Feb 112018
What's This HF Digital Mode? (Spoiler: It's FT8)

At the moment, I’m hearing a whole bunch of traffic around 14.074 MHz in a digital mode that I don’t recognize. I haven’t been able to get intelligible text out of fldigi from this yet. From the amount of traffic, I wonder if this might be some sort of contest activity. Can anybody provide a hint about what this mode is?

…  Read More! “What’s This HF Digital Mode? (Spoiler: It’s FT8)”

Nov 062016
Canadian CRT-1/CPRC-26 Radio

I found this 1950s-era Canadian military radio in an online Goodwill auction, of all places. It is missing its whip antenna, but a friend in Australia is helping me out with that. This one may be tricky to repair if it doesn’t already work, because all but one of the vacuum tubes are hermetically sealed into individual metal cans. The modular construction made these easy to repair in service, but I don’t have a stock of spare modules to draw from.

…  Read More! “Canadian CRT-1/CPRC-26 Radio”

Nov 052016
My First Teletype Model 28

Thanks to David Reid W6KL, I now have my first Teletype Model 28! I’ve had a number of Teletype Model 33 machines over the years, but this is my first 28. I’ve always been impressed with the 28 machines I’ve encountered at Military Radio Collectors Group meets, so I’m happy to finally add one to my collection. This one was owned by Al Tipsword W6GER (SK) before David adopted it.

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Oct 012016
Retrochallenge 2016/10: Convert a DEC RL02 into a Ginormous USB Hard Drive

I have decided to participate in Retrochallenge 2016/10, which is pretty much an excuse to spend the month of October working on a retrocomputing project. Ok, let’s be serious: That doesn’t really make October much different than the preceding or following months for a lot of us retrocomputing enthusiasts. But this month, it’s official!

I’m taking on an ambitious project which will almost certainly remain unfinished at the end of the month: Converting a DEC RL02 into a ginormous USB hard drive, so I can use it for imaging and writing RL02 packs!

…  Read More! “Retrochallenge 2016/10: Convert a DEC RL02 into a Ginormous USB Hard Drive”

Sep 182016
Wanted: Radio Shack Color TVs for TRS-80 Color Computer

My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer which my dad bought for Christmas in 1981. With a built-in RF modulator, it plugged into an antenna switch box mounted on the family color TV. That old Magnavox TV is long gone, but I still have that Color Computer.

A “holy grail” that I seek for my collection is one of the Radio Shack color televisions which were featured in advertisements for the Color Computer. There are two that I’m looking for.

…  Read More! “Wanted: Radio Shack Color TVs for TRS-80 Color Computer”

Jul 042016
Monoprice Select Mini Thermistor Replacement, Pt. 1

I’ve measured the resistance vs. temperature of the thermistor in my MP Select Mini 3D printer. It looks like the thermistors that I speculatively ordered don’t have the exact same temperature curve, but they may be close enough to use my printer with a manual adjustment of the temperature set points to compensate for sensor error.

…  Read More! “Monoprice Select Mini Thermistor Replacement, Pt. 1”

Jul 042016
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer: Growing Pains!

On June 15, I saw this cryptic tweet from Elecia White. Being out of the loop, I asked what the new toy was, and was directed to Brian Benchoff’s review on Hackaday of the new Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer. It’s an exciting new 3D printer with a very attractive price point, and I had to have one! Read on for my not-so-smooth initial experience…

…  Read More! “Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer: Growing Pains!”