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- New house brings electric woes
- Congrats on your move, Michael. That lighthouse must have some history behind it - not everyone (even in Cape Breton) has a lighthouse in their backyard. Can you share?
- Manchester Coded Bit Streams
- Unlike Manchester, biphase code is invertible without destruction and has similar AC coupling properties. If only the originators of Ethernet had known that there would never have been the problem of swapped tip/ring in the twisted pairs.
- Drivers are driving me crazy
- Epson is the same - can't print black if the color runs dry.
- Reducing PDN impedance at high frequencies
- Any actual measured results?
- FTC sets watch on the Internet of Things
- I'll believe it when I see it. I still get cellphone calls from "Rachel at cardmember services" (as well as from other telemarketers) and the FTC has not been able to make them stop. My highly obscene and extremely insulting responses have managed to reduce those calls somewhat, more effectively than the FTC has been able to do. But as for IoT, just say NO. Then you will not have to worry about being tracked.
- Black Friday: The Avro Arrow tragedy
- Michael, was your blog inspired perhaps by the EETimes blog Mortal Motorola by Alan Patterson last week? http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1325699 The Avro Arrow is the first thought that came to mind after I read this, and I spent some time on Wikipedia reviewing the story of the ill-fated Arrow. I was a kid at the time but I still remember my father (RCAF captain) complaining bitterly about the Arrow's demise.
- Don’t neglect the humble battery connector
- Remember the old Heathkit H8 computer? The heat-sink-bracket mounted TO-220 5V regulators were connected through flying leads to the PCBs, but used a connector slipped onto the regulator pins. After about a year a bulletin come out that intermittent failures could be cured by soldering the wires directly to the regulators and throwing away the connector.
- Fixing a mainframe with a lunch bag
- Long ago while in college I worked part-time at a TV repair shop. This was before TV sets became throw-away items. The tuners were electromechanical and consisted of a rotary drum with 12 removable sticks each wound with inductor windings to select 1 of 12 channels. Each stick had about a dozen gold plated fixed contacts (bumps) which would line up with a stationary strip of flexible gold plated contacts that pressed against the bumps on the sticks as they were rotated into position. The whole assembly was hand-driven by a large knob on the front panel. These tuners needed periodic cleaning to remove dust and grime that would make the picture jitter when the knob was barely touched. I was doing a service call and saw the tuner had this classic problem so I told the lady it needed cleaning and I could do it in the home for an additional $6. She said it had just been cleaned, so I asked who did it. "My husband's friend, a mechanic." "What did he use?" I asked. "Sandpaper". In those days auto mechanics used sandpaper to clean ignition points. "Sorry lady, that tuner is now toast."
- Fluorescent Light Scam
- "There's a video of this somewhere on the internet about making red ink green or similar" It's called "The Expert", is absolutely hilarious and is on youtube.com. The gist is the meeting where the management types won't believe the engineer when he claims it is impossible to draw 7 red lines, all perpendicular to each other, some with green ink and some with transparent ink.
- Green Screens & Ham (Apologies to Dr. Seuss)
- The electronics bug bit me when I was 8 years old, that led to me getting my ham licence as soon as the law allowed at 15 yrs. Before that I listened to shortwave on the living room all-band hi-fi system, it lacked a BFO so to hear the hams using SSB and to get CW practice I very carefully tuned a Heathkit SG8 signal generator (a gift from a neighbour) to the same frequency. Also discovered the SG8 could be used as a (slightly illegal) AM transmitter when a carbon mic from a telephone was inserted between the output and a wire antenna in the attic. Was VE3EUK, VE4GC, VE3PFI, VE3RZ. No longer active, maybe one of my grandkids will inherit the SB101 transceiver. An interesting film about ham radio leading to an engineering/astronomy career is 'Contact' starring Jodie Foster and based on the novel by Carl Sagan.
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