I got married, on 26 April 2003, to a lovely lady whose name now is Melody Andrews.

She wanted me to put a photo of her on the site; I am perfectly happy to do so.

We're coming up on our eighteenth anniversary. It's good!


So what's here?


Scope Images

Scope Movies

Scope Manuals and Catalogs


Results of a historian's survey on toilet paper use in Russia and the Former Soviet Union
History from Below
Okhil Chandra Sen wrote a most indignant letter to the Indian Railway Department in the early 1900's.
"Transmitting, Modulator, Regulator Valves. High-Vacuum High-Voltage Rectifiers"
(Russian tube manual)
Cover,index,Pp. 10-30
G-452 through GI-150-1

Pp. 31-78
Rest of GI-150-1 through GS-35B

Pp. 81-130
GS-36B through GU-36B-1

Pp. 131-180
Rest of GU-36B-1 through GU-68A

Pp. 181-230
Rest of GU-68A through GM-1A

Pp. 231-282
GM-1P through BK-20

QRO Tubes

Images of Burle 8791, Amperex 4CX250B, and Eimac 4CX250K power tubes, and sockets for 4CX250B and 8791 tubes.
Amateur Service Newsletters from QST and other sources.

Good Stuff
on design and construction of RF amplifiers from HF (and 160) up through UHF, written by Bill Orr, W6SAI, and other notables.
Robert, WA5CAB, very kindly provided a TIF file of GE Ham News for May/June 1951: Transmitter Tube Testing, for those who want to build test rigs for their transmitting tubes. Robert, WA5CAB, also very kindly sent me a TIF file of the data sheet for an RCA 8122A transmitting tube. Need a custom transformer, or just interested in how they're constructed? Here is an article on deconstructing, disassembling, designing, and making your own. Thanks to Paul Kraemer for the PDF file! On May 10, 2010, there was a significant outbreak of tornadoes in Oklahoma. Here is one of them, photographed by Melanie Herbert, on Interstate 40 between Banner Road and US Highway 81, west of Oklahoma City:

Click on the image or the link above for more information about our afternoon yesterday.
Jim, W4JBM, very kindly provided a PDF file of Electrical Projects by Ford with Key and Bug Designs, for those who may want to try building their own straight key and/or semiautomatic key. Carlo Consoli, IK0YGJ, has published Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy. It appears here by his kind permission. The ARRL used to put out a little 4-page booklet titled "Your Novice Accent", to provide guidance on operating procedures to newly-licensed operators. I sure wish I'd had a copy of it when I got my Novice ticket, back in 1962. Here's a scan of it. If you're interested in storm spotting, or in listening to what's happening while there's severe weather in your area, you might want to print and post the relevant pages from this site:
USA storm spotter radio frequencies, by state
for reference.
These may be a bit out of date, but could provide a good starting point.

New Gadgets: E. F. Johnson Telegraphy Learner Sets

From My Own Library

Jack Martin Wolfe: A First Course in Cryptanalysis, Appendix and Lesson 15

Jack Martin Wolfe: A First Course in Cryptanalysis, Lesson 16


The Best Gazpacho
(From memory, after a recipe in Smithsonian Magazine, long, long ago. Thank you, Raymond Sokolov)
Easy salmon
This was part of a 7-minute meal I used to make to impress the ladies I was courting, way back when.
Cold salmon soup
Marvelous cold salmon soup: salmon, plain (NOT VANILLA!!) yogurt, sour cream, dill weed.

Radio stuff

The Hollow State News, issues 1-12, has been provided by Ms. Tisha Hayes through the courtesy of Paul, w2ec@arrl.net.
Hollow State News, Issues 1-12
The Hollow State News, issues 13-25, has been provided by Ms. Tisha Hayes.
Hollow State News, Issues 13-25
The Hollow State News, issues 26-37, has been provided by Ms. Tisha Hayes.
Hollow State News, Issues 26-37
a b c d e f
g h i j k l
m n o p q r
s t u v w x
y z
World War II US Navy ships by name
World War II US Navy ships by call
World War II US Navy ships by symbol (type)
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

Substitute pennants
first second third fourth
code pennant
The Coastal Radio site, run by David Ring N1EA, also lives on my server.
This is a link to it
Some Amateur-radio sounds from well-known British ham operator Hans Summers, G0UPL
MP3 files of amateur radio communications by Morse Code
Richard Horne, the author of the popular Spectrogram and SpectrumPlayer programs, very kindly gave me permission to host and distribute these Windows-only programs on this site.
Read Mr. Horne's letter granting permission to host and distribute.

Download Spectrogram self-installing executable

Download SpectrumPlayer self-installing executable

Countries and TLDs

In case you have trouble determining where an E-mail came from, here's the ISO 3166 list of country codes and to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority's list of top-level domains.


Random Images
Hawk, Liturgical Combs
The Obligatory Family Pictures, some REALLY BIG!
Wife, Children, Cats, Grandchild, and so on.
More pictures of our vacation place in Canada (45 North, 80 West),
and of our trip there in summer 2002
Many of these are _REALLY_ BIG!
Some fine examples of SCA Award Scrolls
Scrolls by Mistress Stella Silvana, Lady Adrianna Hambledon, and HL Thyra
SCA friends
Master Frederick of Holland, Mistress Brigeta Olavsdatter

Some Companions of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Laurel
in the Society for Creative Anachronism
Melody and I served as ambassadors from the Kingdom of Ansteorra to the Kingdom of Drachenwald last August (2007), at the pleasure of Ebergardis and Ulsted, who then were King and Queen.
Here are our credentials.
Mistress Hilde (Roxann Hatch) has been kind enough to send me two of her fine pamphlets on cheesemaking for inclusion and publication here. They are in .pdf format, so you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader or something else that can read and render a .pdf document.
Aged Cheese Class (665366 bytes) Camp Cheese (374491 bytes)


Lots of amateur radio operators ("hams") work with electronics in their day jobs, too. Many of them have stories. I'm trying to collect them. Look for them here. If you'd like to contribute, please send mail to me here: mikea@mikea.ath.cx .
Mr. T, W9LBB, told about working at a capacitor factory. It was hair-raising in more ways than one. Read about it here. Mr. T, W9LBB, also was involved in testing really big high-voltage power supplies. That story is here. This one happened to me. If you're a news crew and you need bright lights, how do you know if that wall socket will supply enough Rich, Chunky Amps? This is one way, but I don't recommend it. Ben Dover wrote about taking the FCC Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's exam, back in 2006, here.
Here's another that happened to me, illustrating a side of amateur radio that does not make us hams look good. The bad actor(s) got a comeuppance, too. I suppose that you could use the heat from the power tubes in your final to make coffee. Here is a rig that could have done it easily. Not ham-related, but a major
missed opportunity
Sometimes people get a bit cocky. This is the story of one such, and his comeuppance.
This one happened to other folks at my day job. Talk about pothole repair! Life on the ocean wave can get very boring. Carl, KM1H, did something about it. Sometimes radio ops wind up chewing the rag when they should be doing something else. Kids learn languages very quickly, especially when given incentive,
KU4AF, John, tells about
a net I'm not in a rush to join.
Sound advice posted to the glowbugs mailing list by Ron D'Eau Clair. Abbreviations can be misread. What you meant and what the op at the other end thought you meant may be two different things entirely. Read about one instance of that here. David Ring had some good stuff to say about Straight Key Night (SKN) here.
Hans, K0HB, had an interesting experience when taking his Amateur Extra Class exam. The "slap, slap, slap" of signal light shutters. Submariners got into the act, too. Jim, N2EY, tells a tale of a different sort of secret communications, in Daisy and the Dynamotor
Jim, N2EY, reappears with a tale of life in his high school, titled Graduation and other events Every 2500 hours or so, you need to check the oil in the transmitter. Hans, K0HB, copied CW as a radioman. Then he started hearing it in his bunk. The Golden Comma award went to CW operators who didn't follow the rules. David Ring has a bit to say about it.
Sam, N9FUT, stopped traffic sometimes with his transmitter. Dick, W1KSZ, tells about ... well, about a bug in a Bug. Chris Suslowicz relays a colleague's story about working at a BBC radio site where Voices Were Heard. Chris Newport, G4JCI, found that professional radio operators have problems that amateurs just don't have to worry about.
They don't make school field trips like this any more, I'm told. That's a real shame. "Percussive maintenance", a.k.a. "brogan maintenance", sometimes does locate faults, as Bob K1BC tells us here. Sometimes the janitors locate faults, or at least cause a pending fault to surface. In this case, they used a mop bucket as a tool. Most transformers are small enough to hold in a hand, bigger ones may require a forklift to move, and really big ones move around on a 53-foot semitrailer. But one turned out to be bigger than a football field.

No Sh*t, There I was!!.

For an F-105 to get into the air, a great many things have to work correctly. Here is a story of one thing that didn't. Some of the places I was sent, weapons familiarization sometimes got short shrift or lip service. Aircraft, like arrows, have to be put together very precisely if they're to fly straight and true. Some had ... well, problems in that regard. Units of measure sometimes change, as a friend found, from "each" to "set"
Most swords cut both ways, as this story illustrates.

Books of possible interest

Occurrences, untoward and otherwise

The National Security Agency has declassified some books recently. Spartans in Darkness, one of those books, is a (heavily redacted) history of SIGINT operations in Viet Nam. Even with the very many deletions, it still is illuminating. I happened onto a copy of a US Army World War II training code. Here it is. Sometimes remodeling doesn't go smoothly. When you short out a 480 VAC 3-phase feed, things can get interesting.

My R-390 and R-390 A receivers.

My R-390 HF radio receiver,
overhauled by Rick Mish:

Click Here

My first R-390A receiver:
AMELCO R-390A/URR S/N 686,
contract 35064-PC-62
Click Here

An all-tube product detector mod from EAC (Electronics Assistance Corp.) for the R-390A:
My workbench and test gear:


HP 8640B signal generator

John B Fluke 1953 frequency counter

and Tektronix 465B oscilloscope

My R-1051 receivers: Manufacturer and serial number not available.


R-1051H Only front and underside views for now. Serial number plate, top, and side views to come, along with details of the underside.

My civilian, professional-grade HF receivers:

My DEBEG 2000 HF receiver,
Serial number 423 out of I don't know how many.
Front and top views, plus images of the cards, for now.

My ITT-MACKAY Marine 3020A HF receiver.
Front view, plus images of the cards, for now.

My RACAL 6217E HF receiver, S/N 586.
Front and rear view, for now.

Everything you and anyone else ever wanted to know about radio antenna engineering and design from VLF through HF, by a recognized expert in the field.

The text of Edmund LaPort's Radio Antenna Engineering, with accompanying map

We had a rather bad time with the UPS batteries at work last Wed., May 19 2004.
Here are pictures of some of them.

I think steam-driven locomotives are way cool. Here are some pictures of one, the Challenger 3985, that visited Wagoner, OK, in early 2004:


Pulling in

Closer to the train


My guitars, lute, and vihuela.
Four recordings of BBC wartime French underground resistance transmissions, generously provided by Ed Sieb, VA3ES. Note the "Piccolo" jamming from the German forces underneath.
"Piccolo" jamming with the BBC's "V" theme on a kettledrum.
"Clementine veux se cure les dents."?
"Clementine wants to pick her teeth."
"The elephant is hidden in defense."
"Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne, blessent mon coeur d'une langueur monotone."
"The long sobs of the violins of autumn, pierce my heart with a monotonous languor."
These lines, from a poem by Paul Verlaine, were the alert from the Allies to the French Resistance that the invasion of Normandy, Operation Overlord, was imminent.
I'll happily accept corrections, transcriptions and translations from any Francophone.
Random images as a proof-of-concept. Test directory SCARS Field Day 2006 at Reaves Park, Norman
This table datum intentionally blank #

# # # Click here. #
Procedure for Military Executions George Goble lights various charcoal grills, and some charcoal, with mass quantities of LOX (20265560 bytes; please download then view)

What's new?

  • 2009: Partial scans of some manuals have been added.
    See ITT-Mackay 3020, RACAL RA1794A, DEBEG 2000, and RACAL 1217 (and 6217) for more information.
  • 12 Oct 2012: Added Jack Martin Wolfe's A First Course in Cryptanalysis, Appendix and Lesson 15
  • 12 Oct 2012: Added Jack Martin Wolfe's A First Course in Cryptanalysis, Lesson 16
  • 19 Oct 2012: Added EF Johnson Telegraphy Learner Sets images and HTML
  • April-September 2012: Partially recovered the website from archive.org after a disastrous and unrecoverable failure of a ZFS pool.
  • 19 Jan 2010: An article on constructing straight and semiautomatic keys, with drawings, has been added.
  • 26 Jan 2010: Two pamphlets on cheesemaking, from Mistress Hilde (Roxann Hatch) have been added.
  • 31 Jan 2010: A complete ITT/Mackay 3020A manual, with schematics and parts lists, has been added.
  • 02 Feb 2010: Issues 1 through 37 of the Hollow State News have been added.
  • 03 Feb 2010: Added World War II US Navy ships and vessels by name, symbol (type), and callsign
  • 18 Feb 2010: Added article on transformer construction and design
  • 23 Feb 2010: Added EIMAC Amateur Service Newsletters
  • 14 Mar 2010: Added ISO 3166 2- and 3-letter country code list, link to http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/
  • 30 Mar 2010: Added recipe page for fast, easy salmon, and began work on recipe page for cold salmon soup with yogurt and sour cream.
  • 30 Mar 2010: Added Okhil Chandra Sen's indignant letter (written 1909) to the Indian Railway Department
  • 30 Mar 2010: Added the "Your Novice Accent" pamphlet from the ARRL
  • 18 Apr 2010: Added the EAC Product Detector mod for R-390A/URR.
  • 11 May 2010: Added tornado.html and the table cell with tornado stuff.
  • Jun 2010: Added image of Sebastian Moore in utero.
  • Aug 2010: Added Russian tube data book PDFs.

Some of my poor efforts at playing classical guitar

More classical guitar music