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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

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CQ Magazine December 2021- RF Cafe 

December 2021 CQ magazine.

Eric Nichols (KL7AJ) "Haywire State" article begins on page 64.

CQ magazine is a great monthly publication for the electronics hobbyist and professional. Each month it is chock full of amazingly informative articles covering circuit design, system design, antenna design, product reviews, electronics theory (even including some real mathematics), prototyping and kit building, industry news, and more. Being primarily an amateur radio publication, CQ also contains many pieces on equipment setup and use, operational suggestions, contest coverage, ARRL events, FCC regulatory news, reports on personal accomplishments, etc. CQ has been on the forefront of the adoption of digital techniques in the Ham radio realm and frequently includes articles on highly effective coding methods and use of the the very popular Arduino* experimental development kits.

Now that I have doted over CQ magazine in general, in particular the reason for writing this is to let you know about Eric Nichols' (KL7AJ) December 2021 column entitled "Analog Adventures." His topic this month is called "Haywire State." Haywire, in case you don't know refers to electronic breadboards which use short pieces of wire to interconnect components (as opposed to a printed circuit board). As part of his missive, Eric highlights the venerable Bob Pease (sadly no longer with us) of National Semiconductor with his famously messy workbench and tangle breadboarded circuits. Back in the days of relatively low frequencies (less than a couple MHz), it was possible to accurately build prototypes using solderless breadboards that contained springy finger contacts inside plastic bases to permit wires to be pushed in and pulled out to make fast, reliable connections. Bob Pease prototyped many of his integrated circuit designs using "haywire" methods, including phased locked loops, operational amplifiers, voltage regulators, and more. He was fundamentally an analog guy who didn't mind admitting not overly appreciating digital circuitry and software. One of his favorite sayings was "My favorite programming language is solder."

Troubleshooting Analog Circuits (autographed by Bob Pease) - RF Cafe

Bob Pease shown with one of his "haywire" prototype analog circuits on the cover of his Troubleshooting Analog Circuits.

As part of his research for the "Haywire State" article, Eric ran across the image I had posted on an RF Cafe page entitled, "The Successful Use of Breadboards for Complex Prototype Circuits." It was the only high resolution image available, which I came from a scan of an autographed copy given to me by the Great Mr. Pease himself. Eric's concern was getting a clear enough view of the breadboard to print in his published article. Evidently that was acceptable because it now appears in "Haywire State." Online access to the December 2021 issue of CQ magazine is not yet available, but might be in a few months. You could of course sign up for a subscription (Kindle edition), which I highly recommend for your reading enjoyment and technical knowledge edification. The July 2021 issue of CQ is available now for review if you would like to see a sample.

BTW, even if you are not interested in the Arduino programming interface, some of the best prices on a wide collection of assorted electronics components can be had with the Arduino kits.

 

 

Posted January 5, 2022

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