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Thursday, February 28, 2013

73 -- The BEST Number

My kids watch this show.   This appears to be one of the only interesting comments to come from it:

"The best number is 73. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror (37) is the 12th and its mirror (21) is the product of multiplying, 7 and 3. ... In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1001001 which backwards is 1001001."

-Dr. Sheldon Cooper, (Jim Parsons), "Big Bang Theory"

"Just to invite your attention to "73" in Morse code--also a palindrome."

-W9JEF


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kludge Controversy Continues


Forget about the sequester!  The real issue facing our country is the proper pronunciation of the word Kludge.   Several visitors to the SolderSmoke table at last weekend's Winterfest weighed in on this issue.   SolderSmoke Lexicographer Steve Silverman wrote to inform me that I had totally misinterpreted his e-mail -- he is in fact rather firmly in the Klooge as in Stooge camp.  I, however, am sticking to Kludge as in Fudge.  It just feels right.  And I may use the awesome power of the SolderSmoke media empire to actually CHANGE the way people pronounce this word.

Check out the California Kilowatt ad.  In retrospect, probably a poor choice of brand name.


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Sunday, February 17, 2013

SolderSmoke Podcast #149


Podcast #149 is now available:  http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke149.mp3

17 February 2012

IGY intro
Cappuccio turns off TV on New Year's Eve
Pre-inaugural day on the National Mall
The importance of audio bandwidth in DSB rigs
On 15 meters with the HT-37 and the Drake 2B
Q Killing and Swamping
Adding a Filter the Mighty Midget Receiver
Italian lessons via Echolink
Billy and the Raspberry Pi -- Three Cheers for Ada Fruit
Translate Button on the Blog page (upper right)
C.F Rockey SK
Mailbag: Kludge or Klooge?  



Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Carl Sagan, Astronomy, and the Zen Pencil


We presented Carl Sagan's beautiful "Pale Blue Dot" quote back in September 2011, along with a nice video.    This week a friend in Kathmandu sent me a link to a web site called The Zen Pencil.   This fellow takes great quotes and draws cartoons to accompany them.   I liked his cartoon for The Pale Blue Dot:

http://zenpencils.com/comic/100-carl-sagan-pale-blue-dot/ 


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Saturday, February 9, 2013

SolderSmoke Blog in Gujarati, Arabic, Chinese (and many others)!

SolderSmoke الأخبار اليومية
خدمة المجتمع في جميع أنحاء العالم من الراديو الإلكترونية من يقومون بذلك. تقديم الدعم إلى بلوق بودكاست

Pretty cool, don't you think?    This morning I added a little Google Translate button to the SolderSmoke Daily News.  It is in the upper right.  This makes the blog available in many, many languages.  I made a quick check of the translation to Italian and Spanish -- not bad.  Not perfect, but not bad. 

Please spread the word, especially to Knack victims who may have been struggling with English.  (Use the little e-mail button at the bottom of this post.)

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Sunday, February 3, 2013

On 15 with HT-37 and Drake 2B

W7FE's Shack and Hex Beam

After I replaced the 6U8 first mixer tube on the trusty Drake 2-B I tuned around a bit on 15 meters.  IZ4NIC was loud, all the way from Bologna.  I gave him a call and we had a nice QSO in Italian.  then I talked to F4GBU.  I was using my 40 meter dipole, but I thought I might do better with my 17 meter dipole (it is higher up in the trees).  I called CQ 15 and got into a very nice QSO with Jim, W0JLG in Wichita.  Jim has a very impressive collection of Boatanchors.  We were soon joined by Stu, W7FE.  Stu was using a Central Electronics 100v from the early 1960s.  Wow, the three of us had a nice long contact. 

The QSO was a real trip down memory lane for me:  My sister Trish is visiting us.  We had been talking about how when we were kids she would come into the shack to watch me try to talk to people... with the very same HT-37 and Drake 2B.  I was 15 and she was 10.   That was 39 years ago!  Here we were again, sitting in front of the same old rig.   It was a lot of fun.

Stu has some great info on his very impressive radio shack.  You guys will really enjoy a visit to his QRZ.com site:  http://www.qrz.com/db/W7FE   

And check out his switching system for all those rigs: http://www.qsl.net/w7fe/ 

Wow,  his site makes me want o move out to the shed and put up a hex beam! 

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rich Arland's "Commo Bunker"

Well known QRP author Rich Arland has launched a new blog called "The Commo Bunker."   I'm pleased that one of his first articles deals with Boatanchor radios in general and the Drake 2B in particular.

Check out his blog: http://commobunker.blogspot.com/

Rich's article came at a good time for me, because today's task in the SolderSmoke HQ shack is fixing my suddenly deaf Drake 2B.  Without even taking it out of the case, I think I have most of the troubleshooting done:  signals make it through, but very weak.  And the S-meter is now resting far below zero.  The S meter is a bridge circuit that looks at current through the RF amp stage (V1) and the IF amp (V5).  So my guess is one of these tubes has gone soft.  This should be an easy fix.

I have a nostalgic reason for fixing this rig.  My sister is visiting us. When I was 15 and she was 10  she would sometimes sit with me in the shack as I used the HT-37 and the 2B.   Those same rigs are still with me and we hope to make a few contacts with them this weekend. 

UPDATE:   I fixed the 2B.   V2, the 6U8 used as first mixer and crystal oscillator had gone soft.  This may also explain difficulties I had in getting the rig to work with a crystal in the E band socket.


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20
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