Friday, May 29, 2015

Homebrew Morse Code Paddle Key

I wanted to make this all the time. However, I really did not get any inspiration to build this one. Because none of my computers has any sound cards. I am sure they have some kind of sound card, but it is probably not good enough for radio operation.

After the vintage radio exhibition, I decided to make a paddle key by myself. Becuase normally all the paddle keys are quite expensive on the internet. I did not want to spend that much money to buy a paddle key while I can build one by myself.

I designed the case through Autodesk Inventor in about 45 minutes. I considered where the keys, electric lines, and hinges will go too.

This is the case I made. Since there were a few holes in the model,
it had to go into a some kind of chemical bath to melt supporting materials.

This is the final result I have.

The input is audio jack.

I could not test this yet. Because the HAM radio shack is closed for this week. Thus, I cannot test this yet. I tried to do it with my Surface Pro 3, but it seems not working. When I tested the unit with a multimeter, I confirmed that the electricities flow the lines and paddle key perfectly.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vintage Radio Exhibition

Staying on campus is such an irritating thing to do. There are nothing to do but staying on campus, seeking for things to do. Generally, I will just sketch pictures, watch movies, or play games. However, the HAM club I am in held an antique radio exhibition.

To show my faces to a few members, since I am new, and to make myself do something, I decided to spend some time at the exhibition.

At first, I thought there would not be so many exhibitions to see. Since the location of the exhibition is far from the main big city and etcetera. I was wrong. The exhibition was perfect! It had so many different collections from different collectors and organizations. Some of them were restored by the owners, they were fully operational.

I had a good conversation with the HAM club members, and one of the collectors there about his collection. One of his collections was very interesting. He knew very detailed information regarding the radio and showed how to operate it. Some of the parts came off to enhance the transmitting and receiving the signals.

It was not a radio, but there was a the very first portable laptop on display. I do not know if it was a working model, but the keyboard still worked! The feeling when I pushed the keys was very different to the ones in modern days. It was like as if typing a typewriter.

This is a real SCR-536 hand-held radio transceiver used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in WWII.
I did not know that I can actually hold this and touch around until one of the visitors took the transceiver and started to take pictures of it.

I also took a picture of it with me. Very vintage, rare, and interesting to know how technologies have developed. Thinking of seven decades ago, people used such a massive size of the transceiver, I appreciate how the technologies have advanced today. When I get older, will new generations say same things?

This was a section where people come and try out different types of Morse Code keys.
The one with the pendulum was the most interesting unit they had.
Morse Code is what made me become an HAM radio operator.

I knew what the vacuum tubes are, but this was my very first time to actually touch them.

I think I remember the collector saying that this unit was made in 1932.
All three big dials are to adjust and set the best frequency.
The green cylinders are capacitors. A speaker would go separately.

That circular unit kind of external speaker would go with the radio.
The collector looked for the manufacturer of the radio. However, he could not find any.
He assumes that by that time, 1930s, it was such a big hit for the radio industries,
too many new radio manufacturer companies were founded and soon few of them closed.

This is the radio I had a quality talks with the collector.
The oval shape on the top is a detachable antenna that can be attached to windows to
enhance transmitting or receiving radio  signals.

This particular model was used during the Korean War.
It is also portable that can be powered by batteries that would be stored in the bottom storage.
The maker of the radio is Zenith, and it has not been restored yet, but the collector said he will.

Oh yes. So this is the very first 'portable' laptop.
But still, it costs $4,225.00 in 1984, which today equals $9,793.49.
Also, this thing weighs 30 pounds. Do you call this portable?

I loved the keyboard by the way.

This radio & record player has been restored by a gentleman who is in military.
He explained how he restored this unit. This unit actually works by the way.

These vacuum tubes are the one I had a chance to hold and look around.
Imagine that several decades ago, these vacuum tubes were used to make a radio.

These two radios above are the ones that are used during WWII according to a collector.
These units would be installed in ships or aircrafts to receive AM and CW signals only.

It was very nice to visit this exhibition.
Also, I realized that I need to pay $20 for the club membership.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Visited Washington D.C.!

I went to Washington D.C. to extend my passport. Because the passport will expire in this coming December, and I have no time to visit D.C. other than this summer.

I failed to visit D.C. last week because I missed the bus right on my sight! I planned everything so great, but there was a significant car accident that slowed down the bus a lot. I failed to get to the bus stop in time.

Anyway, I postponed hotel and rescheduled all bus trips. In the end, I finally made to D.C.!

I stayed at the Embassy Row Hotel. It was fine.
I arrived the hotel at around 2000. I decided to stay in the hotel instead of touring around a bit. It was dark already, and I felt D.C. was not safe enough.

Next day, I went to South Korean embassy early in the morning.
I expected to spend about an hour at this place; however, it took only half an hour. So, that's good. I had more extra time to spend for my D.C. tour.

This map shows my plan.
The red line indicates Metro Red Line; blue line indicates Metro Blue Line; purple line indicates walked routes. A white circle with a red stripe around indicates the starting point, the hotel.

After I had finished my business at the embassy, I took the red metro line to Metro Center station. Then, transferred there to take the blue line to go to the Pentagon.

I thought Pentagon is limited to only citizens. Because, you know, THE Pentagon. The secret and high-security area in D.C. Probably more concealed building than the White House is.

I was wrong.

I could visit Pentagon. Not inside, but the memorial. But, who cares? I just wanted to see the building so much! There were a lot of photography restrictions too. I could take pictures of the building only at the memorial, but I decided not to upload the photos here.

Some Chinese people were caught after they took pictures of the building at where they are prohibited to take any photos.

I saw a female officer carrying UMP too. It was not scary but fascinating.
I was in a great rapture to see the Pentagon with my two eyes. Great job, Pentagon!

Next stop was Arlington National Cemetery.

Because I decided to visit all memorials in D.C., including Korean War, Vietnam War, and WWII, I thought this Arlington Cemetery is the first stop to begin that trip.

When I visited Arlington National Cemetery, I realized one thing.

If one nation can show significant respects and honors to fallen soldiers, it is maybe worth to die for that nation. The United States of America is the nation that shows great respect to soldiers. I believe that is what makes this nation strong and united.

I sincerely realized that this nation has the right to be strong and dominant. Thinking of my home country, I do not think Korean soldiers have such great respects. A majority of them forgot who fought for the freedom. If they forget that, another war will come.

By the time I arrived Korean War Memorial, my feet started to hurt a bit.

This was my second time to visit the Korean War Memorial. It would be a great shame for me not to visit this place. There were heaps of people here visiting. A bit different than last time I visited.

I respected and honored all fallen the U.S. and U.N. troops there.
I thank for their services and sacrifices. I never forget. Freedom is not free.

I met a few Korean War and Vietnam War veterans around the area. Whomever I met, I told them that I thank their services. Great heroes there. Great heroes who deserve to be honored.

And... traveling continues.
I do not have so much to talk about from now then. The only thing is that my feet were killing me so much when I came the Washington Monument.

I was planning to quit the trip once I arrived the White House. But, I did not want to stop in the middle. Although I visited the Capital last year, I wanted to see it again!

After all, last time I visited the place, I toured only inside, not the outside.
So, I started walking toward the capital once I arrived the White House.

Please refer to the plan map above at the beginning of the article.

The Capital under preservation...

Walking toward the Union Station after I took a few pictures, I met a nice Turkish person who suggested taking pictures of each other. I accepted of course! I need pictures of me too!

He told me that Turkey and Korea are brothers, and he knew a lot of good Korean friends. I know a lot of good Turkish friends too! What a coincident it was!

Whoever arrive at the Union Station will realize this nation's great patriotism and passion of citizens toward their great nation. This place, the Union Station, was the finest place to end my trip.

I likely visited all major places of D.C. in one day.
I also visited two museums too. Although I had to walk continuously, it was not so bad. I remember having about seven blisters on my feet :P

It was a rapid but economic travel I say. This was only possibly because I traveled alone.

No lone travelers afraid of asking random people to take pictures!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Interstellar TARS Model Project Interim Report - 7

Interstellar TARS Model Project
Interim Report - VII

Object--to continue from where I left

I. Introduction
And... yes gentlemen! The final came to the end today! I am glad to continue from where I left. Oh yes, last time we assembled and glued the figures together. Now we have procedures to put aluminum plates with black lines.

II. Production Plan
The production plan is simple and straight but needs a lot of handy works. First of all, all aluminum panels should have their own black stripes or decorations ready. Remove any black wrap part that will not be used for the production to reveal the aluminum.

Fig 1. Glue an aluminum panel on an acrylic plate to keep it flat. [1]
Fig 2. After the laser cut, this is the expected result. [1]
Fig 3. Simply peel of all black surfaces. [1]
To cover all surfaces of the figure, one will need all of these following parts: A maker will need six of MAIN Surface 0.02, MAIN SIDE Magnet Part, and three  of MAIN Surface 0.02, and four of MAIN Surface Small, and eight of SIDE Top, MAIN Top, and just one MAIN Surface 0.02 LOGO. Please refer to the Fig. 4.

Fig. 4. Overall Instruction [1].
I made three of MAIN Surface 0.02 LOGO to get the best one and use it. The logo part was the most important thing about the TARS figure, and that's what makes this figure special, I believe.

III. Production Detail
Now, before glue the aluminum parts on the figures, take a prototype figure and aluminum panel to practice. Make sure all surfaces of the figures get covered by the aluminum panels. If they don't use aluminum spray paints to cover the uncovered surfaces. 

Fig. 5. Do not use the final set yet! Use a prototype or practice piece first. [1] 
Fig. 6. For the practice sake, I used the old design (the left one) [1]
Fig. 7. Only applied a small amount of glue in the middle. [1]
Fig. 8. Yes, obviously the figure is dirty and messy.
Make sure to wear gloves to ensure there are no finger prints on the surfaces.
The figure is still dirty anyway. [1]
Fig. 9. Oh well.... [1]
The figure is dirty. Nothing more or less to describe it. For the new design, I used a different kind of black wrap tape which did not leave any glue on the aluminum surface when removed. The right one from the Fig. 6. is the one with a new black wrap tape. It shows that the one still has a lot of glues remaining on the surfaces. That is because I did not clean it up with alcohol pads yet.

Generally, the surfaces are very clean.

IV. Future Plan
I made a custom order of aluminum bars with same dimensions of the ABS plastic figures. It will have a same size, with same square cut-out so that I can install acrylic panel. I am going to use a black acrylic panel next time. Since I placed this order two days ago, I am expecting to receive this probably within a week. 

I will continue on later. So far, the prototype has some dirty stains and glues on its surfaces. I do not worry about this issue since it can be resolved very easily--find a better black wrap!

I understand that I have numerous grammatical errors in my entire previous reports. Not because I want to keep them, but I feel like I do not want to edit them. I should spend some good long time to fix them eventually though. I will do that in the end. But, for now, if you, the audience, see any mistakes, please understand. I spend more time on checking grammars for my essays.

Unless separately mentioned,
- [1] Hosung Won @ All Rights Reserved, All pictures in this post were made and done by Hosung Won

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A New Kind of Air Purifier

This is how air purifiers actually work. They just suck air in through the filter and release it out.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Duck in a Puddle

Well, again. I saw a duck playing around in a puddle while several people were walking by. No one tried to touch it or grab it, but still, it won't go away!

I am sure that ducks in my campus are accustomed to human beings and consider us as neutral creatures. Well, they are cute. So, who really cares?