One of my favorite (I guess you c could say my ONLY favorite) parts of QST is "Hints and Kinks/" I love to see the ingenuity of amateurs using their wits to make something, usually out of "northing," to make a job easier and simpler There is a hint in the current ARRL letter that belongs in Hints and Kinks. If you aren't an ARRL member or don't get their weekly update letter I'll pass it along to you here..
When I was active in building stuff I use to buy "assortments" of components (resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc). I have test equipment to check all those things and most of them have long since been cataloged and placed in labeled drawers. But here is a really good idea that I wish I had known of a long time ago.
Paul Danzer, N1II, was faced with sorting a box of 100 old resistors to verify their approximate values. The idea of attaching digital multimeter clip leads to each resistor 100 times was not very appealing. His solution was to build a fixture from thin sheet aluminum. Each leg is approximately 1 inch wide, and the tops are bent over to eliminate any sharp edges. The meter leads are clipped to each leg. To measure a resistor, all you have to do is lay it across the two legs. If the connection seems a little less than solid, a bit of finger pressure applied to the resistor might help. Quick and easy!
Now that's what I call an easy and quick way to make a big job much smaller. And there is another job this jig could do. Say you have two or three resistors that you want to know the total value of. Line 'em up on the jig and you'll have your answer without having to dig out the formula for multiple resistors in parallel. And there is something else I hope that illustrations like this will accomplish.
You remember when you got into this hobby? Everything was kind of scary and mysterious. But as you got to experimenting you not only found that things were getting easier, but your mind was always working toward making a building job a little easier. "Maybe if I did this, it would work better." That's the kind of attitude we should be instilling in the newcomers to ham radio. Building things as simple as this resistor measuring jig is just the thing to teach newbies that they can do simper jobs. Anyhing to get them off the mic and into the shop and they will become much better hams. And that makes it better for all of us.
Thank you for dropping by. . Send comments HERE. Until next week 73 and Straight Ahead ->