About econjack

May 24, 2011
I'm a retired computer technology professor who taught C, C++, C#, Java and OOP language programming at a Big Ten university. I've been a licensed ham radio operator since 1953 and enjoy the electronics end of that hobby. I enjoy projects that blend software and hardware and am messing around with low power (QRP) ham radio, augmented with the Am...
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  • econjack commented on robmawe91's instructable Soldering 101: For the beginner 2 weeks ago
    Soldering 101: For the beginner

    Very useful. If you're working on PCB's, the thinner the diameter of the solder, the better. Radio Shack sells a .022 diameter solder that is 62/36/2 (tin, lead, silver) that is very good, but getting hard to find. If you do find it, stock up since no one knows for sure how long RS will be around. eBay also sells a similar product, but you need to buy a pound at a time, which would last me several lifetimes. If you're in a club (e.g., ham radio), go in with several other members to lower the cost.

    I've probably built over 20 kits with it and never had a problem. They sell several sizes but the 62/36/2 0.022 diameter has never given me or any of the other members of my ham radio club a problem.I've also found that after you solder a resistor or capacitor into a circuit, take your thumbnail and "strum" the lead. If it's a good joint, it will have a musical "note" quality to it. If it produces a "thud" sound, reheat the joint.

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  • econjack commented on bwitmer's instructable Solar PV tracker1 month ago
    Solar PV tracker

    Nice! For those who want to spend less for the system, you can build your own sun sensor for about $2 and use a $20 stepper motor to rotate the panel to track the sun. I followed the directions in Chapter 16 of the Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio book. It is an Arduino-based system using a 10W solar panel. The code for the Arduino is also included. It does not rotate for elevation, but the system was designed for using power on camping trips where elevation doesn't change much over a long weekend. Of course, you can adjust it by hand when needed.

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  • Arduino Password Unlock Door Security System

    Nice project. You can save a few dollars by using an Arduino Nano instead of the Uno. The Nano is considerably smaller and costs less than $4 on the internet. Also, the code could be simplified by using arrays and getting rid of the goto's. See the book: Beginning C for Arduino.

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  • econjack commented on Charlie for Star's instructable Spicy Hot Beef Jerky5 months ago
    Spicy Hot Beef Jerky

    I don't have any drying racks, so I put a wood toothpick through one end of each piece and suspend the meat on the racks that come with the oven. I put a sheet of aluminum foil below the meat to catch any drips. I then turn the oven on as low as I can, crack the oven door just a tad, and let it dry. Depending on the temperature, it will take a few hours to dehydrate the meat.

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