The Amp Hour
An off-the-cuff radio show and podcast for electronics enthusiasts and professionals
  Great comics from OhmArt! Be sure to check them out and buy some of their merchandise! Tales from the cube talks about a label over an EPROM...has anyone seen this article? Bill Schweber wrote about the persistence and insanity of engineers chasing problems. Katie Luper is a former lawyer going back to school for [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-68-TechnocraticToiletTroubleshooting.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:15pm EST
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  Happy Halloween! Has anyone heard of people giving away circuits as a Halloween? Did you know: CR2032 batteries reference the size of the battery? Chris didn't! The BeagleBoard folks just released the BeagleBone! It looks great! Also, kudos to the folks at TI, especially those on the team. Dave has a deposit in on [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-67-HaussmannizedHalloweenHypostrophe.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:08am EST
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Welcome back Jeff! Jeff's new setup is on Flickr! As are the pictures of his new cases for the Geiger Counter kit. He cut out the new cases at the ATXHackerspace using the ULS laser cutter. There's a new Design News Radio Show. You can listen...if you trade all your information. Dave prefers using off-the-shelf [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-66-XenomorphicXeroxXebec.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:35am EST
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SPEED PROBLEM UPDATE: The MP3 is now hosted on Dave's EEVblog dedicated server and should be much faster, please try again. . Dave lost the bid for a lab which we discussed last week. Shoutouts: Jim Williams' desk is moving to the Computer History Museum. Chris wants to turn it into a wishing well. EE [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-65-DavesDingoDystocia.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:09am EST
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SPEED PROBLEM UPDATE: The MP3 is now hosted on Dave's EEVblog dedicated server and should be much faster, please try again. . Dave lost the bid for a lab which we discussed last week. Shoutouts: Jim Williams' desk is moving to the Computer History Museum. Chris wants to turn it into a wishing well. EE [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-64-MaunderingMemristorMathematicaster.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 8:09pm EST
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Dave is buying a new place! It's not a house in Cleveland, nor a Castle in Europe, but he'll be doing nerdy things there! And as Dave likes to say, at least it's not Detroit (with all apologies to Detroiters out there). Dave"s new place is walkable, unlike the campuses of Silicon Valley and the [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-63-PickAndPlacePalillogy.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:38am EST
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  NOTE: Yes, there were some audio issues this week in the first half of the show. We'll get back to our better quality next week, sorry for the ears we offend.   Lots of fun this week as we get back to the old format of Chris and Dave just shooting the breeze. Hope [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-62-NarquoisNerdNescience.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:31pm EST
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  We're joined once again from our friend Jeff Keyzer of MightyOhm.com, calling in from NYC. He is wrapping up weeks of travel, most recently at the Open Hardware Summit and the World Maker Faire. Welcome once again Jeff!   Chris is a married man! Sorry all you throngs of lady-listeners to The Amp Hour, [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-61-GallimaufryGaNGabble.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:24pm EST
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Welcome to our guest this week, Joe Grand! Hardware hacker, electrical engineer and former TV host! (but not a washout as Joe was saying)   Joe gave us a behind the scenes look at being part of a TV show (all the design docs here). His 13 episode show was Prototype This on The Discovery [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-60-PancyclopaedicPrototypingPolymath.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:19pm EST
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  Wow...kind of a long episode this week (but totally worth it), due to having TWO guests on the show! Jason Kridner of the BeagleBoard Project and Texas Instruments and our regular co-co-host, Jeff Keyzer of MightyOhm.com.   Some of Jason's favorite projects for the BeagleBoard are robotics, including some that utilize the libfreenect library. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-59-BonafideBeagleBoardBionomics.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:42pm EST
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 Chris has a new mic! An AT2020 USB microphone. Dave uses a Samson C01U USB microphone. The Jacksonville police mistake LED lightbulbs for a bomb! Whoops! Shonky Product of the Week: The ADE651, a scam bomb detector. Similar to a dowsing rod...in that it's full of crap! Shoutouts: Fake EE Quips has created a bingo [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-58-ZappyZendikZoilism.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:00pm EST
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  Welcome to another awesome guest: Alan Yates, VK2ZAY!   Alan works on pyrotechnics for fun(?!) While he's not worried about burning out over doing similar hobby/paid work, Chris has written about burn out recently and how that might be a part of it. He also is an active ham operator, mostly working with PSK31 [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-57-ReconditeRadiationRaconteur.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:34am EST
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  Another week of bouncing from topic to topic. This week included robots, entrepreneurs, OSHW, FPAAs, Ecology and LEDs! Whoo, that's a lotta stuff!   Elon Musk is an enviable entrepreneur and engineer. Great video piece on him on Bloomberg.com. Google buys the Motorola handset business for $12.5 billion. Chris thought it was for access [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-56-OpenOrbificOratiuncle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:20pm EST
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  Just when you thought the names of episodes couldn't get any weirder...   US economy seems to be diving again, hopefully it will not seriously impact the electronics industry. If it does, Chris thinks startups will be even more reliant on Angel Investors like Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail) Is DIY finally going mainstream, [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-55-ShonkyStiverStultiloquence.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:45pm EST
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Embedded industry maven and prolific writer, Jack Ganssle, joins us on The Amp Hour this week.   Dave called Chris a "young whippersnapper" (actually "young feller", but the same sentiment) in writing about Jeri's chip making. A former colleague of Jack's maintained that  spec's for computers were driven by the porn industry and how much [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-54-EmbeddedElcheeEpexegesis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:42pm EST
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  Happy Birthday to us! One year in the bag! Thanks for all of our wonderful listeners!   From the EEVBlog forums, user "dics" is listening to The Amp Hour on a breadboard! Awesome! Tech Shop SF is matching donations on a new campaign to spread the word of Hacker/Makerspaces in the community. Chris's alma [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-53-BiarchyBirthdayBavardage.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:56pm EST
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Our friend and previous guest, Jeri Ellsworth, returned to the show to talk about her latest projects. And holy wow, they are prettygreat!   Jeri discusses the process of making transistors in your home using household chemicals, silicon wafers and a small kiln or oven. More info on her process of making the chips [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-52-CarnassialChipChemicals.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:14pm EST
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    Our initial try of Google Plus "Hangouts"! Hopefully all the interuptions and the concentration on a new medium didn't interrupt our usual shabby quality of podcast (thereby downgrading our rating to "godawful"). We had fun and hopefully will be able to use it to pull in guests in an easier way and somehow [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-51-VafrousVideoVaniloquence.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:00am EST
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  What would be the best way to create a "cough switch" or "kill switch" for a USB based podcasting microphone? EMSL created an AWESOME 555 Timer Footstool. Such a great replica! Design Spark corrected us on what their new plugin does, in relation to Google Sketchup. Dave is wondering what kind of criteria to [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-50-CallowCoughCoverups.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:18pm EST
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This week focused more on electronics! Think we talk about something too much or too little? Let us know in the comments!   Chris finally got a chair and wowsa does it make a difference! Finding parts online can be tough with distractions, apparently extended internet use can affect the brain. What's a datasheet [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-49-UnusualUsenetUsurpation.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:49pm EST
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  Though it's been a sad week for the field of analog engineering, we want to honor Bob Pease and Jim Williams' passing. They were wonderful educators, engineers and people and we felt honored to even talk about them on the show. Please share any comments you might have about either of these two great [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-48-PosthumousPeasePorridge.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:56pm EST
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    Very sad news, Jim Williams of LTC analog fame has suddenly passed away The Art of Electronics 3rd Edition is the Duke Nukem Forever of the electronics industry. Jeff reminisces about his old Commodore Amiga and mentions the Amiga on an FPGA, and Dave talks about Jamma consoles. Agilent impress with their response to the [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-47-TheMothershipManifesto.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:30pm EST
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  The Amp Hour has a new server! Let us know if it is working ok for you. Daniel Garrido linked here from his project site. Some great projects over there! (sorry if I butchered your name!) Open Hardware Summit is on again this year and are looking for entries for presentations. Bre Pettis of [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-46-CloddishCollegiateConversations.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:47pm EST
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  Dave is a daddy! Congrats to him! See Dave's intro video to his new "project" below.   If you have suggestions for who to have on the show, check out the thread on the EEVblog forum (or leave comments below) Should the Jones' be worried about electromagnetic radiation sensitivity for the baby? Only if [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-45-NerdyNeuroelectronicNeurosis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:27pm EST
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  This week it's back to just Dave and Chris...almost feels weird without more people! We'll get more guests on soon. Dave is in his studio with freshly made acoustic panels! Throughout the week, Chris has been mistaking BAMF to mean "Badass MotherF*#$%@!"  when in fact they've been talking about the Bay Area Maker Faire. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-44-PerniciousProjectsPuppiesInPeril.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:41pm EST
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This week we have our first 4 person Amp Hour! Welcome to the Ed McMahon of The Amp Hour, Jeff Keyzer, and the young star of the maker scene, Jeremy Blum!     Happy birthday to Jeremy! How do people say "Arduino"? Friend of the show and 555 contest entrant, Jason Pruitt linked here recently from his [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-43-AudaciousArduinoArguments.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:26pm EST
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  Lots of fun and lots of discussion points this week! We talked about schools, contests, more contests, ham radio, 3D transistors and our first Chip of the Week! New-ish podcast about scientific computing. We found out about it when Ayah and Alicia from the Open Hardware Summit were on there. Jason Struble (@strube09) linked [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-42-HamSpamThankYouMaam.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:36pm EST
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  This week is another threesome. Chris & Migthyohm Jeff are jury-rigged up in a hotel room at the ESC conference.   New startup kit business Nerds Like Us Sebastian (@sgtech) linked to us on his blog Chris & Jeff visited Halted Electronics & Weird Stuff Dave retold the Robert Cringely's DEFCON hacker conference story [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-41-ExhilaratingESCescapades.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 2:52am EST
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This week focused mainly around building a kit business, namely keeping costs down, keeping revenues in check and how to license your project.   Jigish linked to us from his site. Thanks! The Nottingham Hackerspace, Nottinghack, was pushed out of their old space and needs help funding a new one. Can hackerspaces thrive in [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-40-TheKitConniption.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:29pm EST
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  A few audio snafus this week, but we decided to leave them in for the "real experience". We'll get it eventually.   Chris and Jeri are broadcasting a live video show to announce the 555 contest winners. Dave is stressing about the Tektronix contest. He's trailing in votes! Jeremy Blum was featured on The [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-39-MumbleMumboJumbo.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:25pm EST
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  Jeff Keyzer of Mightyohm.com joins us this week to talk electronics and his new comic book!   Jeff Keyzer and Mitch Altman and Andie Nordgren just put out a comic book called "Soldering is easy!". Great resource for those just starting out and a preview of a book to be published later this year. [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-38-ComicalKeyzerComesACallin.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:09pm EST
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Whoa! Some big news this week!   Chris has a new rig in the mail. Should help future Amp Hour podcasts. Dave officially has left his day-job at Altium (never before spoken directly on air before!). The company is moving to China, as stated in their official press release. In other news, Texas Instruments [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-37-TheChineseClairvoyancy.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:05pm EST
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No guests this week, but lots of rants and items! Suggest future guests you'd like to hear either in the comments section or on the Suggestions Page.   Mike Cowgill is building an LCR meter. Looks like a really cool build! Welcome to Adam Ward, who recently started a new site and gave us [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-36-BigBusinessBuffoonery.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 12:56am EST
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The Amp Hour - Now with 100% more guests! Welcome, Jeri Ellsworth!   C vs. assembly language. Jeri still uses asm, Dave has in the past but favors C, C stands for Chris, that's good enough for him. Management of projects could improve projects, but not much can help code reviews. Jeremy is done [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-35-TheTernaryTussle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:08pm EST
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Chris has a new bench! New podcasts! Vintage Volts is a podcast about electronics "back in the day" by Jeff Salzman. The BeagleCast is a new podcast from the folks at BeagleBoard.org. Jaime (@jpwack) is the awesome dude who put together the text and processing behind the final Widlar poster. Tell your favorite chip vendor [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-34-TheRantRhetorical.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:38pm EST
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Protip: If you don't understand the title, think U2... Corrections It was Electronic Design, not Design News with the new radio show we mentioned last week. Sorry! WotW (our last?) Lucas Weakley writes from Florida to show off his bench and some kind of device in a pelican case. Our first female WotW submission, Irmi from [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-33-MondayMetaMonday.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:04pm EST
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WotW Dino (who now has a uStream channel for his workshop) Modular bench Bench with dresser drawers Bench with old Tek scope! Mitch (@mitpatterson) Bench with etching tools laid out Panorama of home lab Shoutouts DigiKey and Electronic Design Magazine have a new show! Rants DigiKey and Electronic Design Magazine have a new show! We [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-32-TheCommercialCompetitorCommencement.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:49pm EST
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Chris apologizes for the poor audio quality on his end, it was a new setup (again) while the bench is being finished. What's your favorite movie about engineering? Piggybacking on an article by Bill Schewber article from EEtimes. Bjork pulls apart a TV and tells us about it. WTF. "You shouldn't let poets lie to [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-31-PublishPopularPartsPlease.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:25pm EST
Comments[13]

WOTW Kibi (a WOTW alum!) send in pictures of a past bench! And a past beefy power amplifier! Jeremy Blum (@sciguy14) submitted pictures of his work workbench on his personal site! Great toaster SMT reflow! Not submitted, but Steve Liebson did a video interview with Jim Williams and we get to see Jim's lab. Events [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-30-FundingFusionIsNotFutile.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:08pm EST
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This week on The Amp Hour, Dave and Mightyohm Jeff Keyzer join forces to talk about: Jeri was naughty and got thrown out of the Designcon conference! Workbench of the Week from SnakeBite & Jeff's buddy Tony The new one-stop EE shop, EEweb.com Jeff rants about Eagle and the lack of IPC footrints Forest Mims [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-29-DJandJazzyJeff.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:43pm EST
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The 555 contest continues onward! Everyone is getting excited! Dave's classic 1976 vintage Signetics 555 timer chip (which he destroyed! RIP). Can anyone beat it? WOTW William L-shaped bench photos Laurence White Photo tour of the workshop Mr. J from Boston Home workbench Radio gear Rants Dave doesn't like how all those cupcakes he's sending [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-28-BowieAndTheBrownNote.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 7:19pm EST
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Shoutouts Thanks to Mitch (@mitpatterson) for linking to us from his site! Alexander linked here too and asked about what to do when family and friends might not be interested in hearing about your latest project. Octopart now indexes Digikey as well! Electronics porn! Hi res photos of an old Microchip part. Light can get [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-27-TheGreenPenHornswoggle.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:53pm EST
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WOTW None! C'mon people! But we did hear that some people have been building benches, such as John S. Can't wait to see them! Chris is planning a new bench as well! And has been doodling in Google Sketchup to get an idea of what he wants: View from the front From afar with the [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-26-TheBenandJeriShow.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 9:37pm EST
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. WotW JP Wack from Santiago,  Chile Bench with awesome labels! Other work Troy Rank from Rochester, NY Bench page Stynus from Belgium Project page (tons'o'projects!) Workbenches And workbenches with Stynus in the picture Followup The 6502 was laid out by hand by one person! A new study out found that ASUS was the most [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-25-TheNASANostalgia.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:43pm EST
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. Shoutouts Sparkfun has a new "grab bag" program for all their pick and place cast off parts. Could be some good pickins! Rants Why does the IEEE still charge membership fees to unemployed engineers? And why does the cutoff for waiving the fee occur at 13k(and below)? Is that a realistic point at which [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-24-TheDetroitDebunking.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:07pm EST
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. WotW Adam C of Onecircuit.com submitted the first workbench of the week submission by video! Bob of Ambientsensors.com took a picture of his bench with his pup, including a signed HP 300A! Lieven Blancke of Belgium submitted two pictures of his 7 year old maker son at their bench. Also included a picture of [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-23-TheInnovationSpeculation.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:58pm EST
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We wanted to try out a title similar to the style of The Big Bang Theory...we love it! Shoutout Another Ham-like video podcast called Amateur Logic. We like it! Thanks to the queen of science videos (Jeri) for the link! Dave got scooped! Afrotechmods did an AWESOME video about ultracaps. He arc welded a coin! [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-22-TheHardWorkHypothesis.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:27pm EST
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. Seasonal What is on your electronics list for the holidays? Dave and Chris both need new chairs for their labs WOTW Henrik from Oslo, Norway Bench setup and explanation. Sylvain from Belgium Bench setup for RF projects. David from Portland Portable bench setup. Taking your electronics on the road is impressive! Mike from the [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-21-MoreFreagle_MoreBenches_MoreEngineersOnTwitter.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:10pm EST
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Our first WOTWs! Mike, who works at Ascot TV in Christchurch New Zealand! More info about Mike's is here. Dave likes the Bob Parker ESR meter. David work at Delta-Q Technologies in Vancouver, Canada. More info about David is here (as are many more pictures!). David plans on doing something similar to the Electric Delorean [...]
Direct download: TheAmpHour-20-MilitaryElectronics_FirstWOTW.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 11:16pm EST
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Shoutouts Rich Hoeg of The Northstar Nerd, linked to us from his podcast page! Be sure to check out the others on there! To Google Sketchup! For offering electro-nerds the opportunity to do 3D modeling (easily!). They have a new contest in conjunction with Ponoko (thanks to @dustynrobots for the link). Check it out if [...]

Direct download: TheAmpHour-19-CADPrograms_SystemsDesign_RenewableEnergy.mp3
Category:Radio Show -- posted at: 10:25pm EST
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