Note: There have been other
videos posted, but I often forget to link to them on this page. Please use the website
Search box at the at the top of the page to look for something you don't see here
since many of the videos I have featured are not on these archive pages. Thanks.
A few days ago Bob Davis sent me a link
to a YouTube video documentary, "Transistorized," of the development of the transistor.
It was originally produced in 1989. Narrator Mr. Ira Flatow begins by saying
that the story behind the transistor, arguably one of the most important inventions
of the 20th century, was one of "clashing egos and
top secret research." Anyone familiar with the collaborative effort of Drs.
John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain, at Bell Telephone Laboratories
(aka Bell Labs). I will not attempt to embellish the huge amount of information
presented; you will get all you want to know from the film. As you might expect,
in addition to the "Transistorized" video there are other videos telling the story
of the transistor's history. A couple really good ones are also embedded below.
One covers Japan's successful climb to the top of the electronics product food chain
based on their early adoptation of transistor...
Founded in 2004,
LadyBug Technologies has quickly built a reputation as one of the world's
premier (they would argue "the" world's premier) manufacturers of RF and
microwave power measurement test equipment. Their line of fast, accurate and
NIST-traceable power sensors cover the 9 kHz to 50 GHz frequency range with
86 dB of dynamic range. In the process, LadyBug engineers have produced many
very helpful instructional and educational videos for the benefit of their
customers who use the power sensors, but also for anyone interested in making
precision power measurements. A few of the videos are presented below, including
titles such as "Peak and Pulse Power Demonstration," "Making Autonomous
Unattended RF Power Measurements," and "75 Ohm RF Power Measurements." and you can access the
entire collection on LadyBug Technologies' YouTube channel...
There are still
plenty of us around who remember seeing
Radio Shack commercials
on TV back in the days when all television sets had at least on vacuum tube in
them - the CRT (cathode ray tube). As evidenced by the huge number of vintage
Radio Shack commercials posted on YouTube, and the amount of views for them,
there is still a desire by people to take a nostalgic trip back in time to see
the content they remember. Of course at the time we usually considered all
commercials an imposition on our TV program watching. One of the annoyances of
modern TV programming is that even though you have to pay for the service, you
still have to sit through even more commercial time per show that was imposed
when reception was free (over the air). I have to be honest and admit that I
don't recall ever seeing any of the Radio Shack commercials in this collection
of videos, but they definitely have the "look" of the ones I do remember from
the days of yore. I used to visit...
This promotional film (now an online
video) entitled "This
Is Ham Radio" was produced by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) circa
1970. It shows the many aspects of amateur radio including building and
operating transmitters and receivers, erecting antennas, and engaging in
contests - in both fixed and mobile venues. At that time, entrance into the
world of Ham radio was tougher than it is nowadays because proficiency at Morse
code was required - a minimum of five words per minute sending and receiving.
The entire pool of questions and answers was not readily available for studying
for the written exam either, like it is today. For those who like to accuse
organizations of ignoring and/or discouraging the participation of anyone other
than White males, please note care was taken to include Blacks, Latinos, Asians,
women and girls, youngsters and seniors. That was more than half a century ago.
In fact, some of this footage is borrowed from an earlier ARRL film made in the
1960s and narrated by Senator Barry Goldwater (K7UGA), demonstrating an even
longer-ago inclusionary effort. Since that time, many more resources have been
The "Up Front" page of the May 2022
issue of QST magazine mentions a
musical tribute to ham radio entitled, "Back on the Air," by Allen Chance
(W2BUZ) and Paul Rogers. It has a soothing melody and the video is accompanied by
photos matching the lyrics as it goes along. You probably have to be a Ham
operator to appreciate the message and visuals. A repeating CW CW CW in
Morse code can be
heard in the background. Warning: If you are easily
triggered by a couple "guy" pictures, this
video is not for you; please move on...
One of the news websites I frequent had a
note about this "Evolution
of Transistor Innovation" video produced by Intel. In a span of five minutes
you are taken on a journey from the early planar MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor
field effect transistor) days to today's world of 3-dimensional, non-planar FINFET
(fin field effect transistor). Physical layout, materials, and lithography advances
allowed gate lengths to shrink from 12 μm in the early 1970s to a mere 10 nm
by 2020. Switching speeds have gone up, die sizes have gone down, power consumption
per gate has decreased, and reliability has increased. At every juncture we have
been served stories of a certain end to Moore's law (a doubling of gate count every
18-24 months), and thanks to dedicated engineers and scientists the prognosticators
have been proven wrong...
A lot of people are desiring to leave the
city and suburb environment with ever-increasing crime rates and exorbitantly high
taxes. If for that or any other reason you or someone you know is considering buying
country home with horse facilities, please take a look here. Located in a quiet
area about 10 miles from Greensboro, NC, you will find that an affordable, comfortable,
convenient, safe family life is still possible! My daughter, Sally, has decided
to put her horse farm property up for sale. She built a very successful horse riding,
training, and boarding business - Equine Kingdom - around it from the ground up
over a period of eleven years. Due to a debilitating back injury, she can no longer
perform the duties and maintenance necessary to sustain the operation. Formal lessons
and long-term boarding ceased at the end of 2021, and now the entire property is
being offered as a private home with extensive horse facilities. Of course you could
re-establish it as a fully outfitted income-producing business with on-property
living. At the time Equine Kingdom closed, Sally had more than 80 students and 5
The first video below is my favorite. It
is a one-minute clip from a 1960s episode of "The Twilight Zone" television show.
It is an outrageous slam on amateur radio operators by a couple neighbor family
whose radio and TV shows are being interrupted by interference. Dad looks out
the window and sees what are actually television antennas on the guy's roof and
when Mom asks if there is anything they can do about the neighbor, he walks
toward the telephone saying he can at least check to find out whether neighbor
man has a license to operate. Mom then says, "Do you think you should, Stu?
Those men seem kind of...threatening somehow." Those d**n evil Hams! As you
might expect if your are familiar with the series, it turned out to be aliens
making contact with Earthlings...
QST reader Dave Berman, WA2PAY, wrote in
the March 2020 issue's "Letters from Our Members" column about an episode of the
old "Highway Patrol" television show entitled, "Radioactive," wherein
the ARRL (American Radio Relay League" is mentioned and Ham radio operator Pat Conway
plays a lead role in the show. Broderick Crawford stars as head highway patrolman
Dan Mathews. I did some screen shots of Mel's shack showing the massive transmitter
cabinet and the receiving station desk. On a table across the room is a Precision
Apparatus Co. E-200-C Signal Generator. Do you recognize any of the other equipment?
Note on the chalkboard that the nuclear scientist has beryllium misspelled as "berilium,"
unless he happens to be an Indonesian, in which case it's OK...
QST reader George P. Orphan, KG4DXJ,
wrote in the February 2020 issue's "Letters from Our Members" column about an episode
of the old "Hazel" television show entitled, "Stop Rockin'
Our Reception," where interference on the Baxters' TV set was blamed on the
"shortwave set" operated by a teenager, Bruce, who had recently moved in down the
street. George Baxter, the household's impulsive lawyer father, was convinced enough
that Bruce, a friend of his son, Harold, was responsible that he paid a visit to
the boy's house and spoke to his father about it. Bruce politely informs Mr. B
that unless his television was was manufactured before 1950, it was unlikely that
his operations on the 10−meter band would be causing the interference, but it fell
on deaf ears. Shortly thereafter, a power company investigator was seen walking
around the front yard with a box bearing a loop antenna on the top of it. At the
request of Bruce's father...
Here is a really interesting animation of
the world's top 20 country ranked by the
Internet users in those countries. It runs (as of this posting date) from 1990
through 2019. I have not verified the numbers used by the Animate Stats producers,
but the results do not seem unreasonable. Given the the U.S. Department of Defense's
research arm, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), created the Advanced
Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) that eventually became the Internet,
showing the U.S. as the run-away leader in the beginning is not surprising. Around
1996, things begin to change quickly as Japan advances, but it is in 2000 when the
Internet user landscape really becomes dynamic ...
Back in 2012, I posted a video of the PBS
"Frontline" show (Cell Tower Deaths) that highlighted the dangers cell tower climber
technicians face while working for very low wages. Other news stories since then
have reported on new regulations from OSHA and other agencies that have helped make
the safety issue better, but I haven't seen anything on whether the pay has gotten
any better. There are lots of videos and photos online of
all over the world, but this one showing tower climber Kevin Schmidt making the
ascension to the very top of the now inactive KDLT TV analog broadcast antenna near
Salem, SD, is unique in that the recording was made from a drone platform. It has
more than 12 million views. Capturing this kind of video requires a drone with a
wireless live feed so the pilot ...
This you need to see. The full story behind
this video is unknown, but supposedly customers were complaining about poor reception
associated with the Bear Creek Road microwave station somewhere in northern California.
Upon inspection, the technicians discovered a small hole in the radome. When the
cover was pulled away, according to the video somewhere between 35 to 50 gallons
of acorns spilled out.
You can see the bulge in the radome before emptying. The tech probably thought the
water drain hole was clogged and it was full of water. From a National Geographic
story: "Walter Koenig, a senior scientist with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology,
says he's pretty sure the the acorn woodpecker ..."
By now, most people involved with spread
spectrum communications are (or should be) aware that Hollywood starlet
is credited for being the first to suggest a frequency hopping scheme for secure
communications. If you do a Google search on Hedy Lamarr and spread spectrum, you
see that except for a few mentions on tech websites, it has only been in the news
since the end of the last decade. Scientific American magazine ran an article
titled, "Hedy Lamarr: Not Just a Pretty Face," in 2008. Google honored her in 2015
with a Doodle on their homepage. "The most beautiful woman in the world," with the
assistance of her co-inventor-composer George Antheil ...
Most people who were around in the 1970s
remember the sitcom "Laverne &
Shirley." It was popular as a part of the whole 1950s renaissance that was happening
with shows like "Happy Days," "Grease," "American Graffiti," et al, that captured
the attention of the parents of us teenagers as well as us. I was being held against
my will at Southern Senior High School at the time, and many of the kids adopted
a "greaser" lifestyle that included cigarette packs rolled up in t-shirt sleeves
and Brylcreem in the hair (mainly just the guys), leather jackets and
Keds high-top sneakers (guys and gals), and poodle skirts and saddle Oxford
shoes (mainly just the gals). Two weirdo characters, Lenny and Squiggy, made cameo ...