ARRL

News

Surfin’: I See Live Hams

02/11/2011

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, your Surfin’ editor sees hams in the salt water antenna video and maybe on The Big Bang Theory.

Den Nendza, W7KMV, wrote recently to remind me about the salt water antenna video. The video demonstrates the development of a technology that uses the magnetic induction properties of salt in sea water to create a VHF antenna. US Navy engineers at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific in San Diego pump sea water from the ocean into a stream, whose width and length determine the antenna’s frequency capabilities.

Although this story and its accompanying video have been on the Internet for a half year, I want to mention it here because it is so good that I don't want anyone to miss it. The fact that hams are involved is icing on the cake.

Huelbe Garcia, PU3HAG, wrote about the character Dr Sheldon Cooper on the CBS situation comedy The Big Bang Theory. I don’t watch the show, but evidently Sheldon, played by actor Jim Parsons, has worn a shirt on the show with the number “73” emblazoned across the chest, leading some to wonder if Sheldon is a ham radio operator.

According to Wikipedia, Sheldon remarked that “73 is the best number. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror (37) is the 12th and its mirror (21) is the product of multiplying, hold on to your hats, 7 and 3. In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1,0,0,1,0,0,1 which backwards is 1,0,0,1,0,0,1.”

The verdict on Sheldon: ham, no, techie, yes.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has been eyeing the brine tank of the water softener system in his house. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



Back