So fitting.

I went to Harbor Freight and used the restroom.

The toilet made one quick sneezing sound when activated and never really flushed right. Furthermore, it would never flush again.

This is so fitting.

For the uninitiated, Harbor Freight is known for tools of such low quality that they only work once... if even.

Amateur Radio Exam Resources

This isn’t a comprehensive guide by far but these are the resources I like to guide people to if they’re interested in taking the licensing exams for amateur radio in the US.

Ham radio. Get it? Yeah... I'm that bad
Sorry, I had to drop this silly dad joke on you. I just had to.

KB6NU’s No Nonsense Study Guides – Free downloads available of PDF versions, ebook versions also available for Amazon Kindle, epub, etc… – an interactive study system based around generating practice exams

For practice exams:

AA9PW’s practice exam generator

Android exam generator app free and no ad garbage. Yay.

iOS app for practice exams

So, once you can take a practice exam and pass it reliably, find out where to take the real thing near you:

ARRL Exam Session Search

Some exam sessions are walk-in, others may require advance reservations.

What to bring to the exam session:
Photo ID
A calculator (ideally not a graphing calculator)
Your FRN number, if you have one already. This can make the filing process with the FCC faster and easier. You can apply for an FRN number ahead of time. It is not necessary to have an FRN number ahead of time, it just makes things easier.
The exam fee ($14 at the time I wrote this – not needed if you’re at a Laurel VEC session)

Once you successfully pass the exam, if this is your first license, you will need to wait for your call letters to be assigned before you go on the air. If you have an FRN number, go here and search by your FRN number each business day. Continue until it comes up. Celebrate. 😀

QRZ.COM maintains a daily list of all new/changed licenses where you may also find yourself.

Good luck and see you on the airwaves 🙂

Harvest Gold.



Apparently, at some unknown point in history, Monsanto and Systron-Donner built test gear and painted it Harvest Gold.

Yeah, Monsanto did have an odd involvement in electronics. They wanted to provide raw materials such as silicon rods and wafers and somehow wound up briefly building equipment and components, including many early LEDs.

There’s an interesting article on the history here, also covering their partnership with the once great Hewlett Packard. The optoelectronic division wound up over at General Instrument and the test and measurement division wound up at Systron-Donner, with a lot of hardware apparently getting sold to Mendelson’s.

But Systron-Donner kept the Harvest Gold, and for that silliness I am glad.

Look at how well it coordinates with that goofy wood edged MDF shelf!

Feature Request

Can whoever codes the firmware for Harris / Videotek HD-STAR sdi video testers add in a special test pattern for me?

Yes… yes I do want to be able to send a 1080p still frame of TRI-COLOR FOAMING WAX down wires for testing…




Please note that this is a relatively content free shitposting- an informative and probably hilarious to read post on issuing an FCC complaint regarding Comcast falsely claiming data overages on their shitty monopoly cable internet service is coming soon

For now

Where’d I put the donut wrench, clearly these require a giant hex wrenc




i give up on politics this year


damn it jim i’m a broadcast engineer not a dark magician

and i’m turning the shitpost level up to +15dBBS*

* dB referenced to BS! – the level at which an average observer would declare “that’s bullshit!”

1 17 18 19 20 21 66