ShopTalk: Migration Path for CNC, .STL Designs

Daylight Time dawns over America.  Yet-another example of the Grand National Delusion we’re under. As the Native American  sage explained:  “White man the only ones who cut a foot off the bottom of their blankets and sew it on the top – and then claim their blanket is longer…” Or, as this once IAM-751 R&E mechanic was taught:  “If you don’t like the Work Rules, bring it up to the Shop Steward.” Of course, that …

Read more

Mask Notes, ShopTalk on Workflow, and a Meissner

I’m trying to write shorter – more useful – columns.  Because as Elaine’s mobility has “wound-down” prior to hip surgery, I’m been spending less time “in the chair” than usual.  And more time playing lead in the local production of the “Odd Couple”.  (Planned for release as “The Bunny and the Geek.”) Masks Work Better than Thought You should have figured by now that my son, George II, is heading up an Incident Management team …

Read more

Trumps Kicks the Can

Signs a Lame “Relief” Bill President Trump last night did the unexpected:  he signed the new CV-19/budget and relief bill which – while doing little for CV-19 – manages to be a goldmine for foreign aid and special interests along with keeping government open through September. This is the $600 check version.  The House is due to take up the $2-grand version today.  But don’t hold your breath – it’s mostly show and little to …

Read more

Ham Radio Super Antenna – Plans, Build, Results

A Convenience Store Based Antenna Ham radio operators world-wide would love an antenna that is cheap, easily built out of locally available parts – and outperforms both standard dipole antennas and other commonly-built wires.  Well, here it is…. After almost a year of modeling our ideas for a “Super Antenna” the design was locked.  It was built and put on the air during the CQ Worldwide contest last week. It was a pile-up buster. (To non …

Read more

SATR: The Science of Buying, Creative Magic

SATR simply means:  “Sunday Around the Ranch” where we cover a  hugely and bigly of stuff going on in our lives.  I have almost a dozen items on the list this morning including the art of buying things, LookingOutsidethOftheBox has before and after pix of his “cardboard bar” which is nearing completion.  Plus the gobs of stuff here that make for an “interesting existence.” Ure’s “Science of Shopping” Since we talked about “Investing in Happiness” …

Read more

Sunday Advance Preps: Ham Gear & Sharpening Tools

While we’re waiting for the market to crater tomorrow…  [May load slow due to length and a zillion graphics]  This may be a bit on the “longish” today, so if you need to pee or get coffee…better do that first.  We’ll wait for you…. Four topics this morning:  Best first ham radio stations, how to bug-out program a 2-meter rig, one of our “Lost Industrial Arts” discussions of tool sharpening, and last but now least …

Read more

Ham Radio Prepping: Quest for the Extra Decibel

I have made an AMAZING discovery.  But, unless you’re an electronics engineer, with an emphasis on RF design, this would be gibberish without first attending “Antenna School.”  So let’s do that.(..beats watching riots.) If you’re new to ham radio, I will lay this out as directly as possible – in order – because the name of the game in ham radio is?  Making every watt  count.  Two of three times?  Well, we can do that …

Read more

Radio Prepping: Ham Radio “Super Antenna II”

Ure is a gen-u-ine QRQ Extra Class Ham Radio geek.  QRQ means high speed Morse Code and some of us believe it enables a “direct digital” part of the brain.  Extra Class because there’s no higher certification offered.  And geek?  You don’t need help on that part… What is a Super-Antenna A Super-Antenna is something anyone can make and easily deploy, costs less than $200-bucks, and has amazing performance. Super-Antenna I, which I put up …

Read more

Prepping: Antenna School 101 and 605

This being a holiday weekend, a young man’s heart turns to what?  Ham Radio Antennas, of course!!! Antennas 101:  Short Course In the event of an actual emergency, there are really only two antennas that work, provide reasonable gain and don’t require fancy ground systems to radiate pretty well. HF Bands:   On the 80-10 meter ham bands from 3.5 to 29 MHz, or so, the easiest antenna is called a “dipole.”  Fed with a …

Read more

Prepping: Ham Radio Weekend (2 of 2)

In the Saturday report we got into the basics of restoring an old transmitter.  Like restoring an old car, what could be so hard, right? Well…Let’s sit back and take a look at the radio chassis after taking off the front panel: This is after taking the sheet metal off from around the “tuning knob” (VFO = variable frequency oscillator) in the middle of the chassis. A series of long stand-off spacers holds it above …

Read more