A home that I owned in Englewood, NJ had a ceiling fixture in the dining room that I wanted to change. It was mounted, as a few other ceiling fixtures in that house were, to the old gas pipes. The difference in in the dining room was that when I removed the mount to the gas line, gas came streaming out. They had forgotten to cut that line from the existing gas supply to the house. At least it had not been leaking for years...
I live in an old ~100 year old Victorian farmhouse and was adding/replacing electric wiring in some of the upstairs rooms. The last room that I got to was a 15' x 12' bedroom, with one duplex outlet on an interior wall. I was measuring to cut the plaster for a ceiling fixture, that would eventually support a fan. When I marked what I thought was the center of the ceiling, I noticed that the plaster looked like it had been patched, in a circular pattern, and my mark was the center of the circle. A moment later with the Sawzall I opened the plaster and didn't contact any lath. When I pulled down the plaster square, I was staring at a gas pipe nipple, exactly in the middle of the room where I had measured. The room was originally plumbed for a ceiling gas light. Fortunately there was no gas source connected at the far end, but when they took the gas lighting out, they left the pipe. At least I confirmed I had the right spot!
So that is what they are called --- Fahnestock clips ---. I remember using them in a two tube radio I built up (I bypassed the XTAL set headphone build), with a speaker no less. When I first wound the antenna coil I connected it to the outside water faucet with bare #16 stranded copper wire. I thought that would be a great antenna. Little did I know, at the time (when I was in junior high school electric shop (in 1949) knowing next to nothing), that I had built an AC/DC radio using approx 60 volt tube filiments connected in series. Some how I connected the other end of the antenna coil to the filiments. Boy was I surprised when I plugged into the wall socket. My precious wound antenna coil went up in smoke, then fire. I blew out one of the fuses in our house. No sweat, I thought, I heard all you had to do, from my buddies, is replace the blown fuse with a penny and away you go. That penny stayed in that fuse box for 6 years. Much later when I came home on leave from the Air Force (now educated in basic electricty/electronics), I realized that was a hugh mistake. I could have burned down the house if there was a short on that line. Dumb!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I wonder how I ever made through my growing up days! crisslo
sorry, bad keyboard operator.
I recently found a Raytheon CK722 transistor.
Square plastic case with 3 wrinkled leads.
Buddy & I saved lawnmower $$ to buy it; hitchhiked 2 towns over to buy it, built an intercom and a few other circuits with it.
In 1960s, it cost a serious amount - $6 or so.
Yes, I remember the 5 level Baudot machines from my ham radio and Arctic DEW Line days, and made "Jingle Bells" paper tapes for the bell on the Model 19 (I think?) teleprinter with the shiftable print carriage. Do you remember that printer joke that started with "Some girls like to hug and kiss..." ?
No information is useless. Punched paper tape and punched cards were a very useful storage medium up until magnetic and sand processing technologies matured. Optical paper tape readers were a brilliant innovation that made use of a technology that had never been designed for optical. Every step leads to something better. Today we stand on the shoulders of giants.
A 10MHz Scope Heatkit brought me the joy of my first completed and funcitonal complex intrument. In addition, the awesome documentation of early Tektronix scopes gave the deep appreciation of silver soldering and high reliability solder connections.
Great memories ... will never leave ... and I do rather keep them, than let them fade away.
Punched paper tape...that brings back memories for me. I cut my teeth on teleprinters during my training...see
And we used to have fun with that paper tape. I was cleaning out my toolbox years ago and found a roll of tape which I think had "Eskimo Nell" on it (ancient equivalent of the floppy disk!) Of course I had nothing to read it with....
If you were clever you could work out the characters to use the punched dots in dot matrix form and so the tape had readable characters on it, like the modern LED message boards. I remember making "Happy Birthday" tapes on more than one occasion. You could even send them across the world if you sent them as a message and the other end put their punch on. They'd print complete gobbledegook but the tape looked great.
Our tapes were the 5-level ones, as our teleprinters used the baudot code rather than ASCII. The punched out dots were called "Chads". When I was training they warned us against selling the punched paper dots as confetti... they are so small they can get in people's eyes and cause problems. Someone invented "Chadless" tape, which had a "C" punched out instead of a full circle "O". The readers at the time consisted of small metal spring loaded rods which either pushed through the hole or couldn't. So chadless tape was fine with them, the little "C" part just lifted like a trapdoor. When optical readers came it couldn't be used.
Ah, memories.... Sometimes I wish I could erase all this useless information and fill my brain up with more relevant stuff....
I have in my toolbox a curious plastic tool. It seems at first glance to be a plastic hex wrench. But it has a curious feature. Each end of the tool has two hex drive areas: one is smaller than the other, and is nearer the tip of the shaft. If you have ever aligned an "All-American Five" you know precisely what this is. It's a tuning tool for IF transformers. Some of these transformers had two ferrite cores, one below the other in the center of the winding. If you wanted to adjust the lower one without turning the equipment over, you used the this tool to put the adjustment tool through the upper ferrite, down into the lower ferrite, which could then be adjusted. My old adjustment tools haven't been used since I aligned a Korean-war vintage communications receiver made by Motorola sometime in the early 80's. They will be in my toolbox when the day comes that one of my kids looks inside while cleaning things out, I think...
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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