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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 wage.

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 mistakes.

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 world's leavings.

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 neighbour's garbage!

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 rigs.

Have we forgotten the simplicity of radio and the joy of that first rig that we built ourselves? Think about it.