This act to kill the incandescent light bulb is un-American and is not a fundamental American value. The objective is Planned obsolescence. The producer or manufacturer gains when the consumer is pressured (or conned) into buying another product prematurely, which may involve product engineering. It seems that we have become a throw-away society by design. Traces of this story can be discovered in The Light Bulb Conspiracy, a very informative documentary.
The Centennial Bulb
Maybe you’ve heard of the Centennial Bulb, which is located in Livermore, California. If you’re aware of Fire Station #6, then you’ll know that the bulb has been burning since 1901. Why, there’s even a Bulbcam to honor it!
They tried to say that the Centennial went out, but this proved to be another conspiracy, titled World’s Longest Running Lightbulb Goes Out In Livermore.
The Death of the Incandescent Light Bulb
So, the Death of the Incandescent Light Bulb is just another conspiracy provoked by the gang of 535 in Washington. This isn’t completely true though.
We salute the gang in Shelby, Ohio who made this bulb around 1895. This is the age when Americans actually made something and value mattered. The standard light bulb has been a staple of the American economy.
The Phoebus Cartel
Now for the interesting part of the story. The Phoebus cartel formed a secret plan and “from December 23, 1924 until 1939 that existed to control the manufacture and sale of light bulbs.”
You’ll never guess what the names of these companies were: Osram, Philips and General Electric.
Reduction of Bulb Life and the Elimination of Competition
The Phoebus cartel “reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost twenty years, and has been accused of preventing technological advances that would have produced longer-lasting light bulbs.”
In fact, fines were levied for bulbs that lasted more than 1000 hours. The bulb that Edison invented lasted for 1500 hours.
The 2500 Hour Light Bulb
Before the cartel landed, manufacturers boasted of the 2500 hour light bulb. The Phoebus cartel decided to limit the bulb to 1000 hours. Within a period of two years, the lifespan was deliberately shortened from 2500 hours to 1000 hours.
There was one patent applied for a bulb that lasted 100,000 hours. It never reached the market.
Definition of LAMP LIFE
A document of the cartel reads:
“The average life of lamps for general lighting service must not be guaranteed, published, or offered for another value than 1,000 hours.”
It is supposed that the original Phoebus agreement was intended to expire in 1955.
There has to be a Light Bulb Conspiracy somewhere today.
Microphone Shootout: Electro-Voice RE27 VS Transcontinental Studios Pro
The name of this new microphone is what? The Transcontinental Studios Pro Vocal Microphone is sold at Amazon.com and the price is very affordable. Maybe I’m missing something, but I believe this mic is a dynamic one.
There is plenty of discussion about this new mic and I finally got the opportunity to hear the vocal mic shoot-out. The rumor going around is that it sounds comparable to the Electro-Voice RE27. I heard the audio comparison myself and was quite impressed with the outcome.
The Transcontinental has plenty of presence. If there was any difference at all between these two mics, the RE27 may have more presence in the low range. Personally, my ears could not hear much difference.
Consequently, the results are stunning if you compare the prices of both mics. The EV RE27 is at the top of the food chain, but the price is very high also. The Transcontinental is a fabulous substitute, especially if there’s no need to be politically correct.
One caveat here, albeit not a big one. Even though the microphone utilizes the XLR 3 pin connector, the cable supplied has a 1/4 inch jack on the end of it, thus making it an unbalanced line. An adapter and/or XLR cable is going to be an extra with this project. So that means a few more bucks. No problem.
Impedance on the Transcontinental: 600 Ohm.
I will be ordering one soon…
Remote Transceiver Controlled By Cell Phone
If a remote control station is desired and one has the financial resources available, the technology is there to choose from. With a typical handheld device such as the HT, cell phone, laptop, or tablet, a station can be routinely accessed with a touch of a button. A PC isn’t necessary for operation.
Enter a password or code and you are instantly connected. Scan the bands like never before with a cell phone.
Turn the antenna rotor with ease.
Here’s a demo and more info from RemoteShack.
Will amateur radio operators in the U.S. get to use the newest frequency band allocated, which is the 600-meter band, also known as the 630 meters? This is a new arena for hams, being in that the band is in the Medium Frequency (MF) region. So how do I make the 600 meter dipole? Ham operators can listen until permission to transmit is allocated to the ham community.
This is a new one but let’s stick to the basics. Our range of transmit is from 472 to 479 kHz. If we pull up the Frequency Wavelength Calculator and punch in our frequency, somewhere in the middle of our scope (475 kHz), we get 517.8947368421052. Round that off and we get around 518 feet (158 meter length).
So 518 feet is a quarter wave, one half of a dipole. A half wave dipole would total up to twice that, being 1036 feet. Wow, that’s some wire to roll out!
The 600-meter band is available on a secondary basis and watts to use is 1 watt, and under some circumstances 5 watts may be use, sharing it with primary users.
600-Meter Band — 472 to 479 kHz
Quarter Wave: 518 feet
Half Wave: 1036 feet
Full Wave: 2072 feet
Software Defined Radio Tutorial For The Beginner
This DVB-T dongle dongle will turn a computer into an electronic listening device, which is basically a police scanner radio but even more. This may be the most fun a techie could have on the cheap! The NooElec TV28T v2 USB DVB-T & RTL-SDR Receiver R820T is the ticket for inexpensive software defined radio usage.
This unit allows for interfacing to a large number of popular SDR software packages. The connector type on the antenna and USB board is MCX.
Demo: $19 Police Radio Scanner
Adapters For R820T Dongle And Tutorial, Including Ham Radio Gear
* Antenna Adapters Tutorial — Adapter Instructions
These adapters enable the user to connect outside police scanner antennas up to this device. It comes with a MXC connector.
Instructions For Windows And Software Downloads
1. Windows Software — http://rtlsdr.org Wiki
2. Downloads — SDRSharp
3. RTL-SDR TUTORIAL: DECODING DIGITAL VOICE (P25) WITH DSD — RTL-SDR.COM
Ham It Up Converter — Amateur Radio SDR
1. Ham It Up v1.2 – NooElec RF Upconverter For Software Defined Radio — Ham/amateur radio enthusiasts rejoice! Our MF/HF converter for software defined radio is finally available for sale. This device allows you to listen to MF and HF through your existing software defined radio (SDR). If you do not currently have an SDR we have plenty of low-cost solutions available for sale.
2. Terratec DVB-T USB Receiver & Low-Cost Software Defined Radio (SDR) – Realtek RTL2832U + Elonics E4000-Based — These DVB-T dongles have new-found popularity since it was discovered they can be used as very inexpensive software defined radios. Since these are based on the Elonics E4000 tuner IC they have a very large tunable range of 64-2300MHz. The connector type of the antenna is male PAL aerial and the USB board female PAL aerial. Included with purchase: 1pc USB dongle 1pc metal antenna 1pc antenna mount 1pc software & guide.
3. Ham It Up Basics — Instructions on how to set it up.
4. Ham It Up Demo — Using it the first time.
5. Dongle And Ham It Up Tips — N4LQ demonstrates the kits.
1. SDR Receivers — NooElec
2. How to Make a $19 Police Radio Scanner — Instructables
3. BUY RTL-SDR DONGLES — RTL-SDR.COM
4. $19 Police/Fire/Medical Digital Radio Scanner Howto Guide — RadioReference
5. How to Make a $19 Police Scanner — Overview.
Every survival kit needs this simple device that makes dirty water drinkable. Yes, this device will allow a camper or a stranded motorist to purify water that comes from the filthiest of nature’s swimming pools.
The inventions that are currently being developed are impressive to say the least. Yet, our daily lives are fraught with danger and at the end of the day, it’s difficult to find positive news. Our complicated lifestyles do not seem to be effective against today’s catastrophes around the world. Sometimes clean water can be an issue.
When there are earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, one of the most precious commodities necessary for life itself usually is scarce. And this is potable, safe, drinking water. With all of the technology at our fingertips, in the past we did not have a simple way of purifying water in troubled times.
Michael Pritchard, a businessman from Ipswich, England, changed that just a few years ago. He was a central figure that developed a bottle that could eliminate all microbiological waterborne pathogens from water without chemicals. Thus turning bad smelling dirty water into clean, drinkable water. He called his stellar product the LifeSaver bottle.
The idea originated from Dr. Zackary Kepes and Austin Castellano. Pritchard heard the idea and then later he presented a prototype to a group at a military exhibition in London, in the year 2007. His new idea became an instant success, selling out his entire stock within hours.
In 2009, Pritchard spoke at a TED seminar, providing an amazing demonstration to the crowd. He proved that the world could have access to clean drinking water, no matter the circumstances.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has tested this product and the results found it to completely filter out all bacteria and viruses. So this bottle is completely safe to use. Well, it’s probably wise to stay away from the water near the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. But that’s the obvious.
“The LifeSaver bottle can be used to filter urine and will remove all microbiological contamination, however there will be an amount of dissolved salts that can not be removed. Metals such as iron, and salt from salt water cannot be removed effectively, either.”
What are the channels on free satellite TV? There is the FTA list that offers the master list, which is the “big list of every channel that’s available on Ku-band just about anywhere in the United States and Canada.”
FTA (free-to-air) “describes television (TV) and radio services broadcast in clear (unencrypted) form, allowing any person with the appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and view or listen to the content without requiring a subscription, other ongoing cost or one-off fee.”
Here’s how to get started with FTA.
Here are the Behringer 802 settings with Kenwood 570 HF radio, because I keep forgetting them. I am using the Marshall MXL 990 condenser microphone and the Kenwood radio is set on vox, (a PTT switch was later acquired).
Access through the front of the transceiver is available, but better performance can be achieved by entering the back of the rig. The experts claim that in the process of going through the front of the rig, it is overdriven and causes clipping and distortion.
The Behringer Xenyx 802 Preamp does have phantom power, required to power the MXL 990 Condenser Microphone. BTW, this mic sounds fantastic on the computer, using the Behringer mixer. This makes for a great combination.
Behringer 802 Settings Hooked Up To Kenwood 570 HF Transceiver
* Level 1 Microphone is set on the 2 o’clock position.
* The gain at top of the board is set on 1, which is nearly off.
* All unused channels should be turned off.
* The audio source coming from computer should be unplugged, because this causes unwanted clipping on transceiver.
* The EQ (LOW) knob should be set at 10 o’clock position, while the others are at 12 o’clock.
* Control room level knob should be set about 12 o’clock. This knob is next to main mix.
* Main mix knob should be set on about the 3 mark, which is the 8 o’clock position.
Adjust accordingly. Clipping can be bad with this setup and this is to be considered. Nevertheless, the Behringer 802 is affordable and actually does a fair job for a cheap mixer. It’s a tough rig.
And the experimenting goes forward with updates if necessary.
We’ve entered an era of the digital age, but there’s a number of us that still appreciates AM/FM radio. For those of us that want to enjoy radio and live on the fringe of reception, it might help to concentrate on receiving a better signal. This means using other available options and maximizing our efforts. Our electronic hobby is fun and we want to expand.
As always, the antenna is the place to start. A good FM yagi is appropiate — Antennacraft 70 Fm Triple Driven-Directional Hd-Radio Ready Antenna – 88-108Mhz. Audio signals are not as fussy as HDTV signals, yet a better antenna is necessary for those of us living on the deep fringe. Here’s another choice — Winegard HD-6010 HD FM Radio Antenna.
For those closer to the station, the FM dipole is standard and works well. FM loops are great performers.
The next item is an AM/FM tuner or stereo receiver. Any old receiver will work, but the newer digital receivers are convenient and offer more options. The Onkyo TX-8255 Stereo Receiver is an excellent choice with no frills and has good reviews. This is a good brand.
A good quality coax is admirable. It is wise to use RG6 or better, and 50 feet is adequate for most purposes. Try to find the best that is affordable because it makes the difference, especially when using it for HDTV.
If you are a good distance from the station, then an amplifier will be an item that will apply to the project. I recommend the 4 Port Cable TV/HDTV/Digital Amplifier Internet Modem Signal Booster Internet AMP. I have two of them and they have done a terrific job for me. I have one for HDTV and the other for AM/FM radio. I am a happy customer with adequate signal because of my amplifiers.
It does help to know the specifics in your area. Radio-Locator is nice and has been around for some time.
Please add any tips that might help other readers.