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Vintage Homebrew CW  Transmitter

When I started my career with IBM, one of my co-workers was a very interesting engineer, Marvin K. He was extremely intelligent and curious about many things, including astronomy, science, electronics and photography.
About a year after his death in 2004, his wife called me and said that she had a ham radio that he had built as a teenager and she thought I might like to have it. After I brought it home, I noticed that curled inside of the large copper coil, were several sheets of hand-written notes that described a lot about the construction and early use of this very basic radio transmitter. Typical of Marvin, the note was very detailed and contained a great deal of information about the radio. Here is that note…

"This is the short-wave amateur radio transmitter I built when I was age 13 in 1931-1932 in Sac City, Iowa. I operated under the call letters of W9AZA issued for the 80 meter CW band of 3.5 to 3.9 kilocycles per second (now called Kilo Hertz, or KHz, continuous wave, where the transmitter is keyed on and off with a telegraph-type key, using International Morse Code, NO voice operation)
This transmitter is a self-excited, push-pull oscillator, using two type ’45 tubes, where a heavy radio frequency current is generated, which oscillated back and forth at the resonant frequency of a tuned circuit consisting to two things: the large copper coil and the main tuning capacitor (or ‘condenser’). Energy is electromagnetically coupled to the two smaller copper coils which are connected to another tuning capacitor and the antenna system. This provides another resonant circuit which is tuned to the same radio frequency as the oscillator. Energy is then radiated from the antenna system…which was a zeppelin-type antenna with a 132 foot flat top, end fed with two parallel wires spaced 8 inches apart, one connected to one end of the 132’ antenna, the other one dead ended there..(not connected).
A separate power supply provided power to this transmitter. It consisted of a 115-volt AC power transformer, one type ’80 rectifier tube, two 8mfd, 450 volt filter capacitors, a filter choke and bleeder resistor. The transformer also supplied 5 volts AC for the ’80 tube filaments, 2 ½ volts AC for the ’45 tube filaments and 500 to 600 volts AC, center-tapped, for the nominally 250 to 300 volts DC for the transmitter tube plates. Plate power input to the transmitter oscillator circuit was maybe 20 or 30 watts, maximum. (I couldn’t afford voltmeters or ammeters which would have told me more…!) My radius of operation was Iowa and the adjacent states – seldom further.
My short-wave receiver was initially a 1 tube regenerative receiver I built and later a Super Wasp receiver, that my neighbor across the street had built and had replaced with a more up-to-date factory-built SW receiver. The Pilot Super-Wasp required a 6-volt car-battery for the tube filaments and a B- battery eliminator (connected to the 115 volts DC house current) for the 45, 90 and 180 volts DC the receiver used. It had plug-in coils to cover the 20, 40 80 and 160 meter amateur bands, as well as the broadcast band. It was regenerative also.
I operated mainly from 1932 thru 1940. The license had to be renewed, with proof of use, every 3 years or so. I finally let it run out….should have kept it active. My license was W9AZA, was a re-issue and came out when the W9K —‘s (a very early call)…were coming out. My neighbor got W9KDL as the same time I got mine. He helped me, and we practiced code together via a telegraph line he installed between his house, mine and another 1 block away and one more a mile away..!

The plastic cover over the transmitter is not part of the original, but is just to keep the dust off. The cover, from an IBM type 650 scientific computer magnetic drum (circa 1955-1960) just happened to be the right size…!"

Photo info…shot with a Nikon D750 and Nikon 70-180mm Macro lens. Lit with a single Alien Bee and a gold reflector. This was a focus stack of a dozen exposures, all blended with CombineZP.

Posted by Topeeka on 2017-06-09 00:14:29



HMM. This is a close up of a silicone scrub pad from the kitchen. I really tried to get the fibers and dust off it, but it held onto them like crazy! This was a little challenging to light, the image preview on the camera did not indicate how blown the red could get from the flash. It took some trial and error and several trips to the computer to work out the proper flash distance and angle. Strobist info: One YN 568EXii to the left of the camera, modified with a small softbox and fired at 1/2 power. The YN was attached to the camera with an OCF cord.

Posted by Ryan Jeske on 2017-07-17 18:34:16

Tagged: , Canon 100L , Canon 70D , HMM , Macro Monday , OCF , close up , flash , prime lens , red , repetition , silicone , studio , tabletop photography , texture , yongnuo

Peony bud with ant

Friends, my computer was packed up ahead of the movers picking up all our stuff on Tuesday, June 20th bound for Fairfield, Iowa. We left Asheville, North Carolina, driving, on Thursday, June 22nd. So, this was my last chance to post an image on Flickr until after the dust from the move settled. (This is from my computer archives … I’d had no chance to make any new photos in the midst of preparing to move.) I hope that I’ll be able to circle back around to photography, and to posting regularly on Flickr, once I’ve recovered from the move. I also look forward to being able to relax into viewing and responding to your photos. Due to health issues, I’ve been away for too long, but … I’ll be back! 🙂

Posted by goldengirl 2011 on 2017-06-19 02:48:10

Tagged: , Peony , Peony macro , Peony bud , peony with ant , Katharine Hanna , Flower , Flower macro , flower photography , Macro photography , Macro , Macro flower , Macro peony , © Katharine Hanna 2015 , insect


"Put on your Sunday clothes, there’s lots of world out there …"

(‘ WALL-E’ by Thinkway Toys)

Diorama by RK

Posted by RK*Pictures on 2017-07-14 20:46:30

Tagged: , WALL-E , action figure , toy , Pixar , Disney , science fiction , future , robot , EVE , Earth , contaminated , garbage , Buy-N-Large , trash compactor , clean up , sentience , unit , seedling , plant , all-terrain treads , mobile compactor box , shovel hands , three-fingered , binocular eyes , solar cells , trinkets , yellow , dust , abandoned , Thinkway Toys , curiosity , Hello, Dolly! , music , comedy , animation , movie , computer-animated , deserted world , social criticism , Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class , radio , consumerism , nostalgia , global catastrophic risk , waste management , galaxy , obesity , space , love , cute , planet , spaceship , cockroach friend , Hal , kiss , life , personality , environment , time , humans , adventure , rescue , brave , energy , waste , escape , fun , treasures , mankind , lonely , trash , romantic , machine , function

Telescope on the grass Under the Stars Astronomy

Telescope on the grass Under the Stars background

Astronomy (from Greek: αστρονομία) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry, in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and comets; while the phenomena include supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, all astronomical phenomena that originate outside Earth’s atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with the study of the Universe as a whole.
Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. The early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Nubians, Iranians, Chinese, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy and the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.
During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.
Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets.

Posted by scienceandtechnologysu on 2017-07-12 00:24:17

Tagged: , abstract , astrology , astronomy , atmosphere , background , black , blue , bright , clear , clouds , cluster , color , cosmos , deep , dusk , earth , explosion , fantasy , galaxy , graphic , idyllic , illustration , light , many , moon , nebula , night , open , orbit , outer , planet , pleiades , pure , science , shine , shiny , sky , solar , space , sparkle , star , starry , stars , grass , telescope , twinkle , universe , wallpaper , way , white , Thailand , Planets , Gases , Universal , dust , Dark , matter

Keeping trim

For Macro Monday theme – Bottoms up

This is part of the underneath of one of my paper trimmers. I took one photo and when I saw it on the computer screen I realised how dusty it was so cleaned it and took another photo. There is still some dust but that’s macro for you…who dusts their paper trimmer! 😉 HMM

Posted by judi may…mostly off for a while on 2017-07-10 15:01:07

Tagged: , macro , macro monday , macro mondays , orange , bottoms up , close up , DoF , depth of field , bokeh , filled frame , shapes , curves , Canon 7D , vibrant , colour , table top photography , minimal , minimalism , less is more , less , abstract , underneath of my paper trimmer , oops it’s a bit dusty

Booster Shot

Backpacking trips are good for the body and good for the soul. I have a hard time thinking of anything more healthy (at least for me personally) than multiple days out in the woods full of exercise, fresh air and mood boosting views. Add to that the fact that you are often forced to disconnect from technology and the ever more depressing world of current events…..yeah it’s good for the mind too.

I move different on a backpacking trip. I use different muscles on uneven ground, stepping over logs or crossing streams. I stretch, squat, twist and bend much more than I do in my daily work life. There is no comfy office chair, but instead a grassy slope or flat rock.

I use my eyes differently. Much of my normal day I am looking into DSLR viewfinder or 24 inches away to a computer screen. Out in the backcountry my eyes stare at far away horizons, and size up everything from a snow capped mountain to a tiny wildflower the size of a fingernail.

I photograph differently too, more intently. I study the landscape and look for ways to provide perspective on how massive these objects and places are. I deal with dirt, dust and sweat. Hands lathered with sun screen and bug spray.

A backpacking trip is hard work (more so when you are carrying a Hasselblad) but the pay off is worth it. Not only do I love the images, but I also come back with a healthier body and mind.

Image with my Hasselblad 500cm.

Posted by Aaron Bieleck on 2017-07-07 23:01:17

Tagged: , Hasselblad 500cm , 120 film , analog , 6×6 , square , film , film is not dead , Hasselblad , medium format , wlvf , backpacking , North Sister , outdoors , PNW , Pacific Northwest , Oregon , hiking , Fuji Pro 160s , Sisters Mountains , mountain , landscape , trees , 60mm CT*