Ryan Flowers

Author's posts

Cheap Soldering Iron: Which one?

In this entry we’ll talk about my search for a cheap soldering iron. I’ve been burning myself with cheap soldering irons since I was about 10 years old and I taught myself various bad ways to solder. I’ve dabbled in electronics here and there since then, always curious but not really knowing what I was …

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BITX40 VFO Alternatives (and more!)

The BITX40 is a great radio but before they started shipping with a digital VFO, the BITX40 VFO was a big hurdle to getting on the air. The VFO is what tunes the radio, and the BITX40 VFO isn’t very stable. This can make it hard to stay on a frequency once you tune to it. …

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BITX40: L-Match Tuner for an End Fed Antenna

Can you hear me now? With my BITX40 in a temporary enclosure and with the PTT switch and Mic connected, it was time to try to make some contacts. I’d tuned the trimmer capacitor next to L4 it so that I could get into the upper part of the US 40M band and ended up …

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BITX40 Project Progress

A week ago I showed you the BITX40, a 40 Meter SSB radio for $45 from hfsigs.com in India. The kit arrived, and we’ve managed to put it together without letting the magic smoke out! Let us look at how the kit arrived and a minor challenge that was overcome. Unboxing the BITX40 was quite interesting. …

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40 Meters for $45: The BITX40 SSB Tranciever project.

This time around we’ll talk about an exciting radio: The BITX40 kit from hfsigs.com in India. More about that in a minute! The most expensive thing about ham radio is not getting your license. In fact that’s probably the single cheapest part of the whole hobby! Just some study time and $15 to take the …

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Amateur Radio: Dissipating Static Electricity on wire Antennae

We’re trying to get my friends station setup complete. We got his radio installed, and an End Fed Half Wave (EFHW) 40-20-15-10M antenna installed. The problem is that electrical noise is fairly bad on it, and he can hardly hear some signals. One solution to this is to make an RF Choke out of extra …

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Amateur Radio: Upgrading from Technician to General

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been slowly getting back into ham radio. When I started with Amateur Radio in 1996, there was a Morse Code requirement for all but the No-Code Technician license, which had privileges mostly in VHF bands, above 50mhz. There might have been some 29mhz (10 Meter) privileges, I don’t …

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The Mad Scientist Hacker Lamp

Cheesy puns aside, I needed to be able to see in my little work area where I plan to play with electronics while I try not to burn myself with my soldering irons. Over the summer I bought a couple of workbench tables at a garage sale. One condition was that I had to take everything on …

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Getting Back into Ham Radio (aka UV5R Basics)

Getting back into ham radio was a long drawn out process for me, and I must admit it’s still ongoing. I don’t necessarily need it for anything, and I’m not one to just sit and chat with strangers, or get into a club of any sort. It’s just not who I am. But, I did …

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Adventures in GitHub (and why I just use Bash)

First let me say- I am not a software developer. But, I’ve written several scripts for system administration of Linux servers. You might say they are programs, but if you ask me, they’re just elaborate one-liners that outgrew the the command line! But they have indeed grown, and one of them is 250 lines at …

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