|Max's Tips 'n Techniques|
The young Novice pushed the door bell again. After a minute he decided to knock, as he could not hear the bell ringing. The door creaked open and Max the old timer finally answered the door.
"Come in lad, come in. Sorry about that blasted bell but had to use the bell transformer on a little homebrew project last week."
"Anyways glad to see ya, come on in and feast your eyeballs on my shack." The Novice looked at the array of military surplus, homebrew transmitters, boxes of tubes, wire, insulators, old telephones, magazines, transformers. He stood in awe.
"Haven't seen you at any of the club meetings, Sir." Max looked over his glasses at his young visitor. "Well, I don't have much time these days for meetings". Max leaned back in an old office chair and caught himself as he almost went over backwards all most passing the critical balance point ---"Got to get that chair fixed." He straightened up and then carefully leaned backwards, this time precisely judging the Point of No Return. "Have a seat Lad."
"Max?" The Novice was pointing at one of the tables. "Why do you have those wires running out of that large hole in the top of your power supply over to that transformer?" "Glad you asked that young man. That's a Maximum T and T."
""T and T"?"
"That's right. T and T stands for Tips and Techniques. Why, ole Max must have hundreds of those "T and T's" just waiting to be passed on. Now take that bundle of wires for instance; most red blooded hams mount their transformers on the power supply chassis, but not Ole Max. I don't, cause when the transformer burns up and heads South, it is a lot easier to replace when it is just sitting out on the table in the open ... instead of being buried on that chassis somewheres."
"But isn't that dangerous Max?" "Tut tut my boy, you've got to know your equipment."
The Novice felt like he had been put in his place and was now anxious to change the subject. "Max?" "Yep" The Novice pointed again, "'What are all the switches and knobs used for on that piece of equipment?"'
"Well lad, first of all that's not equipment, that's a rig. Second, I don't have the time to go around labeling every single switch and pot on my homebrew projects. Third, it would just take the romance out of radio knowing exactly what was what. Besides, I've got a photographic memory of the panel layouts of all my homebrew junk, errr ... rigs. Now take this homebrew crystal controlled transmitter. I'll just load er up for you and give a quick demo. No need to listen on the frequency first because everybody in these parts knows that this is my personal frequency on 80 meters.
"Max quickly flipped several switches and keyed the transmitter. The young Novice noticed that Max flipped several switches twice so that they actually were in their orginial position but he didn't dare speak. The rectifier tube on the power supply immediately came to life and started to develop a dull reddish color, followed by sparks flying around inside the glass envelope. This was an event. "Well," Max said. "Looks like that 6 Uncle 4 rect-t-fier is bad and has headed South."The young Novice wanted to ask Max about the filament warm up time for his homebrew equipment but he didn't dare. Max quickly reached down under his table and found a box crammed full of tubes, he quickly picked out a prize and and changed the 6U4 and continued. The yound novice noted that Max put the bad tube back in the box.
"There now, she's loaden up real good." He keyed the transmitter and stretched to look around the corner into the living room. "What are you looking into the living room for Max?" Max quickly replied, "The TV lad, the TV. Load the ole transmitter and watch the TV screen. Another "Maximum T and T." "When the ole one eyed monster turns good and black then I know that I am putten out."
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