Arduino Controlled Morse Code Key and QRP Transmitter

This is kind of a mashup of different projects: an arduino to control a servo that controls a homemade Morse code key that controls a simple 4 to 7 component cw transmitter. I will just show some pictures of the various parts and a few comments about each. Please note that operating a cw transmitter generally requires a ham radio license unless you terminate the transmitter with a dummy load resistor to keep from propagating a signal outside of your house. A license is a pretty easy prospect these days since proficiency with Morse code is no longer required.

Why do this project?

1. It is entertaining to watch the arduino control the key with a servo.

2. It is a good practice oscillator for listening to Morse code.

3. It can operate your key and transmitter while you go outside the house and check reception.

Have fun – de ke8bsh



Posted in HAM Radio Stuff, robots | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bible in Morse Code MP3 Files

I created an Instructable that shows you how to easily convert the Bible (or parts of it) into MP3 Morse Code files. The software is free and so is the copy(s) of the the Bible text files. The benefits of converting the Bible (or any text file) is that you can choose the speed and side-tone frequency.

Go here to find instructions: Convert Bible to MP3 Files Instructable

If you want the Bible written in Morse Code in one large pdf file then please go to my link:

KING JAMES VERSION BIBLE written in Morse Code (and MP3 option)


Posted in HAM Radio Stuff, religion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Morse Code Key (and Sounder) Made from Steak Knife and Multi-tester

This is a simple but functional key and code practice oscillator for learning Morse Code made from a steak-knife and multi-tester. Few components and only takes half hour to construct. And when you are finished practicing Morse code you can put the knife back in the kitchen drawer.

Parts list:

block of wood


2 inch binder clip

4 small magnets

multi-tester or volt-meter that has resistance tester (ohm-meter) with sound

I basically got the idea to use a steak-knife from K4IBZ’s Beef Eater Special here:…

There are many homemade keys out there on the web. Even one made from just paper clips.

Here are a bunch of very innovative homemade keys:…

Posted in HAM Radio Stuff, hobby | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My Serenity Motor


Ok, this is not an original motor design – it has many names, Robert Adams Motor, Bedini Motor, a version of a Mendocino Motor, levitating electromagnetic pulse motor, and there are probably more. But I like my name for my particular version. So.

The electrical magnetic kicker circuit design came from here:…endulum/article.htm

and is easy to build with a small parts count and can be used for other projects. I use mine to swing a pendulum – sometimes for weeks on a set of batteries – just for entertainment.

I tried using an Arduino for a kicker circuit but it can either kick but not sense or sense but not kick without going through some gyrations and then you have to have two power sources – one for the coil and one for the Arduino. No thanks. The dedicated circuit works great.


Here is the schematic of the kicker circuit:





Posted in electromagnetic pulse motor, hobby, Mechanical Gyroscopes, robots | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Aircraft from Downtown Beijing Air Museum

I took these photos about 2010. Don’t know if they are still there or not. Don’t know any details about the aircraft. Just recognize the Chinese trainer. There is another large air museum north of Beijing that is hard to get to but quite interesting and worth the trip.

Posted in aircraft, China | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fasting for Spiritual Health

The Bible has many examples of fasting and I always wondered how exactly fasting is helpful – physically – spiritually – mentally? I have always been a little confused by what exactly are the benefits to be gotten and now I think I have a little better idea.

Yes, spiritually, I suppose, there seems to be some benefit to fasting – to some people. Never did much for me as I just thought about food most of the time. Of course Jesus’s example comes to mind as he went into the desert to be tempted. But in that case I think it was to set up his ultimate temptation by Satan and how would he have been tempted by bread if he hadn’t been hungry?  I think he was already a spiritual giant and fasting would not have taken the edge off that.

And giving the money or food away you save by skipping a few meals doesn’t make much sense as most folks are rich enough to do that anyway without skipping the meals.

No, I see the real benefit is that fasting allows the body to heal itself. There are many studies and articles on the physical effects of fasting on the body. Here is an interesting article to that point:

I have fasted many times, a few times at 3 days but mostly I just skip breakfast. Yes I know everyone says “Oh – you can’t do that!” But I mostly get that from overweight people who seem to think they are the experts on something they just can’t control. Once, I started skipping breakfast some other benefits became apparent: started losing some weight, wasn’t hungry all the time, ate smaller portions in my other meals and tended to snack less and eat more healthy snacks like nuts and fruits and vegetables. And I feel better, have more self confidence about skipping meals now and then and I think it really heals the physical problems that a 63 year old man inevitably has to face.

An older person’s body starts to break down after 60 years and perhaps a spiritual benefit is that it brings one closer to God if that is in fact their belief system. But God gives us a way to physically address those health problems and that is by fasting. The body is a pretty amazing machine that is able to fix itself if given the chance. And these health issues give us an opportunity for a spiritual blessing as well. I believe too that obesity and diabetes are really sins against the body due to lack of self control when eating. Fasting is a sure fire way of addressing these sins and the treatment is amazingly free and spiritually endorsed by God.

Finally, how to get the motivation to fast eluded me but I have found a great motivator – an illness, a physical malady is a great incentive to fast. It really kind of makes it easy to get through those first hunger pangs. Then when you get a success or two, the brain starts to get rewired so that you are not tempted by every little snack advertisement and a new habit it born. I plan on sticking with my breakfast skipping regimen and then to do some 24 to 40 hour fasts occasionally as these reinforce my resolve to keep on keeping on with fasting. Even now I am on a 36 hour fast which essentially means skipping food for one night, and one full day and night. Not that hard to do and it will make me stronger in physical, mental and spiritual ways.

Posted in gout cure, health, how to cure gout, religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My new Amazon Echo Dot 2

A few days ago bought an Echo Dot 2 on for 400rmb (about $70). Plugged it in, and took most of the day to get it working. The problem is that I am in China and it is not set up for China. Tried to run on the PC and it would just stall before even getting to the login screen. Got to the login once and then it failed when setting up the Dot. So, needed to get the software on my Huawei 5 phone but cannot load on my phone. Finally downloaded Google Chrome on phone, downloaded alexa app and got it loaded. But when trying to hook up the Dot, it would still stall on the installation screen. Finally after many tries and a few resets of the Dot, got it loaded.

Disappointed. I would invoke the Dot with “Alexa, what time is it?”. It would listen then start to say something and quit. And that was it. Tried to get music going. It would say “Shuffling your…” and then nothing.

So then I went through marathon session of playing with my router. Moved it, changed parameters, and finally Dot would work, at 4:00 in the morning.

The short of it is I found that the Dot’s poor response was due to low internet bandwidth in my location. I am in a University apartment, throttled no doubt by a university server and during the day when students are playing games bandwidth can drop to below 1 mbps and this is when the Dot balks.

So came up with the following checks for successfully using Dot in my location:

  1. Bandwidth must be above 2mbps or it just won’t work reliably. Mine works great as long as I have some bandwidth.
  2. Load  to do speed tests and check effect of router parameter changes.
  3. Played with router channel (decided on 13 because of small overlap and no other users, and mode (finally just let router decide for me although n mode worked good).
  4. Set router antenna within sight of Dot because these massive brick walls kill the signal.
  5. Download and use Wifi Analyzer software to check signal.
  6. Check voltage – the voltage is not consistent in my apartment outlets.
  7. Joined for more info about how it works, problems, etc.
  8. Selected Asia as the location so that it gives local time even though address had to remain in USA.
  9. Use Big Sky skill to get local weather by inputting china zip code. Works great
  10. Love that I can play free radio stations and my music on Amazon, and the weather, and even just getting the time and getting the definition of a word or wikipedia or using the Bible skill.

Some folks are worried about the fact that Alexa is always listening. It does but I monitored the packet traffic through my router and noticed that it does not send anything out until you wake it up with the wake up word – so no, it is not always listening in reality. Does it have the potential to do that, absolutely. Amazon could send out a command to send back everything it hears and we wouldn’t know about it except by monitoring packets.

Unfortunately cannot do much about bandwidth and cannot seem to make my phone a wifi hotspot so will have to just enjoy Dot in early morning hours. But, not sorry I bought it and I look forward to how it will become more useful in the future. Learned a lot about router configurations.

Posted in miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment