Monday, August 24, 2009


Chase a steam locomotive with a Ford Model A and catch it? It doesn't get better than that! My heart was in my throat a couple times.

'Scuse the small image, we're saving up for a bigger Philco.

Friday, August 21, 2009


The Hammond Novachord. You've heard them, you just never knew what they were. It's a genuine polyphonic synth, with a bank of oscillators feeding serried ranks of dividers and clever wave-shaping/note-shaping circuitry and every active component is a great big ol' vacuum tube. "Ahead of its time" doesn't even come close.

...Amazing as it is, now consider the kind of dedication and talent it takes to restore one from "found in a garage" to "like new" and then play it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The Russian space program used CW (some of it shortwave!) for at least some communications for a long time; for all I know, they still do. It's a sensibly simple backup.

And the cosmonauts were no slouches at the key, either. Here's audio from 1964's Voskhod-1, demonstrating the kind of skill more folks should have. Man's got a darned fine "fist!" I'm tickled by the slight "swing," especially the stretched out final DAH in "K" ("Go Ahead," or "Over") at the end, a touch which is not unknown in amateur radio.

Audio found at this interesting site. Want to learn how high school students tracked space missions in the 1960s?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The item on the right, that is:What is it? It's a National SW-3 receiver. Not entirely working at present but it is all there. A classic bit of ham radio technology.

On the left, my Ten-Tec Scout transceiver, which is becoming an antique, too. Ten-Tec stopped making them awhile back. Like the SW-3 (and the upscale HRO), it uses plug-in coils to change bands, perhaps the last use of this very old technique in commercial radio equipment.