Monthly Archives: November 2007

Interesting Comparison of Various Low band Receiving Antennas

Comparison Chart of Different Rx antennas by Lee K7TJR is one of the rare opportunities to look at a cross section of receive antennas for 160m and 80/75m from a fairly level cross-comparison point of view.

Lee K7TJR has calculated gain, front to back, and RDF computed at 20 degrees elevation over average ground and at 1.850 Mhz.

Check it out at:



Interesting Read on Payments in US Gold Coins – Seems the IRS can’t have its cake & eat it too.

Interesting Read on Payments in US Gold Coins

Seems the IRS can’t have its cake & eat it too.

In summary a business has been paying its subcontractors in our modern gold & silver coinage, declaring only the face value for taxation.

This has put a face value of only $2600, or what is below non-tax-reportable levels, on what could be exchanged for $42,000 – if the sub-contractor chooses to sell his gold & silver coinage for paper (read Fiat) Federal Reserve Notes at market.

Seems the Federal Government made a mess of creating the dual money system – the modern silver/gold investment series of coinage remains classified as simple “legal tender” at face value – as it was the same as the Federal Reserve Notes paper money (Fiat notes).

The IRS took this fellow, his business and the sub-contractors to criminal court (guns, chains & jumpsuits – that sort of nonsense) over $114,000,000 in transactions that were paid at face value with the gold-silver coinage at a low rate of payment.

Uncle filed 161 criminal charges and at the end of the trial they scored Zero Convictions.  Two defendants were not cleared of small items (will have to read the cases when they are published to understand what level of technical violations were discovered) and several of the charges resulted in “hung jury” which would allow the government to retry those charges without asking the courts permission to file an appeal.

Apparently the magic is if the coinage is modern, carries the US Dollar denomination and “In God We Trust.”  Again the reading of the cases when published will provide a better insight.  Pre-FDR coinage is, by legislation, clearly not legal tender and would fail this test, as would any non-US gold/silver coinage.

Very interesting!

Unexplored in the article is what tax liability is incurred by the subcontractor if they sell some of their “pay” at more than face value? 

One article on the cases is at:

Liberty Watch Magazine article on Gold vs Fiat Payments



Really Cool Homebrew Crystal Radio Sets by Dave N2DS

Some of N2DS’s Crystal Radio Sets

Dave N2DS has built an amazing collection of radios that are simply beautiful.

His website gives a person an insight into the quality and the attractiveness of his homebrew crystal radios.

Well worth the visit!



Brian N1BQ’s Arduino Page – More Arduino Learning Resources

Arduino Picture
Arduino Picture with Breadboard

Brian N1BQ’s Arduino Page brings together a mass of Arduino resources as well as a tutorial he is working on. Lessons up to lesson number 7 are already up with 11 more to follow.

It is worth bookmarking this one if you are an Arduino experimenter.

Thanks to Brian N1BQ for the excellent all-in-one Arduino Page!



EDIT – URLs updated 20 FEB 2010

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An Illuminating Idea for Gear – Glowire

Glowire on a Pencil

I presently looking into using Glowire to light areas of my shack during operation that need some light, but only as a reference.

Some of the in-vehicle uses look adaptable to outfitting for amateur radio gear.

Same firm offers ultra-bright LEDs and also Glowsheets using the same technology on a flat sheet.

Here is a small sampling of the information on the Glowire website:

What is GLOWIRE?
GLOWIRE is an electroluminescent wire – a copper wire coated with a phosphorus material and wrapped with two tiny transmitter wires. It is then sealed in a waterproof casing. GLOWIRE looks very similar to neon when powered.

What makes it glow?
GLOWIRE must be powered by a driver (inverter) in order to glow. A driver takes a DC input voltage and provides an AC output voltage of approximately 120 volts. Both 9 volt and 12 volt drivers are available with varying frequencies ranging from 400 to 4000hz. Brightness is determined by voltage and frequency. The lower the frequency, the dimmer it glows, the higher frequency the brighter it glows.

How do I know which driver to use?
You need to determine the length of GLOWIRE you want to run and the type of power source you are using. 9 volt drivers will generally run a maximum of 12-14 feet of GLOWIRE. Using longer sections of wire will decrease the brightness. You also need to use a minimum of at least 3 feet or the driver may overload and be damaged. Some of the 12 volt drivers can power 120 feet of wire or more.

How is GLOWIRE used?
The uses of GLOWIRE are limited only by your imagination. Some of the most common uses are for RC models, car interiors, costumes, safety equipment, motorcycles, decorations, art projects, backlighting or mood lighting, signs and model trains. The list goes on and on.

Does it come in different colors?
General purpose GLOWIRE comes in 10 colors: aqua, blue, green, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow.
Heavy duty GLOWIRE comes in 8 colors: aqua, blue, green, lime, orange, red, white and yellow.
Ultra heavy duty GLOWIRE comes in 5 colors: aqua, blue, green, lime and yellow.
Aqua is considered to be the brightest color as it is the natural color of the wire.

What is the difference between general purpose, heavy duty, and ultra heavy duty GLOWIRE?
General purpose GLOWIRE has a diameter of 2.3mm. It is generally used for situations where the wire will not be under a great deal of stress. Heavy duty GLOWIRE has an extra layer of PVC protection and also UV protection giving it a diameter of 3.2mm. Ultra heavy duty GLOWIRE has an even thicker layer of pvc protection and has a flat side for easy installation. The ultra heav duty GLOWIRE comes with 1/8″ clear 3M double sided high bond tape for easy mounting.

Does it ever burn out?
Although GLOWIRE never burns out, it will become dimmer over time. The higher the frequency used to power the wire, the faster it will dim. At 4000hz it will last over 1600 hours. At 400hz it will remain bright for over 5700 hours.

Can it be cut?
GLOWIRE can easily be cut with wire cutters. The cut end needs to be properly terminated to prevent moisture damage and to prevent the wire from shorting out. GLOWIRE runs on a parallel circuit, therefore there does not have to be a return path. The end will need to be sealed with super glue, epoxy, silicone, heat shrink, etc to make certain that no moisture will get in the wire.

Can GLOWIRE be spliced with other wire?
Yes, you can add as much hook up wire as needed, but the total amount of GLOWIRE is limited by the type of driver you are using. For example, if you are using a 5541-2K driver, it can drive 18-45 feet of GLOWIRE. You can have 5 feet of hook up wire, 20 feet of GLOWIRE, 10 feet of hook up wire, 10 feet of GLOWIRE, 5 feet of hook up wire and up to 15 more feet of GLOWIRE.

More to follow as I experiment with Glowire. I have a R/C airplane started and plan to incorporate it in this plane as well as experiment in my shack.



Bogus Complaints – Declaring War or Just Plain Stupidity?

I’ve been noticing people spending a considerable amount of time – all wasted – because of phantom calls to various government agencies making spurious claims of non-compliance with this rule or that rule.

Excepting the most pressing situation, I will not make calls to government agencies, even if what observed appears to warrant a call, rather I’ve personally have been choosing to directly notify the person what I have made for observations.  

Let’s be clear though, I’ll call if someone is in danger or a crime is going on.

This only makes sense, as in the end a Safe & Rule-Compliant world is a healthy world for all of us.

Unfortunately we have people in society who not only see this differently, but have neither the technical expertise to tell what is going on, or in some cases simply do not care if they make a false claim as their goal is straight forward warfare by proxy.

Apparently they do not realize that usually only employee “whistle blowers” are afforded some ID protection, as most government agencies are not going to protect the identity of a non-workforce complainant.  Their mischief is not anonymous and is quickly known & shared throughout the community.

Additionally Government agencies who have their resources diverted by spurious false claims certainly would wonder why they are being misused and will do target those making false reports for closer scrutiny. 

Many of us have experienced the complaints about TVI/RFI when our stations are not operating.  I’d even had one complaint when the tower was up, antennas mounted, but the feed-lines had not been installed – there was NO physical coax or other cable – None….

You have to wonder why they “Cry Wolf,” if other than to declare “war?”

You have to wonder….