In the last few weeks the spam has brought in links to this web site claiming they can improve the efficiency of your car by “unlocking” the energy stored in water.

Water 4 Gas? OK I’ll bite.

Mind you if this were several years ago I would not even bother, but the gas prices warrant a look at all possible options.

This “Water 4 Gas” site contains videos of an electrolysis device which takes current from your car or truck’s electrical system, directs the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gas to your engine air intake and, presto, free energy in the form of improved mileage.

Since this is a leap year day, let’s celebrate by making sure we don’t forget when Daylight Time begins. Remember last year they changed the dates…


Starting in 2007, daylight time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. On the second Sunday in March, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2:00 a.m. local standard time, which becomes 3:00 a.m. local daylight time. On the first Sunday in November, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time. These dates were established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. no. 109-58, 119 Stat 594 (2005).

Not all places in the U.S. observe daylight time. In particular, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not use it. Indiana adopted its use beginning in 2006.

Another engineer at work told me a story of the Nuclear Boy Scout. I search on Google and found this…

This is an amazing tale of what NOT to do.


We stumbled on to something that is quite likely well known to any assembler, but we were too busy to notice. We had some boards manufactured (stuffed with components) at an assembly house in Colorado. There were a few issues that required a little re-flow of solder. We heated up the pads, applied some of our solder, but only wound up with a sticky gooey mess and no real solder flow.

Then it dawned on us we were using rosin core solder and the assembler might have not used rosin core solder. Sure enough they used water soluble flux in their soldering technique. We switched to some new solder with water soluble flux and things re-flowed beautifully.

I am experimenting once again with using a computer, its sound card and MixW to perform some RTTY, PSK and other digital modes. Somewhere I have a transformer isolated homebrew adapter made up, but have been examining what new possibilities are offered by my new Icom IC-746.

So I am in the usual evaluation of buy vs. build an adapter. I like to build my adapters, but realize the commercial offerings range from almost too cheap to very expensive.

I stumbled across a news article about a new cool looking boat preparing to beat an around the world boat speed record.

The Article is here.

It speaks of using human body fat as a bio fuel which is carbon neutral. Hmmm, fine, but the claim the craft itself is carbon neutral fails to recognize the likely non-renewable energy sources utilized in building the boat and harvesting the fat.

Unless they built the boat in a carbon neutral way (plausible, but doubtful) it will never be truly carbon neutral.

Being a ham radio operator sometimes forces us to operate from many different locations. We frequently wind up logging our contacts on many different computers. Later we find ourselves with the task of combining our logs into one big log so we can check our standings of whatever it might be we care about: WAS, WAZ, etc.

Over the years I have settled on a method which seems to work quite well. Instead of logging to different files on each computer, I “move” the active log file from one computer to the next using CVS as an intermediate data storage point.

For those not familiar with CVS, it is a software revision control and management system which provides a central organized spot where many developers can work on files separately, but in a controlled fashion which benefits all.

I finally got my copper pipe J-Pole up on a modest mount and cabled into my ham shack. It works, but I stumbled into many interesting things that most folks seem to ignore. In addition to the many J-Pole tutorials on the Internet you should also consider:

Here is a great tool for RF Analysis which:

  • Deals with diffraction effects,
  • Computes the Fresnel effects,
  • Handles elevation data from many different sources

RF Links have many issues that plaque all too many folks in charge of ensuring radios work as planned. A tool like this provides this kind of view…


With this tool you can understand why some RF links actually fade even when the two antennas are in complete view of each other. When the wavelengths get longer than light wild things happen. The program is free and, from what I can tell so far, works very well.

In the past few months I have been testing antennas and antenna ground systems for a series of articles on the main part of this web site…

One piece of equipment which proved absolutely essential is the antenna analyzer from MFJ Enterprises. I have the older cousin of the MFJ-259B pictured here…