January 2008                                 Vol. 81, No.1                                         Cir. 100              


              THE SHRINKING TECHNOLOGIES   by Bob Wexelbaum, w2ilp


When I was a youngster I listened to a Victor AM radio receiver that my parents had bought in 1929; before I was born.  This was a large wooden console, Tuned Radio Frequency receiver.  It contained a number of large triodes (such as type 26) on an RF chassis and another chassis that held an audio amplifier and a power supply which had a type 80 rectifier.  After this radio became inoperative, but before I was smart enough to repair it, in 1939 my parents bought what they thought at the time was a midget radio.  It had a small plastic case and it sold for only $9.95 at Davega’s. It contained five vacuum tubes.  These were called octal tubes because all of them could be plugged into 8 contact tube sockets, even if some didn’t need 8 active pins.  They were the famous “All American” five: 12SA7 RF Converter, 12SK7 I.F. Amplifier, 12SQ7 Detector- Audio Amplifier, 50L6GT Power Amplifier, and 35Z5GT Rectifier.  Some time after WWII we got an even smaller table top radio.  It had five 7 pin miniature all glass tubes which performed the same functions as the octal tubes had.  They were 12BE7, 12BA7, 12AV6, 50C5 and 35W4.  During WWII, many small vacuum tubes were developed.  Some small ones were made to withstand many Gs of shock so that they could be launched in missiles; some were for use in pocket hearing aids.  Some were small so that they could work at VHF frequencies.  I still have a few of these exotic types including acorn tubes like the 955.  The hearing aid tubes were also used in portable radios, which were considered marvels at that time.  Emerson Radio manufactured a portable radio that had hearing aid tubes in the RF and IF stages and early germanium transistors for the audio output stage.  This was sold as a transistor radio, which it really wasn’t.  A company called Regency managed to put an all transistor radio on the market before Emerson made its first all transistor Model.888. Early TV receivers contained as many 30 tubes which consisted of both octal and miniature types.  Today it is possible to buy a solid-state AM/FM radio that can fit on your thumb nail   A TV set without its display can be made using only a few chips.

Now we must remember that before transistors were available digital computers depended on vacuum tubes.  The most common building block of all digital designs is the flip-flop.  For example, one flip-flop can hold one bit of digital information and eight flip-flops can form a register, which can hold a byte of information.  The earliest simple computers used vacuum tubes.  A dual triode tube with an octal base, called a 6SL7 could be used as a single flip flop.  Later a miniature 12AU7 might replace it.  A very slow and simple computer might be made with over a hundred of these tubes…but when you start using devices with well over a hundred tubes, odds are that at least one of them will have a burnt out filament.  Probability says that even when all the flip-flops are made so as to be reliable they will not all be working on the same day.  Aside from this there is the problem of getting rid of the heat that will be generated by such a large number of tubes, and the size of such a computer makes the speed at which it can be clocked limited to a few kHz..  As hams know, connecting up all of the tubes would take lots of wire and any length of wire must be considered a transmission line when it operates at RF frequencies.  When the silicon transistors became reliable they were quickly harnessed to operate in simple computer circuits.  These formed what were known as discrete component circuits, but they were also limited by the lengths of wire that it took to connect the transistors to each other.  A big improvement came about when integrated circuits (ICs) were developed.  A single IC could contain a whole register of flip-flops, and many IC configurations were designed especially to perform all sorts of functions, such as arithmetic logic, memory registers, decoders, encoders, drivers, etc.  The most relevant development is the microprocessor chip, which has made desk-top and lap-top computers possible.  ICs and microprocessor chips are etched on what are called substrates.  Silicon was used for such substrates but now there are other substrates that permit nano technology logic to be built on them that is more dense with transistors and faster than last years designs.

Without getting too technical, let me give you some idea as to how many transistors have been and now are in some of the Intel microprocessors.    

YEAR        NAME                      LOGIC BUS     NUMBER OF TRANSISTORS

1971        Intel 4004                     4                        2,300

1972        Intel 8008                     8                        3,500

1978        Intel  8086                    16                      29,000

1993        Intel 486                       16                     1,600,000

1994       Pentium Classic             32                     3,100,000

1997       Pentium II                      32                     7,100,000

1998       Pentium III                     32                     28,000,000

2006       Xeon-Dual Core 2MB    64                    167,000,000

2006       Xeon-Dual Core 4MB    64                     291,000,000

And you think that this is miniasturization????....BUT NO.  Physicists are now developing transistors that are as small as single molecules.  More about that in the Internet Link of the Month that follows…




There is an old riddle that asks: “What is black and white and red all over?”. The answer is:  The Newspaper.

Unfortunately last month’s newsletter was originally black and blue.  Whenever I typed Internet or E-mail addresses into MS Word format they get printed in blue. When the blue got lost in the process of receiving the original document or in reproducing it, the addresses that were in blue did not get printed and there remained only blank spaces where they occurred.  That being the case, I will reprint the web address that you may had missed.


From November 2007; The address for the Western Historic Radio Museum is:-



From December 2007; The address for the old time comedy radio broadcasts is:-

http:// www.otrcat.com/comedy-c


Now to get to this month.  Stan Rogak, KB2QFT suggested that we take a look at a web site that has an article which is titled, SHRUNKEN 100 BILLION TIMES: SINGLE NANOTUBE MAKE”S WORLD’S SMALLEST RADIO .  It goes on to say that physicians at the University of California, Berkley, have built the smallest radio yet – a single carbon nasnotube one ten-thousanth the size of a human hair that requires only a battery and earphones to tune in your favorite station.  The nanoradio, which is currently configured as a receiver but could also work as a transmitter, is 100 billion times smaller than the first commercial radios, and could be used in any number of applications – from cell phones to microphonic devices that sense the environment and relay information via radio signals.  Read motre at: -







By Ed Gellender, WB2EAV


Well, after more years than I can count, Pat Masterson, KE2LJ has retired not only from Northrop Grumman, but also as president of the Grumman Amateur Radio Club.  He is still a member and is reading this so I better only say nice things about him – HI HI..  We all owe Pat a debt of gratitude for the passion and devotion he put into the club.  He will certainly be missed.  Lately, he has been focusing his attention and boundless energy on the Tampa Bay tourist railroad.  From what I can see, in a few months I wouldn’t be surprised to see him running the place.

A few months ago, Northrop Grumman moved the Bethpage repeater to the other side of the same building it has been on.  The reason we were moved is that the development of the new E-2D radar plane (yeah, after 30 years they are replacing the “C” suffix) involved installation of a new radar antenna right next to where the repeater antenna was located. While the company only concerned itself with what our antenna might do to the radar, I know enough about that radar to say that we really, really don’t want it blasting our repeater either.  Of course, when company maintenance installed the antenna at a new location, they refused to allow any of us to participate (after all, they are “professionals”) and as we expected they botched it.  With the resulting SWR, we couldn’t use the amplifier.   Not surprisingly, coverage was poor.  Before Pat left he was able to move the antenna to a better position.  We will shortly begin to investigate reconnecting the amplifier.  Like any other ham radio antenna project, things never seem to happen until the bitter cold weather arrives.


Norman Wesler, K2YEW Silent Key by Ed Gellender, WB2EAV

Although he never was a member of the Grumman Radio Amateur Club, we are all deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Norman, K2YEW.  Just about everyone on Long Island who has anything to do with ham radio has come across Norm.  He taught hundreds of prospective hams to get their licenses, and organized the thousand-dollar antenna team…who had volunteered their time and effort at no cost to help many hams put up antennas.  The thousand-dollar part refers to how much food the crew expects to wolf down after the job is done.

We extend our deepest condolences to Norm’s wife children and grandchildren.  The ham bands won’t be quite the same.     



Here is another cryptogram:-






Solution to December’s cryptogram:-








Secretary, Karen KC2OPX


This meeting was called to order by Ed at 5:30 PM

This was our Holiday meeting at Burtucci’s Restaurant.


TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV          REPEATER REPORT – Gordon, KB2UB  (not                         

Finances continue to be in good shape.                    present),  Both repeaters are now on the air.          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP                                  NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE

Since no applicants applied, no VE Session             Sunday morning net was excellent.                                                                                                                  :           was held in December.                                              Thursday night was good.


OLD BUSINESS: Reminder; that HRU 2008 will be on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at Briarcliffe College.

NEW BUSINESS:  Bob, W2ILP will be the speaker at the next meeting.  The subject is “Power Supply Technology”.  The next General Meeting will be held at Allen Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.  The next Board Meeting will be at the Hay Path Road Park location.

PROGRAM: Sixteen people came to the Holiday Party.   It was good to see the XYLs and surprise  guests; Jerry Bontempi, WB2MPP and Steve Barreres, K2CX.  The food was good and the company was great.  We can give our thanks to Ray, W2DKM. for arranging for the Holiday Party.



The meeting was adjoined at 8:30 PM




40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.

2 Meters (via repeaters): 146.745 MHz  (-.600)at 8:30 PM EST Thursdays.

                                           145.330 MHz (- .600) at 8:45 PM EST Thursdays.

[Tone for both repeaters is 136.5 Hz]         (ARES/RACES) Mondays 9 PM.



General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM.   The meetings are held at the Allen Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.  Check the GARC web site to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter, is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.   Our December meeting will not be at Ellsworth Park.  It will be a Holiday Meeting at Bar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                GARC WEB SITE

 The web site of the GARC can be found at http://www.qsl.net/wa2lqo/     Webmaster is Pat Masterson KE2LJ.  Pictures of GARC activities, archives of newsletters, roster of members, and other information about the GARC may be found there including Field Day pictures.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          






We are continuing to proctor exams for all classes of ham licenses on the second Tuesday of each month starting at 5:00 PM.

The present exams are:

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General   

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class.


The fee for 2007 is $14 for all exams taken at one sitting. 


Applicants for upgrades should bring a photocopy of their license and any CSCE and know their FRN number.


New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form.  All applicants should bring driver’s license or other picture ID.


Until further notice, VE exams will be at Briarcliffe College

1055 Stewart Avenue

Room: Long Beach #5

Bethpage, NY

Briarcliffe in Bethpage is located in a building that was formerly part of the Grumman complex.


All applicants should contact W2ILP to preregister so as to confirm location.  If no applicants apply, exam sessions may be cancelled.


For any information e-mail: -

[email protected] or phone: -

(631) 499-2214


Study material information is available at the http://www.arrl.org or the http://www.w5yi.org web site.

All VECs use the same Q & A pools.

Since the beginning of the VE program the GARC has provided opportunities to take ham exams monthly, during all twelve months of every year.


Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP and the Grumman VE team.                                   



VOL.  81, NO. 1



Bob Wexelbaum  W2ILP

(631) 499-2214

[email protected]



All the members of GARC (we hope!)


CQ de WA2LQO is published monthly by the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for its members and friends. Send articles and amateur equipment advertisements to: W2ILP

Articles may be sent by  e-mail, or postal mail.  They can be in MS Word format or simply in plain text.   Articles will only be edited when permission is granted by the authors.




For insertions to the WA2LQO website information or photos may be sent by e-mail to Pat Masterson.

Pat Masterson’s e-mail address:

[email protected]

Ed Gel lender’s e-mail address:

[email protected] or

[email protected]





These are a few hams that have been among us, and have helped us to learn about the technology of radio communication, and to put up our antennas and to build our stations.  They may be professional engineers, but somehow they feel that it is their duty to give back their expertise to the ham community for free, because of what ham radio has meant to them.  Such a ham was Norm Wesler, K2YEW, who recently became a silent key.

Another such ham is John Reiser, W2GW

who had given a talk about QRP radios at a GARC meeting.  I met John at a recent prep meeting for HRU2008.  I gave him one of our newsletters and I told him that Dave, AB2EF had built a QRP PSK-31 Elecraft rig for Hank, W2ZZE.  W2GW was delighted to hear that his talk had inspired such activity. 

Hams helping or inspiring hams are in my opinion, the best part of our hobby.   I tend to appreciate them far more than the hams who sell stuff to hams.  The hobby has existed for as long as it has, not because of the sellers, but because of the helpers and volunteers..  The hobby is diverse because HAM RADIO MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.



Bob w2ilp (I Like Peace)





President               Ed Gellender                 WB2EAV     X02-14    516-575-0013

Vice President       Gordon Sammis             KB2UB            Retiree     631-666-7463

Secretary               Karen Cefalo                  KC2OPX                        631-754-0974
Treasurer               Ed Gellender                   WB2EAV         X02-14   516-575-0013

1Yr Board Member    Zack Zilavy               WB2PUE         Retiree    631-667-4628
1Yr Board Member    Dave Ledo                AB2EF

1Yr Board Member    Bob Christen          W2FPF           

2Yr Board Member    Bob Wexelbaum    W2ILP          Retiree     631-499-2214

2Yr Board Member    Jack Cottrell          WA2PYK           Retiree    516-249-0979

Trustee WA2LQO     Ray Schubnel         W2DKM       Retiree




FCC Exam Coord.         Bob Wexelbaum       W2ILP     Retiree        631-499-2214

Webmaster                  Pat Masterson          KE2LJ     Retiree        831-971-8761      




































For those who have not paid theirs yet, membership subscriptions for 2008 are due. 


The cost is the same $20.00 per year for local members and $5.00 extra for additional family members at the same QTH.  Because of rising costs of postage and reproduction, members who are located too far away to attend meetings will now be required to pay $10.00 rather than the $5.00 that was previously required.  Checks may be sent to:-

Grumman Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 0644, Bethpage, NY, 11714-0644.






         HRU 2008


Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 13, 2008.  That will be the day of Ham Radio University at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage.  HRU is a joint operation of all of the ham clubs in our ARRL section.  It is not a flea market or a place to buy or sell anything.  It is a day of education and fellowship for hams and wanna be hams.  For more details about it go to:-

http://www.hamradiouniversity.org/ .









At the January 16th meeting of the GARC, there will be a live lecture titled, ‘All you may want to know about POWER SUPPLIES, but were afraid to ask.’  Actually the blocks that most hams call power supplies should technically not be called power supplies.  Attend the meeting and find out why. 

The meeting will be held in Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.