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Leave the books at home




 
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ka1tdq
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« on: May 27, 2018, 08:59:16 AM »

I like to hang out in coffee shops to think about new building ideas and designs.  I did this in Las Vegas recently.  My wife sleeps in and I'm a very early morning riser.  I grabbed the latest copy of the ARRL Handbook, a note pad, some semiconductor data sheet printouts and my calculator.  

There's an open-air Starbucks right on the strip, so I plunked my butt there and went to town. I was working for about 45 minutes doing simple calculations and schematics for an SA612 based AM receiver for 75 meters.  I'm probably not going to build it, but the process was fun.  

Anyway, at the very end, I took a picture of the schematic with my phone so that I could have a digital copy.  Right then, this guy comes around the corner in front of me and gives me a long pronounced hard stare and says, "Hey buddy, can you tell me what the time is?"  And I'm like yeah, it's 6:15.  He never breaks hard eye contact and says, "Thank you..." in a convicting manner.  

Maybe I'm reading into things too much, but I work around undercover cops a lot and he seemed to fit the bill.  I think Vegas is maybe a little anxious about people designing stuff right under their noses.  Anyway, I left the books in the hotel room for the rest of the trip.  

Jon
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 02:13:34 PM »

It's very scary as to how close we are to sliding into the 'show me your papers' type of environment.

I'm disgusted.

--Shane
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 02:48:52 PM »

Actually, today they already have our papers.  We're just expected to stay in line. 

I don't know if anybody else has experienced this, but I've been called by Newak Electronics twice asking what I was building.  It could be for marketing purposes, but I think there's more to it.  One time they called me, I had ordered some SMD capacitive touch devices.  There's a lot you can do with those, but I was trying to build a capacitive touch iambic keyer. 

Play it safe.  Post everything you're doing online. 

Jon
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 05:20:28 PM »



"   Post everything you're doing online.  "

And if you forget something, well, that's proof of you lying .... ..


Ignorance is Strength

klc
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W6TOM
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2018, 05:54:33 PM »

  I took a two week trip through the Southwest back in February, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Tuscon, Southwest ARRL Convention/Swap Meet in Yuma and a visit to friends in Southern DPRK.

  I had never been to Las Vegas, spent a couple of nights at one of the big hotels on the strip. I would make day trips to places in the area that were of interest, Casinos are NOT of interest but a cheap place to stay. At night I would try to find a quiet place outside on the strip to have dinner and people watch. Quite frequently I would see groups of police all decked out in tactical gear and heavily armed.

  Getting into Hoover Dam is not unlike trying to get on a plane, guards and metal detectors. I had a critical power infrastructure clearance before I retired from the local power company. There are special tours of Hoover Dam, I would have loved to take one of those but you need to give sevral weeks prior notice for the security check. They don't let the unwashed public down on the turbine deck.

  All of this is a reflection of the times and society we live in but if you are a lone white male you meet the "profile" not to mention driveby media narrative.
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2018, 06:11:37 PM »

It's very sad, but comical in a way. Just imagine for example... "that guy is designing a DOOMSDAY MACHINE... with 12AX7's! OMG!!!"

I'd say, as long as you're not causing harm to others, enjoy your vacation and design away! It's oppressive to live your life under the thumb of the crazies who commit crimes against humanity and the "overseers" who jump at any chance to cast blame when none is warranted. They both feed off your fear.
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Patrick J. / KD5OEI
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 12:57:09 AM »

My choice might have been to keep enjoying my hobby on my vacation. Please don't be put off by the experience!

Your mysterious inquisitor - Hard stare is just a nervousness-inducing tool to set the stage, don't worry about it. Asking the time is an easy way to elicit a verbal and body language response but these days it's very suspicious to use that since everyone has a phone or watch. Proximity while asking the time is a tool to see your material, the Handbook or whatever.

Might have been that some silly goose reported you using your brain as 'suspicious'. Some people are afraid of all kinds of things.
It's very funny that if you had been using your ARRL electronic copy and cad/simulation on a laptop no one would have given it a second thought and if anything would have thought it business or video or whatever.
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2018, 09:24:54 AM »

   I remember about 15 years ago flying from Austin to Boston. I got bumped up to first class from a lot of frequent flier miles. While sitting there, sipping a beer, I was working on my Central Electronics 20a design for a QRO modified power supply. There I was with paper, mechanical pencil, schematic stencil, and some printed schematics.

   While working away, I was getting a lot of stares. Fortunately nobody said anything. This wasn't long after 9/11 so i am sure my action was outside of the norm, and likely made the crew discuss the matter. I attach that very schematic here.

   As to Jon, and the man at Starbucks asking for the time, perhaps he slept the night in the bathroom, and had no idea what time it was? I am hearing that 8000 of their stores will soon be closed so they can conduct sensitivity training in regards to the new customer policy change in dealing with non paying customers.

Jim
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* CE_20A_QRO_Power_Supply.jpg (514.2 KB, 3264x2448 - viewed 85 times.)
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2018, 10:51:58 AM »

Have been doing military vehicle shows and sales for years and it’s not uncommon to have de-milled grenades, bombs and practice weapons on site. Along with all assortments of military items. I have my 1965 M151A1 with all the radios onboard that gets operated at a lot of events, not only shows but more and more at state parks and the like with reenactors and apart from registering and having to go thru weapons inspections prior to the event to prevent anyone taking a loaded or functional weapon onto a state park have not had any issues.
Always wondered about someone driving to an event with a truckload of mortars, grenades and bombs being stopped in rout and how they would explain it. Myself I drag the mutt to and from on a trailer and other then always attracting people when I stop for gas never had any issue with law enforcement.
Thought about buying a NM-23 Hawk Missile Service vehicle a couple years back and building a couple fake missiles to stack on it. Imagine that would scare the hell out of the neighbors. Also attaching a picture of a trailer at Gilbert and you have to wonder what people think when they see something like this going down the road.



* IMG_2505[1].jpg (188.6 KB, 682x512 - viewed 96 times.)

* IMG_0220[1].jpg (2253.17 KB, 2592x1936 - viewed 103 times.)
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2018, 11:45:27 AM »




Going to work early one Sunday morning, I saw one being driven down NY State Rte 5.

klc


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K1JJ
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2018, 11:54:43 AM »

In the 60's I thought we were moving into the modern "Jetson's" future!   The space age, computers, communications, etc... Yes, by 2001
everyone will understand the latest science. Hot area!  So I pursued a career in 1974 as a degreed electronic technician thinking it would pay off big. (more about this later)

Then the soap opera mentality started in the 80's. Rosanne made it cool to be a dumb, arrogant  slob. Who cares about science?

It amazes me how little the average American understands about basic science. They would rather learn what Opra and the Car-dashians are wearing, thinking and what the latest internet news scandal is.

Simple questions like what is the closest star, what is the difference between a volt and an amp or what is the square root of 49 brings blank stares. Axe the same questions of a person from Japan and they will most likely know more than you.

We are becoming a world of passive consumers with an imbedded fear of life that is almost shocking.  Evidence of this is the amazing increase in pay chasing the smaller pool of qualified technicians and engineers. When I was a microwave and calibration lab technician in the 70's I had to leave the game because the pay was so low I could barely support myself in Colorado. I starved.   $7200/ year at a large company was my first job after college. And there was a pile of applicants in that recession. I was lucky to get the job.  Working as a Motorola communication tech wasn't much better. Didn't even pay for school loans. Reminds me of "chief engr" pay at BC stations. But after 3 years I left the field and entered the business and financial world and never looked back.  Another tech person lost.  Electronics became just a fun hobby.

Today, good, experienced RF technicians are rare and some earning $100K++  and are in big demand.   This is supply and demand - we are currently in a demand phase for technical people because our culture would rather play it dumb and get a masters in psychology or social work.  

Make hay while the sun shines guys!  

Brrrrrr!

T
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2018, 02:37:39 PM »

Quote
our culture would rather play it dumb and get a masters in psychology or social work. 

I work at a large university in one of the engineering buildings. Our offices are on the top floor, so I get to ride up the elevator with most of the engineering students at one time or another. Not many Americans. Lots of Chinese. When I go sit in on one of the presentations of some cool tech stuff, same thing. I'm thinking that doesn't bode well for the future. But hey, them Car-dashians, whoo! Shocked

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73 de Kevin, WB2EMS
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2018, 04:50:42 PM »

this thread reminds me of a quote from my favorite Clint Eastwood western High Plains Drifter:

Sarah Belding: Be careful. You're a man who makes people afraid, and that's dangerous.

The Stranger: It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid.
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Bob
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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2018, 07:04:17 PM »






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy
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Patrick J. / KD5OEI
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2018, 08:29:42 PM »

Actually, today they already have our papers.  We're just expected to stay in line.  

I don't know if anybody else has experienced this, but I've been called by Newak Electronics twice asking what I was building.  It could be for marketing purposes, but I think there's more to it.  One time they called me, I had ordered some SMD capacitive touch devices.  There's a lot you can do with those, but I was trying to build a capacitive touch iambic keyer.  

Play it safe.  Post everything you're doing online.  

Jon

I would bet money that an inside salesperson desperate to make their numbers was just trying to find out if there was a 100K or million piece order behind it. Wanted to register the activity so 6 months later when the big order just falls in someone else's lap, they can't steal it. Some startups and even large companies will use an individual to design part of a new product. cap sense is also a competitive field. I have been contracted several times because I could turn it or do a very specific experiment faster and cheaper than the client's bureaucratic and expensive lab.

I don't get all the claptrap about the Carassians. It's just part of a sci-fi show.
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 07:05:25 PM »

Quote
I was working for about 45 minutes doing simple calculations and schematics for an SA612 based AM receiver for 75 meters.  I'm probably not going to build it, but the process was fun.  

Anyway, at the very end, I took a picture of the schematic with my phone so that I could have a digital copy.  Right then, this guy comes around the corner in front of me and gives me a long pronounced hard stare and says, "Hey buddy, can you tell me what the time is?"  And I'm like yeah, it's 6:15.  He never breaks hard eye contact and says, "Thank you..." in a convicting manner.  

Write in large RED letters at the top of your Notepad:

Turbo Encabulator:

Smile and tell him you work for Rockwell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w


Phil

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KC4VWU
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2018, 03:09:02 AM »

Awesome vid, but there were no special brown base, double halo, black plate, gold pin toobs with the little bugle boy printed on the side! How could you ever expect to get superb audio quality without them!
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WA2SQQ
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2018, 08:54:46 AM »

No doubt that Big Brother is watching - we already have what was depicted on CBS's Person of Interest series. My office is adjacent to a "3 Letter Gov't Agency". I'm often outside testing a new camera and I usually walk along the river walkway that passes behind them. I watch their surveillance cameras following me, and I've been questioned three times. I always have the same response - "Its not illegal if I photography you or your building". Than I point to the building and note who I work for - "just doing my job!". Facial recognition is everywhere. Las Vegas uses it to detect those restricted from Casinos and Disney uses it as well. Their digital fast pass bracelets have your fingerprint and image info embedded in them. How long before a new born baby will have a chip implanted in them?
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« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2018, 11:55:28 AM »



The wife's cat has a chip embedded.

klc

The CIA tried with me, but that didn't work.
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2018, 04:02:51 PM »

Ah, speaking of cats!

This one spies on me all the time. 

Jon


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KB2WIG
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2018, 04:14:55 PM »


Its those Rushkin caps your using... maybe the CIA has the cat watching you for your protection?

klc
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2018, 04:30:00 PM »

Haha!!
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W1RKW
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2018, 04:50:24 PM »

Cat reminds me of Wilford Brimley.   Cheesy
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Bob
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His fear was when I turned it on for the first time life on earth would come to a stand still.
KC4VWU
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2018, 05:17:22 PM »

Wilford Brimley? I recall he had a sticky analog meter that caused all sorts of trouble!
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2018, 06:44:05 PM »

Good ole’ Wilford and diabetes.

https://youtu.be/KICIOYlZTr8
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