new features in newsletter and site, printer friendly version, download - MemTurbo II for RAM memory recovery, update your PC with CatchUp Services, Knight Rider Lights Project, new page on grinding FT-243 crystals, VK CW Operators QRP Club, simple microphone preamplifier and so much more...



Hello Folks,

Again welcome to our 94 new subscribers so far this month. Some excellent general purpose tools this month to make your computing experience a little less difficult.


Most topics now contain a clickable " - make a comment?" section. Here you can quickly and without any expense let me know you views on any topic. Go ahead try it out now, no excuse not to:

- make a comment?

2.     DOWNLOAD - MemTurbo II ™ - RAM recovery utility
For Windows 95, Windows 98, 98SE, 98ME, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000

"Give your system that 'Just Booted Feeling' with a single keystoke! The safe, effective, and easy way to boost your system's performance!"

"MemTurbo increases your system performance by making more RAM available for your applications and the operating system. It also defragments your physical RAM, increasing the efficiency of your CPU and Motherboard caches".

NOTE:    I have no connection with these people apart from being a satisfied user.

If you're like me and are a power user of your PC, then you need this utility. I discovered some time ago that when you quit most Windows programs it doesn't automatically free up the available RAM, inevitably things sloooow down and if you've ever experienced that then you know the rest of the story...

This utility was recommended to me by "expert" friends, who had previously experienced similar problems, as "THE" solution.

Check out the official MemTurbo ™ product description page.

Give it a try and if you continue to use it, then PLEASE do pay the modest registration after 30 days.

DOWNLOAD NOW! - - 794Kb - Real good, my pick of the month.

- make a comment? Turbo


3.     Update Your PC - CatchUp Services -

Following on from the item above this program was also highly recommended, especially for important available security patches. Again I have no connection, just another humble user.

"From software updates to security fixes, CatchUp automatically finds what you need to keep your PC up-to-date. Get started by installing the free CatchUp software".

What I did was download the small program and installed it on my PC. I go to the CatchUp site and it compares the current versions of all my software against much later available versions.

Needless to say I've been doing some extensive upgrading lately and I'm very grateful too! Gained lots of additional new benefits out of my existing software by upgrading.

Simple to use.

See: - 772Kb - Again real good

- make a comment?


4.     Knight Rider Lights Project: - One of the most frequently asked questions.

The popular TV programme always seems to produce people wanting to duplicate this effect.

An 555 timer IC is connected for Astable Operation, the clock pulses are fed to a 4017 IC via the 10K resistor. The 4017 is a 10 stage counter, each of the outputs is connected to the appropriate LED, as some LEDs need to be on for more than one count, diodes are used to avoid a short circuit situation between outputs.

A ULN2001N driver used on the bulb version. This is a seven channel Darlington Driver IC, a small signal on one of the inputs is enough to drive the bulb on the output. See the site for further details and a schematic.

[Note inserted 7th November, 2001]
It has been reported and tested that this link probably no longer works.


- make a comment?


5.     NEW PAGE!

Crystal Grinding:

What is crystal grinding? There was an exchange of emails asking about crystal grinding on the 'Flying Pigs' list.

My mate, Karl Kanalz, W8TIF gave his incredible insight and considerable experience on the topic of crystal grinding FT-243 crystal blanks and graciously consented to it being reprinted. Link to a test oscillator as well, hah... no expense spared here.


- make a comment?


6.     CLUB NEWS! - VK CW Operators QRP Club

Tuesday nights CW Net 09:30 UTC 3520 Khz, Call: CQ QRP NET De VK . . . . Power . . ANY Level ! ! ! !

Friday nights SSB "Natter Net" 09:30 UTC Summer 10:30 UTC Winter 3620 Khz

SCRAMBLES: Good fun ! . . . especially if you are not keen on contests - you will be pleasantly surprised. A scramble, sometimes called a " Sprint " or " Zip contest " is a good way of sharpenening your skills at making the most contacts in a given time period.

These are held every THIRD Thursday of each month at 10:00 UTC.
Aim:   To score Maximum points by working as many C.W. stations as possible.
Duration:   One hour
Mode:   C.W only
Exchange:   Serial Numbers only

Operating Frequencies:
160     1810 - 1815
80       3525 - 3533
40       7020 - 7028
20       14050 - 14060
15       21125 - 21135
10       28150 - 28160

Home Brew projects. . . . a specialty ! ! !
Quarterly journal "Lo - Key" is mailed Mid March, June, September, December.
Annual Subscriptions, due January 1st VK $A12.00 : ZL $A14.00 : DX $A 16.00:
[Editor note - DX $A16.00 = $US 8.00 (approx.)]

See -

73's from John, VK5ET

- make a comment?



Surprise, surprise... no one has taken out an advertisement. So...

Don't click on the graphic below just for the sake of it, that doesn't help anyone, those days are now long gone. I know you're loyal and sympathetic.

The discounted books, and a lot of these are discounted, attract a 15% commission. If you go directly to Amazon and buy it, then that is what will Amazon pay us.  If you get yourself distracted (as they hope) by looking at something similar and, then return to the original book recommendation, the rate drops back to 5%.

Sneaky rules from Amazon I know!  So please buy the book of your choice straight off and then come back to look at the other distractions they've provided later.

BTW - everyone should see different books recommended. Reload this page and see what happens...

If you have ever followed one or more of my recommendations and purchased a book were they value for money? Were you happy with your purchase? Was the book a useful recommendation?

Not interested in that particular book? Already have it? Consider clicking here to buy something else.

In Association with

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8.     SIMPLE MICROPHONE PREAMPLIFIER - by our old friend Tomi Engdahl

This is a simple microphone preamplifier circuit which you can use between your microphone and stereo amplifier. The circuit amplifier microphone is suitable for use with normal home stereo amplifier line/CD/aux/tape inputs.

This microphone preamplifier can take both dynamic and electret microphone inputs (preamplifier provides power for electret microphone elements).

The idea of this circuit is to keep the design as simple as possible to be easy to build.


- make a comment?


9.     HUMOUR AND INSPIRATION (by ever popular demand) -

My Parents had not been out together in quite some time.

One Saturday, as Mom was finishing the dinner dishes, my father stepped up behind her. "Would you like to go out, girl?" he asked.

Not even turning around, my mother quickly replied, "Oh, yes, I'd love to!"

They had a wonderful evening, and it wasn't until much later that Dad finally confessed that his question had actually been directed to the family dog, laying near Mom's feet on the kitchen floor.


There were three men at a bar. One man got drunk and started a fight with the other two men. The police came and took the drunk guy to jail.

The next day the man went before the judge. The judge asked the man, "Where do you work?"

The man said, "Here and there."

The judge asked the man, "What do you do for a living?"

The man said, "This and that."

The judge then said, "Take him away."

The man said, "Wait, judge, when will I get out?"

The judge said to the man, "Sooner or later..."

Join Best of Humor:


"Cash, check or charge?" I asked after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet I notice a remote control for a television set in her purse.

"Do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.

"No," she replied. "But my husband refused to come shopping with me, so I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him."


Lawyer: "Now would you please tell the Jury the truth - why did you shoot your husband with a bow and arrow?"

Defendant : "I didn't want to wake up the children."

Joke A Day Clean Jokes -



Be on good terms with yourself, feel smug for the rest of this week. Go here and kindly DO something constructive for us all. donation.htm

These fine folks did! - updated



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That's all folks

72/73's and oink

Ian Purdie Budgewoi N.S.W. Australia - Co-ords S33º14', E151º34'
VK2TIP "I'll give ya the TIP mate" QRP-L #1978. SOC #171 FP#91
URL - http://www.electronics-
URL - ic/

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the author Ian C. Purdie, VK2TIP of www.electronics- asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this web site and all contents herein. Copyright © 2000 - 2001, all rights reserved. See copying and links. These electronic tutorials are provided for individual private use and the author assumes no liability whatsoever for the application, use, misuse, of any of these projects or electronics tutorials that may result in the direct or indirect damage or loss that comes from these projects or tutorials. All materials are provided for free private and public use.
Commercial use prohibited without prior written permission from

Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved. URL -

Updated 15th October, 2001