Ads of Note from the December 2012 QST

When I was a kid, I used to religiously pore over the ads in the Electronics Illustrated, Popular Electronics, and later on, QST issues that I received. I don’t do that every month nowadays, but I think it is a worthwhile exercise to do every two-three months. New products are always being introduced, and some of them can be quite useful and fun.

This month, I went through the ads in QST. Here are some that I highlighted.

  • Using Your Meter. This is a new book from The W5YI Group. It’s notable to me because I’ve been thinking that a simliar book might be my next publication. The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Your DMM—my working title—would be a lot cheaper than the $24.95 that W5YI is asking for this book, though.

    Got any tips for using a DMM? If so, e-mail me and I’ll include it in the book.

  • Bonito RadioJet 1102S. This is a software-defined receiver made in Germany and imported by a small company, Computer International, in Michigan. Unfortunately, the company’s website is a real disaster. I spent about ten minutes looking for a price for this radio without any luck.  So many small companies’ websites are so poor that I think it actually hurts, rather than helps their business.
  • MastrAnt. This company sells synthetic guy ropes. We’re going to need some of this down at the museum. I think the metal guy wires are detuning our 40m inverted Vee.

Do you peruse the ads in QST and other ham radio magazines? Which ones have you found interesting lately?

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  1. Sorry, I haven’t seen a QST in years! I used to read it, and liked the ads. The Telrex Antenna ads were always my favorites.

  2. Dave, N8SBE says:

    I just had an embarrassing situation come up where I was using my trusty Fluke autoranger to try to debug a stalled antenna motor assembly, and thought there was an open in the motor windings, since the autoranging ohms scale was showing a couple of Megohms. Turns out that apparently, the meter is using some sort of high-frequency AC signal on the autoranging ohms scale, so the motor winding looked practically like an open circuit to the meter.

    After spending some time on the phone with the vendor, trying to make sense of the readings I was reporting, he suggested that I use my old analog meter or a non-autoranging digital meter to re-check my measurements. I found that the motor windings were actually running about 6 ohms (a far cry from the Megaohms the Fluke autoranger was showing), and when 12VDC was applied to the circuit, the motor was pulling about a 1 ½ amps stall current, because the reduction gearbox was physically jammed from salt fog incursion (again).

    Interestingly enough, using the diode scale on the Fluke autoranger also showed about 6 ohms, so apparently Fluke dispenses with using AC as a source voltage on that scale. Maybe the solution is to encourage folks to check first using the diode scale when working with inductive circuits on autoranging DVM’s?

  3. Great story, Dave. What’s the model number of that Fluke meter? I wonder if the newer models use the same technique?

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