB. 

I kind of wish I had followed the example of the Woz and Jobs by making telephone blue boxes.  This could have led me to riches.  But as Jean Shepherd used to say, young men often come to a fork in the road: one path leads to wealth, the other to ham radio flea markets.  I got on the second path.  

Thanks Mike! 


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