BACKGROUND INFO, LEGAL ASPECTS, CAREFULNESS ETC (things which are supposed to be understood and not repeated with each new elsketch project page) OVERVIEW OVER ONLINE AVAILABLE ELSKETCH PROJECTS -- -- THESE HAVE ALL BEEN CAREFULLY STUDIED IN REAL LIFE, NOT JUST AS AN EMULATION ON A COMPUTER, AND FOUND TO WORK AS PROMISED; NOTE THAT SUCH AS AM MW RADIOS IS -- FOR ANY LONG-RANGE USE -- EXTREMELY TIED UP TO ALL SORTS OF WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH IT IS NIGHTTIME ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ For the G15 Multiversity: Background works Also part of the Stamash Educational CenterS, SECS For general info about G15 Yoga6dorg see also In general terms, we might use the following vocabulary: Each Elsketch project constitutes also a report over successfully completed electronics development and implementation work, in a sense a bit of 'neopopperian research', intended to be replicated in an improvised, intuitive, playful way by anybody who likes to educate herself in this way. This report is dated August 14, 2013. For general info about copyright confer the spirit of honoring acknowledgements as found in our ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Elsketch: Winding your own ferrite coils for the 1st radio module -- appreciating the magic of manganese-zinc (and nickel-zinc) ferrites [note: for ease of composing the materials, frequent mentions in the Elsketch texts are made of things which belong to the future -- future Elsketch activities include making even a whole G15 computer, and parallel activities are also referred to in the same manner, such as the chemical educational activity we have named Atomlite. apart from these references to things not yet done as if they have been done, each elsketch project describes a project actually carried out to success, and well tested, and fully doable in the present by following the instructions.] If you already have got the 1st radio module AM MW radio to work, you are interested, for sure, in getting the grips on making coils. That turns out to be simple, once we have this beautiful wonderful thing called ferrite -- which comes in several forms, all a chemical rather exact blend into rather crystalline molecules with plenty of interesting q-field properties of iron (as in steel), oxygen, and a metal. In 20th century terminology -- don't ask me why -- they call the types of ferrite we're most interested in when it comes to AM radios for 'soft'. (The 'hard' ferrites are the magnets in electrical engines, high-power relays, electrical buzzers -- and some types of ferrites, eg through their powder-form, to which expoxy is added, can be used to tape analog or digital data because they can store magnetic info.) But they're anything but soft, unless by soft we mean 'splendid, magical, brilliant, organic' -- for that's what they are. The manganese-zinc ferrite (most common in AM MW radio, and another type also usable in radios make use of nickel and zinc instead of managnese and zinc) has the capacity, put very simply, of amplifying the coil you're making, both in size and in quantity. Now let's be clear that medium wave, MW, involves waves which are such as two hundred meters long. We can calculate these sizes by musing over just how many cycles pr second (hertz) they have, combined with the fact that light moves at the very respectable speed of 300.000 kilometers pr second, which is to say 300.000 times 1000 meters, or 300.000.000 -- 300 million meters pr second. If the cycle has one second to it, it's a wave that isn't two hundred meters but many millions of meters. A 'cycle' may mean a sine wave -- going just like the letter 's' sideways, by a common visualisation -- and in a sense we're speaking two waves within one cycle. It's not necessary to do fine-calculations here. Let's just figure out how to make a coil given such as a copper wire of some half a millimeter, which has been given a little bit paint of some usually rather transparent thing, like a kind of epoxy glue, and where we have a couple of meters of this -- and we want to make a coil that resonates as perfectly as possible with waves two, three hundred meters long. Well, if you wind it around a pen, or around even a decent metal like copper, you'll have to have loads of patience, loads of copper wire, and loads of copper, and the radio will grow considerably in size. You may find that it isn't quite worth the trouble. Instead, throw something like 32, 40 or 70 turns around a ferrite bit the size of a cube of 1 x 2.5 x 3 centimeter (many other sizes incl rod possible, but then you vary the amount of turns a little), with a nice half-circle of radius half a centimeter dug out from it -- with delicious carelessness in how you do the winding -- and you may find that the radio works just wonderfully well with this. You will find that it fetches various parts of MW, the longest coil touching on the longest waves tending towards LW, and that the reception may be enhanced by putting two beside one another, near or almost touching in the way on the picture. Other pieces of metal like copper might in some occasions be very useful to amplify the whole circuit, but with this type of ferrite shape, having another ferrite the same shape beside seems to be more than enough. In all these reports, we emphasize authenticity about the timing of the report: it must be written with the 'empirics', that is, the experience of actually getting these things to work in the manner stated, and with a photograph or more where apt, fresh in mind. Sometimes things get stated in a way that leaves a little bit to be desired -- things which might be spelling or grammatical errors, or a bit too quick thinking. This is a typical feature of all the essays, of course, even as we emphasize enormous correctness in the actually implemented programs delievered as mountable G15 Yoga6dorg apps. On the main page, I know of a couple of things -- but I leave them in there, because they're part of the soul of the report. One place it says: you can put coils in series, and their strength will add. This is a statement that is correct under a set of very particular conditions only -- such that the coils share the same direction, are entirely near, and share core elements tightly. In general, if you have the luxury to have individual cores doing the job of connecting to each band you want to tune into with a variable capacitor, that's the adviced approach. Tying up coils after one another may in some cases have very peculiar effects indeed, although in well-tested cases, or when one has a type of frequency that doesn't do too many things in terms of strange resonances -- audio frequencies for instance -- it may be the correct thing to do. Another thing with the main report is, if I remember correctly, that it is says 'emitter' connected to NPN a place where it ought to say 'collector'. So let's just keep in mind that you have to have your own mind with you as you read any of these reports. So zinc is a metal, manganese (and nickel) metal, iron of course metal, while oxygen is the breathing part of air. When oxygen through humidity acts on iron we get rust, over time. But the particular -- oxide, as it is called -- we get between iron and oxygen when made into a compound or alloy or whats-the-word with these rather crystalline metals zinc and manganese -- also, like iron and oxygen, parts of the natural mineral & vitamin intake that human beings should have many times a week, for they are part of the organic functionality of all cells in the body, obviously -- transforms the whole into a completely different type of functionality, a functionality that can only be properly understood in quantum physics terms, if we speak 20th century science -- or in supermodel terms, in q-field terms, by allowing us to use our own physics approach (the infinitely better one ;). What we find then is not only that the ferrite -- or manganese-zinc ferrite, to be more precise -- is highly able to acquire then let go of magnetic impulses (and also so that peculiar magnetics can be felt if you get into a sensitive mood and experiment on putting such ferrite bits near each other in various ways and in various directions), and not only do we find that the metal-properties of iron (or steel) is retained at a molecular level, so to speak, even as the ferrite itself doesn't transport electricity any much, but it also acts as a whole q-field that interacts with any coil near it. And this interaction means that instead of having to make thousands of turns in an elaborate way we can just make a few dozen and get all the MW we want. Going to very much higher frequencies isn't nearly that much fun when we speak radios, although in some computer contexts we do need a higher clock speed for pleasant operational speed. The principle of the oscillator is the same, then, but instead of this ferrite we can, when we go to higher frequencies, use simpler ways as for coils -- for at higher frequencies we get much less of a wavelength (e.g., 10 meters). In some cases where unusual precision is required one can also mount a pure tiny crystal together with a modulator and capacitor and make use of the resonant properties of this crystal instead of having a coil-capacitor thingy. Now we want to have first-hand electronics here: just how first-hand is ferrite? The fact is that it isn't all that complicated to make, and simpler to make than a transistor. So the transistor is, and remains, the most complex item we require in first-hand electronics of the touchable, maintainable, hobby kind. We can't do without it, even though it requires pretty much fine-tuning and great precision in extracting pure germanium (or silicon) or the like, and then blend with other peculiar metals in precise ways and using carefully controlled temperatures and stuff like that. Ferrite makes everything about AM MW radios and oscillators and so on far far simpler. It is a chemical product but a very natural one to make, now that we know about it, and an important one. We must surely embrace it as a conscious part of first-hand electronics work. And let's always remember that anything we do in first-hand hobby electronics oriented towards transistors, is just about perfectly copied into the microscopic scale when computer chips are made. This microscopic scale may contain hundreds of thousands of components all on the space of a fingernail -- but the whole theory of how they work is all derived from real work with tinning real big transistors, modulators, coils and capacitors. The chip is nothing without the big-size work. The chip is merely a factory-production in a compressed form of hobby first-hand large-size electronics. One cannot say that one understands anything about anything if all one does is to wire chips. But if you're able to wire up a radio and wind your own ferrite coils using some thin enameled copper wire to change bands, then you can indeed say that you do understand something. You know something about the essence of electronics, and this essence touches directly on the essence of the most general type of energy transfers found anywhere in the whole manifest universe. Let's muse just for another moment on the importance that ferrite doesn't hold on to magnetism. Please don't reduce the quality of a good chunk of manganese-zinc ferrite by holding it near a magnet (in some cases some forms of ferrite can be 'healed' by strong heat afterwards, though), unless you're ready to throw that chunk. But the fact is that magnets -- which are another type of ferrite altogether -- can't get the radio-type of ferrite to stick to its magnetism. Ferrite is eminent just as stupid blondes are eminent: magnetism passes through the ferrite, and the radio ferrite still smiles and remembers nothing, just as stupid blondes -- with all respect -- smile no matter what is said to them, and of course learns nothing from it. This eminent capacity of relating in a memory-less fashion to the moment in full means that we have just about the ultimate tunable oscillator and the ultimate type of sensitivity for a radio with the radio type of ferrite. There are other possible chemical compounds of other metals that can enact some of the same properties even more extremely, but manganese-zinc ferrite remains the most powerful natural obvious way. Let's also note: even as the ferrite is able to 'conduct' magnetism, and let go of it, it doesn't waste energy by allowing electricity to grow when you use it as a radio coil. If you set electrons flowing in a metal by having a coil wound around it, then that process chews up some energy -- and means also that the electrons will retain a memory of their direction, a memory that chews up still more energy to switch around when the oscillation process around it, the context around it -- which may be that an antenna is coupled to it, or even that it works on its own rather as an antenna -- and so we get less of a response from the coil. This has to be countered by pushing more energy to the coil and having more turns of it, perhaps very very very many more turns of it. This is perhaps the nearest we can come to describing how the q-field of the manganese-zinc (or nickel-zinc) ferrite 'amplifies' the coil you make around it. But let's always remember that q-fields are nonlocal in that they act with principles going beyond even the speed of light, touching on the whole context of the functionality in an organic way -- in other words, going beyond the pre-20th century type of physics, which tried to describe all as mechanical parts pushing and pulling on each other. The ferrite coil is an organic q-field whole, and must be understood and used on that principle. [[[several practical helpful hints in the present context: some comments here -- ferrite core availabilities, where to buy hobby electronics things in general, and what measurement instruments your hobby lab should have. ferrite cores are provided as part of the Elsketch kit we're working on putting together for the educational contexts. very well-equipped hobby electronics stores as well as specialised ferrite factories provide ferrite rods. far more common is the type of ferrite used as a kind of metal wrapping around ends of data wires to prevent noise. these typically have just the form shown in the images -- two halves make up one 'choke' ferrite cable noise reductor, and are usually delievered together with a plastic box. if you cut away this plastic box and use the ferrite elements independently and not as a 'choke', then it will work perfectly and superbly if the ferrite is of the right material. indeed, the types of ferrite cores used in the above report are one of those found on this page, and sold as choke ferrites for noise reduction: I think it's in place to also suggest something about where to go and buy these things, in general terms. the above norwegian link is to a perfect good hobby store. it's worth putting a bit extra travel-time and money into actually going to a real well-equipped and thoughtfully made hobby electronics store rather than ordering everything from vast catalogues via people who may have no understanding nor appreciation of hobby work. the catalogue people who run catalogue-based electronics netshops are usually the types of people who believe in chips, big loadspeakers, remote control via infrared, and high definition TV. these may scoff at people who work on first-hand transistors directly and with experimental designs. catalogue-oriented people may not like hobby folks going around buying components a few dollars apiece. catalogue folks want companies to buy a thousand parts at a time, and may consider individual customers with a hobby slant as a bloody nuissance. so it's worth getting to a real physical well-equipped store that actually has components in it at the right price, even if you have to travel a hundred miles to get there. then you get to select a diversity of components in a first-hand way, and what could be better when you want to make first-hand equipment by it? usually, people who equip stores with stuff oriented towards hobby electronics do so with a capacity to fetch just the right variety. apparently super-equipped catalogue-based netshops often have very serious lacks in their scope, because they're not in direct touch with what they're supposed to be working with -- one may even suspect that they're only in it for the money, though it may sound incredible. the good hobby store above also has a lot of model trains and the like: there's a natural affinity in having a variety of hobby relevant first-hand electronics stuff and also dealing with smallsize cars and trains and such, because the most advanced smallsize enthusiasts want all sorts of little special-made controls and not just prefabricated modules. they also deal excessively with low voltages and so do not clutter the store with stuff which are high-voltage oriented. finally, let me suggest something about measurement instruments: the only reason a digital meter may be valuable in doing simple first-hand hobby electronics is that it can be too much a bother to get the analog to be accurate enough when doing ohms, and it can be even more a bother to decode the color lines on the modulators if you're uncertain which is which, e.g. when they have escaped their package, or you're uncertain whether they're packaged rightly. voltmeter is good enough with analog, and the principle of analog meter is of course only that of a coil that pushes something by its magnetism, to which a few modulators and a battery is added. the digital meter may cost as little as the cheapest analog meter these days, so why not throw it in. but the digital meters that promise a lot lot more often are entirely irrelevant. the price may easily be forty times bigger than for the cheapest digital meters but do they actually give anything in return? or do they overwhelm the first-hand hobby lab you're working in with its own machinery? most of them are not giving any real high frequency measurement and most medium-expensive digital meters don't give exact measurements for pf capacitors. they may have temperature measurement and usb port but who cares? and very very few give any meaningful measure of coils. still, if you have a lot of capacitors around, it's probably worth it, at some point, to get a meter that has got a good enough fine-tuning not just for nf and mf capacitors but also for pf capacitors -- especially as capacitors often have incredibly ambiguous markings. we'll return to the measurement questions in later, more advanced elsketch projects, and see if we can't put together something ourselves if we have only cheap digital (or analog) meters, and our own electronics thinking. if you do acquire a well-tuned frequency meter like the inexpensive UT61D going up to say 10MHz (which is better than most much-hyped Fluke instruments at several times the price), produced at a license in China for, it works really well to measure the frequency of the tuning at the moment of the Elsketch AM radio with connectors to the side of the coil that connects to the modulators, and the other probe connector to the E pole. It works entirely well when you put black 'COM' (common) connector to the coil and red, which ordinarily signifies positive, to the E or negative pole, when UT61D or similar is switched to the frequency measurement mode. UT61D is charmingly also coming with its own RS232 cable -- a first-hand type of connector if there ever were one. Producer's Hong Kong office is and at the time of writing UT61D specifications are found not just at Clas Ohlson but also at and they have other interesting models also. as for connectivity between UT61D and PC: Hardware wise, apart from any software questions, this might be used with a Y2000 classical PC of the kind that can be put together in a game-oriented desktop PC shop if you equip it with RS232, since it comes with RS232 not just USB, and perhaps put both Firth and CentOS 5.5 on it. The 1024*768 4"3 monitors are always in production, somewhere (recently I saw Lenovo had at least one), and the DOS-compatible classical desktop PC's still set the standard for a range of must-have classical games for the enthusiasts and this type of machine will always be available, as long as one is willing to pay a little bit more for it than for the most commercially put together PCs sold where they also sell fridges and ovens). The Firth release of the G15 (G15SP_F) has full RS232 support, though at the moment I haven't checked whether the interaction is well enough documented that one can make one's own programs to interact with the equipment -- though RS232 is usually pretty open and obvious to 'hack' into. we'll come back with more about measurements as said, but also with more that pertains to rs232 for those who are interested in robotics and other things like that, with firth g15.]]] ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ BACKGROUND INFO, LEGAL ASPECTS, CAREFULNESS ETC (things which are supposed to be understood and not repeated with each new elsketch project page) ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________