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Q Multiplier — Er… Multiplies Q January 18, 2021

If you are below a certain age, you’ve probably never heard of a Q multiplier. This is a device that increases the “Q” of a radio receiver’s intermediate frequency and, thus, provide a higher selectivity. If you enjoy nostalgia, you can see inside a 1960s-era Heathkit QF-1 Q multiplier in [Jeff’s] informative video, below. The […]

Q Multiplier — Er… Multiplies Q

If you are below a certain age, you’ve probably never heard of a Q multiplier. This is a device that increases the “Q” of a radio receiver’s intermediate frequency and, thus, provide a higher selectivity. If you enjoy nostalgia, you can see inside a 1960s-era Heathkit QF-1 Q multiplier in [Jeff’s] informative video, below.

The Q multiplier was a regenerative amplifier that operated at just below the oscillation point. This provided very high amplification for the frequency of interest and less amplification for other frequencies. Some radios had a stage like this built-in, but the QF-1 was made to add into an external radio. For some Heathkit receivers, there was a direct plug to tap into the IF stage for this purpose. Othe radios would require some hacking to get it to work.

The QF-1 had several modes of operation where it could act as bandpass filter or a notch filter. You could also tune the frequency using the main knob. The circuit when revealed isn’t overly complex and there is no printed circuit board. The active device was a dual triode.

If you want a deeper discussion of the circuit, the Orange County Amateur Radio Club newletter a few years back had a great article on this device by [AF6C]. It explains how each mode works. It also mentions a few of the device’s offspring such as the HD-11 and GD-125, which was sold until 1971.

If you have plans of building a circuit like this, keep in mind that the intermediate frequency for most radios in those days was 455 kHz, which is what the QF-1 expects. Most communication receivers today use significantly higher IF for a variety of reasons (10.7 MHz, for example, is common).

We always enjoy [Jeff’s] videos of old receivers and gear. Not that he’s the only one doing things like that.

Q Multiplier — Er… Multiplies Q
Source: HackADay

Tech giants are bracing for tougher regulation under Biden's administration, as Democrats' calls for regulation have become more urgent after Capitol attacks (Washington Post)


Washington Post:

Tech giants are bracing for tougher regulation under Biden’s administration, as Democrats’ calls for regulation have become more urgent after Capitol attacks  —  The Democratic Party’s calls for regulation have grown more urgent in the days since Biden won the presidency …

Tech giants are bracing for tougher regulation under Biden's administration, as Democrats' calls for regulation have become more urgent after Capitol attacks (Washington Post)
Source: Tech Meme

The best iPhone 12 chargers starting at just $10 – CNET

With Apple not including a power adapter with all the new iPhone 12 models, here’s a look at several chargers that will juice up any iPhone extra-fast. The best iPhone 12 chargers starting at just – CNET
Source: CNet

Solar Safety Bag Lights Up the Night, Charges Your Phone

Spend enough time riding a bike, and chances are good that you’ll start carrying a few tools with you. Even if you don’t, you’re probably going to use a bag to carry something along, so why not make that bag do triple duty? This convertible backpack/tote bag can charge your phone and provide safety lighting for nighttime rides. The design lends itself nicely to turn signals, too.

This bag was designed to show off the capabilities of Loomia, a line of prototyping parts made with e-textiles and other flexible applications in mind. It can be sewn, fused, or adhered to various substrates including fabric and wood. [AmpedAtelier] is using a Beetle microcontroller to control RGB LED strips using an illuminated Loomia soft switch on the strap. The switch is wired to the microcontroller through Loomia busses running through the strap.

Although Loomia’s site has a deep dive into the capabilities of their technology, it isn’t exactly open source. If that’s what you’re after, take a look at PolySense, which uses piezoresistive dye to create textile sensors.

Solar Safety Bag Lights Up the Night, Charges Your Phone
Source: HackADay

UK-based Bloom & Wild, an online florist that delivers flowers sourced directly from growers, raises $102M Series D led by General Catalyst for expansion in EU (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)


Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:

UK-based Bloom & Wild, an online florist that delivers flowers sourced directly from growers, raises $102M Series D led by General Catalyst for expansion in EU  —  Bloom & Wild, a London-based startup that takes an updated and online approach to the very traditional business of ordering …

UK-based Bloom & Wild, an online florist that delivers flowers sourced directly from growers, raises 2M Series D led by General Catalyst for expansion in EU (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

The best office chairs of 2021 – CNET

If your office chair is causing you pain, it might be time to buy a new one. The best office chairs of 2021 – CNET
Source: CNet

Cyberpunk 2077 discs are $30 today for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

Image: CD Projekt Red

If you’ve already nabbed a next-gen PlayStation or Xbox — or are willing to give developer CD Projekt the benefit of the doubt that it’ll eventually work on your current-gen machine — you can now pick up the standard disc edition of Cyberpunk 2077 for half-price at Amazon and Best Buy. It’s $30, instead of $60.

To be clear, that’s the price for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, which work on PS5 and Xbox Series X far, far better than they do on current-gen consoles. (There’s no PS5 or Xbox Series X-specific version of the game so far, but the disc will include a free upgrade.) Amazon also has the PC version for $40; compare to its normal price of $60.

Sony actually took the unprecedented step of removing Cyberpunk 2077 from…

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Cyberpunk 2077 discs are today for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X
Source: New feed

54 best TV shows to stream on Netflix – CNET

Looking for a great show to watch? Here are some of the best Netflix has to offer. 54 best TV shows to stream on Netflix – CNET
Source: CNet

35 of the best movies to stream on Netflix – CNET

Not sure what to watch tonight? Here are some of the best movies Netflix has to offer. 35 of the best movies to stream on Netflix – CNET
Source: CNet

35 best movies to see on Disney Plus – CNET

Searching for entertainment other than Marvel and Star Wars? Let’s round up the best gems on Disney Plus. 35 best movies to see on Disney Plus – CNET
Source: CNet

14 best TV shows to watch on Disney Plus – CNET

Looking for more great shows like WandaVision? Let’s round up Disney’s best gems. 14 best TV shows to watch on Disney Plus – CNET
Source: CNet

The developers of an acclaimed Skyrim mod just made it to the big leagues


In 2016, a team of modders released a game they developed a game in their spare time to nigh-universal acclaim — a mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that they called Enderal, with its own 30+ hour quest with gobs of original dialogue and professional voice acting. “[It’s the most fun I’ve had in an Elder Scrolls game in years,” wrote our sister site Polygon. It’s the top-rated Skyrim mod of all time at ModDB, has nearly 500,000 downloads at NexusMods and its own Steam page filled with glowing reviews.

Now, its developers are setting off to build a game of their own. On Sunday, the team at SureAI released its final patch for Enderal, explaining that they no longer had as much free time to keep up development — because they’re working on…

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The developers of an acclaimed Skyrim mod just made it to the big leagues
Source: New feed

Telegram says it ‘shut down hundreds of public calls for violence’ in US last week

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amid rising political tensions in the United States, Telegram founder Pavel Durov says his chat service has taken down hundreds of public calls for violence, in accordance with the platform’s terms of service.

In a public Telegram post on Monday, Durov emphasized the service’s commitment to banning speech that actively incites violence. “Telegram welcomes peaceful debate and protest, but our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit distributing public calls to violence,” he wrote. “Сivil movements all over the world rely on Telegram in order to stand up for human rights without resorting to inflicting harm.”

Notably, the post does not address Telegram’s encrypted chat feature, which protects conversations from outside access and thus is not…

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Telegram says it ‘shut down hundreds of public calls for violence’ in US last week
Source: New feed

Retrofitting USB-C to an iPod Nano

Some hacks serve a critical need, while others are just for the challenge or fun of it. We suspect the latter was the real reason [David Buchanan] converted a first generation iPod Nano from its original 30 pin connector to USB-C.

USB-C mounted

[David] bought the iPod with a dead battery, so when he opened the iPod to get the old battery out, he noticed there was enough space to fit a USB-C connector. The original Apple 30 pin connector runs USB 2.0 through four of the pins, so [David] used the original USB cable and identified the appropriate pins and traces with a continuity tester. The connector was destructively removed with side cutters, ripping off all but one of the pads in the process. A hot air station might have made things easier, but we assume he did not have one on hand. The USB-C connector was scavenged from a cheap USC-C to USB Micro adaptor and mounted by soldering the housing directly to the PCB’s ground plane. The three remaining terminals were soldered to the traces with enamel wire.

With the new battery installed, [David] confirmed that both charging and data transfer worked. The IC that handles the button and scroll pad interfered slightly with the new connector, so he filed away some of the IC’s excess. Any open pads close to the new connector was covered with Kapton tape to avoid shorts. The large hole in the enclosure for the 30 pin connection was partly filled in with five-minute epoxy. The final assembled product looks almost factory produced and works as it’s supposed to, so we call this a win.

Retrofitting USB-C connectors in various electronic devices has become a popular hack over the past two years. We’ve seen it done on everything from Thinkpads to soldering irons.

Retrofitting USB-C to an iPod Nano
Source: HackADay

The 10 Best Deals of January 18, 2021

Monday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

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The 10 Best Deals of January 18, 2021
Source: Life Hacker

proSapient, a research service helping customers gather insights from experts via interviews and surveys, raises $10M Series A led by Smedvig Capital (Mike Butcher/TechCrunch)


Mike Butcher / TechCrunch:

proSapient, a research service helping customers gather insights from experts via interviews and surveys, raises $10M Series A led by Smedvig Capital  —  For several years there has been talk about how to leverage ‘experts’ online.  How do you ‘suck their brains’ for information in an efficient manner …

proSapient, a research service helping customers gather insights from experts via interviews and surveys, raises M Series A led by Smedvig Capital (Mike Butcher/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

Report: Trump’s Twitter ban led to a 73% drop in election fraud misinformation


Trump‘s bans from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms may have been controversial, but they appear to have been effective in achieving one goal: combatting misinformation. According to research firm Zignal Labs, and as reported by the Washington Post, online misinformation about election fraud dropped by 73%, following Trump’s ban. According to the report, which covers the period from January 9 to 15: “Conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000.” The use of hashtags related to the Capitol riot dipped considerably. #FightforTrump dropped by 95 percent. #HoldTheLine and “March for Trump” fell by 95 percent.…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Twitter

Report: Trump’s Twitter ban led to a 73% drop in election fraud misinformation
Source: The Next Web

We’re getting closer to a Nintendo Switch-sized gaming PC


One year ago at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Alienware made waves with a modular gaming PC that worked like a Nintendo Switch, with a pair of gamepads flanking a powerful Windows 10 tablet. Sadly, Alienware’s UFO was just a concept, as was Lenovo’s take on the idea this year — but two companies are now taking up the torch with a pair of crowdfunded gadgets you might actually see in your lifetime. They look seriously legit.

The 5.5-inch GPD Win 3 and the 7-inch Aya Neo aren’t going about it in quite the same way; while the Ava tries to closely match Nintendo’s console in shape, size, and with strictly gaming controls on board, the GPD sticks to its palmtop computer roots with a slide-up screen that reveals a tiny backlit keyboard. There’s also…

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We’re getting closer to a Nintendo Switch-sized gaming PC
Source: New feed

It’s okay to let kids play Fortnite during a global pandemic

Fortnite

On Sunday, The New York Times published an article about the risks of sky-rocketing teenage device usage during quarantine — and as you might expect, they went straight for the guilty-parent touchstones. There are maudlin photos of a family ruined by gaming, and the quote “I’ve failed you as a father” comes in the second sentence. There are also curious comparisons to drug addiction (“There will be a period of epic withdrawal” after quarantine, one addiction expert warns) and vague claims about the impressionable nature of young brains.

Before you rush to cut off junior’s Playstation Plus subscription, it’s worth putting things in perspective. We’re in the middle of a worldwide crisis, and the last ten months have been hard on everyone….

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It’s okay to let kids play Fortnite during a global pandemic
Source: New feed

Best laptop for 2021: Dell, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Acer, Lenovo and more – CNET

Here are our top-rated picks for all types of users, including creatives and gamers, and even our favorite cheap laptops and budget-friendly options. Best laptop for 2021: Dell, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Acer, Lenovo and more – CNET
Source: CNet

Handheld Farkle Really Sparkles

Farkle is a classic dice game that only requires 6 dice and a way to write down scores based on the numbers rolled. Even so, this type of game isn’t inherently portable — it would be fairly difficult to play on a road trip, for instance. [Sunyecz22] decided that Farkle would make an excellent electronic game and got to work designing his first PCB.

This little game has everything you could want from a splash screen introduction to a handy scoring guide on the silkscreen. After choosing the number of players, the first player rolls using the momentary button and the electronic dice light up to indicate what was rolled. As long as the player rolled at least one scoring die, they can take the points by selecting the appropriate die/dice with the capsense pads, and either pass or keep going. The current player’s score is shown on the 7-segment, and the totals for each player are on the OLED screen at the bottom.

The brains of the operation is an Arduino Pro Mini. It controls two MAX7219s that drive the 42 LEDs plus the 7-segment display. A game like this is all in the code, and lucky for us, [Sunyecz22] made it available. We love how gorgeous the glossy 3D printed enclosure looks — between the glossy finish and the curved back, it looks very comfortable to hold. In the future, [Sunyecz22] plans to make a one player versus the computer mode. Check out the demo and walk-through video after the break.

The capsense modules are a great touch, but some people want a little more tactility in their handheld games. We say bring on the toggle switches.

Handheld Farkle Really Sparkles
Source: HackADay

Sources: as German car trading service Auto1 plans its IPO, Sequoia and Lone Pine will each buy €50M shares from existing investors and put €50M+ into its IPO (Bloomberg)


Bloomberg:

Sources: as German car trading service Auto1 plans its IPO, Sequoia and Lone Pine will each buy €50M shares from existing investors and put €50M+ into its IPO  —  – Lone Pine also purchases stock from early backer DN Capital  — Both funds want to buy more shares in Auto1’s planned IPO

Sources: as German car trading service Auto1 plans its IPO, Sequoia and Lone Pine will each buy €50M shares from existing investors and put €50M+ into its IPO (Bloomberg)
Source: Tech Meme

How to Avoid Getting More Pessimistic With Each Passing Year

Pessimism gets a bad rap, but in reality, the negative-leaning outlook can serve some important functions. These include everything from helping us process anger, to entering a new relationship with realistic expectations, to setting us up to accomplish our goals. And, according to performance expert Steven Kotler

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How to Avoid Getting More Pessimistic With Each Passing Year
Source: Life Hacker

Best Buy just kicked off a 4-day sale — save on TVs, laptops, cameras, Apple gear and more – CNET

You can save $250 on a 75-inch Hisense TV, $400 on a Dell gaming laptop, $350 on a large Aerogarden and much more. Best Buy just kicked off a 4-day sale — save on TVs, laptops, cameras, Apple gear and more – CNET
Source: CNet

Best website builder for musicians in 2021

You can show off your talents online without having any web coding or layout skills – these are the apps you need. Best website builder for musicians in 2021
Source: Tech Radar Software