RAN Technology
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The Bob Heil Story

How a ham and sound engineer revolutionized rock and roll
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The Incredible Machine

Computer graphics in 1968 and the shape of things to come
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Godzilla 2019 Trailer

Battle of the Boatanchor Radios?
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Crystals Go To War

A documentary about the technology that won WWII

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Posted: 04/05/2019
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Masa - AB9MQ - has the Coolest Rig in the World (this week)

Check out his newly restored Kenwood TS-511DN It doesn't belong to me, even!   Masa AB9MQ has recently acquired one of his "dream rigs" from Japan, a Kenwood TS-511DN, one of the predecessors to the famous TS-520.  Check out his nice work and (way too neat!) "Maximum Quality Laboratory"  in the Gallery....  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/26/2019
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MICROPHONIA! is here

Cool mics from my collection and ones I wish were I like microphones.   I have lots of them, and lust after more!   I'll be featuring cool microphonia in the Gallery from time to time, so check back often!...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/23/2019
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The Coolest Rig in the World!

(this week...or until I say otherwise!)  Borrowing from Little Steven's Underground Garage on SiriusXM,  I will be featuring "The Coolest Rig in the World" on this very website!By what criteria?   MINE!    But rest assured, each featured rig WILL be cool...Check out the Gallery section for The Coolest Rig in the World (this week)!...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/12/2019
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Making A Transistor Radio

in memory of Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV (SK) In memory of G3RJV, here is a link to the excellent book he wrote in 1972 titled "Making A Transistor Radio".   It is in e-book form so you can view it in high resolution color online:https://archive.org/details/MakingATransistorRadioRev. Dobbs started the G-QRP club and wrote countless articles promoting homebrewing, simple radios, and QRP operation.  His absence will lea...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/12/2019
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Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV, SK

"Mister QRP" to many, a sad loss for the homebrewing and QRP community  The founder of the GQRP Club and Amateur Radio author the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, of Littleborough, England, died on March 11. He was 75. Dobbs was reported to have been in ill health for some time and had been living in a care facility, where his condition deteriorated quite rapidly over the past few days. He was the honorary secretary of the GQRP Club (G5LOW), which he founded in 1974 to...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/08/2019
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Febr. 4 solar activity aka "Rotten Conditions"

if this ain't the bottom...you can see it from here! Anyone who operates HF has no doubt channelled "The Old Man", muttering about "Rotten Conditions!" lately.A look at the spaceweather.com site last weekend made it abundantly clear where we are in the current sunspot cycle:The month of Febr. was the first since Aug. 2008 without any sunspots at all.   Fortunately, one has appeared since, so March will hopefully be a li...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/22/2018
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K9QET Update

AM stalwart net control op and all-round good guy needs your thoughts and prayers Febr. Update: Our AM pal K9QET has left the hospital and prsently is in an rehab facility.   Please continue to include John in your thoughts and prayers for his continued recovery and rehabilitation.  Hopefully he will be able to return home and rejoin the airwaves.Thanks to Jerry W9JMK for keeping us informed of John's progress and to all the midwest hams who have sent cards and no...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/16/2018
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DX-60 and Mighty Elmac Nets on 75 meter AM

Great AM fun!  UPDATE:   Steve W8TOW from near Lansing MI and a long-time friend of N8ECRs has taken over responsibility for the "N8ECR Memorial DX-60 Net" on 3880 kHz, Sunday mornings.   All rigs are welcome, but this net has a long tradition of encouraging the use of low-power AM transmitters like the DX-60.As does the Wednesday night "Mighty Elmac Net" that Mike s...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/12/2018
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The Mighty Elmac Net continues

Wednesday is Elmac Night!  NEW NET CONTROL:   Rex WA6GYC from Troy MI picked up the Elmac Net on Febr. 27 and did a Fine Business job!   Hopefully he will be willing to continue in this role, as the lack of a primary net control and difficult propagation at this point in the solar cycle have made it challenging in past weeks.   Please turn your radio on - Wednesday is Elmac Night!  (...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/09/2018
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DX-60 Website Announced

Celebrating the fun of low-power AM While everyone who knew Mike N8ECR is shocked and saddend by his untimely passing, we commemorate his legacy of promoting low-power AM operation with the new DX-60 Net website:  https://dx-60.net//index.cfm?key=mainMike gave tirelessly of his time and energy to provide an opportunity for AM operators in the midwest part of the country to have fun, make friends, and play radio every Sunday mor...  READ MORE

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Category: Technical
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W9RAN Field Radio

Vintage light aircraft radios repurposed In the early days of aviation radio, transmissions originated from the ground using the longwave transmitter also used for homing,  and pilots acknowledged by wagging their wings.  It didn't take long to realize the benefits of having transmitting capability onboard the plane as well, and the first generation of aircraft radio used the low HF band.    Given today's...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Godzilla 2019 uses Boatanchor Radios

Can your SP-600 do this? Watch the video  trailer for the 2019 monster movie that relies on a 1950s vintage Hammarlund SP-600 and Collins 30L-1 amplifier....  READ MORE
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Category: Historic
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I find the show-biz association of the founder of Allied Radio, Simon Wexler, to be rather fascinating.  What started out as a supplier of crystal set parts led to a family that became a major force in the entertainment industry and in Chicago business...including many recognizable names:"Allied Radio (now known as Allied Electronics) is a company with a long history. On August 6, 1...  READ MORE
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Category: Historic
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Hazard E. Reeves - audio pioneer and defense contractor

Making crystals in midtown Manhattan during WWII  Hazard E. Reeves (1906-1986) may not be a household name, but his work is well known to every moviegoer.   He was an American pioneer in sound and sound electronics, and introduced stereophonic sound for motion pictures. He met Fred Waller at the 1939 World's Fair and saw the potential of Waller's "Vitarama" system which he invested in and which soon became the mo...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Whatever happened to Globe Electronics

and the Globe Mobiline Six...  In his book "In Touch with Leo", the success and growing backlog of CB-100 orders is what drove Leo to his banker, Lou Ross, who asked him why he didn't anticipate the number of orders and required capital.  Leo responded "Lou, never on God's green earth could I have believed such an influx of orders!".    More funding was needed than the bank ...  READ MORE
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Category: Crystal Replacement
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Spectral Purity using Epson Programmable Oscillators

Do harmonics matter if there's no way for them to be heard?  In the 5 or so years I've been using the Epson oscillators I've looked at the spectral output many times.   Without a doubt the harmonic output from the Epson oscillator is high as would be expected  from a square wave device.   The question to me has always been "does it matter"?PLL controlled digital oscillators have long been used as LOs in recei...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Radio
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The Foxhole Radio

aka "Razor Blade and Safety Pin Radio"...from the Boy's Fun Book  When I was a kid, my dad gave me a thin hardcover book called "Boys Fun Book - Things to Make and Do".   It was printed during WWII on very thin paper as a wartime conservation measure, but was chock-full of interesting projects, ranging from hobbies and magic tricks to sports, puzzles, camping...and the chapter I was drawn to:  "Unusual Radios You Can Build You...  READ MORE
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Category: Technical
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Using rectifier diodes as varactor/varicap substitutes

Modern-day solutions for RF part obsolescence As anyone who likes building radios knows, it's getting harder and harder to buy RF components.   One of the last casualties was the 3-section pi-wound RF chokes made by Hammond, a company that has done more than most to support the vintage radio and audio hobbies.    The Toko variable inductors long favored by QRP enthuisiasts have become all but unavailable, and vari...  READ MORE
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Category: Historic
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Harlan Andersson, computer pioneer and co-founder of Digital Equipment Corp.

A native of my town, Freeport IL The following obituary appeared in the Freeport Journal-Standard on Febr. 9, 2019.      I attended a lecture by Mr. Anderson in the late 1990s after moving to Freeport and working for Honeywell where despite being a supplier to DEC, few realized the local connection existed to the founder of what once was the second-largest computer company in the world.   Mr. Anderso...  READ MORE
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Category: Technical
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The Case of the Phantom Voltage

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” A Heathkit HW-12 gave me a troubleshooting challenge the likes of which I've not seen before - or even heard of!A few days ago the transmitter wouldn't produce output, and in checking voltages and I measured -75 volts on the ALC line which should be -20.   But it corrected itself and I figured it must have been a solder splash or something that cleared by itself.  That theor...  READ MORE