Sunday, December 23, 2012

QST Letter to the Editor

I just sent the following letter to the editor about the latest issue of QST. I felt that some of my readers may also find it of value or interest.  I wonder how much the Internet and blogs like my own have become the preferred venue of technical writers, and caused this lack of quality in traditional periodicals.

As an avid builder of electronics, I look forward to the January DIY issues of QST. Imagine my dismay when I took a break to skim through it and managed to find typos in nearly every electrical schematic included in the issue. I hope that the ARRL's Harold Kramer "Inside HQ" promise of "working on a more structured approach to kits that will provide positive outcomes" in 2013 includes proof-reading the technical illustrations.
  • "Cheap and Easy SDR" pg 34, Figure 10 - While the parts list and article indicate using an LM7805 voltage regulator, the schematic has it labeled the subtly different 78L05, which unfortunately has the opposite pinout. Pin 1 should be the output and pin 3 the input.
  • "A Sampling Down Converter for Low Frequency Oscilloscopes" pg 40, Figure 2 - 7 turns on L1 is likely deficient to form a 22μH inductor. Luckily, the text clarified the actual number as 77.
  • "A Sampling Down Converter for Low Frequency Oscilloscopes", pg 41, Figure 3 - The LM340-12 is shown with its input and output reversed. Apparently, it isn't a good month to be a voltage regulator.
  • "Hand-On Radio" pg 64, Figure 3B - As shown, this would be very counter-productive to protecting your equipment. The NC and NO contacts on the relay should be reversed.
Kenneth Finnegan, W6KWF


  1. Did QST ever acknowledge your letter?

    1. They considered printing it, and the editor did personally apologize to me for their growing pains after losing their previous editor.