April 2023

Murphy is a right royal bastard

OK, so last year we cancelled a trip to Europe (Budapest, Slovenia, Venice, Croatia) because of family matters.

So this year I booked again, picked a time when the ticket prices was good, bought Euros at R16/Euro (should have maxed the flexibond and bought more, because I’d be flabbergasted if the R/Euro ever sees 16 again) and time’s getting close.

So we’re landing in Budapest on… the 6th. There for a couple days. Then elsewhere for all those nice predicted-to-be-sunny weeks.

Oh, and I’m taking Tanya back towards the end of May for her to fly back (I’m staying a couple weeks longer).

Just guess, JUST GUESS, what day towards the end of May Tanya is flying back? I mean, pick ANY… yes, that one.

Westinghouse NT-33 Antenna Ammeter

From my stash of interesting stuff. I know very little about measuring antenna current, I’ve never seen it covered in a Radio Amateur Handbook or the like. Not even my 1948 edition.

The meter face (note the non-glare glass) reads “USE 3 AMP 17.5 M.V. 2 M.A. EXT TH’C’PLE. F.S. WITH .166 OHM LEADS = 17.5 M.V. STYLE N-635226 TYPE NT-33 FS = 2 M.A. 25 CY TO 9 M.C.

It has three terminals and I have no idea what “L” means.

Turns out “L” is connected to the back of the meter face. Still don’t know what it stands for.

Anyway, it’s a non-linearly calibrated d’Arsonval movement with a (measured) internal resistance of 8.5 ohm and an FSD of 2mA. 17.5mV over 8.75 ohm is 2mA, so depending on whether the 0.166 ohm lead resistance is for one or both wires, the internal resistance should be 8.58 ohm or 8.42 ohm so yea, the complete meter spec is written on the meter face if you know what to look for.

It should look good in some retro kit, even if I have to interface a PIC to the back of it to get the calibration right.

John Prine

It’s been three years.

From the comments:

Will Cayemberg
One of my coolest musical experiences involved this song. Long horrible divorce that very nearly ended me I ashamed to say. I began running at night in the dark on lonely country roads “trying to change the shape I was in” both physically and mentally. This song was in my ear buds most nights. Then I got a chance to see John in a tiny Manitowoc, Wi. theater and after a few songs I yelled out “Clay Pigeons” and he looked right at me and said “Yeah, I know that one.” The whole place cracked up. The next song he started Clay Pigeons and looked right at me and I yelled “Thank You.” I was thanking him for more than just a song request I think he helped me keep my sh#t together.

Spencer Mason
Rest In Peace, John. Music won’t be the same without you.


Spaghetti and Cabbage. Strange combination.

So I looked in the fridge. We had carrots, cabbage, sandwich ham, and cream. Yea, with the kids out the house we have what they refer to as a “sauce fridge”.

And I felt like pasta.

Google to the rescue.

Boil some† spaghetti. Water, salt, ‘cmon you don’t need instructions for that.

Fry onions and cabbage (recipe calls for a head of cabbage, I have no idea how big a Napa cabbage is, I used about a third of a Cape Town cabbage). This takes longer than you might think. Pasta was al dente and I was still frying cabbage.

Add ham and more seasoning than the recipe calls for. Add the cream. Add the spaghetti. Add some reserved spaghetti water to make a sauce.

I didn’t have parmesan but I did have mozarella in the freezer.  I left the carrots for another day.

† Technical Term