Discussion in 'Radio Circuits, Repair & Performance' started by KL7AJ, Jan 5, 2016.
Eric, you're lucky to still be around to remember!
In India they do some serious kludging to get free electricity:
Nothing about radio, we were trying to move from one apartment to another and ran out of rope so a friend lay spread-eagle across the pile of stuff in the pickup bed - sort of human bungee cord. He and all the goods made it safely to our destination.
Using relays and car ignition coils as spark gap transmitters attached to the CATV drop to our houses to send CW messages down the block. (back in the 1970's)
The RFI was simply incredible; it knocked out the entire VHF television band for several blocks around our house.
My first rig, a 15 or so watt one tube xtal oscillator, borrowed its filament and B+
from my first receiver, a big old 11 tube Grunow "All Wave" radio (just the chassis).
An Elmer, Harold, W9GUE (SK) donated a 350 volt power supply with a type 83
full-wave mercury vapor rectifier tube. This, in series with the receiver supply,
provided 600 volts to a BC-457, increasing my power to 50 watts.
The Friday before sea trials, the fire control radar aboard the USS Sperry couldn't
even track a Boeing 880 at nearby Lindburgh Field. To repair it, had to unscrew a
cap from a 4-inch solid coax swivel joint. (Navy policy states: "If it moves, grease it;
if it stands still, PAINT it.") Many coats complicated the task. Comes time to replace,
the threads were so damaged, had to secure it with bailing wire. But it worked, we
hit the sleeve, and the Gunnery Officer was elated--wanted to give me a week off.
While dating my fiance at Stout State University in Menomonie, Wis., on the way
back to her dorm, had a rear tire blowout. She had a strict midnight curfew.
Albeit so hobbled, we continued on. Got stopped by a cop, but no laws broken;
just a shredded tire, and ruined rim.
My first sideband radio, a Swan 175 covered just 3800 to 4000. So I added three
bandswitches, a VFO trimmer cap, wound some new coils, and got it also on 20.
Its power supply transformer was cannibalized from an old TV. Wired the secondary
in series with the AC line voltage, through a voltage doubler, for about 800 volts, DC.
Yes, I used a polarized AC plug.
While CE at KMCK (FM) needed to relocate the studios. Didn't feel up to the task
of disconnecting--and then reconnecting--all that audio and control wiring. So,
through a highly choreographed operation--with all cabling intact--loaded the main
console and its equipment rack (with patch panel, R-R tape machines, monitors) as a
single entity into the bed of my pickup, and got it moved to its new location.
To use my 80 meter turnstile on 160 (the 4 feeder wires tied together, fed as an
umbrella vertical, against the power line neutral and many radials), have several
clip leads configuring series and parallel capacitors to obtain a 50 ohm match.
Feeding it sans the above network, resulted in arcing of my amp's variable output
capacitor. Through the judicious spraying of krylon (after removal of several plates),
restored the loading control to useful service.
Tis true in Wisconsin every motor vehicle is required to be capable of driving on its rims if the tyres all fall off.
I use to like the gravelly road shoulders of Wisconsin highways.
When a tailgater got too close, I'd deviate the right wheels slightly
off the pavement. Better believe they backed off in a hurry.
I would guess the Tesla coil my cousin and I built was sort of on the air. Fed the primary with 14,500 AC from a neon transformer. Lit up fluorescent tubes at 200 feet, tore up every radio and TV in the neighborhood.
Ah yes, My 1st Tesla Coil, operating at 56Khz. With my Elmer, an old , or odd (may be a better word ... ) Collins Engineer. How could I go wrong?
The sparks flew far that evening, 5 x 32" long, as the nice round & shiny chrome drawer knobs (stolen from the kitchen) operating as a 115 db loud, the deafening primary spark gap, (12.5kV/25mA). However it was the secondary that we were focused on...
"I'm going in" I declared as walked over to the main display. I bent my head over close to the 8 inch tall insulator mounted on the very top of the main coil, (of course also with a round brass door knob, stolen off the pantry door..also from the kitchen) crowned with a recently harvested "Circline" florescent lamp (cool white, if I remember correctly, also from the kitchen) that exhibited a "glowing halo" perched atop my head. After the expected beer can crunching sounds stopped, it was then I realized that my mentor was busy pointing at my feet & laughing loudly. I gazed downward and to my amazement jumping off my tennis shoes, an array of sparks. all this with no sensation of pain whatsoever. I believe it was the polyester socks....
Alas....my days of scary kluging will soon be over....or at least under-cover....as I am going to start doing some high profile educational videos in my sparkling clean-room sort of laboratory.
But I shall NEVER forget my Kluge days! They made me what I am!