HamTalk Saturday – Early ShopTalk

Peoplenomics is now up for subscribers, so for the masses, a couple of short, but interesting topics to glom onto.

The Oscilloscope Review II

As I told you recently, I ordered – and had to send back – a Vevor 7 inch LED oscilloscope.  The reason was there was an issue with the upper right corner of the screen and I could not see the entire thing.

With the first unit on its way back Amazon (God, their return policy is great for consumers – here’s hoping they never change it!) I was just going to save some money (or knock over a couple of banks) and get what I really wanted.  On the other hand, “instant gratification” at 75 years of age actually means something.

So, when the Vevor scope came up on Amazon after my return – with a 40 percent off coupon on an already $70 discounted scope, I leaped at it.

The unit showed up a week later and doggonit, same problem.  But not as bad this time. Take a look at this picture and you can see a piece of what looks like screen protector film sticking up:

What was different this time was I could get a small SMD tool under the film and pull it up.  Tah-dah!  The screen in the corner was working in this one.

Check it out:

Now I had a problem:  How often to brand new, 7″ color LED oscilloscopes land on your desk?  Never had the experience before.  Besides, I have a lot of Vevor “stuff” around the ranch.  We have one of their water distillers (works great) and several stainless steel tables, too boot.  They make (or brand) a lot of home products and I’d sure like to see them stay in the electronics space…

On the other hand, there was still the option to save up for a Rigol or even an Oregon blue box, if you follow.  Maybe if I was younger, perhaps…

Grabbing the precision flush cutters I went after the flapping material:

Close enough for home use!

The scope doesn’t come with everything a ham radio sort would want, not the least of which would be a signal generator up to 40 MHz.  A few of the 3-in-1 makers have DDS signal sources going up to 25 MHz, but if you could get something through six meters, say 55 MHz, and something which could at least give an intelligent estimate of RF voltage level, why that’d be the cat’s meow.  But wishing and hoping doesn’t fix gear.

By the way, the manual for all of these scopes (likely single manufacturer, private labeled) seems to be SDS1102.  Thus, it’s very much the same as Owon 1102 ($276) and the Hanmatek 1102 ($169) so for us, including tax, $64 and change was a steal once we figured the screen workaround.

Now, if Vevor would get another scope – but with a 55 MHz DDS tracking generator – if you don’t ask, you won’t get, right?

Practical Bench Layout

When comes to running an orderly electronics bench, reader Hank out on the Big Island has me beat six-ways to Sunday.  I was only an SBE.org member for a couple of years before getting sucked into the on-air side of broadcasting.  Hank’s got the skills to make anything digital play.  Me?  Vacuum tubes are more speed. I’ve resurrected a few Icoms and Ten-Tecs, but for the most part those were board swaps.

The point I’m getting to is that my electronics bench began at a practical size and now with too many tools, it’s an L-shaped monster five-feet on a side. Trust you saw Hank’s meter review recently?  See here and scroll down, if you haven’t.

I think – near as I can estimate – that Hank’s work style is measured, well-paced, and thoughtful.  You know the kind of guy: The sort who lines up the bolts in reverse order as he takes them out.  For some reason, these people are deemed at WMoRR called it “the knack.”

My approach is balls to the wall, grab and do whatever it takes, and only stop for thinking when the bulldozer has come to a stop.  Tools flying, test leads all over hell and gone…yep, that’s our way.

With luck, you will be able to pick and choose – Methodical Hank, Hurricane George, or get The Knack from William.

3- Shop Project Ideas

Too hot and sticky today to do much outside but maybe run the burn barrel for a few loads of cardboard.

But if you don’t even have those chores piled up, how about we look at three very quick and useful projects, right?

Project #1:  Caution Tape

People visiting my shop sometime remark on how “real – like a shop” it looks.  One of the reasons is the liberal application of Caution Tape.  You know the stuff: black and yellow with the yellow set on a 45, right?

The reason for the tape on the miter stand saw stop (and support) is that I have run into that (gd) thing more times than I can remember.  There is something about yellow caution tape that can reduce the risk of injury.

G2 has gone even further.  When people are allowed into his quarters, there’s a four foot square that you’re not allowed step out of without going through decontamination and leaving shoes behind.  That are is marked on the floor with more of this Caution (sometimes called “machine”) tape.

While you are shopping for Caution Tape toss in an industrial first aid kit, N100 masks for serious wood dust, and a few boxes of gloves.  Even if you’re just tossing this on a shelf in the Man Cave, there’s a certain “No shit? This guy must be the real deal…” that goes with having the right stuff.

It’s like the old prop of the Beechcraft over the door to the office.  “Is that a real propeller?”  “Yeah. Want to see the prop log – took it off our plane when it didn’t pass annual…”

Project #2: Safety Rails

We didn’t go nuts with these, but there are two at my office door, and one in each of the bathrooms. One stepping down into the 180-room for drinks, and of course along the stairways.

A few solar powered lights so you can see where you are going and then going out in 4-5 inches of snow and ice with the idea of going down half a flight of stairs doesn’t sound quite at nutty even if you’re north of 80.

Project #3: Racoon Proofing!

There’s a plastic used for table covers and I got several sheets of it, thinking I would make my own enclosure for a CNC machine.  Of course, 20-minutes later, I have the plastic, but then a premade kit enclosure goes on sale.

But you know what?  This tabletop covering plastic has withstood easty Teas raccoons and possum burglary attempts!

More tomorrow on ShopTalk Sunday (which happens what day, do you suppose?)

Write when you bang something,


author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/George-Ure/e/B0098M3VY8%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share UrbanSurvival Bio: https://urbansurvival.com/about-george-ure/

35 thoughts on “HamTalk Saturday – Early ShopTalk”

  1. Hand rails are fine, but when you’re 80 and serious about avoiding falls, 1/2″ nylon rope with frequent knots hanging from ceiling beams is better.

    Think of a vector diagram with your hand on a rail as a fulcrum vs. one with your hand above your head grasping a knot.

    With a rail you can tumble; hanging to a rope above your head you can’t.

    • Mike,

      It’s my belief rails are good. The more the better. Nothing supplants “paying attention” when perambulating but … that can be in short supply.

      My Mom refused to cough up an insane amount for rails at the house. I made and installed (5) rails and (2) more are on the board.

      Installed for the aged … everyone uses them. I sure do.

      40′ of my pier has hand rails. They are deluxe / collapsible made out of schedule 80 pipe. The “T” riser tops and end caps (to eliminate wasp condos) were stupid expensive but well worth it over time.


      “Write when you bang something”

      A sudden exterior gate valve (serves a hose) started leaking a few days ago. We are in a house the third little pig prefers (brick) so, absent access from inside, out came the 4.5″ cutoff wheel, chisel and 2 lb sledge.

      I had literally a few strikes earlier tutored my Padawan learner about watching the head of the chisel, not the tip, to avoid missing with the hammer strike and … smashed left hand with the right.

      Lucky I have a retired RN on site. Looks awful. Old.

      On injured reserve. Sigh.
      Dumb arse,

      • the daughter had her first apartment.. I went over and had to use the toilet..

        I believe the one she had was twelve inches off of the floor height.. today this is the lowest one..

        Standard runs about seventeen inches similar to chairs.. and wheel chair is two inches higher.. anyway.. I sad down on it.. to use the facilities.. at twelve inches low and having your pants hung around your ankles.. there was quite a commotion.. the only way I could get off of the dam thing was flop to the side roll and drop.. then get up… an extremely funny memory today but that day it was a horrific experience.. hand rails.. pick some up.. put them everywhere..

        • 4 Things I learned when I fractured my arm in December:
          1. Couldn’t use a safety bar to get off toilet because ER gave me pain medicine that caused my brain and spine to disconnect from each other and created severe weakness in my legs. Had to check into hospital for 2 1/2 days to detox from the pain medicine.
          2. There is a large toilet seat extender that raises the height by 6″ and sits on top of the seat – no installation needed. Looks ugly but works great.
          3. Bought a bath swivel portable stool with adjustable height legs from Amazon. One arm can’t hold on to both the safety bar while using a wash cloth and the hand held shower hose. Love using the new bath stool because I can sit down and be safe in the shower. This old dog at 86 did learn new tricks. LOL
          4. How important my neighbors were in helping during my recovery. Nine different people were so caring with different acts of kindness and love. I don’t think I would have made it without them helping. It’s 5 months and I have about 90% usage of my arm and I’m back to taking care of myself.

    • I couldn’t get up out of a chair.. didn’t have a bath chair at the time.. and the wife trying to help my fat azz out of a tub was embarassing.. getting into a shower the two inch lip was mount everest.. needless to say I sprung for a wheel chair accessible shower and put Bidets and hand rails everywhere.. every home should be wheel chair compliant.. like steps steps are nothing when your young.. when your old or something happens.. wham.. your climbing mountains..

  2. Handrails,,, you are darn right, 3 weeks ago, I pulled a lower back muscle and popped a vertebrae out of whack,,,needed a cane for help, getting up and down and around. I was wishing I had hand rails in my tub/shower,,, it is on the list!

    • Hint – before you start mounting them, do a ‘dry run’ of getting in and out of the tub/shower a few times. Use some tape and tag the places you touch – those are the locations you want the rails. Even if it looks wonky, don’t 2nd guess yourself. And if someone is using the tub, do they pull themselves up or do they push themselves up? Makes a difference in where you might put a rail.

      YMMV – Good luck to us all…

        • I have one of those..its nice but there is a down side..
          its two suction cups.. most railings I put in had to have the walls opened up and bracing put in place. otherwise you have a half inch of gypsum holding your weight.. pulling pushing ..they are great to stabilize you but doesn’t have the strength to support the weight..
          I was going to make a rail that would be L shaped swivel.. in the shower it would swivel up snap into an anchor.. that would give you a stabilizing grab bar.. but could be in hinged and fold down to connect to an floor .. snap into leg that could rest on the floor.. someone then could use that to push themselves upright and use it to pivot into a shower or bath chair.. an added brace ..
          like a lot of my crazy ideas no one could see an L brace.. it was to complicated to envision it and I am to poor to build a prototype..
          working the floors as many years as I have That was always something I wanted them to make.. three points of stability.. just like caving you want three points of stability..

  3. Amazon indeed has nailed its return policies. I could not get into nearly as much troub… I mean projects completed if not. I ordered a desk lighted magnifier and I am currently on the 3rd replacement.
    Diana is constantly watching over me since it seems I have become magnetic to all sorts of calamity. Early this week I asked her if she had seen our resident black feline Recon lately. She is concerned also since it seems she has not been around for chow so we went on a trip around the ranch on the quad to see if we could find her. We did find a large tree limb had fallen across a fence at the far pasture but when I pulled it off and started to drag it away I had a sudden jolt down my shoulder to the elbow. Same arm I had all the work done on last year. Overnight the pain was pretty bad so a trip to the ER and some tests. The prognosis is no physical damage was found. So I am grounded with this damn brace and sling contraption for longer than I want.
    When we returned from the ranch tour Recon was sitting on the deck railing where her now empty food bowl was. Staring at us and switching her tail impatiently.

    Stay safe. 73

    • It’s hard for cat’s to get good service staff these days. She was probably interviewing the neighbors for your positions, and decided to stay with her current staff.

      • Interesting point. Our feed costs, animal housing, and vet bills are several times more than our human expenses annually. Recon might be miffed since the only benefit she does not have is an indoor box to crap in.

    • “I ordered a desk lighted magnifier and I am currently on the 3rd replacement.”

      I gave up on these, some years ago. Real, genuine Luxo-Lights show up in surplus & salvage every couple months. There’s a reason Luxos sell for hundreds of $$$. I now have three, and I have less than $30 altogether, wrapped up in them. The one on my desk is opposite my articulated mic mount (so I can use both at the same time, without getting tangled…)

      • I look out for gear like that but just haven’t scored yet. I was using an ancient gooseneck magnifyer my grandfather used to tie flies to put Metal Earth model kits together the past couple of years and my eyes just aren’t what they used to be. Fitting the small tabs into the slots while getting older is like the song goes, It just keeps getting tougher every day.
        Diana says that’s what she said. rim shot.

  4. “I think – near as I can estimate – that Hank’s work style is measured, well-paced, and thoughtful. You know the kind of guy: The sort who lines up the bolts in reverse order as he takes them out.” (Blush!)
    Saw an aircraft mechanic at the local FBO tear apart an engine for an annual inspection. Epoxy floor in the garage/hanger first got the broom sweep. Then every bolt and part of that engine was laid out on the floor like an exploded diagram. Entry for non-mechanics was strictly forbidden when in this condition… understandably so. I’m not quite that bad. Spray can caps serve as ‘screw cups’… one cap for each different size screw. As for methodical… probe & measure, probe & measure… if you can’t figure out the problem, then probe & measure some more…. making notes on the schematic (copy). Then there are the damn design ‘engineers’ that you want to sentence to hell to fix their own designs for eternity. I was fixing a high power 13.8v KENWOOD power supply for a ham radio. After replacing an obvious blown zener diode, the regulator just refused to ‘kick in’ until it was drawing 2 amps. Before that the pass transistors were wide open to the raw 22 volt supply. Drove me nutz trying to figure why it wouldn’t regulate at low current draw. Wasn’t until I had gotten several iterations of the manual from other Kenwood gear that I learned this was not a ‘defect’ but a ‘feature’ of these supplies. They rely on the fact that the Kenwood radios draw more than 2 amps at startup, so it is never a problem for their single intended purpose. Another case of… “IF all else fails, read the manual!”

    When I bought the volcano ranch here, the two bathrooms already had handrails installed. Godsend for getting up off the pot with bad knees & hip.

  5. AAaand it’s gone! No more 40% off coupon for the scope. Now $100+28 shipping. Oh, well. ‘George got my ‘scope’. (Sniff!)

  6. Handrails. Oh my, yes! Had them installed all around the 4’x5′ shower. Everywhere there’s a bar within reach. No glass anything. Shower chair. All toilets in house 19″ with a bar right next. Looking at 89th come December (I can’t believe it!) with both knee replacements failed is no fun. Otherwise I’d be out in the garden, weeding, planting, tending veggies & flowers myself. Wouldn’t need to have help planting trees & shrubs.
    Thank goodness I can still drive.

  7. China Making AI Chatbot Based on CCP Leader’s Theory

    Beijing is broadcasting the theories of Chinese regime leader Xi Jinping far and wide. Now, they’re bringing his words to a new medium: AI chatbots. But unlike other generative AI that make mistakes, the Xi-Bot is “always right.” China is also launching its biggest military drills in a year around Taiwan as a “strong punishment…”


    • It won’t be long now.. the USA is moving all chip manufacturing out of Taiwan.. my thought is its pretty obvious that the US A will not be able to decent Taiwan..and being separated on so many fronts they are on their own.. Taiwan’s best option is make an arrangement similar to that of Hong Kong and join the one Asia..Xi doesn’t want to destroy Taiwan just have their compliance..
      kind of like hawaii.. what would we do if China wanted to have Hawaii’s industry and protect Hawaii from us intruding in their business..

  8. Trump to address Libertarian National Convention

    RFK Jr has handed out rubber chickens for people to make noise during President Trump’s speech

    President Trump has made headlines by becoming the inaugural U.S. president to address the Libertarian Convention. Trump took the stage, a move Biden declined to make. Despite efforts by RFK Jr. to disrupt the event, they were unsuccessful.


    That would make Trump the Republican and Libertarian nominee.


    • Lol lol..the wife would be upset if I had a rubber chicken..lol
      kind of like giving everyone on a nursing home wing a cowbell..lol lol if you need anything just rattle that cowbell…


      I told the staff that I was going to give the residents each one of those.. they actually threatened me.. lol lol
      gotta admit it would be hilariously funny..
      we had a nursing student .. the dumbest thing with 2 legs.. the nurses loved her..she was going to be a professional..
      she would hide in closets so the rest of the staff would do her work.. A really with it lady but couldn’t talk had a garage door opener for her power chair..you pushed a button to close it.. I get this frantic call for help.. get down there and the nurse was pushing on the wall the lady was doing everything she could to tell her its the button.. the nurse says how in the hell does it work..I said you command it..held up my hand and forcefully said..close em says me.. then pushed the button..the nurse never did get it..but the woman almost fell out of her wheelchair laughing

  9. Walmart promotes Pride merchandise as Target scales back

    Walmart promoted its new Pride apparel on social media ahead of Pride month on Saturday, writing on Instagram, “Not just a slogan. #PrideAlways is a reminder to lead with love.?” The company’s promotion comes just weeks after Target said its Pride collection would only be available in “select stores” following a major backlash by conservatives last year.



  10. Denali National Park bridge crew ordered to stop flying American flags

    The crew working on a 475-foot-long bridge in Alaska’s Denali National Park was recently told that they could no longer fly the American flag from their trucks or heavy equipment, which are being used in the $207 million Federal Highway Administration project. Denali National Park Superintendent Brooke Merrell contacted the man overseeing the federal highways project, claiming there had been complaints about the U.S. flags, and notifying him that bridge workers must stop flying the stars and strips from their vehicles because it detracts from the “park experience.”


    This is going to be a big deal, in about a week or two…

  11. The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation
    Hardcover – May 7, 2024
    by Victor Davis Hanson

    Best Sellers Rank:
    #1 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
    #1 in Native American History (Books)
    #1 in Nuclear Weapons & Warfare History (Books)
    #1 in History of Civilization & Culture


    History books don’t often hit the top of the Amazon and NYT Bestsellers Lists…

    I STRONGLY suggest folks read this one.

    • If you don’t have an hour available, please watch the last 15 minutes or so of,the video.

    • Ordered for my Kindle

      Still trying to find the time to finish Ray Dalio’s “The Changing World Order” which covers the collapse of countries and is heavily data driven, this will be next on the list once I finish that.

      (Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater & Associates, the largest hedge fund out there and drew upon their massive computer database plus also used their access to the best academics out there for reviewing his drafts when writing his book)

      Basically the Dalio book provides the hard data to support the claims of Strauss & Howe with their book “The Fourth Turning” (1997) which was written 24 years before and imo is an absolute MUST READ book wrt the crisis we are about to enter into. If you haven’t read either one read “The Fourth Turning” first followed by Dalio’s “The Changing World Order” (2021) with this book probably being the follow up third book to read.

  12. VDH is a brilliant mind and writer. I am currently reading this book and recommend it to the other well informed readers on this site. At the very least, take an hour of your time and watch this excellent YouTube video. It may better prepare you for what is to come.


    “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

  13. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    – George Santayana

    This was my exact tagline for 20 years — from Eudora Light to Operamail 12…

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