Friday, October 30, 2009

Philmore Copper Antenna Wire

Philmore Manufacturing is now offering 14 AWG pure copper antenna wire for SWL, Ham Radio, and Crystal Sets, etc.
Included is a 1 page flyer with instructions for making a dipole antenna and dimensions for the ham bands as well as the short wave bands.

The copper wire is available in 50FT lengths, part number 15-630 and 100FT lengths, part number 15-635.

Street price is $18.00 to $30.00.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Source For Kit Builders

A new column has hit the pages of CQ magazine, Kit Building by Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB.

In the November edition, Joe starts out with Tips for Successful Kit Building. He includes some great ideas to make our building easier and much more organized. I especially like the idea of using a TV tray to do your building on, it keeps the parts from rolling off of the table. I do not know about you but my caps always seem to be running away from me right out of the bag.

A monthly column is a great way to promote and keep kit building alive.

Good Job CQ!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SolderSmoke Stuff

I put my order in for SolderSmoke - A Global Adventure in Radio Electronics by Bill Meara, N2CQR. They were having a 15% off sale this past weekend so I saved a few bucks and picked up what sounds like a good read for the colder weather ahead.

I have been listening to SolderSmoke the podcast for sometime now, and Bill does a super job.

Here's a few links to the blog and podcast:

The Paraset Transceiver

Here is a very nice 4 watt CW transceiver Paraset (Whaddon MK V11) built by Hakan F. of Sweden.

I originally met Hakan on a request for a few vernier dials he purchased from J-Tron back in June. He mentioned they were for a transceiver project he was building and was kind enough to send along a few photos. He told me the radio is in the testing stages now and working on getting his radio license.
The Paraset has a long history dating back to the second World War. This radio was built for Britain's Special Operation Executive which conducted espionage behind German lines. You have to admit this is cool stuff.

A quick google search brought up a few links with more info.

A very nice job Hakan!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Circuitbuilding For Dummies

I picked up Circuitbuilding For Dummies by H. Ward Silver at my local Library a few weeks ago. Overall a very useful book for the beginner or seasoned builder. This is the type of book where everytime you read it will pick up something new.

Table of Contents:
The Toolbox:
Basic tools, solderless breadboards, software tools.

Basic Techniques:
Metalworking, soldering, reading schematics.

Using a Solder less Breadboard:
Breadboarding an Audio Amplifier and Digital Timer.

Building a Printed Circuit Board:
Covers through-hole and surface mount boards.

Building a Prototype:
Building and constructing an audio level controller, audible alarm, and regulator.

Building from a Published Schematic:
Good info on Dead-Bug, Manhattan, and wire-wrap building.

Terminals and Connectors:
Crimp terminals, tools, and correct installation advise.

Wiring for Wireless Radio:
Covers coaxial connectors, type F, UHF, and BNC connectors.

Mastering Power:
Covers AC switches, fuseholders, and plugs.
Audio and Sensitive Connections:
Installing phono plugs and microphone connectors.

Meet the Test Equipment:
Voltmeters, testers, probes, scopes, all the good stuff.

Measurements That Test Your Circuit and Projects:
Ohm's Law, checking and testing transistors, measuring voltage, current, and resistance.

Who Let the Smoke Out?:
Trouble shooting and debugging basics. Diagnosing audio problems.

Maintaining Your Cool Stuff:
Maintaining your electronic equipment.

Getting a Charge Out of Batteries:
A overall good write up on battery basics.

Electronics in Motion:
All about mobile installations.

Getting Rid of Interference and Noise:
Dealing with interference and installing high-pass filters and chokes.

Ten Circuitbuilding Secrets:
A nice list of helpful ideas.

Ten Circuit First-Aid Techniques and Supplies:
Great hints and tips for the builder.

Tons more useful stuff in every chapter, I even like the listing to a distributor for hard to find items. In a future write up I add to the list of where to go for the hard to find stuff.

This is a great book to keep on the shelf within easy reach when working on a project and need to a quick refresher on using a scope or new idea. I plan to pick up a copy soon since I had to return this one.

Cuicuitbuilding For Dummies is a keeper.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Evening Post

Now that the colder weather is on its way time to start thinking about a few indoor projects.

I was going through a box of old QST mags in the basement and came across two that caught my eye. The September 2000 has a review of the MFJ QRP-Cub Transceiver. The ARRL has a special bundle pack which includes the Low Power Communications book with the 40-Meter CW Cub Transceiver kit for $99.00. The idea of a small radio, wire antenna, battery, and key in a backpack sounds pretty cool.

Another article that I came across was in the July 2001 QST, a home brew Miracle Whip. I know this has been described as a dummy load but I have read a few interesting positive things about this whip. The bands have not exactly been on fire these days but it would be neat to play around with this on low power.

Tonight I plan on reading a few of the articles and see what I am in store for.

On the radio front will try my hand on CW tomorrow afternoon and maybe fire up the soldering iron.

This week I saw a flock of birds heading south, won't be long now. Burr.