Archive for May 2013

On the Grill: Hellfire Steaks!   1 comment

Hellfire strip steak with grilled corn on the cob

Hellfire strip steak with grilled corn on the cob

I had several strip and rib eye steaks taking up room in my freezer, and decided this would be a great time to stoke the Big Green Egg and cook ’em. Because anyone can direct grill steaks with the proper seasonings, I decided to do something different, and prepared the steaks using Steven Raichlen’s “Hellfire Steaks” recipe . The original recipe can be found here – and in Raichlen’s book, “How to Grill.”

http://www.primalgrill.org/recipe_details.asp?RecipeID=143&EpisodeID=19

I thought this crust – made of salt, pepper, powdered mustard and Tabasco sauce – would be very spicy, but I found out that this is not the case, and will add more Tabasco if I make this again. Here are some pictures of the steaks and some corn on the cob.

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Report on Maker Faire 2013   Leave a comment

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Maker Walt discussing something fascinating with Jeri Ellsworth, aka “Circuit Girl.” Photo by Tony KC6QHP

Here is a report on the 2013 Maker Faire by Tony Long (KC6QHP):

Another great Maker Faire is in the books, amateur microwave radio was well represented!

Thanks to the coordination efforts of Wayne KH6WZ, Brian W6BY, the 50 MHz and Up Group, the SBMS, and UC Davis, the “Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio 2” booth at the Maker Faire was a great success.

This year we shared a booth with UC Davis whose impressive student projects ranged from a radar demonstration, to video processing, audio sequencing, and mechatronics.  Along with that, we had a  10/24 GHz SDR setup courtesy of Dennis W6DQ (on a big screen courtesy of Brian), some of Brian’s homebrew gear, Walt’s EM field demos and transceivers, and some of my stuff including a 10 GHz radio and beacon.

LA Times says that about 165,000 people were expected to attend this year, so at a minimum 10,000 people passed by our booth.  Our raspy voices are an indicator that a great deal of talking was done!  I personally interacted with a number of people who are really interested in amateur microwave radio and if even a fraction of them get involved or raise general awareness, I think it is a success.

Walt’s demos, owing in part to their elegant simplicity and visual nature attracted a lot of attention and interest.  On Sunday night he took them to a post-fair get-together with the who’s who of the hardware hacking scene (Jeri Ellsworth, Ben Heckendorn, Diana Eng, Alan Yates and many many others). All were impressed!

Something I see very encouraging in the “maker” scene is a real interest in RF.  This crowd includes a good deal of embedded systems engineers, talented software people, etc.  There’s a real opportunity to make connections with this crowd and get more activity on the microwave bands.
As Software Defined Radios decrease in cost and become more open source, I predict massive interest in RF and likely in the microwave bands because of their large bandwidths.  While they may not be interested in SSB mountaintop to mountaintop contesting (there will be those who are certainly), an increase in use of our bands will only help to further the cause of maintaining our spectrum to help further the state of the art.

I posted a gallery of pictures on Flickr:  http://goo.gl/cAy3p

Tony KC6QHP”

Thanks for the report, Tony!

Type 65 Coupe Update: Brake Line Mock-Up   Leave a comment

For some reason, things on the Coupe take much longer than I expect. I decided to practice running the brake lines today. I used some scrap number 12 wire, cut into five-foot lengths. The copper wire is much more flexible than the brake lines, but at least I can do a mock-up before I bend the real thing.

I am using the “FFR Type 65 Coupe build site,” by cbergquist1 on Flickr.com as a reference – click here to see Chris’ section on brake lines.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/51103049@N00/sets/72157622122325431/

Just like Chris, I drilled and tapped holes for screws to mount the flex brake line mounts. I used 8-32 stainless steel button head screws. The Allen heads almost look like rivets.

Here are some pictures of my front brake line mock-up. . .

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This is something weird. One of the mounting holes was not punched out. I used an automatci center punch to knock the slug out.

This is something weird. One of the mounting holes (on the left) was not punched out. I used an automatic center punch to knock the slug out.

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I took a time out to modify some monitor stand mounts for my office computer. The mounts were designed by monkeys, since they are useless and cannot be used out of the box. Actually, I should edit that statement, since I am not sure if the monitors or the monitor stands are wrong. In any case, some substantial cutting had to be done with my Dremel tool. I should have taken “before” and “after” pictures, but I wasn’t thinking. Here is a picture of the after-cutting operation. . . .

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Baked Potato on the Big Green Egg   1 comment

I wanted to try making baked potatoes on the BGE for over a year, and I finally tried it. This is based on the directions by The Naked Whiz, a ceramic cooker expert.

You can go here to see the original recipe.  http://www.nakedwhiz.com/bakedpotato.htm

I cut the salt down to one-half cup and scrubbed the potatoes to make sure all traces of dirt were removed from the skin. I used my own “universal rub” for meats instead of the Dizzy Pig rub.

And this made me think about creating a rub for baked potatoes. Something like onion and pepper and garlic – sounds almost like the rub I use for Santa Maria Style tri-tip.

I cooked an entire 5 pound sack of russet potatoes for this trial.

The original procedure said to turn the spuds half-way through the cooking time. I just let them bake on their own and did not turn them.

Naked Whiz says to bake the potatoes for one hour – My potatoes took one hour plus 10 minutes. If you try this, test for doneness using a skewer – it should easily push into the potato.

These were excellent – the texture is very good. The skin has a smoky flavor, which could be another area to play with – add hickory chips next time?  More baked potato experiments are in order.

Here are some pictures. . .

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2013 Maker Faire – Saturday May 18 and Sunday May19 !   Leave a comment

Make: Magazine reports there are over 900 displays this year. My team is setting up for the big event. I will post images and reports as soon as I receive them from my crew. I am not going this year. . . .

Here are some previews and some of the things I want to see. . .

Read more at: Belt-Driven, Hubless Rear Wheel Bicycle

Read more at: The Viper 2.0

And of course, my entry, Not Your Grandpa’s Ham Radio 2

On the Kamado: Brazilian Style Rib Roast Stuffed with Carrots, Sausage and Cheese   Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I made something special on the Big Green Egg, so I decided to take out a four-pound rib roast taking up space in my freezer. This recipe is from Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill, Season 2, and originally uses the rotisserie on a gas grill. However, since the Big Green Egg does not need (nor can it fit) a rotisserie, I used the indirect method, using the Platesetter.

I substituted the romano cheese with some habanero jack cheese, since it was on sale, and I thought some hotness would taste good with the beef. For the sausage, I used some Louisana hot links, the same sausages I use when I make matambre.

In Raichlen’s version, you poke a knife through the roast, then stuff the stuffing items in. After almost poking my hand with the knife, I decided to butterfly cut the roast, add the stuffing, and roll it, just like a matambre. Much easier.

Here is a link to Raichlen’s version – click here.

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment. . . .

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