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Thread Like Summary
Jeffery J. Haas
Total Likes: 7
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by jgw
Liked Replies
by TatumAH
Sensing thread drift, I can roll with it! grin I blew my first fuse also around age 6-7 after "fixing" a tube radio, which as you know have dangerous high voltages. What were our parents thinking letting us fool around with lethal risks? Oh yeah, we didnt exactly inform them about our activities, but still they figured it out! ThumbsUp
I didnt just blow one fuse, but took out the whole house electricity, and they noticed. In my defense, I mentioned that it wasnt my fault, as only one fuse should have blown and protected the system. This proved correct, as the wiring was indeed defective, and I got off with time served. It was 1955-6 in New Orleans and electrical codes were a bit lax!
My father was a huge Amateur radio fan. and he and his brother even made their own vacuum tubes during the depression years, including the glass blowing and sealing. My father was always so tickled by being able to talk with people all around the world FOR FREE, except for the thousands spent on equipment and death defying antenna work. I still get flashbacks!
Naturally I had to get licensed too, and although I was fine with theory, Morse Code was my downfall and could never get up to 13 WPM, leaving me stuck with a Technician licence, something you might relate to!

We had lots of Heathkit equipment which was very instructive in electronics. For those who have never p,ut one of those kits together, they come with very complete instructions for every step, including pictures, showing every detail. The first thing you had to do was inventory every part down to each resistor value, and then you started building it. I put together my first stereo to take off to U of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1968, because you needed music for Drug U, and I was broke. I was extreamly carefull in the construction, as the stakes were very high. I finished absolutely everything, but there was one 330 Ohm resistor left over! I retraced the location of every resistor to find my error, knowing if I had one left over, something else was also wrong. All four of them were found in exactly the right locations! My father, when I wasnt looking, had added an extra 330 Ohm resistor to my carefully organized parts kept in muffin tins to keep track of everything! He got me but good, I was frantic till I figured it out, and he was quite pleased with his prank. Did I mention that teasing was standard in the family, and you will probaly be surprised that it purrsisted for my kids! grin
1 member likes this
by jgw
These days there are virtually any real restrictions or anything you need to know to be a ham operator. You also don't need Morse code anymore. Its kindofa shame. I remember my dad talking to the king Hussian of Jordan. Now, I am told, all you gotta do is get the equipment. I also remember him using his ham phone to call people all over the place when long distance was kinda expensive.

I guess those were the good old days. I also remember when we were walking by the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and a sailor walked up to him, asked him his name, handed him a piece of paper and told him that we had been attacked by japan and the paper was an order to report. Piggly Wiggly is now two restaurants. I was very young and have always found it interesting, especially given my lack of memory, that I have always remembered that day.
1 member likes this
by TatumAH

This is what my father used in the sixties, Hallicrafter Loudenboomer Mk2. You can see the glowing massive pentode. He was a big believer in moar power! There was no need to heat the radio shack! You wouldn't survive a shock from the power supply, unlike the Model T spark coils that were popular for pranks in the 60's!

1 member likes this
by TatumAH

That dummy heated up a gallon of mineral oil pretty quickly!
1 member likes this
by TatumAH
Exactly my setup. I suspect we both had the same "Boy's Guide to Deadly Fun" book. Glass pan filled with salt water? Yup.[/quote]

That book, our blue Bible, is still available kid danger book
Except it was Titled: 700 Science Experiments for Everyone Hardcover – January 1, 1958
compiled by UNESCO (Author)
I found my copy but cant quite figure out how to post the reminiscent images of the carbon arc furnace with salt water rheostat. My copy has some interesting stains on it, and a few holes burned into the cover.
Will post them when I figure it out. Had trouble with dropbox.

1 member likes this
by TatumAH
Yes Indeed, but I didnt have a real science teacher until 7th grade, and by then safety instruction was pretty much too little too late! You learn lots more in the lab from experience than instruction, like hot glass and hot steel look pretty much like cold glass and steel.
We were more visual in our chemical humour, but my high school chem teacher did ponder a bit when I asked him what was H2O4, and groaned when the answer was to drink!
Chemical naming quiz

The blue book does have scattered safety hints strategically placed. It suggests that for the salt water 120V rheostat, you should use a glass or ceramic dish, not metal! Also, while using the carbon arc, the use of sunglasses is advisable. I have never seen an arc that was safely viewed through sunglasses, and most of us didnt have welding goggles back then. We used heavily smoked glasses, like you could use to view the eclipse that starts here around 1 here EST and peaks around 4! Dont look directly at it, because your cataracts from carbon arc use will obscure the details! mad

Mr Barr, if you're still out there, my parents did not appreciate your sarcasm when you suggested that for a particular experiment we should use our parents best china, but at least I seemed to have taken the sarchasm to heart and long term memory.
1 member likes this
by pondering_it_all
Radiation Biology was a lab class where we used radioactive tracers that were commonly used in biology. We studied radioactive decay, safety, waste handling, types of commonly used tracers, scintillation, and such.

Our final big experiment had us feeding a rat a little P32, euthanizing it, freezing it solid, and then cutting it in half length-wise so we could put it on some film plates. After a day in the freezer, you develop that film, and you can see where all the phosphorous goes. (Mostly to the teeth, which are always growing.)

No weapons stuff. All things we would use as lab techs in our future careers. And after I got tired of asking "Do you want fries with that?" I got a job as a Lab Helper I, at the UCSD medical center research facility. Much cooler stuff than McDonald's, but no free lunch.
1 member likes this
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