Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Word From Our Displaced Kansas Neighbor and very gud friend.! T.C. - WØEAJ

Yes, boys and girls - there are two kinds of radio repairers/restorers... those who have had caps blow up and those who will...  The last time I had electrolytics blow up in my face was at KING RADIO Corp, back in the 60s.  They still had a few tube-radios going out the door, and in spite of good quality control, there were always a couple who were either marked backwards (+ and - reversed) or simply INSTALLED backwards.

Powered by these 85 pound non-regulated DC supplies called NFBs, you simply turned the variac knob on the front up, and got 'er up to either 14vdc or 28vdc, depending on the radio.  Yes, yes, we got lazy and simply turned the power switch on after a while, but occasionally, you WOULD get "surprised".

Move up to yesterday - I've been working on boat-anchors for some years now, and ALWAYS replace EVERY cap (except for micas, most of the time).  I had a Panoramic Industries PR-1 on the bench... a 1957 version of the legendary Hallicrafters Panoramic display, as used by the US military (primarily the US Navy) during WW-II.  I did find a dead-shorted 6X5 HV rectifier tube, so replacing that brought the variac's current draw WAY down to reality, so "fat dumb and happy", I'm waiting for the B+ to come up, and 
BANG!  The dual-section 16mfd @ 450v cap, literally blew apart, with the resultant shards of aluminum all over the place (including my reading glasses - good lesson there!), and bits of treated paper stuck to the other tubes, IF cans, and every piece of test equipment on the bench, not to mention my SHIRT... and did I mention the HUGE cloud of smoke?   Yes, like a good British car, if you let the smoke out, it quits working.

So, pay attention and don't "assume" (yeah, we all know THAT dissection, don't we?).  If it's 60 years old, it's gonna be BAD...

dit dit - Tom – WØEAJ


All For Now

Comments Invited

SmØke out..

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Part # 2

Home Brew - Kansas City Style!

Part #2

DMR is an another digital mode for hams. DMR is based on the international commercial radio standard. I could try and explain it, but the easiest way is to just have you look at: 

"The Amateur's Guide to DMR" by W2XAB

We here at BYRG World Headquarters have been experimenting in taking some of our older analog-only radios and using some behind the scenes "Sm0ke and Mirrors" secret sauce to make a very versatile DMR compatible digital radio repeaters.

The "RLP Special" chassis with a 
MCS2000 VRM-650 UHF Transmitter & Receiver decks. 

The heart of the repeater is the MMDVM Modem/Arduino DUE and the Raspberry Pi
Controller with the DMR-UTAH Pi image for software. 

We feel that this is a better way to go than the standard MMDVM Ubuntu Mate software load. 
The neat thing about this is we can also do other digital modes like System Fusion, 
D-Star & P25 as well as DMR if we want. 

Front View



Rear View

More to come on this VRM-650 DMR project as I get it completed and tested.
In Part #3 we will cover the conversion and hook-up of the MCS-2000 VRM-650 radio deck to use for the RF portion of the DMR repeater project.

This RF deck requires little overall modding 
and is pretty much a painless way to go without worrying about matching heads and cables that you might find with regular MCS-2000 radio packages. 

It just makes for a cleaner conversion and rack mounting.

All for Now - Comments Invited

SmØke out.....

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Part # 1

Home Brew - Kansas City Style !

Part #1

DMR is a another digital mode for hams. DMR is based on the international commercial radio standard. I could try and explain it, but the easiest way is to just have you look at: 

"The Amateur's Guide to DMR" by W2XAB

We here at BYRG World Headquarters have been experimenting in taking some of our older analog only radios and using some behind the scenes "Sm0ke and Mirrors" secret sauce to make a very versatile DMR compatible digital radio repeater.

The "Ernie Miller" Radio Chasis with a 
MCS2000 900 Mhz Transmitter & Maxtrac 800Mhz Converted to 900 Mhz Receiver. 

The network back end is done by the BrandMeister Network 
and it has some ties to the Allstar Network too.

The heart of the repeater is the MMDVM Modem/Arduino DUE and the Raspberry Pi
Controller and Network connection.

The wonderful thing about this is we can also do other digital modes like 
Fusion, D-Star & P25, and soon NXDN and be allowed to be cross-connected to our existing analog network too!

This is a work in process and no doubt be the way to go for the radios of the future.

Front View Before Painting

               Rear View Before Painting

We will cover the 900 Mhz DMR project as I get it completed and tested at a later date.  

Currently, it is on the bench awaiting further connector interfacing.

All for Now  - Comments Invited

73  Dr SmØke

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Majic of SmØke

(For those who do not recognize the name Lucas, please know that in the earlier days of the auto, Lucas auto electrical components and systems we famous for their unreliability.



Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke".

Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working.

This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing.

For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function.

In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!

The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.

Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.

It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts.

Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defense secrets.

Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.

In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.

And remember: "A gentleman does not motor about after dark!" Joseph Lucas: The Prince of Darkness" 1842-1903

A few Lucas quips:

The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark"

Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.

Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

The three-position Lucas switch--DIM, FLICKER and OFF. The other three switch settings--SMOKE, SMOLDER and IGNITE.

The Original Anti-Theft Device - Lucas Electrics.

If Lucas made guns, wars would not start

Q: Why do the British drink warm beer? A: Because Lucas makes their refrigerators.

Today's scientific question is:

What in the world is electricity and where does it go after it leaves the toaster?

Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical lesson: On a cool dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings. Did you notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain?

This teaches one that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important lesson about electricity.

It also illustrates how an electrical circuit works. When you scuffed your feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects that carpet manufacturers weave into carpet so that they will attract dirt.

The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger, where they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travel down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing a "round trip", since the total number of electrons in the carpet must remain constant.

AMAZING ELECTRONIC FACT: If you scuffed your feet long enough without touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger would explode!

But this is nothing to worry about unless you have carpets throughout your house or place of employment.

Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers, etc. for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in. Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a kite in a lightning storm and received a serious electrical shock.

This proved that lightning was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in incomprehensible maxims, such as, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.

After Franklin came a herd of Electrical Pioneers whose names have become part of our electrical terminology: Myron Volt, Mary Louise Amp, James Watt, Bob Transformer, etc.

These pioneers conducted many important electrical experiments. Among them, Galvani discovered (this is the truth) that when he attached two different kinds of metal to the leg of a frog, an electrical current developed and the frog's leg kicked, even though it was no longer attached to the frog, which was dead anyway.

Galvani's discovery led to enormous advances in the field of amphibian medicine. Today, skilled veterinary surgeons can take a frog that has been seriously injured or killed, implant pieces of metal in its muscles, and watch it hop back into the pond -- almost.

But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in 1877 was the phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented.

But Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879 when he invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.

This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact, the last year any new electricity was generated was 1937.

Today, thanks to men like Edison and Franklin, and frogs like Galvani's, we receive almost unlimited benefits from electricity.

For example, in the past decade scientists have developed the laser, an electronic appliance so powerful that it can vaporize a bulldozer 2000 yards away, yet so precise that doctors can use it to perform delicate operations to the human eyeball, provided they remember to change the power setting from "Bulldozer" to "Eyeball."

All very marvelous don't you think?

Now - I can vouch for the Smoke Theory.

Two weekends ago my TV (A German Telefunken - doesn't always have to be Lucas) lost some of its smoke and stopped. While I was trying to plug that smoke leak with a screwdriver it sprung another bigger leak and lost a LOT MORE SMOKE and hasn't worked since.

No shop I've been to can sell me any "Telefunken Smoke" that I can put back inside. They all tell me that I need to buy parts with the smoke already sealed in, which cost a heap more than a bottle of smoke. Sort of like a sealed beam headlight.


All For Now

Comments Invited

SmØke out..

Monday, October 5, 2015

2nd Annual Bonfire/Tailgate, Ham-Swap & Eye-Ball Meet

2nd Annaul Eye-Ball Bonfire/Tailgate, Ham-swap Meet, Holloween get together.

As heard on the Right Wing Wackos Net (146.97), Paul Revere Net (146.94) & Experimenters Net (145.43) on Sunday.

WØMAF Mike & KDØFW Mike & KB0YUV Cliff Present:


Bonfire/Tailgate, Ham-Swap-Meet, Antenna & Radio get together!


Antenna building and tuning, Pick-Nick, & Maybe a HF Remote set up, etc.

WHEN:  Saturday Oct 31, 2015, after 3 p.m. Weather Permitting

TALK-IN: Gladstone Repeater 145.43 repeater, backup 147.090.


W0MAF's QTH Near 291 Hwy & Kentucky Rd, Just North-East of the “Twin Drive-in”, in Northern Independence.
        1416 N Jennings Rd, Independence, MO 64058
        EM29TD.  Jackson County, (Not in the city Limits).

We have a 360 deg view from the top of “Twin-Peeks” at 950 feet elevation Lots of Parking on the grass & WIFI available

We will have grills and a small fire to stand around. Bring your own chairs.. There will be room to setup wire and vertical antennas with demonstrations. Tail-gate will start when you get here. If it fits in the trunk-bring it. Venders will be welcome. We can program your HT with CHIRP. Eyeball-tire-kicking at its best. Bring the family to enjoy the last day of Daylight Savings and watch the sunset. We will then light the Bonfire. Bring your own marshmallows BYOM & BYOB. The sunsets at 6:15 PM (approx). Water will be available.

Mike Barelli, W0MAF 816-213-0479 Cell <>

Go Royals!
Michael A Barelli

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Newest Project -- FLDX400 & FRDX400 Twins
Many Thanks To One Of My Mentors/Elmers - KØLW
Thanks Uncle Lee!

Lee dropped these beauties by the shop today.

I believe I will have a ball restoring these items back to working condition.

Lee says the receiver works as he had plugged it in when he picked them up.

There was a tube rolling around in the transmitter when we opened up the top of the transmitter case.

He says he never plugged in the transmitter.

From the overall looks, they are clean, very clean, since the receiver works , 

The transmitter may be OK as well. I guess I will have to fire'em up on the variac and see if they play.

I have detailed owners manuals as well, 

A plus in my book!

All For Now
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out..

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Is Here!

I wanted to give you all a little preview of some of the new RPi2 Allstar release capabilities.

  - Automatic Radio and Cable Sensing

 It will automatically sense the radio you have connected. Just hook the radio to the URI or any sound FOB with some wires connected. It doesn't matter what wires or how they are connected.
The RPi2 is smart enough to adapt to any wiring arrangement, it will just work.
This eliminates making special cables or figuring out how to connect your radio!
We hope to have have this to the point where you would not even have to connect anything, just lay the parts out on a table and press a button but that probably won't be until the next release.
More details will be in the documentation.

  - Thought control

 The new code has the ability to remember your node preferences and make recommendations for connections based on thought.
There will be a special wireless adapter that will connect via the GPIO and can actually read brainwaves to allow thought analysis to connect nodes and allow other Allstar command execution. The work on this is currently very preliminary but so far it is working well.
One of the best features of this mode is the ability for Allstar to know if you are aggravated with someone talking on the node and automatically switch it off or change nodes.

  - External Device Control

 There will be a limited amount of external device control in the first release.
We currently have it working with a smart refrigerator via Ethernet using a combination of DTMF and voice controls.
For instance you would enter a DTMF sequence and the refrigerator would ask you what you wanted to do. You could say "check temperature" to get the internal temperature.
You could also say "check soda pepsi" or check "beer" and it would check its inventory and report back the status.
This would be useful if you were busy in a conversation and you didn't want to get up and check. We will be adding more control capability in the future.
A toaster and a microwave interface are both in the works and should be in the next release.
We also hope to extend this so you can check other peoples refrigerators of other nodes.
This is especially helpful if it is a nearby node and you want to make a visit.

  - Digital Voice Detection

 And finally the best addition to the new code is a digital voice detector.
This automatically detects the crappy audio from a node that is connected to one of the RF digital voice networks - Dstar, Fusion, DMR, etc and automatically rejects and disconnect the call.
This is an especially useful feature that will keep our Allstar network functioning like it should with the best audio possible.
There will also be an optional feature that sends an Allstar advertisement back to the station before the disconnect telling them they should ditch their expensive digital equipment and join the Allstar team!

  So standby for the new RPI2 Allstar release coming in the 2nd week of April - and that is not a joke.

 Oh yes and don't forget what today is!


 All For Now
Comments Invited - 73

SmØke out..

And Thanks to Doug WA3DSP for the material for this post.