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Showing posts from October, 2019

When you know Stuff, You can do Stuff #2!

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When you know stuff -- you can do stuff!

When you know Stuff, You can do Stuff!

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A Reflection on our Hobby!First and foremost we must recognize that for most ham radio  enthusiasts it is a hobby. Yet, for some in our ranks it is a stepping stone to a business. Many, if not most, well known lines of ham equipment had their roots in a ham's garage or basement shack. Collins, Drake, hallicrafters, FLEX and Elecraft come to mind. 

We also should not forget the modern day counterparts like Ashar Farhan and Hans Summers with the Bitx and QCX.
The founder's of these companies knew "stuff" well before they came up with the 3000 menus to operate their rigs. 
My particular "burr under the saddle" is that many of today's hams know the 3000 menu's; but nothing about their rigs, how they operate or how to tell there is a problem with their equipment. Regrettably many of these same recent vintage hams currently hold the US "Extra" class license.
I have received some email telling me to "knock off" denigrating the newly minted …

A letter sent to DX Engineering

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Are we being manipulated by the Ham Radio Manufacturers?Here is a letter that was sent to DX Engineering?


If after reading this you have similar views --why not drop K3LR a note at the DX Engineering website "Contact Us" tab. I am sure he would love to hear from others in the ham homebrew community who like me see $4K for a Appliance Box as being out of step with our true ham roots which are now over 100 years old!

10/26/2019 ~ PPS (Pre Post Script). 

When you have the innovative and experimental mindset, then it is possible to add some new technology to fix problems with older radios. One does not learn that by knowing the 3000 menus in the IC7300. A Ten Tec Model 540 had a completely broken dial cord mechanism. Yes. radios used to have dial cord mechanisms. 


The message here is "when you know stuff, you can do stuff"! Working Contests and Operating may not give you the skill sets to pull this off. Watch the video...




October 23, 2019

Dear Tim, K3LR


Thank you for sending …

ZL2BMI Challenge Rig

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Hmmm... There WAS a Quid Pro Quo! Source: Mick Mulvaney!
BUT! It was just a little bit of Quid Pro Quo!













Fit Check of the Boards to meet the ZL2BMI Challenge Rig!
But first a sharing of a bad experience (much like having an emperor [with a small e] ruining this country) I had on 40 Meters the other day. My friend Bill, N2CQR has been making CW contacts running a mere 80MW on 40 Meters. 
Not to be outdone I removed the IRF510 stage from one of my homebrew SSB transceivers and got on the air with 500MW SSB. I awaited a very strong station to sign and then gave him a call. He acknowledged my call sign and then I asked for a signal report since I was only running 500 MW.
His response was astonishing: He said I should get off the air as my low power caused him to increase the gain on his receiver which in turn made his shack noisy. Get a decent rig was his final comment! There was absolutely no comment about a bad signal --it was just a weak signal. He probably was wearing his MAGA hat too!
His c…

"The emperor (with a small e) told me there was no quid pro quo!

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Four Pole Crystal Filters!I hate homebrew crystal filters! They are difficult to build and unless you have: A decent process to build one andDecent equipment to measure what you have built you will be doomed to failure. A typical result failing 1 & 2, does and will sound like crap.
Given the recent article in the GQRP SPRAT by ZL2BMI for a tramping SSB transceiver I have given pause to building another small transceiver --- very small. It is a sort of challenge from ZL2BMI as in a recent round of emails between Eric & myself resulted in his stating: "Mine is SMALLER than Yours". 

I shared that my shirt pocket SSB transceiver is only 16 cubic inches to which he shared that his rig is less than that and that it has an OLED display. Mine used a crystal switched VXO covering only about 60 kHz of 20M. His is a tri-bander for 160-80 -40 Meters. 
So you now know where I am headed.
Firstly I did build a four pole filter using 4.9152 MHz crystals. You can see the plot below! Man…

It is like the very famous Agatha Christie Novel...

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[Thomas Paine Must Have Had Future Vision!]
As I sit riveted to cable news, one thought keeps surfacing, that great movie based on Agatha Christie's novel. Yes, I am talking about Murder on the Orient Express!
The ending of the movie shows clear evidence that they all did it!

Wow that was a shocker! Now we have those foreign country scandals and more players are "being rounded up in the list of usual suspects". (Like in the movie Casablanca.)
Is it possible that the drag net becomes so large and snares so many that the final outcome is we have the first female President? Wow that is sure to give rise to a lot of sleepless nights for the emperor (small e) and his retinue. Look what the dragnet turned up. Some in the Italian community are now calling Rudy IINO (Italian In Name Only).




My soldering iron is cold as I try to keep a scorecard of who is who on the list of alleged suspects.

Is there that one possibility --they all did it? 

We also think of that famous line from Shakespe…

There is just Something about Innovative Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical Engineering in our Radios, Rigs and RADIGS


Being hams, we often think about the electronic hardware in our rigs. Does it have an IRF510 in the Output or a Real RF Device like a RD06HHF1? Is it being "Run" with a digital VFO or one of those drifty, shifty Analog boxes.
BUT we often forget that some of these beloved radios rely heavily on our brother Mechanical Engineers to make it all play. You only need to look at James Millen who did all of the ME on the HRO receivers. Or pop the hood on that Collins R390A and savor the mechanical tuning mechanisms. Perhaps you overlooked the same in your KWM-2 or Drake TR-4. The ganged tuning of various networks is a marvel. Hey don't forget the SBE-33/34 and the "Geneva" Turret tuning arrangement.
But there is a special place in my shack for those really "cool guys" at Ten Tec. If you perhaps have some earlier Ten Tec radios like the 505, 509 or 540 that string driven dial system was pure Mechanical Enginee…