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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

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Is Heathkit back?

Posted on Aug 25, 2013 | Comments Off on Is Heathkit back?

So I went to a Tailgate Fest sponsored by the Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club today. I didn’t find anything I was looking for because I wasn’t looking for anything, but did see a lot of interesting stuff. The one that caught my eye was a complete Heathkit amateur radio station with transceiver, speaker, ‘scope, and tuner. It was nice and clean and functional. And boy did it bring back memories! I was a very avid Heathkit builder back...

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Tracking down bad caps

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 | Comments Off on Tracking down bad caps

I just added a new tool to the workbench and I’m loving it: Atlas ESR70. I work on a lot of power supplies, computers, transceivers,  LCDs, printers (you get the drift, right?) and find that capacitors don’t always have to “leak” to be bad. Here’s a pic of some bad capacitors. Easy enough to spot the bad ones, right? After replacing the three bulging caps though, the system did not come up. The ESR meter allows me to test for...

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Posted on Jul 28, 2013 | Comments Off on Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

So I went to the Portage Amateur Radio Club HamFair today (7/28/13) to see what nifty little pieces, parts and gadgets I could pick up on the cheap. And I did find some inexpensive variable capacitors. Check out this bounty for $6 bucks: Unfortunately, this hamfest wasn’t that well attended or participated and I was all done walking through all the tables and car trunks. . . three times in 90 minutes. I even caroused around with some of...

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A Fun Project: TV-B-Gone

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 | Comments Off on A Fun Project: TV-B-Gone

OK, so I had a pretty full junk box with bits and pieces, and a sorta full parts bin, when I came across TV-B-Gone. It’s a small kit that gives you soldering practice and gets you familiar with electronic circuitry. Since I had all the parts except for the circuit board and microcontroller, that’s all I ordered.  It took longer to gather all the parts than it took to solder it all together! Over at Adafruit, they offer a...

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pcDuino and PyDuino

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 | Comments Off on pcDuino and PyDuino

Now here’s a board that looks real interesting. . . .the pcDuino! It’s a mini-PC that is Arduino compatible. You can actually write Arduino code, compile and run the code on the pcDuino. Cool, huh? While exploring the pcDuino I stumbled upon PyDuino. . . .a library that ports the Arduino language syntax to Python script.  You reach the digital and analog I/O pins on your pcDuino as you would with Arduino, except you code in Python.  So now you...

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Ideas for an Arduino Project

Posted on May 10, 2013 | Comments Off on Ideas for an Arduino Project

I’m always looking for something to do with my Arduino. Sure necessity is the mother of invention, but sometimes I just want to build something to learn what is going on inside the circuit and why a certain part is used in a certain place. Discovery and learning, I love that! Here’s some cool stuff going on. Now it’s a matter of deciding which one to explore. It’s always fun to explore. . . even if it does go...

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TS930s goes digital

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 | Comments Off on TS930s goes digital

After playing with the TS930 for a week or so, I found that I can not interface to a computer since there was no RS232 or USB interface. I wanted to use a computer based logbook, DXLab,  to keep records of my QSOs and keep track of QSLs. That was not to be. The big problem with the 930 is that it that the radio wasn’t designed for computer control, and lacks any sort of computer port.  That’s what I get for buying...

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Got ’em

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 | Comments Off on Got ’em

I got my new call: W8AJV and I got my Kenwood TS-930s. The only thing missing is an antenna!  I’m excited with the new radio. All I did was connect a long wire to the antenna jack and started to tune around. Listened in to some QSO’s, a lot of them one-sided because all I could pick up was the close by ham but I could tell they were talking with a DX station. Oh man, I want that...

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Still waiting

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 | Comments Off on Still waiting

Still waiting for my vanity call sign. But in the mean time I got the itch to go HF. . . .10, 15 and 20 meters were calling me. The cost of new rigs were way more expensive than I remembered so I trekked on over to eBay. Transceivers were available but still expensive. Patience is the key when shopping on eBay so I just set up some searches and watchlists and started reviewing the various items on sale. I...

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