Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My heart's answer, as any reader could easily guess, is "why pick just one?" but on an e-mail reflector to which I subscribe, a member was asking after the best, most basic and most portable typewriter.

If size is an issue and simplicity the key, the three-row Underwood that graces this blog's heading would be my choice. It's built like a tank, is remarkably free of extras and has the smallest footprint of any practical typewriter.

If weight is more an issue than size, one of Remington's more basic portables from the 1930s and '40s would be my desert-island choice.

Past pen or pencil and paper, what would you take? Typewriter through laptop through whatever....

Sunday, July 26, 2009


...How I depend on thy hams! It's funny, even when 40 meters is just about dead, I will usually find one or two VE calls soldiering along.

Tonight's QSO was interesting but frustrating on two counts -- he was just a bit faster than I can accurately copy and my bug keys were not cooperating with my sleepy[1] fingers. I used the Begali bug, which I am getting better with, and switched to my "Millennium Bug" (Vibroplex's Y2K Blue Racer) for something a bit quicker. That proved to be a mistake, as the dit contact started out unhappy and became less so.

What I have learned:
1. I should not hesitate to ask the other ham to QRS.
2. I need to add some non-slippy material under the bugs (the blobby-net kind of shelf paper is great for this. Morse Express used to include a piece of it with every bug and keyer-paddle they sold and probably still do).
3. I want to wire the key jacks of my transmitters out to a panel of 1/4" jacks and start sticking cables with standard PJ-055 plugs (mil-spec 1/4" mono headphone-type plugs, of which I have several) on my keys. Reaching over and fumbling a 1/8" plug into the back of the rig is no fun, especially with an improvised power connection.[2]
4. Likewise, simply grabbing a bug that I had all set up four or five years ago? Not such a good idea. There are more than few adjustments on them. (Plus, I need to unearth my code-practice oscillator so I can set them up properly).

The last item reminds me -- my ham readers all know about the VOM trick, right? Once you have your bug running the way you want it, set an analog volt ohmmeter to Ohms, zero it, and connect the leads to your bug's terminals. Send a string of dits and adjust the dit contact screw so the meter reads center scale and you've got perfect 50-percent duty-cycle dits!
1. I got up at 0400, went to the Skunk Works North Campus for eight hours, came home and tried to microwave a meal but promptly forgot it. After Tam reminded me, I ate and napped 'til late. Went down to the shack, hammed a bit and I am headed back to bed shortly. So much for my prospective membership in the Order Of The Boiled Owl. (Seems there is a ham club by that name, which originally referred to a radio amateur so enthusiastic, he stayed awake all night hamming. Please note that the well-dressed amateur of 1923 wore a tie while so doing, too).

2. The Molex-like power connector Ten-Tec used has a very different plastic shell but Molex pins and sockets fit well enough. Add a few wraps of self-amalgamating tape and voila! A kludge that will fry your power supply unless treated with care. (I prefer that kind of tape to the linerless variants; experience has shown the silicone tape fuses better. Transparent versions are available, too).


Why is it, at least for me, that 20 words per minute code with each letter sent at that speed is slightly smoother to copy than 15 wpm code with each letter sent at the 20 wpm speed?

...On a related note, I can still copy 20 wpm (but not solid; I have the occasional alphabet crash and have to abandon a word to catch up). This would explain why bug keys seemed to be getting more "tame." They're not; I was a little faster than I thought I was -- and the "real fast" CW QSOs* I hear on the bands are blazin'!

(Also? Blogger's delayed-posting feature is fun!)
* Translation for non-hams: "..the 'real fast' radiotelegraph conversations I hear on the amateur bands are blazin'!"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


"The Art And Skill Of Radio-Telegraphy," by William G. Pierpont, N0HFF, is available as a free download. It is the definitive handbook on learning Continental Morse Code as used in radiotelegraphy. Yes, you missed out on the heyday of The Candler System; what N0HFF is giving away is better.

(Printed, bound copies of the Fourth Edition with a nifty new cover were available at the same site for $11.50 American until they sold them all. Fifth Edition is promised soon).

I recommend this book, which starts out with the profoundly fundamental advice to learn the code by the sound of the letters, not as "dots and dashes," and further to begin picking up word-elements as early as you can. I did neither when I originally learned. Beginning wrong made getting past about ten words per minute a real struggle until I started over, concentrating on code as an aural language, a patterned series of sounds.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I have in the past alluded the the painful truth that my mad, 1337* typing skills hover in the grey muck between two-finger typing and being able to reliably touch-type, I hope nearer the latter. There are fixes for that, the diresome sink-or-swim blank keytops of your High School Typing or Data Entry or Keyboarding class being a prime example of one approach.

There is another, a bit lazier but perhaps better for a late adopter looking to change her habits, and nice example showed up on an auction site last week. I set my sights on it, bid, won and it arrived today:A Remington 5 with color-coded keytops to remind the hapless which finger goes where! It's in nice shape, too; a little dusty and a few dings in the paint but not totally beat up and the keys I have tried are working well. Plus, it's got that zoomy streamlining, so you know it won't overheat when one's speed reaches the practical limit.

A little Goop to clean the exterior, some Flitz for the plated metal and de-mustification for the case....
* Here's just how 'leet I am: years ago, I lived in an apartment in an old, Victorian house at No. 1337!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Went down to the hamshack last night, just cleaning up a bit and "reading the mail," which means idly tuning around for ongoing conversations (in Morse) and eavesdropping. It's a part of the hobby from Day One and helps keep one's code skills sharp.

Found myself at the little Corona Four typewriter, copying about 70% of a fairly rote conversation between a couple of guys zipping along in excess of 20 words a minute. Touch-typing and reading code go together like chocolate and peanut butter and when it's working well, your ears and your fingers seem to be directly connected!

Couldn't leave well enough alone; after they were done, the low end of 40 meters was pretty quiet. I picked a frequency, called CQ and shazam! A VA3-prefix (up Canada way) replied. We chatted a bit before our signals faded away. Ontario's not exactly distant but I was running less power than an old-fashioned desk lamp and his power was even lower: about like talking across the length of a football field by clicking a ballpoint pen.

Monday, July 13, 2009


(Side note: had a QSO using my Begali bug tonight. It's a real gem!)

I bought more than just a paperweightish fan! The first thing that caught my attention was this little gem, late of the U. S. Army if the label on the back is to be trusted:

It's an output meter, a kind of specialized AC voltmeter very handy in receiver alignment. Plus, it looks cool.
...To me, anyway.

Then I found a few tools -- some brace bits in fair shape, including an adjustable one. These can be resharpened, especially if you have the special little file for that purpose. Mine is...right around here somewhere.

Picked up a pair of slip-joint (or "gas") pliers with a 45-degree bend in the jaws. (Photo later). You can find various needle-nose pliers with 45 and 90 degree bent tips but anything more substantial is uncommon. And assorted brushes: 1/2"-wide paint brushes and the handy little "acid brushes" about 3/8" wide. Plus a half-dozen PL-259s, the amateur-standard coax connector for many a decade.

...Oh, one more thing: I came back 'round and it was still there, covered with a tarp against the rain. The price had fallen even more and the seller offered to carry it to my car. Sold! Powered it up Sunday and it works! Nice receiver.

Even with taking the test, I had some time to visit my friend Don and his wife, very fine folks. He's one of the guys who run the hamfest and I owe him some serious relief time at the official hamfest table.

Leaving was an adventure in and of itself. The parking area varies from a little lower to a lot lower than the exits. It's just a grassy field and we'd had a couple of heavy rains plus drizzle. My little car wouldn't make it up one exit and nearly got stuck; made it over to the other side and just barely got on the road. Hey, "just barely" counts!


Just a quick note -- went down to the hamshack about 2350 EDT and called CQ twice, 50 w on the 40 meter band from not much of an antenna. An ON4 station replied, not very strong signals but there he was, and we had a quick conversation.

The ON4 prefix would be Belgium.

That doesn't happen.

But it did!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I arrived about 0730, which is a wonder for me, and promptly found myself at the end of a long line of vehicles waiting to get in. We all moved along quite smartly, though, and I was being guided to a place in the squishy, unpaved field in a few minutes. Remembering the weather forecast, I had my doubts about getting back out but then again, we're talking several hundred radio amateurs: about one auto in four was some sort of a truck and the younger guys are just about always ready to lend a hand. (This proved to be half a prophecy, or perhaps two-thirds, but that's another story).

There isn't any real high ground at Camp Sertoma so you'll have to take my word that there was a good crowd and a goodly number of tables, in four rows about a city block long each, generally down both sides. I passed up a Ten-Tech OMNI-D, alleged to be in working condition and priced to move at $325. Not tube-type but a fine example of solid engineering.
"Solid engineering" is all around at these gatherings -- here's a VFO, a pair of power supplies and a slow old oscilloscope. (I'll tell you a secret about those "slow old scopes:" If the HV power supply is working, you can get right to the deflection plates in 'em, bypassing the tube amplifiers that are the slow part. A visible fraction of an inch per volt is typical sensitivity and with a proper DC-isolation condenser in series, they will let you look at very high frequencies. There are limits to this trick and it is deadly dangerous if you don't know what you're doing! Most of them will also do an "X-Y" display without any modification, quite interesting with the Left and Right channels of a stereo signal hooked to the inputs).

Speaking of audio, need a microphone? The front rank is the still-ubiquitous Astatic D-104 crystal microphone, a nice-sounding (communications-grade) device that was built from 1933 through 2001. (More D-104 info here). Closest in the front rank is (I think) a Shure "Green Bullet" mic popular with harmonica players for its overload characteristics. Or possibly a relative.

The seller also had some nice Heathkit items -- I was tempted by the "universal" tube rig power supply (HP-23) just edging into the snapshot at the right but left it for a Heathkit collector to find. Power supply parts are still pretty well available, thanks in part to the guitar amp and tube high-fidelity folks who keep demand for new parts high.

I saw something on the third table that I looked at that the seller dropped the price on as soon as I expressed interest. I paid for and left it there (hey, he looked honest!), as it was a little heavy and awkward. We'll get back to that.

This HQ-140XA called out to me. I don't own any Hammarlunds and though I'd prefer something even older, they kept the same basic layout all along. The price was right but I decided to see the rest of the flea market before deciding. Interesting National transceiver next to it -- that's an NCX-5, I believe, and he had an NCX-3 next to it. They are said to run to hangar queenliness and are not very common; by the time they were introduced, Collins had captured the high-end market and held it right up until they stopped making amateur radio equipment. As a result, Collins gear is a lot more common, commands higher prices, and enjoys a higher level of support within the hobby.

Like any other tables-for-rent venue (collector-car meet, gun show, etc.), not every seller is entirely focused; this one does have a nice assortment of threaded fasteners but also offers gum boots, some sort of instrument keyboard, mounted and unmounted animal skulls, soft-sided luggage and Star Wars memorabilia. Um, okay. Is that a Jackelope?
And there's always one or two how-did-it-get-here? items, like this device.

I know what it is and what it does; it appears to be complete and the price is way more than right. I'd kind of like to have it for work. What I don't know is where it came from, if the less-obvious parts of it are actually functioning and -- on a Saturday -- if Andrew still supports this model. (It's a compressor/dehydrator with nifty rate-of-flow controls and metering on the output, used to keep high-power RF transmission lines -- rigid coaxial line and waveguide -- dry. This is important, as they tend to arc over and burn if they get damp inside.

Could I get reimbursed if I bought it and it needed expensive repair? Could I carry it to my car unassisted? Probably not and oh, holy heck no. Kind of a nifty gadget to look at, though.

Anent nifty gadgets, I went to the air-conditioned building and before I took the upgrade exam on impulse, I saw these:
The one on the left is a semiautomatic key about one-quarter the size of the typical Standard Vibroplex and possibly as much as three-quarters the size of the tiny, rare Vibroplex "Midget." It functions perfectly; shut your eyes and your fingers think it's a very good example of one of the big keys. On the right, an all-mechanical, fully automatic key, meaning it makes dits and DAHs as long as you hold the lever in the proper direction (not forever, it's mechanical and you're the sole source of power!), about two-thirds the size of any other examples of this very rare type of key. The fellow who makes them lives here in Indianapolis and every year, he has a few new ones to show. His work is simply amazing, generally eschewing springs in favor of magnetic repulsion and using innovative bearing designs.

What did I buy that was heavy and awkward? Something inherently dangerous! And esthetically pleasing, at least to me:
Yes, it's an antique fan and no, it doesn't work. You can see the cap over one of the brushes at the right and the wire leading from it back into the motor housing. The wire from the motor housing to the base is missing, as is the cord and plug. In the base, a nifty switch with open contacts; the little tab that sticks out is on the "live" switch arm. though the tab itself is Bakelite and probably perfectly okay with everyone except the good folks at Underwriter's Labs -- just don't stick your little fingers in the slot it works in, as the hot stuff is right inside! Then there's the mostly-notional protective grille... The universal-wound motor is probably rebuildable and I am tempted to see if the local motor shop will look it over and try fixing the motor. The base, grille and blades can be cleaned up and painted -- I'd like to re-Japan the base but it's tricky to get right and a good sanding followed by gloss enamel is temptingly simple. The oscillatory drive does still work as the motor shaft is turned and the bearings don't have much play. How cool is that?

The other items I bought will be covered in a later post. Stay tuned!


I'll be posting about Saturday's dinner -- tonight's too unless I hear a good reason why not -- over at the other blog, but it included corn muffins, which I make from mix. A very good mix; please note their proud announcement:

I do have one quibble; the instructions call for one (1) egg but the muffins or cornbread will hold together a lot better if you add two instead. I think it's tastier, too.

There's one more trick to try if you can -- growing up, I had a pair of ducks, Alice and Emma, (from a series of children's books the title and author of which elude me) who delivered a fresh pair of eggs each and every morning and duck eggs are the A ticket for cornbread and other hearty breads. They are richer and have a somewhat stronger flavor. It probably helped that our supply was seriously fresh, too.

(Ducks are quirky creatures. Egg-laying seemed to come as a surprise to those two. They'd raise a fuss until the eggs would get collected! Just a couple of irresponsible partygirls, I guess).

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Why? Because I am now an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator instead of a mere Advanced!

I was at the Indianapolis Hamfest (report to follow with some photos), having worked my way through the flea market to the the sole-and-only air-conditioned building (also, it had started to rain), when the PA system announced, "The bus to the testing location is about to depart!"

"H'mmm," I thought to myself, "I have not been exactly shining on the online practice tests (see links in right sidebar) but I have been passing the Extra exam -- why not give it a go?"

So I scurried out to the "bus" (8-seater SUV) for a rather loooong ride into the next county, were tests were being administered by Volunteer Examiners in the fellowship hall of a local church. Started to sign in, realized I needed a photocopy of my license and hitched a ride to the closest photocopier (at the town library) with another ham. Took the test, really stumped by a few questions, but hey, who knows.

Sure enough, once they'd scored the exam, I had passed!

Considering that I still have (somewhere) my Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam Element for the old twenty-words-per-minute code test, I shall count myself an old-fashioned Extra -- after all, I can prove it!

What's this get me, you may ask? Aside from bragging rights, a little elbow room: holders of the Extra-class ticket have exclusive use of the lowest 25 kilocycles of the ham bands, or most of them, anyway.

Until my Official License arrives, I have to ID myself as "W9---/AE" when using the exclusive frequencies and in International Code that slant bar is composed to the letters D and N sent all run together, a middling awkward construction, "DAHdidiDAHdit."

Can't say that I mind it!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Purchased the book of that exact title on CD-ROM, a reprint from 1937 (see? I really do commute!) filled with set-specific problems and fixes: And with nifty bits of boosterism like this: ...Which I would like to enlarge and post over my basement workbench and at work next to the door to the Engineering Shop, too. No Bucks, not only "no Buck Rogers," no Dr. Zarkhov, either!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Oklahoma this time, on a very busy and electrically noisy 40m band. He came back to a single 3X3 call (CQ CQ CQ de W9--- W9--- W9---)[1] with code as clear and crisp as a practice tape[2] and I was somehow not especially surprised when later on in the conversation, he averred his age was 91 and he'd been a ham about 75 of those years!

The band snapped and crackled away from us before I had much chance to learn how he'd spent that three-quarters of century but it was fun while it lasted. It's not a little flattering when a real OT (Old Timer, an admirable title in the hobby) with an FB fist (very well-sent code) answers your call and takes time to chat.
1. Looks like Greek? It's not that complicated. "CQ" is a general call, sort of, "Hello, who wants to yakk?" and it is a bit of a pun on "seek you;" "de" is internationally used for "from" in this context 'cos it is nice and short (DAHdidit dit) and hey, it even means from in French; W9--- is my callsign, so whoever wants to chat uses that and replies, "W9--- de (his or her callsign)," and we go from there.

2. Paper tape, with holes punched in it. I've got one of those machines and tapes for it, too -- a little motor pulls the tape through switch contacts and you hook up a code beeper to it.


Sounds as if it ought to be a beer, no? Or perhaps a cigar.

It's a typewriter, perhaps the smallest of the pre-WW II machines and an interesting transition: sleek, streamlined case but big, round keys:This photo doesn't give a good idea of the height: it's only 2" tall! One of the last machines to shift by moving the platen instead of the type basket, as there isn't enough vertical room to do the latter. You can't put the cover back on if the shift is locked, either.

I'm pretty sure this is the direct ancestor of their postwar "Skywriter" portable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Just signed off with K7MQV (who I of course copied as "W7---") in Washington state! Not bad, especially since it was me callin' CQ. Conditions were lousy and I'm up too late on a school night, so it was just a quick swap of signal reports, locations and names, ending with the usual best wishes; but hey: I heard the West Coast! I got a signal out!

That's a first for this location. The Ten-Tec Scout comes through again! They have a rep for having a slightly noisy receiver and fragile tuning mechanicals but I like mine.

No bug key this outing. I wouldn't inflict my rusty bug CW "fist" on anyone. Used a WW II British "W.T. 8 AMP." straight key, a little heavier than the Bunnell "Triumph" type (e.g. J-38) more commonly seen but a good, solid key.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Four-Row Underwood

It showed up the other day, a later Underwood portable in green(!) wrinkle(!!) paint. Looked pretty good in the photos but the keys and strikers proved to be frozen up. H'mm, maybe put it up on an auction site?

Might as well see if it'll wake up, first. Spent all of ten minutes soaking the moving parts with very light oil and working the mechanisms and it freed right up. There are still some issues -- one letter's striker typebar is loose (hello, Tix solder!) and it will need some realignment to keep it from sticking -- but it's the usual built-like-a-tank Underwood.

After getting it going, I took a long look at the Mysterious Inner Workings. The typical ribbon advance and reversing mechanism on small portables uses a sliding linkage to move right-angle gears into (or out of) mesh at the ribbon spools. So (generally) there's a long, transverse rod or shaft that moves a short distance back and forth in the same direction as the carriage and it gets rotational drive from the same setup that advances the carriage when a key is struck. See the rod and tiny gears?
It's pretty obvious on this Underwood but drat! It wouldn't slide back and forth. More stuck stuff? Bumped it and something went click....Oh!See what it does? Rotational drive is at the center, a little hand like on a revolver that advances one tooth per letter and the shaft is pivoted at that point! To change ribbon feed direction, the shaft pivots away from one gear and into mesh with the one on the other side. Pretty tricky! The 90-degree drive is a worm type, with a helical "tooth" on the shaft, rather than the more usual flat-cone method.

Word to the wise: Don't play games involving mental agility for money against retired Underwood design engineers.


Yesterday, I very carefully made up a replacement DC power cable for my Ten-Tec "Scout" ("Old Reliable," for which I have bandpacks for 160m through 10m for all the normal Pre-WARC bands) . Got down to the shack and remembered the power supply takes an IEC cable for the wall-socket 110 which I also did not have.

Took care of that on the way home from work today. After bicycling to and from the market and listening to the usual Tuesday night chat show, I went downstairs, hooked it up and taa-daa! Signals! Copied a little W1AW (on a mill, no less, at 15 wpm -- not well, but that's my sketchy touch-typing). I'm too sleepy to try more than that but hey, I might get back on the air yet this week!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Here it is, in all its glory (helps if you know guys who are removing big, old transmitters!).Those are big meters, probably from an old RCA transmitter. Set-reading pots below them, which I should have got as a matched set and ganged so the meter ranges would (mostly) track. Maybe notched pulleys on the shafts and a toothed belt to link them?

Of course, the meter's got to have a pickup element. This one is just razor-cut PC board and a handful of parts inside a homebrew minibox.

Alas, my hamshack is even more chaotic than ever. ...Give me time! (Yes, the Drake W4 Wattmeter is dead, as they so often are).
Speaking of time, it's time for bed!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


The next Indianapolis Hamfest -- they have some fancy-schmancy name for it now, but lookit the URL, it's still a hamfest -- is coming up Saturday, 11 July. Looking forward to it!


At least I think I was on the air. I spent a frustrating couple of hours on the low end of 40 Meters, calling stations that were CQing and doing a little CQing myself. No result.

At least I finally made up another coax jumper; when I moved my ham gear a couple of years ago, most of the random bits of coax and twinlead ended up in a box that itself ended up on the bottom of a pile of boxes, somewhere. The DC power cable for my previous main "appliance" rig* is probably in there, too; the transceiver I have been using in place of it is a bit older and it may have a problem. I got out the "blunderbuss" 75 Watt American Beauty iron, some salvaged PL-259s and a scrap of RG-223 and proved once again that trick to re-using UHF connectors is "get a bigger iron." A lot of work to not result in a QSO.

On the other hand, I did have a chance to copy a little code, tune around one of my favorite bands and try several different keys. The racket of various digital modes has crept as low as 7040kc/s, which must surely irk the QRPers. The old "Boatanchor" calling and working frequency, 7050 kc/s, is solid data now. I don't see the appeal but I hope they're having fun!

The last thing I did in the shack was go digging for some other misplaced hardware (my nice homebrew transmatch). Didn't find that but I did find the fancy homebrew reflectometer, hooray! Photos later.
* It is, I will admit, solid state. You have to have something for those days when you're too sleepy to be safe around breadboarded high voltage -- anyway, I do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


For one night a year, the big shore stations go back on the air! Starting 12 July at 1701 PDT -- 0001 GMT, 13 July -- KPH comes back, KSM lights up, possibly commercial stations KFS, WLO and KLB along with United States Coast Guard stations NMC, NOJ and NMN. They'll be on both HF and MF, the 400-500 kc/s range. (Frequencies are listed on the linked page). Amateur station K6KPH will be taking signal reports on 3550, 7050 and 14050 kc/s.

Anent K6KPH, the ops at MRHS add, "Professional operators will be at the key and commercial procedures will be used. But please don't hesitate to call, no matter what your code speed or experience level may be." If you've never heard, let alone worked, a commercial radiotelegraph operator, the difference between ops who've done it for a living and most amateurs, including me, is like the difference between reading a typewritten page and reading a stranger's handwriting.


The fine lads and lasses at the Maritime Radio Historical Society, starting up and operating the 1940 Press Wireless Transmitter at KSM.


Actually, it's full-auto. Seen at Tom Perera's table at the 2009 Dayton Hamvention:The phono motor runs a worm drive, which has a variable-speed, ninety-degree drive on its output. That provides drive to a pair of clutches that, when engaged by means of the angled levers at the front, drive the 3:1 and 1:1 ratio toothed cam wheels which operate switch contacts (hidden in this view) to produce the actual Continental Code outputs.* Or, possibly, the levers just slide the already-engaged cams over to engage the switch contacts. Love that exposed keep-your-mitts-off fan!

How well it works, how synchronism is maintained between dits ("dots") and dahs ("dashes." This is like "clip" vs. "magazine" only more so) and if it is iambic, alternating between the two if both levers are engaged, remain unknown. The lucky owner had only recently found it and was in the process of discovery.

I have long been of the opinion that one could do much the same thing with a spring-driven clockwork mechanism and were I a better home shop machinist -- or amateur horologist! -- I'd attempt to build one.
* Exercise for The Reader: how can we be certain this device wasn't built for American Morse use?


A project. Known issues: needs cleaning and the carriage-advance cord has broken, not uncommon for these machines; Corona used something organic that resembles unwaxwed linen saddle thread.But it sure is pretty!

My experience with Corona Fours is that a good example will run well. A moderately long-stroke keyboard but one that requires little effort to actuate, just about mandating the use of heavy second sheet* for those of us who tend to lead-fingeredness.

Does anyone know where to get old-style newsprint-paper second sheet? I used to buy it by the ream (canary yellow), at less than half the cost of 20-lb. white bond. Just the thing for carbons and first drafts. Now it's gone unobtanium.
* Second sheet: that's the the page behind the page you're typing on. Use it! Your typewriter's strikers will last longer and your work will look better. --Add a sheet of carbon paper in between if you're A Real Writer or, like me in my misspent youth, trying to be.


Some people like the old-tech posts at my other blog. Some, not.

Here, I have a place to indulge my fancy and I can do short versions over at "Adventures."


...The Boarder walks down the hall, intoning "tactactac." 'Cos I'm typeblogging!Fresh Peaches! (Now if only I could figure out how to make the displayed text image larger).
"Folded" and "unfolded" pix:

A modern cartridge pen and a futuristic Western Electric 300-series desk telephone (direct dial, no less) in the background -- I just can't imagine why people call me old-fashioned!