Assumptions

Don’t assume that somebody else possesses the same knowledge that you do. And never become frustrated when you feel that you’re either talking beyond them, or well-beneath them.

Another person’s knowledge and experience differs.

You will need to find a way to communicate your ideas at a level that they can understand.

This means you’ll need to reduce the concepts significantly…

…or expand your own knowledge to communicate at a differing level than you’re accustomed to.

Also, common sense isn’t.

Complete…enough.

Nothing is ever truly complete. But, this is complete enough for now:

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Had to power it on and work through an alignment procedure and make sure it works.

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This does explain that 50Ω dummy load a bit as well.

It’s complete enough: It works, so I’d call that successful. If I get really obsessive (I’m not), I could rework a few components and install it in a suitable enclosure and fabricate a suitable battery to keep it portable enough for lightweight QRP work. Maybe I’ll attach the already-mentioned GPS receiver and convert it into a WSPR node when I’m not using it.

Maybe I’ll build another for a 40 or 80-meter band.

All of that, of course, will need to wait. I’ve a few simple projects that I’ll be taking on, and, quite importantly, improving my morse-code comprehension and speed.

For now, I’d like to thank QRP Labs and designers of the kit that was originally intended for Britain’s RSGB Youths On the Air Summer Camp of 2017. This was great fun and was hugely beneficial for me, not only for learning, but also to improve some manual dexterity and mental focus during this extended TBI recovery.

Well, That’s Not as Annoying

After a bit of research, I realized I was most certainly using the wrong revision of instructions. Whoops.

I have a Rev 4 kit, but the instructions I’ve been using are Rev 3.

Well, that also explains why I have

  • four 10uF capacitors instead of six
  • a few extra 1uF ceramic capacitors and
  • why I have two extra resistors laying about

The good news is that I won’t have to remove or rework anything, yet I won’t know for sure until I’m done assembling and testing.

Note to self: make sure the schematics match the PCB… and vice versa.

The story so far:

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Still several more things to do yet:

  • toroids to wind,
  • a few potentiometers to install,
  • jacks for headphones and an external key,
  • a few pushbuttons,
  • and of course a display

Will it work? No idea. But I’m eager to find out.

Apple Card & The Future Of Spend

I absolutely love the idead of the Apple Pay.

A single device that you have with you all the time that affords you the touchless transaction experience.

In Europe, they’ve been using NFC (Near Field Communication) — the same technology that Apple Pay uses — for transactions for years. They typically refer to the concept as “touchless”.

North America is finally moving in that direction.

You have your phone, so NFC is literally at your fingertips. If you have an Apple Watch, you can even catch people off-guard by just waving your hand around a pay kiosk like a Jedi.

Right, so it seems that NFC is too advanced for some — or too trivial and easily exploited for some others — and in several places, they only support chip-cards, which require physical contact.

Apple has revealed their new concept for an Apple Card. A card for those occasions when businesses haven’t quite stepped into the 21st century with NFC… er, I mean… for those businesses that don’t yet support Apple Pay, and are still dependent upon a physical card with a chip. A single card that

  • is meant to integrate seamlessly with Apple Pay
  • contains the encryption enclave chip
  • doesn’t have a trivially-skimmed or accidentally-erased magnetic stripe
  • presents only your name: has no trivially-exploited card number, card security code, expiration date emblazoned across it —  that’s human-readable and exploitable by onlookers or malicious parties

Yes, please.

No, it’s not perfect — nothing is perfect and if you wait until it is, then you’ll be waiting forever. But it certainly is intriguing.

Oh, and you won’t have to charge it.

But something is bugging me: what about those establishments that haven’t yet joined us in the 21st century to use the latest, more secure technologies? Those companies that only support magnetic stripe cards?

You know, things like fuel pumps.

It seems that I’ll need to retain my card for the periodic swipe until we can move everyone else culturally and socially into the future of commerce.

Or find a way to simply no longer need to use them.

The Apple Card? Yep, I’ll be one of the early adopters and even look into transferring my other credit cards’ balances to it.