[Coco] serial ports and thingsRe: moving files on bootup... and more nonsense and OT stuff

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Feb 7 01:16:09 EST 2008

On Wednesday 06 February 2008, George Ramsower wrote:
>>>From: "Gene Heskett"
>>>> I was there from fall of 77 to the fall of 79.  And I can tell you a
>>>> story
>>>> about walking up North Mountain in the middle of the night to put a new
>>>> klystron in the icr transmitter there.
>I replaced an "engineer" that thought a 4CX5000 was a transistor because of
>the anode cap looked like a transistor. DOH!
4CX5000 was a great tube, as long as the screen current stayed below 5 ma, you 
were good to go for nearly 10kw cw, 5 kw as a grid modulated rf amplifier.

A little known fact is that it is a shadow grid tetrode, where the screen 
wires are precisely aligned and hidden behind the control grids wires.  But 
when the emission starts to fail, the focusing of the current goes in the 
pot, and when the screen current gets above 10ma, you are fresh out of synch, 
it can't be turned up.  And it can go from great to 70% power in a week when 
it does go.

>>>  What is a icr transmitter. I thought I knew a little bit about
>>>broadcasting and this is news to me.
>> Inter City Relay, similar to an STL, which is a Studio Transmitter Link.
>> We had generators in the shacks at the KOTA owned links from Denver to
>> Rapid
>> City & back south to KDUH, but the only way we knew they were being used
>> was
>> when they ran out of propane (or oil & locked up), the power had been out
>> for
>> a week then.  Little 2 cylinder Onan's, stick a crowbar in the flywheel
>> after
>> filling them up with oil and break them loose and they were as good as new
>> usually.
> My 4KW Onan RV gen-set was full of water when I got it(free). Had to use a
>chisel to loosen the rust in the cylinders and keep bumping the flywheel
>until the rings managed to break through the rust. Then some sandpaper on
>the valve seats and a hammer on the valve heads to knock them back down when
>they would stick... until finally it would start. Ran it a few hours and now
>it's okay for a backup. It uses a little oil now, but who cares? It only
>gets used in emergencies.
> I suppose if I had to use it for days at a time, I could use a siphon to
>the crankcase to keep it in oil. HEHE!
> I'm reminded of a guy many years ago that had a Studebaker that used oil so
>bad, he ran a tube into the passenger compartment so he could pour oil into
>the engine while he was driving. Now THAT'S extreme. Along about then, I had
>a Mercury Meteor that the blowby was so bad, it got into the passenger area
>and I had to run a flex-tube from the crankcase ventilator into the air
>filter housing. Some of the oil would blow back into the engine and the rest
>went up in smoke onto drivers behind me.
> Ah... those were the days.

Yeah, 20 some years back up the log now though.

>> More than you wanted to know. :)
> Prolly not!
> My first experience with an  STL was a Marti. or was Marty.. I think it was
>Marti. Transistors? Not.
> Tubes will live after a nuclear attack. If you can find one.

Marti, yes.  When I was at KSUE, we had a Marti remote control running the AM 
box.  It was always getting hit by lightning, blowing this or that. Finally 
it got into the digital board and when I pulled the drawings out, the board 
and the drawings were obviously from two different universes.  I called 
George Marti up to see if I could get the right drawings, he asked for the 
serial number.  When I gave it to him he said he had no drawings on that one 
cuz the guy that designed it took them all with him when he left.  So I said 
now what do we do? but didn't give George much time to think as I said next 
that if I couldn't get the drawings, then I wanted boards to match the 
drawings I had.  George said he'd have to make them, give me a few days, and 
in about a week I had 4 new boards that all matched the schematics I had.  
Gratis.  George was good, and knew that's how this thing works.

He coulda been a jerk since the stuff was a couple of years out of warranty.  
The end result is that if George Marti has something I need, he will at least 
get a request for a quote.  He and Arno Belar are what we call Good 
People(TM) in this crazy broadcasting business.  Arno is probably 10 years my 
senior & I asked him when he was going fishing about 10 years ago while we 
were discussing getting our monitor repaired and recalibrated, and it took 
him about 30 seconds to pull the ever present pipe out of his mouth and then 
say he didn't like to fish.  Left me speechless.  With his laid back 
personality?  He just HAD to be a fisherman.

> Don't forget, folks.... transistors and integrated circuits are only a fad.
>We'll go back to tubes soon. :-)

Ya 'spose?

> I still have a six foot PTP dish I used to use as a BUD to pick up
>satellite broadcasting.with an old Luxor receiver. I used a home-made
>circuit to control the dish mover(gate opener). It used the old push button
>VCR buttons with the pots on each button to select the sats/position. Dual
>comparators and a couple of relays. I was told it wouldn't work, even after
>I was using it for a couple of years until most of the good channels got
>scrambled. I used a pot on the axis of the dish to go to the comparators. It
>was fun to watch the dish fight the wind.
> As I learned to use a coco, I used it to record(just a database) the
>schedules of the different satellites and where those satellites were. I
>never did take the effort to use the coco to move the dish, but I did think
>about it... does "thinking about it" count?

I'd say its worth a 25% credit. :)

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
You have the power to influence all with whom you come in contact.

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