A Huge Compliment From Dashtoons – And A Variable Capacitor Offer

I’m sure you’re familiar with Jeff Murray K1NSS. He’s the man behind Dashtoons, those ever-so-creative and mirth-inducing ham radio cartoons and funnies that appear on many a happy ham’s QSL card and in print, on websites – in fact, wherever a good clean piece of chuckle-creating ham radio artwork is needed. Jeff is well-known within the ham community (and he drew comic strips for print publications in the past) so seeing this today, fresh from Jeff’s pen and creative mind had me, as my fellow Brits say, truly gobsmacked (in a good way). It got such a laugh from me, as it came just a day or two after I had referred to myself as an old coot in the Ham Radio Operators group on Facebook –

One of the things I love about this image, is that it could almost be an ad out of a magazine taken straight from the 50’s. The typefaces, the layout and the wording are all reminiscent of print ads from the middle of the 20th century – yet the design is not solely mid-century. There is something contemporary and clean about it as well, and it is obviously executed with modern tools. Great stuff!

Jeff’s site is here and it’s well worth a look, if you haven’t had a gander at it yet (as some of us Brits are wont to say). I’m even featured on his home page for the time being. Aww shucks! Jeff is available for commissions, is surprisingly affordable and although I haven’t asked him, perhaps he wouldn’t mind drawing or designing non-ham things for you if you have the need? You can always ask. Thank you Jeff – you’re the best!


Now on a different tack, I have a couple of air-spaced variable capacitors that are surplus to my requirements. I’d like to pass them along to someone who can use them, for the price of shipping. They have ceramic insulators and what look like aluminum plates. They wouldn’t be ideal for VFO’s, due to the single bearing and the aluminum plates, as opposed to the double-bearings and brass, or nickel-plated brass that are preferred for very high stability circuits. Also, the bearings in them have quite a bit of friction, even when lubricated. There are actually no bearings in these variable capacitors. From what I can tell, the spindle and the frame around it are in direct contact with no bearings. The spindles do turn and the rotation is smooth, but there is a fair amount of friction. It can be a little hard to turn the spindles by hand but when you put a knob on them, they rotate with no problem. They are identical, with a maximum capacitance of 140pF each. The best way I can think of to describe the rotation is “smooth, yet with a fair amount of friction.”

Although these would not be ideal for the main tuning on a receiver or transmitter, I’m thinking they would work well in a situation where they could be set and left – where they were being used like trimcaps. They’d be great for the trimcaps at the base of an antenna, where they could be set once and left. If you put a knob on them, adjusting is not difficult at all – it’s just that they don’t have that silky smooth feel you’d want for a tuning control. I’ve done my best to describe them accurately and will mail them anywhere in the continental US for $3 (preferably via Paypal) for both of them. That should cover the shipping and the Paypal fee. Please don’t ask if you’re outside the continental US – I’d like to keep this quick and simple.  In case there are several people wanting these, don’t send any money until I tell you. Send an e-mail first to let me know you want them – I’m good on QRZ. If you leave a comment under this post, that will work too, as the system will send me an e-mail notification.

I know they’re only a couple of parts, but I don’t like having components lying around that I know I’m not going to use.

That’s all for now, as The Sproutie is calling and I have some listening to do 🙂

EDIT – The variable capacitors are spoken for. Sorry about that!


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