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SPARC Lagniappe *

This serving of Lagniappe features some poetry of Olde.

Silent Key

By Howard O. McCall

From The Sparks Journal, Vol. 3 #2

A shaft of sunlight,

Pierces the gloom,

Of the shadowy quiet,

In the radio room,

The equipment sits idle,

Because, you see,

The one who used them,

Joined SILENT KEY.

 

The once shiny microphone,

Now dusty and dull,

A coaxial switch,

Angles off from the wall,

The chrome plated bug,

A beauty to see,

The one who made use of these,

Joined SILENT KEY.

 

Gone is the good cheer,

When talking to a friend,

The signal is stilled,

SK, or the end,

No more will the call sign,

Used, ever be,

The one who signed them,

Joined SILENT KEY.

 

Some time as your listening,

And tuning around,

Do not be startled,

If you hear a strange sound,

Like a quavering, ghostly,

S e v e n t y – T h r e e,

From the departed friend

Who Joined SILENT KEY.

 

 

Power Supply

by Eileen V. Corridan

Published in September, 1942 QST

The how and why of a power supply
Is something very quaint.
It takes the a.c. current
And makes it what it ain’t.
You start with good ole a.c.
But you need some pure d.c.
How the PS finally makes it
Is now quite clear to me.

First, gimme a primary winding;
A secondary, too.
Now I’ve got a transformer­
Let’s see what it will do.

The primary takes the line juice;
Inductance does the rest.
But you gotta split the secondary
To do its job the best.

“Less turns in the coil for the heater,
More turns for the plate supply.”
We’ve still got only a.c.
Which the tube will rectify.

Now we come to the moment
When tube and a.c. meet.
Just keep in mind a rectifier
Acts like a one-way street.

A.c. travels in wave form
From plus to minus, and then
It simply changes direction
And does it over again.

But the tube says, “Nothing doing­
This is no swinging door.
I’ll take one-half of your wavelengths,
One-half – and nothing more!”

At least a half-wave rectifier
Would act about that way.
We’ll use another plate in there
And thus save wave and day.

So now one plate says, “Come ahead.”
It takes its half-waves through
The other plate is minus, then;
It has no job to do.

Then comes along the other half.
The second plate starts working.
So half and half are now a whole
While number one plate’s shirking.

From filament to filtering
The current that is flowing
Is now d.c. – pulsating kind ­
That toward the filter’s going.

It isn’t pure by any means.
Its ripples need some smoothing.
Chokes and condensers serve for this;
The waves find these quite soothing.

The filter circuit works like this:
In a condenser-input filter,
Inductance and capacitance
Keep pure d.c. in kilter.

Pulsating d.c. also has
Some a.c. current flowing.
Condensers short the a.c. out,
And chokes keep d.c. going.

And so at last like Ivory Soap
Our current’s pure d.c.
I must confess this whole darn thing
Has made a wreck of me, see?

 

*Lagniappe: (LAN-yap) “A little something extra.”

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