Not to spoil the “time off” notion of Sunday, but there’s a Twitter posted video for you to see and understand. Because? It explains how people with first and second Covid shots will be treated as “unvaccinated” – thus moving the dishonesty of medical statistics to a new Biden propaganda high!
You may also wish to do some “advanced lookups” on the Open Secrets website – where political contributions are summarized. We found the word “Moderna” to be heavily correlated with democrat party funding. For extra credit, an analysis of the word Pfizer as a political funding source is a somewhat larger (10,000 entries) big data headache-inducer. Extra credit is available, for tenure track grad students in the collapse of ‘Merica Studies programme.
Me? Find Victoria’s Secret more fun to study than Open Secrets being a privileged old retired dude. Still, when we looked at costs, The Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra Trivia, it was clear that nothing seems to approach the price of a good – well sold – politician.
While study of both “data sources” may lead to sex, degrees of consensual participation are vastly different.
Meantime, Tile Work
…continues. a further 117 pieces were cut Saturday.
But not without incident. Seems that after using the Skil tile saw for two (more) actual days of cutting time, the “water coolant” gets a little thick.
Good with a bit of tile dust as thickening. But it’s very much like my gravy’s made when cooking. When it gets cold? Turns into a concrete like block on the bottom of the saw’s water reservoir.
Nothing that attacking it with 67 PSI water pressure on a hose cleaning nozzle wouldn’t fix. Except then there’s the wait to make sure the work area is dry enough to reduce risk of personal “zappage.”
Ham Radio Stories: BC-348
One of our long-term readers – who’s been following my notes since the old University of Colorado Long Waves discussion group circa 1998 – dropped by with a marvelous gift Saturday. You may have never seen one of these before, but it’s a WW II vintage BC-348 receiver:
As you can see (with some squinting) this one was made by Stromberg-Carlson which (after the war) went on to build some very high-end television sets. Stromberg’s fame came from accomplishments including:
- Radio and television receivers, loudspeakers, paging systems, commercial sound amplifiers, and microphones
- The ubiquitous BC-348 HF radio, originally manufactured for the U.S. Air Force during World War II and for a decade after
- Institutional intercom and public address systems
- Ground-Air-Ground tactical communications, AUTOVON and secure systems used by various government agencies worldwide
- Fire alarm products, such as bells and horns
Back in my “secret days” I actually used some of that AUTOVON gear up north. Anyone else besides me remember Sparrevohn Air Force Station? Learned to appreciate a proper Scotch (thanks to two Cols.) at Murphy Dome Air Force Station which was my main assignment. Heady stuff at age 19…
Other versions of the BC-348 – like the one I had over half a century back – were made by Wells-Gardner. Again, like Stromberg, the post-war track of this company led to the one-eyed monsters invading American living rooms:
“Wells-Gardner manufactured an estimated 3 percent of all televisions in the United States. The company also began manufacturing high fidelity stereo systems, electric organs, and various consumer electronics. The company’s factory had expanded from 140,600 square feet in the 1940s to 270,000 square feet. Wells-Gardner owned the building, machinery, and equipment.”
Wells did a lot of contract work both before and after the war years. Their Airline receivers of early vintage are collectible. Made ’em for “Monkey Wards.” As are lots of Stromberg radios.
Restoration of Old Radios
Restoration of this radio will come in late winter. Since there are so man7y home and shop projects taking precedence., However, here’s the general work plan to how to “bring up” an old radio like this:
- The main thing that goes wrong with WWII gear is the wax paper capacitors tend to dry out over time. This is especially true in one like this generous gift which hasn’t been plugged in and turned on in 50+ years.
- The main risk to the radio is a defective (usually pair) of electrolytic capacitors (caps) in the power supply. Because they are larger and handle more power, think of them as waxed paper with a chemical “goo” which is what dries out.
- When the capacitor fails, it MAY short out – and that may, in turn, cause a sufficiently larger voltage drop in the high voltage winding of the transformer to burn it out.
- If you’re old enough, you may remember a tube-type radio that hummed slightly when first turned on…but quieted down after a half-hour of use, or longer. That was aging electrolytic capacitors regaining some of their properties as they warmed up.
Think I mentioned that this will all be covered in my (already 130 pages) of “The Art of Ham Radio Repair and Restoration” which I’ll get to when I can.
Brings back the days when my life-long pal (the major) and I would ride six miles on our bikes to the old Washington Liquidators in George Town (Seattle) hoping that one of those refrigerator-sized shipboard transmitters from the breaking yards (like Zidel’s and others) would show up at a price either of our families could afford.
We’re still looking.
The Ultimate Bedside Radio
In the presence of such a grand radio, I will slap you if you say “Best bedside radio is Ale1xa and iHeart Radio streaming…”
Those are options only when a) the power is on and b) when the Internet is up. Much past that and they make serviceable paper weights.
No, the perfect radio for this mission MAY not be the BC-348. Thinking more about a Radio Shack DX-160 and matching speaker acquired a ways back.
It’s not a stellar performer and really pretty basic: 1 integrated circuit, 5 FETs and 6 conventional transistors with 15 diodes. The good news is you can find both service manuals and the owner’s manual at RadioShack / Realistic DX-160, HF Receiver | at RigReference.com.
Again, if you read the review of the radio at eHam.net you’ll see it ranks only 3.6 stars out of five. But with some tweaks (dimmable LEDs for the dial, for example) it MIGHT be a decent bedside radio to capture the far-away magic of night-time winter AM and whatever is left – not yet replaced by the internet streamers – on shortwave.
There are better radios, but sometimes a project just “calls to you…”
A lot of serviceable Radio Shack shortwave gear was ruined when someone thought they would wield a “Golden Screwdriver” and improve things. When you’re 12 years old that seems logical. When 70-something? A Kenwood scope, and the Rhode signal generator offer the truth about such delusions of youth,.
One other bedside radio: Picked up a used Realistic Pro-2020 scanner – which like everything else of any useful vintage, seems to only need $7-bucks worth of new capacitors and some “golden screwdriver” corrections. That will give us the sheriffs and Texas Fire and DPS plus weather. Only 20 channel scan bank, but we like to focus on what’s important: Fort Worth Center and the local ATIS frequencies are interesting, too.
Off to (hopefully finish) with the tile laying today.
Write when you get rich,