CNC: Great progress and more materials

What else did you think we would test with? The bad news: back to the drawing board Easel We made more progress this week with our Shapeoko2 CNC machine. But first the bad news: we can’t use the Carbide Command software to run it. Carbide is the manufacturer of the Shapeoko machines. Their software doesn’t support anything...

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Getting ready for CNC at ylab

When a laser cutter won’t cut it Our latest equipment donation is a Shapeoko CNC machine. Thank you Jedi Jay! After an initial shake-town and successful testing by ylab member Craig and his accomplice Shari, they came in and gave us a quick overview of its operation. After some test use, we came up with some improvements. The...

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We are open again!

Finally! 18 long months. That’s how long we’ve been out of our home at the DDO – Richmond Hill’s David Dunlap Observatory. Mostly, it’s been COVID. But the DDO has not been idle during that time, undergoing a major restoration. We’ll post more about that later. The DDO is officially a community center...

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DDO Black Hole Bigger Than Expected

Not a DDO construction update. Cygnus X-1, the first X-ray source accepted to be a black hole, is bigger than expected. Possibly the biggest astronomical claim to fame for the giant telescope of the David Dunlap Observatory is its role in the first observations confirming Cygnus X-1 as a black hole. We haven’t checked lately to see...

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Antenna science goes to pot

Half-baked or well done? If you know anything about radio and antennas – and if you don’t, check out our beginner radio and antenna pages – you know that the most basic antenna is a dipole, and a dipole antenna has two sides. All antennas require two sides. A magnetic mount antenna (magmount) looks like it has only one...

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Baofeng DM-X/DM-1702: Is this the saddest radio ever?

If only as a warning to others. Way back in 1976, General Motors introduced the Chevette, a sad little cramped hatchback that, when equipped with the automatic transmission, could barely drag itself above 100 km/hour. Friends had rusted-out Pintos and Toyotas that we would rather ride in than a new Chevette. GM was the biggest automaker...

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A cheaper antenna: the Red Green J-Pole

What else would you expect? People make J-Pole antennas out of all kind of things… copper pipe… twin-lead/ladder line. But who has that kind of stuff lying around the house? And the tools to work it? Everybody has speaker wire! Old speaker wire. Now that’s something a lot of people have lying around. If you took a ham...

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Talking around the world with a handheld radio: the magic of IRLP

Talking around the world with a handheld radio: the magic of IRLP If you have a handheld radio and live in almost any populated area in Canada, you can reach a repeater to have your signal rebroadcast with much more power and much farther away. If the repeater supports IRLP, you can connect to other repeaters around the world by punching in tones...

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