EMRFD Message Archive 5648

Message Date From Subject
5648 2011-01-03 05:41:30 Stephen Building and cooking are a lot alike

I have followed some of the recent threads with interest. I like to cook as well as make radios. (by cooking I mean making a dish from the ingredients, not nuking a pre cooked burger in the microwave). When I feel hungry I see what I have in the cupboard and cook it. Sometimes I look at a cook book if I want to try something new, if I lack a vital ingredient I either go to the shop and buy it or substitute something else. Cooking is always an experiment (just like life). Sometimes the results are excellent, mostly they are good and sometimes they are rubbish. Every time I cook I learn something. I do not have a huge collection of cooking gizmos. I have some sharp knives, some pans and a stove and oven. This year I'll grow some of my own vegetables.

Making radios is very similar. (But I am worse at it than I am at cooking). Most of us have a "junk pile" of parts, often from a time when technology was simpler and easier to understand. Access to cheap parts Hams from the past could not even dream of is now global ( e.g. microcontrollers for less than a dollar). I guess all of us have a copy of EMRFD and other books. So I guess what I am trying to say is that we should use all this stuff to do something practical and learn rather than worry about perfection.

Nowadays its so easy to get hypnotised by some of the technology (a bit like a rabbit in a cars headlights)and not actually achieve anything cos its all too daunting or something better will be coming up real soon now! I have a big collection of parts I bought in the past for projects I never did because I saw a "better" design or a better part. I have quite a few unbuilt kits as well. If I took this approach to cooking i would starve. I also have a big collection of cooking books. Some of the best books that were out of print 20 years ago. (Just like Solid State design for the radio amateur). And some of the ingredients I could get years ago are better than the stuff sold now (Remember when chicken tasted like chicken?). Just like those old school radios with permeability tuning - no longer available and replaced by arguably inferior products.

So, I guess my new years resolution is to make my radio hobby more like cooking. The best fun I had in 2010 was fooling around with simple QRSS beacons - a microcontroller, 3 transistors, a crystal, a hand full of R, C and Ls...100 mW out and heard all over the world. Took about as much time to make as the Lasagne I just put in the oven.

Have a good 2011 y'all (as Otis Redding would say)...

72/3 de Steve G0XAR
5649 2011-01-03 07:44:29 Dan Re: Building and cooking are a lot alike
Very well said. And sometimes both endeavors will let some 'smoke' out. Happy New Year. Dan, W6DAN.

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