VA3RJ's Homebrew Corner
Ten Commandments for the Radio Hobbyist ...
1. Beware of the lightning that lurketh in an undischarged capacitor lest it cause thee to be
bounced upon thy buttocks in a most ungainly and painful manner.
2. Causeth thou the switch that supplieth large quantities of juice to be opened and thusly
tagged, so thy days may be long in this earthly veil of tears.
3. Prove to thyself that all circuits that radiate and upon which thou workest are grounded, lest
they raise thee up to high frequency potential and cause thee to radiate also.
4. Take care that thou useth the proper method when thou taketh the measure of high-voltage
circuits so that thou dost not incinerate both thyself and the meter, for verily, though thou hast
no account number and can be easily replaced, the meter hath one and, as a consequence, bringeth
much woe unto the Supply Department.
5. Tarry thou not amongst those who deal in intentional shocks, for they are surely unbelievers
and are not long for this world.
6. Take care that thou tamperest not with interlocks and safety devices, for this will incur the
wrath of thy peers and bringeth the fury of the authorities down upon thy head and shoulders.
7. Workest thou not upon energized equipment, for, if thou dost, thy buddies will surely be
buying beers for thy widow and consoling her in other ways not generally acceptable to thee.
8. Verily, verily, I say unto you, never service high-voltage equipment alone, for electric
cooking is a slothful process and thou mightest sizzle in thine own fat for hours on end before thy
Maker seeth fit to end thy misery and drag thee into His fold.
9. Trifle thou not with radioactive tubes and substances least thou commence to glow in the dark
like a lightning bug, and thy wife be frustrated nightly and have no further use for thee except thy
10. Commit thou to memory the works of the prophets, which are written in the books of
instruction, which give the straight dope and which console thee, and thou canst not make
Source material - Jim Berry, K7SLI.
Edited by Jerry Proc, VE3FAB
When times were simpler ... It used to be that the
not-so-well-off ham could go to the local dump or the neighbour's garbage cans and scrounge all
sorts of stuff (TVs, radios, etc.) and build or maintain a pretty nice rig from the rest of the
A few tubes from this or that, a transformer from a TV (do you remember how many rigs had TV
transformers as the foundation?), some terminal strips, resistors, and so on.
The coils were easily wound using old pill bottles or other common objects as forms and wire from
yet another scrounged transformer. Even the variable caps we scrounged - the old broadcast 374 pf
air variable was the cornerstone of many, many projects - and all made possible from the dump or the
It was amazing how many people you could talk to around the world with a rig composed mainly of
parts from neighbour's TVs and radios. The circuits were fairly simple and you didn't even need a
fancy box. A hunk of aluminum, an old radio chassis, or even a piece of wood with the tube sockets
on posts worked well enough and tens of thousands of contacts were made worldwide with just such
Have we forgotten the simplicity of radio and the joy of that first rig that we built ourselves?
Think about it.