ShopTalk Sunday: Ham T.W.A.P.* and Drones

* Turkey Weekend Antenna Project This weekend, rather than do the traditional S.S.T. Sandwich (also known as a Hot Brown) we instead head into the outdoors to field test a new antenna design I came up with a while back. It’s not as boring as it may sound. I will keep it simple, too, so everyone … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Electronics Workbench

All three tube-type oscilloscopes are gone.  So’s a signal tracer, two full-sized vacuum tube voltmeters (VTVM’s). And an early Heathkit Signal generator. Poof.  In a cloud of fury powered by Mrs. Olson. Headed to eBaying in future weeks. (Email me if interested.) I’ve decided that for the balance of my seventies, I’m going to focus … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Survival Radio – ATS-25 School

Today, we’re going to turn you into a competent basic radio operator.  It may be a much longer report than usual, but it’s a four-day weekend for many, so what the hell, right? Much of this morning’s discussion will apply to radios other than the ATS-25 (and its many variants) that may be purchased on … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Buggy 3D Prints at Invention Alley

A short rap on Mental Topologies is a useful (Big Brain People) prequel today. “Regular” understanding of IQ as a semi-Gaussian normal distribution” among humans is oh so terribly flawed I could just wet myself. See, dimensioning humans (rendering concepts down to 2D) is hopeless Reductionism for the mentally short-changed. Multispectral Humanity becomes apparent as a … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Ben Dover’s Shop Economics, Tour d’ Works

Money first.  Then a ton of interesting projects that keep us busy.  We’ll do a “photo-stroll” around the shop (as of Tuesday morning) so you can get more of a feel for what Making and Doing are like outside the confines of cubicles and 300 square-foot living spaces.  And why retired is usual just tired. Hosed … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Ham Radio Safety Chokes, ALZ Lite (3)

With the return of George2 (KF7OCD) to family lands, the interest in having a “rock-em-sock-em winter on the low frequency ham radio bands is back in focus. There’s a whole PowerPoint on what needs to be done.  But when it’s warm is a great time to launch antennas into trees. Or, climbing gear-equipped sons. It’s axiomatic … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Anti-Alz. Light Assembly, Stacked Projects

Sorry to report the anti-Alzheimer’s light project (designed to flick at 40 Hz to potentially improve cognition) didn’t get completely finished this week.  Too little time and too much else going on. But we did make a good start on assembly, so let’s go from there. We begin with the pile of parts.  (See last … Read More

Flying America into a Crash, Woo-Woo, 3D Afterthoughts

Maybe one more uptick to go this week before things get “interesting.” See, there are many parts to the game of Musical Chairs – subtext “the Blame Game” – being played now: The GOP budget no-go-ciators are trying to unwind the Buy’ed Em madness hamstringing of America’s energy independence.  The dim’s are going-along with the … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: An Anti-Alzheimer’s Experimental Build

Yes, we are going to build something (first of 2 parts today) but there is a TON of important background to wrap-around before heading into the shop. So, from the beginning…NONE OF THIS IS MEDICAL ADVICE. You are reading ravings of a crazy man – pure and simple – right? We have, over the years, … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Our Free CNC Build Notebook

Yeah, well…since we do call this the ShopTalk column, every once in a so-often, we like to actually build something.  Big, important, flexible, resilience oriented toward local manufacturing and sustainability builds. What we’re doing today is a whole “soup to nuts” build of a Sainsmart 3018 Pro CNC that I’ve had sitting in the project queue … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Projects and Keto

With the return of G2 to family lands this past week, we’ll start with the father-son diet challenge part. Because I’ve watched my son’s approach to dieting and it’s really interesting.  Almost Goggins-like hard core… When left (gun-banning) Washington State, he was about 200 pounds.  A week later he was at 184.  The secrets he used … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Brightwork – Joy or Curse?

Since I lived full-time on my 40-foot offshore capable sailboat for nearly a dozen years up and down the West Coast, I should begin with a sailing story. When I bought the boat (following a legendary expensive divorce), it was a dandy cross between Peter Pan’s adventures and living in Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude.” Just like … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Time-Expanded Wiring & a Media Rant

Although I got the major PITA project I’ve been putting off partly done Saturday, the real satisfaction came from wiring up the BBQ outlet this week. However, it was a fine study in how “little projects” can turn into Big ones on the clock. The idea sounded simple enough.  We had run an extension cord from … Read More

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