About Barbara4Tech

Thank you for coming to my personal blog site.  Chances are you are either looking for a particular article, or you want to learn more about me in general, possibly because you looked up my ham call sign on QRZ.COM.   If it’s me you are curious about, read on.  Otherwise, go to my categories list and use it to take you to the entries you’re searching for. If you are on the West Coast, catch me on 3853 or 3847 kHz LSB, where I may do a few CQ’s at exactly 10:30pm local time (0630 UTC) every night, especially Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The mandatory personal history: I’m a retired electronics engineer.  Most recently I designed high performance X-ray source systems for a large scientific equipment company.  Previous to that, I worked a long series of jobs and consulting contracts in the hard disk drive field, including several years at Seagate. Even though I had a handful of US Patents to my credit, and good pay, I was so tired of hard disk drives, I had to move on to something entirely different.  As far as education, I have a BSEE and minors in economics and social anthropology, and attended MIT, University of Virginia, and The George Washington University.  My actual birth origin was in the deep woods of coal country West Virginia, where most of my family’s ancestors have been since the mid 1700’s.   When I did my genealogy once, I found no less than 11 Revolutionary War soldiers or militiamen as direct ancestors.  I suppose I would qualify for membership in the DAR, if they were not such an elitist clique.  Most of my ancestors in that part of Appalachia could not read or write well, though, and toiled just to eat.  When I combined DNA analysis with my genealogy I found I was also apparently descended from an Egyptian or North African woman who had been sent to Virginia in the mid 1600’s, but other than that I’m all British/Norwegian/North-German-Swiss.  (I’ve always been intrigued by this — it’s so dramatic, it would make such a good historical fiction plot, this girl (grandmother 6 gens removed) who was probably the daughter of a British soldier or diplomat or trader, whose skin was not white enough to stay in England, being sent to be raised by the half-Caucasian son of an indigenous native woman in Virginia, probably because Europeans felt it was racially correct to do so, despite there being no reasonable ethnic tie between North Africa and North American natives!)   To continue the story, my mother remarried and I found myself in the family of an Air Force officer, and living in such places as Korea and The Philippines.  My mother was a school psychologist and liked to run IQ tests on me, probably because I scored high on them.    I have two children, boy and girl, both grown now with families, plus 3 granddaughters and a grandson. Bragging point one: my son is the CTO of a Silicon Valley software company and got his degrees from UC Berkeley and Stanford.  Bragging point two: my oldest granddaughter is in medical school.  I’m married and live deep in the redwood forest on the north central California coast.  We have three parrots.  In addition to tinkering, I like oil painting, playing the piano, and photography. Being retired, everyday is Saturday, and I love to play with my technical toys.   Now and then I write something for my blog.   Sometimes a visitor reads it.  Like you.  So hello, it’s good to meet you!


2 thoughts on “About Barbara4Tech

  1. Hi Barbara,
    Listening to you on 80M tonight and checked out your website. We’ve got several things in common. Analog circuit design and high-voltage. As soon as I get my dipoles back in the air, you’ll probably hear me around on 80-40-20.

    Quick question: Why did you not use PWM for your high-power light? When you turn it down, do you lose color integrity?

    • Driving the light with DC actually seems to be the simplest solution, though maybe not the most efficient one, and my intention was to only make a power source with zero RF emissions. As far as color purity at low power, to my eye it seems to retain color balance down to about 1% power, where the tone seems to become slightly cooler.

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