Wednesday, 15 August 2012

250mW wideband FM amplifier for broadcast band

Components, pcb, schematic, board layout and parts list laid out.

The pcb: already printed, acid etched and drilled.

Removing coating.

Pcb ready for assembly.

Small components first (usually resistors).

I like to solder one leg of each device and check none came loose and are riding high before soldering other leg.

Stage 1 complete! Continue fitting components in ascending size order.

Sandwich loose fitting components between two boards before flipping to solder.

When all finished check for shorts, bridges and splashes in the solder.

And for my efforts hersm here's a wideband rf amp (for an oscillator stage) ready for testing.
posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, 27 November 2011

First kiss

First kisses are special, they're special for a number of reasons, which in my opinion fall into two main categories; excitement and affirmation. Obviously these two are not mutually exclusive but rather co-exist. The excitement aspect of first kisses is self evident, that tingling thrill, the increase in heart rate and blood pressure, the warm flash, broadly speaking these are physiological changes which bring about an altered state of consciousness, all pretty understandable and enjoyable. But for me the secret of the first kiss lies in the affirming aspects which it brings: It confirms to us, in that moment, that someone feels about us the way we do about them, or at least it seems that way, it diminishes our own insecurities, even just for a split second, it allows us to place new value upon ourselves based upon the opinions of another, and best of all, for a good first kiss, this is all reciprocal.

So when you have been with someone a while routine sets in, absent minded kisses get handed out all the time; the goodbye peck, when all you're thinking about is what route to take to work, or what to have for lunch. So I think it is important to occasionally make time in a relationship, and out of the blue try and recapture that 'first' feeling: remember all those feelings, and try and portray them in your kiss, in your body language and with your touch. Remember, its one thing to have it confirmed that a person feels attracted to you when you just met, but when a person really knows you, when they have seen the good and the bad and still they kiss you that way, thats true affirmation, that should be worth a thousand of the other feelings, we just have to remind ourselves of it.

Not every kiss can be just like the first, but thats no excuse for not trying to make it so.....

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Sex, memory, people and meaning

Have you ever heard the expression 'more than one way to skin a cat'? It means there is more than one way of doing something. People accept the meaning of this saying without question. Take music for example; people cover other peoples songs, and sometimes they do a better job, even the person who wrote the song has to accept this point. So what about electronics? Sure enough there are lots of ways to achieve the same basic function, some more elegant than others. Quite often with these things it is a case of trial and error, trying different things until you're happy you have it right.

An interesting related topic is how words can have two or more meanings, or how words can change to have very personal meanings. Look at the word 'sex'; it can be used to denote gender, or to refer to the act of procreation. But it goes much deeper than that, for example how often is sex really an act of procreation? It can simply be an act of love, making love if you like, or it can simply be 'fucking', a simple pleasure seeking exercise. From there though it can take on further personal meanings, for example what does your sex mean to you, to be a man or a woman, biologically? The truth is that your sex probably has less meaning to you than your gender, which roughly means all the things associated socially and culturally with the sex roles we all play.

But what about sex as an act? Does sex mean the same thing to me which it does to you? Someone who has had negative sexual experiences may well begin to view sex negatively. Another person may view sex positively, but pursue it in a negative way, and so on.

We can all accept the constant duality of meaning of words, or phrases. Many people find great pleasure in considering the different meaning given to words in different context and social settings. Where a lot of people start to struggle is when they consider other people: we all like to compartmentalize, to fit things in to categories, its how we organize our world, how we make sense of it. When lots of people apply the same meanings to lots of the same 'things' then you have social order, a society, whether its local, national, regional or global by sharing meaning we share the world. Because we think this way we like to stick people in these little compartments in our minds, and this is very helpful to think about and mentally keep track of the huge variety of people we meet; we know where to 'look' to find the information about a given person or situation. For example you know how to behave at the doctor because of all the information we have stored up about doctors. However, this way of thinking is not without its draw backs, it can lead to stereotyping and prejudices. Individuals get stuck in compartments in our minds. Consider that man at work, he is tough, strong, and always making jokes, thats how you know him, and thats what he portrays. If he's going through a divorce chances are he may try and maintain his 'normal' self, never giving you reason to challenge your perception of him, so you may never know that inside he is broken. If however there was a large change in his behavior you may challenge you perception of him, ask if he's OK, sit and talk to him for an hour, after which you may categorise him slightly differently.

Another example: you see your mum as mum, if she meets a new man it is very hard for you to see her as a lover, but to him thats exactly how he perceives her.

It is important to constantly re evaluate the world around us, don't be cognitively lazy, look for those subtle changes in people, be aware of the way you perceive people, and remember, the way you perceive them, never mind how well you know them, is NOT all they are.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, 18 November 2011

Is that the time? No time is an abstract concept, that's a wrist watch.

I promise i'm going to get more into this blog, it's therapy i swear.... Only problem is someone keeps playing about with time, when i'm not looking they go and steal a large chunk of the day... Unless of course i'm at work, then i can't give time away, no matter how hard i try... I might even have to do some work now!!

The same people who shaped the society in which we live are now shunned by it..

Re-post of something i wrote a while ago:

Well here it is then 2010, no more naughties, is that really such a bad thing? I was thinking the other day, my Nan, bless here, has been alive through the 1910's, 20's, 30's 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and now she's back to the 10's again. Can you imagine waht a headfuck it must be for old people? I've even started to wonder if there's such a thing as dementia, or wether the rate that society is chanhging is so bloody confusing that the old dears have no choice but to retreat into a wierd little world of their own.

A great example of how scary it must be for them came curtosy of my stepdad the other day: He drives for a living and the firm he works for issued all their staff with new nokia phones, tounch screen music and movies type thing, you know the dealio. Apparently they have some kind of satnav/GPS system on them. Poor old bugger, he's well lost, he's only just got his head round VCR's as we chucked our last one out. He's never used a computer, has to ask someone to change chanel on the sky for him. Just think about that for a moment... Just about everything i do now involves computers in some form or another, i certainly use my mobile a lot.

See my point here is this: The press gets a bad press ( if that makes any kind of sense) amongst youth culture and the younger generations for supposedly being 'biased' against the youth of today. But using the logic i've outlined here is it any wonder that individuals and social groups, as they grow older in a society structured and arranged around a younger generation, begin to feel alienated by it?

As the process of globalization occurs it gathers speed, moving faster and faster, there are more advancements made in one year than the preceeding one, and less than in subsequent ones. The same could be said for technology, using new advancements as the basis for future ones, the entire structure grows at an ever increasing rate. This is why, as life expectancy increases, this issue seems to become more and more acute. Sure there's always been an element of the older generation resent the young and vice versa, but i for one hear, see and feel the effects to a much greater degree now than i ever have before.... but maybe thats because i'm getting old.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Addictive personality? I'm hooked!

I’m sure the existence of ‘addictive personality syndrome’ is still being hotly debated, and given the fact I did study three years for a psychology/sociology degree (with a view to working with substance misusers/ex-offenders) this is an area that is extremely interesting to me. Moreover it is personally quite important to me because I firmly believe that I fit into the category of ‘sufferer’ in so much as I suffer from the poor decisions I make. For as long as I can remember I have felt the need to push the boundaries of anything in which I become involved. This has led me into subsisting on the boundaries of social acceptability in so many different ways. Let me give a few examples, relevant to the title of this blog: When I first got into DJing I didn’t have my own decks, and obviously as a beginner I wasn’t very good, so friends that did have decks were somewhat reluctant to allow me to use theirs, not because I could damage them, but because they weren’t really up for having to listen to the hectic, clashing beats of a learning DJ. This is probably something similar to an experienced driver getting frustrated, annoyed and downright terrified by a 17 year old behind the wheel for the first time. This situation resolved itself fairly simply: After regular nights out (clubbing) we would go back to my friend’s house and eventually people would pass out. Not me, I would stay up for hours and hours quietly mixing away while casualties lay around everywhere, and like that, I was hooked. When I eventually did get my own decks I would quite often practice for 3 or four hours a day, every day. I used to spend money that I hadn’t even made yet, on records (now CDs/MP3s of course, as much as I love vinyl I couldn’t afford it!). Often I would get up at 8am and start mixing, getting so absorbed into it that I wouldn’t even hear the neighbours banging on the wall!

Then there’s the electronics: I got into electronics as a hobby while I was at university. What I should have been doing is studying and revising, and if I had I am SURE I could have got a first, not being big headed, but I am no idiot. Instead I would spend HOURS trawling the internet for schematics and for different projects to build. I would spend just as long ordering parts for those projects and longer still building them (badly!).  At the time my girlfriend and I were living in a bedsit, and all we had was a bed/living room and a kitchen, so most of the time she would be sitting watching TV, or cleaning the house, or studying, and there I would be, in the kitchen, hunched over some project or other that at the time I was CONVINCED was vital to get done. It is not unheard of for me to stand for 8 hours straight, no food, drink or rest, just soldering away. The house was littered with failed projects, bits of wire, plastic boxes full of components, not to mention my decks and all the records. How the hell she put up with it I will never know.

These are fairly innocuous examples of what I am trying to describe, a better example would probably be to discuss drugs, but given the fact I have no way of telling who will read this I guess I need to be a little cautious. Maybe in a later post we’ll get into that, suffice to say that I am by no means innocent!

Virtually everything I have done, and enjoyed has become all encompassing: I eat, sleep and breathe that thing, I obsess over it. I talk about NOTHING else, and if I do it isn’t for very long until I turn around the conversation back round to what I want to talk about. I probably am not painting much of a pretty picture here am I? Well that’s because I don’t want to, I want to paint an honest picture: I can be an arsehole, no doubt about that. Over the years I became a very selfish person, partially because I never saw the point of living for others, I only lived to satiate my own desires. Being that way got me into a shitty, horrible life, but ironically it also got me out of the same lifestyle. Being obsessive (or addictively orientated) actually saved me from the mess being that way created.

Now I try every day to control my addictive nature, not to get rid of it, but to control it. After all it is and always has been a part of who I am, it is just the fact that for a while it became ALL I was. Being that way is great for getting good at something fast, so long as the thing you’re trying to get good at is interesting to you (and that nothing more interesting comes along). And I should imagine that if you ‘like’ (you know LIKE like) me, and you become my obsession, for a while at least, it is very flattering.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

So, why electronics and music?

Given that the title of this blog is for the love of life music and electronics I think it only right that I use this very early opportunity to explain where my love of each has come from, and how they relate to my perspective on life.

Firstly my life has never been that simple, easy at times, hard others, but never simple. I have always been searching for something I can never quite put my finger on. This search has led me down a lot dark dead end roads. It has also taken me to moments of great personal enlightenment, but ultimately I am still searching.

I have, in the process of my search, stumbled upon a few things which I have then carried with me through the rest of my life, like music for example. Now I'm no singer, I can't play and my sense of rhythm used to be awful (that has changed somewhat, I do dj after all!). This hasn't stopped me falling in love with music. I mix house music, and I think it is very versatile, but I love anything with a soul, and these days (probably as I get older) that even includes some pop tunes. I love the way music can suit any mood, how it can take you to dark places, and how it can lift the spirits and join people together (where would Christianity be without collective singing, and the rave scene never would have happened without that sense of unity, probably aided by ecstasy admittedly). Someone said once that there is a song for every occasion, and that is true, and there is something comforting in the knowledge that someone else had similar experiences to you and took the time to write a song about it, that feeling the song is about you is magical. Music will always be a part of my life and if it isn't a part of yours I feel sorry for you.

I stumbled upon electronics as a hobby while at uni, while I should have been studying. Don't get me wrong, I am merely a self taught amateur, most of what I have built hasn't worked right, but when it does the satisfaction is amazing. I still find the idea of putting a load of inactive materials together in a certain order and having them do these amazing things fascinating. I also think electronics are a great metaphor for life: you need to plan carefully, and even then problems can happen. Locating the source of the problem and fixing it can be the most rewarding part. You can easily get hurt if you're not careful. The field of electronics is constantly growing and who knows what's round the next corner. It takes lots if individual parts working in unison to make something work right.... I could go on, see, great metaphor.

So to sum up, music has seen me through all sorts of different things, I owe a good part of my life to it. Electronics has taught me a lot about being methodical and patient, and I owe my livelihood too it, not bad for a hobby.

posted from Bloggeroid