Either running a fever is the same as having too much to drink or doing drugs, or there's a network of little low-power noncommercial FM stations in Hawaii that rents time on the brains of engineering-type people running a fever.
I kept waking up last night saying things, with incredibly detailed memories of working on little transmitters in lush, difficult-to-access locations (and atop a few tall buildings). "H'mm, transmitter won't stay on. How's the VSWR?"* or, "No. Not that." and so on.
Last night I never got as far as the bathtub. My limbs felt so heavy I could hardly move and I was very chilly. Crawled into bed and woke three hours later, burning up, perspiring. Only slept an hour at a time after that, always nodding off while freeezin' and waking up hot. And chatty.
I'm up, I've had breakfast (simplest possible: eggs scrambled with bacon and rice) and I'm going back to bed. And this time, Mr. Kamehameha, I am not workin' on your nickle-dime transmitters; you need to buy some new ones, made by reputable firms. Crown or Nautel or somebody.
* Pronounced "VIZ-WHAR," it's a measurement of the matching between a transmitter and antenna (etc.). The letters stand for "Voltage Standing-Wave Ratio," harkening back to a distant past in which VHF transmitter output was measured in RF Volts across a known load impedance instead of just drawing the meter scale to show the power in Watts, a very simple bit of basic algebra: voltage squared divided by resistance. Yeah, the scale divisions aren't linear that way. Deal with it.
P.S. So, I go to some transmitter company's website and there's a guy asking, "Suppose I had to hike up a mountain through the snow to replace some major subassemblies in an FM transmitter, what tools should I carry?" Here's my answer: you should be having to explain to your boss why there aren't tools up there already, taken up when the weather was good! C'mon, you don't need anything fancy, the basic electronics tool set has changed little since the 1930s other than VOMs are better and cheaper. You're already going to be lugging one or more power supplies and/or RF amps, kid, you shouldn't have to haul a clanking pile of screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers, too. Harbor Freight is your friend. $200 in tools beats dead in a snowdrift every time. It's not the ne plus ultra in hand tools? So what.
INDIANAPOLIS HAMFEST, 2015
1 month ago