I’m baaaaack!

Filed Under (Site Announcements) by Jonathan on 19-09-2011

OK, I owe ya’ll a bit of an explanation.

No, the site hasn’t been abandoned!  I had a very busy summer, plus I moved and I managed to go from employed, laid off, employed, laid off, employed again…..

So, the long and short of it is this……

The site is still here, isn’t going anywhere and new posts will be coming back shortly.  I’ll try to go back to my original format of at least one educational post a week.


Power supplies – good info about them and one really neat project

Filed Under (DIY Electronics Projects, Homebrew, New Ham Primer) by Jonathan on 21-06-2011

We’ve all seen the neat projects on the web where someone uses a power supply taken from an old PC.    There is something simple about the project, yet so insanely useful and versatile.

I have not seen many that were as “polished” as the power supply project here.  This is from the blog “TG’s Electronics Exploration”.  The project is laid out in a way that will give you multiple power options as well as a digital readout.  Most of the power supply projects I’ve seen are relatively simple hacks where the basic simple values of a PC power supply are used (5 volts, 12 volts, etc).  This has many more options.

I really like how clean the layout is as well as the LCD’s.  The other really neat thing about his – the work isn’t wasted if the power supply eventually dies on you.  It is relatively easy to move all the electronics to a new supply.

The project page can be found at:


The next website we will talk about comes from a sit I visit on a regular basis.  Not ham radio, but plenty of electronics information and kits – ladyada.net.  I used to run a hackerspace in my area.  We did a few projects to get people soldering.  One neat project was a “TV be-gone”.  Simple device where you build it, put it in a container (I, of course, used an Altoids tin) and use it to turn off TV’s.  Great when you’re somewhere where a TV is on, loud, and nobody is actually watching the thing and you can’t even carry a conversation with the guy next to you.  Simple enough project.

This site goes into several questions I get from potential hams when I teach radio classes, including:

What is a power supply?

Why use a power supply?

What’s inside a power supply?

AC/DC theory.

A really neat primer geared towards those that may not understand anything about all those wall warts that are drawing tons of power when not used!  I almost passed this up, as I know enough about power supplies to get me through what I need for my projects.  I found it a neat article that allowed me to probably explain it easier to those that aren’t technically inclined.

Check it out at:


Now, if you have any links to great projects or informative sites, please leave them below.

Cheap boom for a mic with this Ikea hack

Filed Under (Homebrew, Microphones) by Jonathan on 10-06-2011

I’ve modded a lot of Ikea stuff in the past (I mean really, if you receive something and decide not to use it, do you think you’ll actually get that thing back in the packaging????). Here is a rather simple, inexpensive mod you can do to create a rather decent boom for your mic.  I did something similar with a drafting lamp years ago and it really does work well.

Grab yourself a Tertial desk lamp.  Last I knew, it was around ten bucks at my local Ikea.  All you really need to do is lop off the lamp and cord.  Grab the hardware for your mic (you may need a few pieces of assorted hardware or epoxy, but it really isn’t difficult).

I have a few pages with links to help you out if you get stuck.

The following link:


has a decent write up.  However, I really have NO clue as to what that mic is in this tutorial.  The process is similar for any of our XLR or similar type mics and cages.

I think this is a little more for what we are looking at with this project.

I hope this works out for you and if you know of any similar boom hacks, let me know.  We can save a ton of money on buying something similar specific for our mics.

And if you find any neat Ikea ham radio hacks, let me know and I’ll make a post.  I like these rather inexpensive hacks!

Simple AM transmitters

Filed Under (DIY Electronics Projects, Homebrew, Radio Mods) by Jonathan on 03-04-2011

I had a lot of good response from some bread board based projects in the past.  so, here is a neat little AM transmitter I stumbled on Instructables.

It’s simple enough that you may already have most of the spare parts, yet detailed enough to allow you a little room for modification.  I like building transmitters like these and sending audio to my old broadcast radios or even amateur receivers like my old Hallicrafters gear.

Want to really freak people out?  Build one of these and hook it up to an MP3 player or portable CD Player (not like we have a massive use for these) and use it to stream old time radio.  Tons of resources online.  it just seems right to listen to classic radio on…… a classic radio.  I have an old American Bosh console with great woodwork, classic styling and such.  Hooked it up to my MP3 player and listened to the entire broadcast day of CBS on “D Day”.  Really kewl!  The Shadow hasn’t sounded this cool in quite some time.

Here is a link to the AM transmitter in the photo:


Here is a slightly different approach.  Lets say you have found a great condition cabinet at a tag sale, but the parts inside are truly destroyed.  I, don’t like modifying a restorable gem.  But…….  If you want, you could take an MP3 player, load it up with your favorite shows and have a great tabletop discussion piece.  You can get MP3 players REALLy cheap even at a drug store for ten bucks or so and load quite a bit of audio.

Here is the link for the MP3 player in a classic radio project:


Don’t think I left you guys out with some neat radios from the 70’s and such.  Especially those radios that came out around the time of the great Sci-fi flicks.  Ohhhh, I wish I had one of those vintage Welltrons!!!!!!!!

Below is a neat FM transmitter project.  I like this because it gives you a different dimension into the different modes and won’t cost a lot of money to truly learn a lot.  This title is called “How to build the simplest FM transmitter”:


572B Breadboard Linear Amplifier – oh, the insanity!

Filed Under (Amplifiers, DIY Electronics Projects) by Jonathan on 21-02-2011

Today I bring you a video by “bob4analog” on YouTube. His version of a breadboard is slightly different from mine!!!!

Really detailed description of his project and a great tour of it in operation. I have a 572 based amp and found this quite interesting. Others, may just find the layout utter insanity! I really thank him for posting this video, it was interesting and I did indeed learn a few things while watching this video.

From his video description:

An experimental ‘Breadboard’ Linear Amplifier for 80m, using two 572B tubes.



KIX-Online Rss