Saturday, April 04, 2009

What's that old saying?

Hope springs eternal ...... or something like that?

It's late Saturday afternoon; and I've begun melting solder on the MRX-40 receiver project. I look at the circuit board and see the two DIPs there and say to myself, "Maybe it'd be a good idea to mount those ICs in sockets".

Buoyed by that fact that a lot of guys on QRP-L have been relating how their local Radio Shacks have started stocking "parts" again, I decided to take the gamble and visit my local neighborhood RS. If the truth be told, I haven't been in there for much more than watch batteries; or some heat shrink tubing over the past few years

I walk in and see these big parts bins. There were a couple there before; but now there are more. So now I'm getting psyched - maybe, just maybe, they'll actually have what I want! Of course, one of the sales associates comes by to ask me what I'm looking for; and I'm sure he's secretly hoping that I'll say "cell phone". When I answer, "8 pin dip socket" his eyes glaze over. So then I said, "Umm .... I'm looking for a socket for an 8 pinned IC". Immediately two lights shine in his eyes - the light of recognition (he figured out what I meant) and the light of pity.

"We don't carry many ICs or sockets", I am told, "What we have is in this drawer; and if we have any sockets, they'll be in there". Needless to say, there weren't any.

So it looks like I'll be soldering the ICs directly to the PC board. There's not much risk involved. I doubt very highly that I am going to fry either one; but it would have been a nice touch. I guess this means another order to DigiKey for some various parts - some common transistors, resistors and capacitors and other various parts to begin to re-stock my junk box. I'll also need to visit the Harbor Freight Website to look for some of those 24 drawer parts bins. I could use a couple of those.

How did my parts stock get so low? I donated a bunch last year to a guy in Texas who was getting a bunch of underprivileged kids involved in electronics and Amateur Radio. I figure it's worth whatever I pay out now to re-stock. An e-mail from him a few months ago related the fact that three of his charges actually got licensed.

And speaking of Radio Shack and cell phones ..... do they have a TON of those! The only place that I've seen more types of cell phones was the Verizon store when Marianne and I changed providers and signed up for a family plan last fall. If I had wanted a cell phone, well ..... Radio Shack would definitely have been a good place to be.

In between things this afternoon, I jumped on 20 Meters and made a few contacts in the QRP-ARCI Spring QSO Party. Not a lot of involvement from what I was hearing. Maybe tonight things will be better on 40 Meters - if there isn't a lot of RTTY signals blowing away the band.

Isn't there something in the Bible about that?

73 de Larry W2LJ

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