Monthly Archives: May 2021

My Favorite Swiss Army Knife

Wow!  What a loaded subject line.   Especially since I easily have about 75 Swiss Army knives.   And I love them all.  However some stand out, and particularly one stands out.

First of all lets stroll down memory lane, shall we?  The Swiss Army knife was first made in 1891 with roots back to about 1884.  That is quite a lineage.

Victorinox 1891 Soldier

Victorinox 1891 Soldier

Oddly enough it doesn’t look that much different than what we carry today.  Isn’t it amazing that the origins of a useful pocket took have remained true to form for so long?
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Swiza – A Swiss Army Knife Killer?

I like pocketknives.   A lot.  I’m actually one of those guys with a giant fear of getting cut and I have zero desire to ever use a knife as a weapon.  For me, the act of carrying a knife is more about being the instant savior to a situation with my fancy multi-tool.   And I like knowing I’m prepared and ready for whatever may happen to me.

NOTE:  99% of my knife usage is opening Amazon boxes that contain knives. 

My pocketknife of choice is, and always has been Victorinox Swiss Army knives.  As a young boy I remember the excitement of the first Cub Scout knife.  Wow.  What a responsibility.  It was taught as such and that message was received as such.  God I love my generation.

So I am a knife collector of sorts.  Swiss Army, Benchmade, Spyderco and other EDC items like flashlights and pens that actually work in the weather.

Even though the Swiza knives have been around for a while I decided to pick one up and try it out.  Allow me to answer the question in my subject line.

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Listen to Top Secret Radio

Well not really.  But a whole lot of radio stations out there call themselves High Definition Radio (HDR) and is really called In Band On Channel (IBOC).  If you look at the top of my pages you’ll see this image.  Where the red line is, is the center of the signal or the station frequency.  On the side of the signal are two rectangles which can can carry digital information.  This doubles the bandwidth required to 400kHz.   This works in the US because of our FM channel spacing but won’t work in other countries.

John’s Tech Blog

At any rate, there is data transmitted on the rectangles and lots of times entirely different radio stations.    This is why your car radio shows album art or tells you the name of the song and what is playing next.  Some larger metropolitan areas will also transmit weather or traffic maps.

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Wiring a 24 volt Air Assist Solenoid to KT332N Laser Controller

Adding an external, more powerful air assist is a MUST DO upgrade for your CO2 laser.  There are many guides on how to do this however none of them are specific to a laser which has a Ryxon KT332N Controller.  Larger lasers use different controllers and the controller connections have a different name on them on the KT332N which may confuse some users.

I’m not doing an inclusive build of materials here. This will just cover wiring the solenoid to the controller.

First of all you need a 24volt Solenoid which is Normally Closed.  That means air only spews out when the solenoid is energized electrically from the controller.  So you need:

  • Solenoid
  • Wire – you can use any wire as long as it will handle 24 volts and about 250 degrees F.  I chose this wire simply because it is jacketed and it is easier and cleaner to route 1 cable, than 2 separate wires.

Also note that the solenoid is non-polarity specific so that means you don’t have to observe polarity at either end however where the wires are connected to the controller you SHOULD follow standard color coding in case you sell the machine or if it catches on fire the fireman will blame your backwards home brew wiring for the cause of the fire 😃

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