A site of endless curiosity

Archive for April 2009

Tour of the W1AW Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station

leave a comment »

W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, is a living memorial to the “Father of Organized Amateur Radio”, located at ARRL Headquarters in Newington CT. When visiting ARRL HQ, most amateurs choose W1AW as the place to see where Amateur Radio comes alive.

Can’t visit ARRL Headquarters yourself?  Then watch the video tour compliments of Randy K7AGE

Read an article on W1AW and see some pictures –


Written by frrl

April 28, 2009 at 4:17 am

Review of the Apple iPod Touch – Redux: Our iLife

with 7 comments

ipodtouch_2d_logoProgress Report

I bought the Apple iPod Touch about a week ago at a local Best Buy.  I asked the blue-shirted-one “What is the return policy?”  He said “30 days”.  “No questions asked?”, I replied.  “Don’t worry”, he said, “You won’t return it”.  He was right!

After a week of use I can say that the Apple iPod Touch has changed the way I interact with the Internet for some subset of common activities.  For example, tiny things like checking my e-mail, checking the weather forecast, checking breaking news, finding out what’s happening in the financial markets, checking who was on-line on Skype – all these things used to take me to a painful trip to my laptop.

No more trips to the laptop

Now that has fundamentally changed.  With a home wireless network and the Apple iPod Touch all of these capabilities – and more – are now in my shirt pocket or a short reach away on the table.  Even if the iPod Touch is powered off it only takes 15 seconds to boot.

Untethered at last

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

April 26, 2009 at 4:14 am

Posted in Commentary and Opinion

Tagged with ,

Creative Commons license for

leave a comment »

Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)


The inquiry

The New Jersey DX Association sent an inquiry about taking content from this site and publishing it elsewhere.  This was not a “fair use” request but  a request to take the entire content of  a few articles on this site and publish it elsewhere such as on a web site or in a club newsletter.

Section 102(a) of the Copyright Act

Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  ( )

New Media – New Rules

By default all original works are copyright by the author – no special action needs to be taken – “all rights reserved”.  Another option is to release original content into the public domain.  The new media and the internet deserves some new copyright considerations.  Enter Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

April 22, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Review of the Apple iPod Touch: First Date

with 5 comments


Game Changer

If you are a traditional user of mp3 players you should know that Apple has fundamentally changed the game with the Apple iPod Touch. 

The game-changer in the iPod Touch is the presence of WiFi/Internet connectivity that is seamlessly integrated into the device.  This positions the Apple iPod Touch someplace between a traditional mp3 player and the iPhone.  Steve Jobs has called the iPod Touch “training wheels for the iPhone”.  Yes!

Location sensing without GPS

If the WiFi/Internet connectivity was not enough, when connected, the Apple iPod Touch has some clever technology the provides it the capability to determine it’s location – without GPS. 

Location sensing based on your IP address can be scary accurate in some cases.  Your mileage may vary – but for me, the Apple iPod Touch, on the basis of IP address alone, was able to determine my location within 3 houses. 

Location-based determination based on IP address alone is a demonstration of types of information that your Internet service provider can aggregate to find your geographic location.  Folks that believe that they are Internet surfing in anonymity with dynamically assigned IP addresses should take note.

It is also a testament to the innovation of Apple that they have leveraged this capability to make some very smart location-based applications  A couple of these applications are the supplied mapping program and the Google Earth Application.  You can download the Google Earth application for the iPod Touch for free from the App Store.

Touch Screen User Interface

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

April 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

NYC Resistor Hacker Space

leave a comment »

NYC Resistor Hacker Space.  Take a video tour of a collaborative lab were people build funky electronics and gadgets.  What is the goal? – Learn, Share, and Make things.

Maker Bot – A 3D Printing Robot. All open source.  Build one for yourself from a kit.  Check out a video of how it works.  What’s the goal? – Make manufacturing for the masses.

Check out an article from Wired Magazine on Hacker Spaces

Written by frrl

April 15, 2009 at 4:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

video review of the Yaesu FT-450

leave a comment »

Were you thinking of buying a Yaesu FT-450?  The Yaesu FT-450 is an entry level HF radio that just about anyone can afford.  The base FT-450 is $669; with the built-in antenna tuner its $769.

How big is this radio in real life?  What does the display look like?  What sort of features does it have? No RF power control on the front panel – whats up with that?  Would this be a good radio for mobile use – nice display – but do the buttons light up for mobile use at night?

Check out a new hams (KC2UOO) video review of the Yaesu FT-450

Written by frrl

April 12, 2009 at 4:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Get to know your Stepper Motor and the SAA1042 Stepper Motor driver chip

leave a comment »

A while back we wrote an article on the AES IsoLoopsmall loop transmitting antenna.  You might want to build your own.  To make precision movements on the tuning capacitor you could use a Stepper Motor. (Limited Space Antennas – The Small Transmitting Loop Antenna: How to build your own.  Or, using OPL – the AEA Isoloop

If you don’t know what a Stepper Motor is and what it can do for you, then heck, what a great time to find out.

Check out our Mashups page for background on Stepper Motors, the schematic from the AEA IsoLoop controller, datasheets for the two major IC’s, and if, you want to build one from a kit, we have the Ramsey SMD1 Stepper Motor driver kit ($35).

First, what the heck is a Stepper Motor – read about it.

Schematic from the AEA IsoLoop LC-1 Controller
This schematic has few parts and the most exotic parts are only a SA1042 stepper motor driver chip and the a 555 timer.
Datasheet for the SAA 1042 Stepper Motor Driver
Datasheet for the 555 timer

Or, Build from a kit – The Ramsey SMD1 Stepper Motor Driver Kit

Written by frrl

April 3, 2009 at 4:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

%d bloggers like this: