Keeping a neat test bench…

Spaghetti, Whiskey ..and Radio Waves

Have you ever wondered what spaghetti, whiskey and radio waves have in common? You may not think that there is a link, but as we all know from, Lady and the Tramp, spaghetti can bring together unlikely characters and prove that opposites indeed do attract.

Guglielmo Marconi is credited with inventing radio transmission. When he returned from England, to his home in Bologna, Italy, the restaurants served ‘spaghetti à la Marconi’ and ‘wireless pasta’. And so, what about the whiskey you may ask? Well, Marconi’s great grandfather was John Jameson; founder of the Irish Whiskey.

How’s that for a bit of trivia for you.

Marconi apparently, did indeed like spaghetti, however, I am sure he did not use it in his experiments. One of the common problems that people have with RF (radio frequency) experiments is erroneous radiation, coupling and oscillation. The best way to eliminate these is to avoid spaghetti.

This is RF spaghetti - embrace at your peril!

Avoid cables crossing, even though they are, well should be shielded, one can still get coupling. Amplifiers can have a lot of gain so keep the input cable as far as possible from the output cable. A neat test bench is the best! When you have to use unshielded cables, keep them well away from the input to your amplifier. Unshielded cables are antennas. They will radiate and can cause erroneous results in your experiments.

This simple concept of keeping a neat test bench will allow you to finish your experiments more quickly so you can head down to the pub and celebrate with a glass or two of Marconi’s great grandfather’s infamous whiskey and win at the trivia contest!



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