History of Grounding

From Cliff K9QD

220, 221- Whatever it takes.  Electric Utility Service Drop…and why the service drop to the consumer has a center-tapped transformer grounded to earth.

Wiring diagram of today’s typical single-family service entrance panel:

Note the Utility Transformer’s center-tap is grounded at the pole.  Also, the consumer’s service entrance panel and Neutral/Equipment bonding bars are also grounded to earth.

Origin of ‘grounding’ and why utilities in the early 1900s quickly changed to (for single phase service) center-tapped transformers at the customer’s drop.

In the early 1900s, as electrification spread to more and more consumers, the new advantages of Alternating current allowed higher voltage transmission than Direct Current and saved a ton of copper [Source: Hawkins Electrical Guide Theo. Audel & Co 1917].

Continue reading “History of Grounding”

Remote Operation by Jack W9YY

Operating A Home Station From A Remote Location, by Jack W9YY

My wife and I rented a condo in Florida for the month of January. We had been to this condo before, and I knew that there was no possibility of installing an antenna for the month, even temporarily. So I chose to investigate how to leave my rig at home in Hoffman Estates and operate it remotely through the internet.

 My HF station consists of an ICOM IC-7300 connected to a long wire on the backyard fence. It uses the internal antenna tuner on the ICOM for operations on all bands 80 through 10 meters. All of my HF activity is on CW.

Continue reading “Remote Operation by Jack W9YY”

“Antenna Launcher” from Mike KD9POE

Mike KD9POE has shared his own version of how to get a wire antenna up into a tree.

A solid stick through a dog ball on a fishing pole. This thing is easy to launch 60 feet up with accuracy. You could go higher up if you’re more athletic than me, not any challenge to do that! This goes straight up and turns straight down. It’s padded so I can even use it in the front tree with cars around, although I avoided them. Two tries at most. I don’t have much experience except days of doing other less successful things and looking stupid in the process.

Using a ball without a stick or a fishing weight gets stuck way too easy. I think I went through a whole package. You have to pull down in front of you , no jerking overhead, lol, kill yourself with that fishing weight! Weight helps a lot too. I start with very heavy fishing line so it’s heavy enough to pull 60 feet up a tree.  It has to have quite a bit of weight.  Materials used. 2 inch dog ball, fiberglass marker piece, hot glue(love that stuff), ear plug, paracord, shrink tube, zip ties….

This works super well.

Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFDs)

We’ve had an ongoing discussion on our internal message board SARC-all about nixie tubes, vacuum fluorescent displays and designing circuits to drive them. One of our members, Mike AC9CG, has a long history working for a VFD manufacturer and compiled a very nice history and technical overview of the devices. His notes follow. –Ed.

Vacuum Fluorescent Display, from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vacuum_fluorescent_1.jpg

VFD Sales in USA

  • From around 1970 to 1997, there were 3 Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) manufacturers, and they were all Japanese: NEC Electronics, Futaba Corp and Noritake Corp.
  • The 2 top VFD manufacturers were NEC and Futaba Corp, who produced VFD (displays) for appliance, automotive, Consumer electronics (VCR and AV equipment) and point-of-sale terminal applications, and the much smaller Noritake Corp, who produced mostly just point-of-sale terminal displays (for gas pumps, cash registers, etc.). NEC Electronics also had a full line of semiconductors, including 4bit microcomputers that could directly drive 40Volt VFDs and high voltage driver ICs capable up to 120VDC VF drive.

Continue reading “Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFDs)”