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

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 in the 60’s to 80’s era….my first ham radio, my first VTVM, my first oscilloscope, and my first computer, among a whole bunch more. I loved putting those kits together, testing them and then using. But Heathkit eventually went out of business, several times if I remember correctly. And I sold off each of those kits over the years for bigger,...

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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 complete kit with board and all parts you’ll need. But, if you really don’t want to mess with learning how to solder, jump over to Amazon and get a TV-B-Gone Universal TV Power Remote Control Keychain for about the same cost. Now the fun part is going to your favorite (or not-so-favorite) TV retailer and browsing around the  wall of 3 to 4...

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Reconstituted Ham!

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Reconstituted Ham!

It’s been 27 years since I could last call myself a ham. I got my Novice licence in 1969 (WN8EGB) and quickly upgraded to General class amateur radio operator WB8EGB. Back then you had to travel to an FCC Field Office for testing, where first you were administered a Morse code test, 5 words per minute for Novice and 13 WPM for General. I think the 20 WPM requirement for Extra class kept me away from “going all the way.” I was very active in the early 70’s, my high school years and into college. But then came a time to get a job. . . .and get married. . . . and have kids. . . and forget about all the fun I had with electronics and ham radio. Although I was inactive in the early 80’s I should have at least kept my...

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