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Surfin’: I Got Mail/Ideas


By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ answers the mail and shares its contents with you.

I get mail and lots of it. Mostly e-mail, but mail nonetheless. Please keep those cards and letters coming; I enjoy hearing from you and I often get ideas from your mail that end up here.

Les Paul

Urb LeJeune, W2DEC, e-mailed me asking if I knew if electric guitar pioneer Les Paul was a ham. From what I gathered, Les was a radio and electronic experimenter, but never got a ham license.

I pointed Urb to The Original Famous Hams and ex-Hams List by Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ, and Steven Glazer, W2SG, which in my opinion, is the most comprehensive list of “famous” ham information on the Internet.


Charles Scharlau, NZ0I, reminded me that “two years have passed since Software Defined Radio (SDR) came to handheld devices with the introduction of the iPhone/iPad app iSDR.”

iSDR receives live on-the-air signals when used with a "quadrature sampling detector (QSD)" RF front end device connected between an antenna and an Apple device's microphone input jack. iSDR also supports downloading your own on-the-air signal recordings for playback - not just a recorded conversation, but a tunable 44-kHz slice of on-the-air ham radio history that you can carry in your pocket. How cool is that?

For more coolness, watch a YouTube video that shows how to connect an Elecraft KX3 SDR transceiver to an iPad to use with iSDR.

Version 3.3 of the iSDR is available free of charge from the App Store. Visit the iSDR support website for more information.

Collins Ads

Steve Sozanski, WA1HHK, suggested I visit the Advertisement Archive of the WA3KEY Virtual Collins Radio Museum, which chronicles the progression of Collins Radio's ham radio products with reproduction of Collins' ads appearing in QST between January 1945 and December 1983.

I love old ads, especially radio ads, so I was not disappointed. I especially liked the Collins ad from the April 1958 issue of QST, “To XYLs Only. Does your OM’s ham-shack resemble a surplus store? Are you afraid to clean ‘that corner’ for fear the vacuum cleaner will inhale cables, spare tubes or crystals?”

I think I sense a little April Fools humor in that ad. Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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