Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Welcome to Handiham World.
In this edition: 
  • Fasten your seat belt - change is coming!

  • The week's question answered: Checking VoIP audio quality.

  • Check into our daily nets. 

  • Take a dip in the pool: A question for rookies.

  • The Remote Base HF report:  W0ZSW network gets a reboot.

  • April audio is on line.

  • We get an Icom IC-7200 for Radio Camp!

  • ...And more!

But first, are you ready - mentally - to accept change?
circuit board
I was browsing through my digital copy of the recently-released May QST, and one of my first stops was the Eclectic Technology column by Steve Ford, WB8IMY.  Steve's topic is "State-of-the-Art Homebrewing", and he covers a circuit simulation program, which allows designers to test a circuit in a software simulation rather than by building a physical circuit.  Simulators have been around a long time for pilot and driver training, but for electronic circuits?  This sure wasn't on my radar screen, but when I think about it, circuit simulation is as revolutionary a development as there is for homebrewers - or "makers", as they are called today.  I think I'd like to retire the term "homebrewer" for ham radio parlance and leave it for use by hobbyists who brew their own craft beers.
Another one of Steve's topics is home circuit board production, but not with chemical etching.  Oh, no - this is way different.  It's about a $1,500 circuit board printer that "prints" two-layered printed circuit boards to the specs you set forth in your circuit design software. 
You can already get circuit board design software for free, and one point five kilobucks isn't that much, either.  You can bet that in a year or two the technology will be even more capable and cheaper.  3D printing is now a thing, and the ham radio maker community is on board.  Look for replacement parts and original designs to start gracing the ham shack in short order.  As if all this isn't enough change to pack into a single column, Steve polishes off the page with news about new very rapid charging lithium-ion batteries using titanium dioxide nanotube technology that can survive 10,000 charging cycles!