RAN Technology

At the Connections Museum in Seattle


the insane telephone technology that led to today's computers

History and Humor 11/01/2022 


Posted By: Robert Nickels (ranickels)
Posted on 11/01/2022

Fascinating rarely seen, fully functioning telephone exchange equipment, from the electro-mechanical 1900's to the all-computerized system of the 1970s. Next time you use a modern computer, give a thought to Bell Labs who invented the transistor and the Unix operating system, all driven by the need for better telecommunication technology, and Western Electric that built all these amazing devices.

   

Crystal Replacement
Posted: 02/38/2024
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How good can a crummy receiver be?

Hundreds of different simple SDR receivers have been designed around Dan Tayloe's Quadrature Sampling Detector or QSD.   Mine add nothing to the state of the art, and in fact subtract things, as I like minimalist solutions and the QSD is right in that sweet spot.   Following the evolution of Tayloe's design I delete the resistors in series with the sample lines for inst...  READ MORE

Technical
Posted: 02/37/2024
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What's in a number (3253)?

The FST3253 dual four-to-one mux/demux IC has long been used as a "Tayloe Detector" or QSD (and QSE) in low-cost SDRs.   They provide incredible performance for such a simple circuit, converting RF to baseband IQ with low loss and the ultimate in simplicity. Unfortunately the original FST3253 part has become obsolete and while substitutes are available, this is where the...  READ MORE

Vintage Ham Radio
Posted: 02/32/2024
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The Stancor 10P Transmitter

There weren't really many commercial transmitters in the 1930s as most hams built their own.   But many of the ones that were offered came from the transformer companies who had two chances to profit.   First, from those who would buy the kit, and two, from those would would see it in the (free) booklets the companies provided to their distributors who would then sell the iron to ham...  READ MORE

Vintage Ham Radio
Posted: 12/355/2023
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The Care and Feeding of the EF Johnson Courier amplifier

The EF Johnson "Courier" is a grid-driven amplifier using two 811A tubes.   Switching is provided for operating in either class C for CW or as a class B linear amplifier for AM or SSB.   Rated power is 500 watts input for CW, 500 watts PEP input for SSB, and 200 watts input for double-sideband AM with carrier.    Since all amateur power levels were meas...  READ MORE

Historic
Posted: 11/329/2023
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TV Duplexer

Some things are interesting, even if totally useless nowadays.   Such is the case with the Philco 426-3034 Crossover Kit for UHF TV.   What the heck is that? Well, back in the late 50s,  UHF television stations operating on channels 14-83 started to appear in many areas of the US where viewers had a VHF-only TV antenna, and in many cases an externa UHF converter was...  READ MORE

Crystal Replacement
Posted: 11/327/2023
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Replacing failed crystals

For decades, quartz crystals were used everywhere a stable frequency source was needed, even in some applications that depended on overtone (harmonic) behavior into the VHF range.   These crystals were less stable and more dependent on circuit parameters that fundamental types and thus more problematic.    Such was the case with the 94 MHz crystal in the 2 meter converter ...  READ MORE

Historic
Posted: 11/315/2023
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My Own Ham Radio Story by W9RAN

Everyone has a story of how they got involved in ham radio - this is mine.   It started much earlier, including receiving a Knight Kit Span Master shortwave radio for Christmas in about 1963, at age 12.   I'll never forget the night my dad and I finished building it and I wanted to try it out.   It came with a 50 ft. antenna which was still coiled up - but ...  READ MORE

Technical
Posted: 09/267/2023
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Hot to simulate vacuum tubes in LTSpice

LTSice is a powerful simulation tool that is provided free by Linear Technology Corp.   It comes with a complete library of passive and common analog solid-state components but if you want to use it to simulate vacuum tubes, it doesen't work as-is.    Even though triode and pentode symbols can be found in the "Misc" folder, they are just schematic symbols and...  READ MORE

Friends Remembered
Posted: 07/208/2023
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Merv Schweigert, K9FD (SK)

Comments from Robert Nickels W9RAN,  July 27, 2023: There is nothing worse for a ham radio operator than to see a beloved friends callsign with the letters "SK" behind them.   Yet sadly, that's what happened on July 23, 2023, when I learned of the passsing of Merv Schweigert, K9FD.     While many of our ham radio interests were different - Me...  READ MORE

Vintage Ham Radio
Posted: 01/19/2023
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"Winter Projects"

I know many of us who enjoy restoring and repairing vintage gear look forward to winter when there is less competition for time and energy, and a chance to really make a dent in our "to be fixed" piles.    A couple of years ago I set time aside for "Heathkit Singlebander Week" and went through every one of them I had, with the result that they're all working ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/13/2024
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Joe Munson WA4VAG (SK)

With great sadness we note the passing of a veteran, long-time ham, and one of the most interesting people I've ever met,  Joe Munson WA4VAG.   Joe's love for military radios began when his life depended on one - the famous "Prick 74" that he toted around Viet Nam (and certain other countries where the US miltary officially never was) and expanded to include workin...  READ MORE
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Posted: 10/16/2023
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ALL ELECTRONICs is gone, but Aretronics is here!

All Electronics, a long-time parts supplier for hobbyists, has gone out of business, but employees have started a new company offering many of the same products and promising the same great service::"Aretronics is the new company, started by ex-employees of All Electronics.Together we have decades of industry experience.We aim to provide the same fast, reliable service as we did at All Electr...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/12/2023
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Quantum Spectrum - a DSP add-on for low-end SDRs

As one who has been playing with small inexpensive SDRs since the days of the Softrock, I've been amazed by how well the simple  yet very effective Quadrature Sampling Detector aka "Tayloe Detector" (named after it's inventor Dan Tayloe) actually works.   Using calibrated equipment I've measured the Minimum Detectable Signal (MDS) at -122dBm using the same 3dB ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 06/08/2022
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WANTED: Bendix 3206

Power Supply/Mod/IF unit This is an odd and unusual piece of gear,  it's got IF cans one one end and a dynamotor on the other!   It's the back half of the receiver plus power supply and modulator for the Bendix 3801 HF system that was used on aircraft before the switch to VHF.    The functions were split between the two units to save panel space.    Click the image to e...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/29/2022
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New droplet-based electricity generator

A drop of water lights up 100 small LED bulbs A team of engineers has figured out how to take a single drop of rain and use it to generate a powerful flash of electricity. The City University of Hong Kong researchers behind the device, which they're calling a droplet-based electricity generator (DEG), say that a single rain droplet can briefly generate 140 volts. Their findings were published in the latest issue of the highly prestigious ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/24/2022
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Russian soldiers uses Chinese portable radios

Baofung UV-82HP - unencrypted The Russian military has used civilian mobile phones and radios for their communications, including Chinese-made civilian handheld radio, during the ongoing Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.According to  Defence-Blog.com, the Russian military is using the BaoFeng UV-82HP radios for communication within the frontline units currently stationed in Ukraine.The Ukrainian military manages to sei...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/24/2022
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Amateur radio transmittting suspended in Ukraine

part of a 30 day emergency order Full information hereSee Feb. 27 update HERE.Some webSDRs now blocking the spectrum around UVB-76 to prevent monitoring of it. ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/04/2022
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Local IL Ham featured in newspaper article

W9JC, Freeport IL A former Honeywell work colleague and local ham friend was recently featured in a front-page story in the Freeport Journal StandardJohn does a nice job of explaining the relevance of Ham Radio in the 21st century:“Think about that little cell phone you carry around which is only a radio,” he said. “That all happened in the last 100 years. That’s one lifespan for many people...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/02/2022
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This 22-year-old builds chips in his parents’ garage

the crystal set of the 21st century? In August, chipmaker Intel evealed new details about its plan to build a “mega-fab” on US soil, a $100 billion factory where 10,000 workers will make a new generation of powerful processors studded with billions of transistors. The same month, 22-year-old Sam Zeloof announced his own semiconductor milestone. It was achieved alone in his family’s New Jersey garage, about 30 miles ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/18/2021
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The Seasons Best Wishes

de KPH Yes, a holiday greeting card from the original KPH, Port Reyes CA.    I don't have an exact date but I would guess late 50s or early 60s because it came from the estate of Roger Kaney (SK) who was W9AF when I knew him, but had been W9ZRU previously.  Roger was a retired marine radio operator when I met him in the late 80s, and even then would "stand watch" at nigh...  READ MORE

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WANTED: Bendix 3206

Power Supply/Mod/IF unit
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New droplet-based electricity generator

A drop of water lights up 100 small LED bulbs

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The Story of Heil Sound

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame presentation

   Paul Stoffregen is the creator of the Teensy microcomputer and related products and has authored a vast amount of exceptionally good and useful public domain software to go with it.   As the old saying goes "no good deed goes unpunished" and in the course of answering customer and would-be customer questions, Paul has written over 18,000 replies.   From that he's ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/10/2018 
   The VERSA-TR kit designed by RAN Technology Inc. is available from our friends at Hayseed Hamfest.   Please direct all order-related questions to them at https://hayseedhamfest.com/pages/contact-us...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  11/11/2018