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8/13/2022 Resurrection Radio. A "Basket Case/Tech Special" gets a new lease on Life!

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** Pucker Factor Alert! ** On a pucker scale of 1-10 this is a 10! Like the ad says it feels like you are passing a prickly pineapple! 8/13/2022 Update. For those who don't know the IF is at 9 MHz which enabled some fancy footwork with a 5 - 5.5 MHz VFO. The Tempo One has a port for a Remote VFO and a front panel switch selects options for Receiving or Transmitting with the external VFO source or using the internal VFO for both. This is a Hybrid rig with the VFO, Heterodyne Oscillator Board, Tone Oscillator and Voltage Regulation/Bias which are all solid state. In answer to one inquiry: I did it because I could, and most importantly I do not belong to the ARRL and thusly not focused on contests or operating! I Fix Stuff, Because I Know Stuff! [The Tempo One and the FT-200/250 are the same radio. One was marketed by Henry Radio and the other by Yaesu. As I understand it -- this radio was the radio of choice by the CB crowd as there are open crystal positions on the 10 Meter band swi

August 11, 2022, Update!

How to revitalize the hobby! Basically, not easily done and likely it is too late. [ August 11th, 2022, Update: An input to me following the concept of the greater ham community disassociating ourselves from the ARRL. The suggestion is to start a Google Group/You Tube channel for Hams. {I have been cautioned to avoid Tik Tok as it is controlled by the CIA (Chinese Intelligence Agency) and to have a moderated group to avoid the usual right wing nut jobs who fear being raided by the FBI.}  The Group.io would feature new technologies and projects that can be built by hams with simple tools. Subject areas would be selected that can explain the "why" things work. If you can fix stuff, you know stuff!] It is all a numbers game. The current ham population in the United States is about 3/4 of a million up slightly from 2015 which was over 700,000 (7 years). As I understand it there was about an 11% growth from 2005 to 2015. So, while growing, it is not growing like the Tik Tok users

Techie Stuff for those who know the Hot End of the Iron

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A Chance to Play Radio Detective! It seems like if I post technical stuff there are more views of the blog versus when I try to provoke a thoughtful question like why the ARRL is so focused on Contests and Operating! Perhaps the league itself is a victim of the dumbing down of the licensing requirements. So today harden not your heart for we have techie stuff at work. The issue is how to tune up a transmitter. Long ago I came up with some Arduino code where I can generate a 998 Hertz timed Pulsed Tone so I could adjust the rig for the best SWR. Old school schemes involved either unbalancing the carrier or the generation of tones akin to my Arduino approach. Collins used the tones as did many other manufacturers. But today we will cover a very challenging problem with a Japanese radio which used the tone method.  One of the boards in this radio had the voltage regulator for some of the other circuitry as well as the Tone Generator. This is shown below. In the very upper part of the sche

Update August 7, 2022: Appliance Boxes and the ARRL have killed Ham Radio!

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This is a Freedom of Speech Input. I am suggesting that Appliance Boxes and the ARRL have killed Ham Radio! [ I have heard from others who didn't see the ARRL Lab as anything other than a high-end radio demonstration facility! ARRL has lost sight of what created this hobby! That is what happens when you sell your soul! ] The following you tube video HERE  created by the ARRL touting their new ARRL Lab is the evidence. BTW they have a call sign W1HQ. A very bright and articulate YL Intern gives you the tour of the new ARRL Lab. My first point is that it is NOT a Lab but a Showroom for some of the latest expensive appliance box ham gear. One station position has an ICOM IC -9100 and the second position a couple of FLEX radios.  But you don't actually see the radios as they are in environmentally controlled cabinets. The actual operating position has two large screen monitors, a keyboard and a mouse. In one position is a key. This is really sterile looking and not the Ham Radio th

So, what is in your wallet? An advertisement transposed to our hobby.

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This question is indeed relevant as likely that new rig sitting on the operating desk was purchased with a credit card. Or in deference to the small (very small) minority who build their rigs most likely those bags of parts were also purchased with a credit card. Of import is what is in your wallet has funded a majority of your ham radio related purchases. It just so darn easy to flash the plastic and quite possibly the next day you will have that rig or a bag of parts sitting in front of you. Have fun now and pay later! I know a ham that is still paying off a credit card balance for a rig that was traded two rigs ago. It is just so darn easy. But hey e-commerce is great for the Chinese manufacturers and brings revenue to their advert agency, the ARRL.  Here is a parallel situation --you look in the refrigerator and see a bunch of stuff -- immediately your thoughts turn to what can I make with the "stuff" in the cold box. Translated to our hobby what can you build with what y

August 2, 2022 ~ More Good Stuff!

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More Tools for the Shack! But first a revelation that became apparent while involved in an unrelated matter. To do that we must float along to when I was 1st licensed in 1959. In the span of 6 weeks, I held three call signs. Initially two licenses showed up in late June of 1959 and those were KN3IXU and K3IXU, Novice and Technician. At that time, you could hold both licenses simultaneously as they had different privileges. In early August I took the General Class Test at the FCC Office in Pittsburgh and passed. The third was K3IXU, General Class. Even before taking the General Class Test, I bought a Heathkit Tener and the mobile power supply. The day my General arrived I was out in the family car running 10 Meter mobile! You see I had met on the air (40M Novice CW) several other local teenage hams and as luck would have it, we all had 10 Meter Mobile rigs.  Now mind you there was no Internet (Al Gore had not invented it as yet) nor cell phones (but as I would find out some 8 years late

July 31, 2022 ~ A Full-Throated Product Recommendation

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Go To soldersmoke.blogspot.com and using the Amazon Link buy this product. With almost 100% certainty when I make an amazing purchase on eBay, the item somewhere has rust. I should first quantify amazing: either it was amazing I was so stupid to buy the item or amazing that I got such a good deal. But the fact remains how to remove the surface rust? Here is the answer to a maiden's prayer. Note it is non-toxic, biodegradable and can be reused. I first purchased this product when I inadvertently left some Large C Clamps outdoors for a couple of months and yep rusted! I got a small tub. poured in the Evapo-Rust added and the C Clamps and two days later -- like new. That sold me but something more electronic is shown below -- a cover over a SSB transceiver final amp cage. After a cleanup with Evapo-Rust (a 24-hour soak) I used another product, you can order from N2COR's Blog is called Nevr-Dull and this is a cannister of cotton wadding that is soaked in a chemical that is guarant