Welcome to the SPARKTRON Web Page!

The Art of Electronics and Engineering

{SV Logo Here}

I am Steven  --  KA9VNW



Updated 02Dec17

Added 28-124 "Electronic Heads/Tails Game" Kit

Added some gallery pictures too

Check out the P-Box page!


Thanks to all of you dedicated P-Box Kit fans out there!

(I now have some of the hi-res copies up on the site!)

Thanks to all of you folks who take the time to send the hard copies to me via snail mail!


This page shows a few of my starting points in web surfing. As you can probably guess, I am very much into things technical and electronic.  I am particularly interested in things to do with ham radio - especially AM medium and long wave, VLF, and whistlers - electronics using tubes, music synthesizers, and such.  I am also a big Commodore 64 fan and love to keep the oldies but goodies alive and well via emulation and other tricks.

What I love most about things technical is that I can use electronics to create and add to things artistic.  I find an open breadboard with blinking LEDs or tubes aglow to be in and of itself a work of art.  But to those who cannot see this, I am equally comfortable designing neat things and effects into "conventional" avant-garde art.  I have designed sensors, sounds, and displays for pinball games, pachinko games, Christmas displays, Halloween novelties, centerpieces, and other such things.  I have designed light shows to be incorporated into museum piece displays.  I have even provided design concepts for lighting wax sculptures!  If you are an artist wanting to find ways to incorporate sound, light, and sensors electronics into your masterpiece, I could be the person you are looking for to help make it a reality for you!

Check back from time to time to see what's new.  Please feel free to link my page to yours.

If you have any comments or suggestions for this page, please send me an e-mail .  I will update this page from time to time as I discover neat things to put here and when I learn new HTML tricks.  Enjoy!



~ Special Features ~

I am a retired electronics designer - I love to create products involving electronics as all or part of their features.  I especially love to design things that mix and match many different technologies - analog, digital, audio, music, etc.  I am also an inventor.

My Inventions:  Here are some of my inventions for which I have won patent recognition.
-- Patent # 5529294 - LED Lighted Stand Up Target for Pinball Games
-- European Patent # EP0722754A1 - LED Lighted Stand Up Target for Pinball Games
-- Patent # 6212679 B1 - External Control of V-Chip Functions in Institutional TV Sets
-- Patent # 6661471 B1 - Relocatable "ON" Position for Institutional TV Sets
-- Patent # 7135664 B2 - Method for Adjusting Multiple Light Sources to Compensate for Variation in Light Output that Occurs with Time
-- Patent # 7173383 B2 - Lighting Apparatus Having a Plurality of Independently Controlled Sources of Different Colors of Light
I have many others pending and many others not yet applied for.

P-Box Kits :  This is one of the things that fired up my interest in electronics - the Radio Shack, Science Fair, P-Box kits.  There were about 30 of these things back in the early 1970's.  My first one was an electronic metronome.  I do not seem to have the instructions for it (or the kit) any more, but I remember it as being a single transistor,  hartley type audio oscillator.  As I find other manuals, I will add them to the list.

Synthesizer Circuits & Stuff :  I have always had a passion for music - especially jazz and things off the main stream.  Naturally, synthesizer music caught my attention.  It was this that made me sure I wanted to do something with electronics for a career!  I lived for making electronic music.  I arranged my college degree to emphasize acoustics and electronic music.  Credit to Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach for first whetting my appetite for electronic music and ultimately my foundations of music theory.  I am an amateur musician, playing oboe, bassoon, recorders, and am a tenor in several choirs.  If you do that facebook thing, check out the Paw Paw Community Chorus.

Ham Radio :  As a natural outgrowth of my love for electronics, I became interested in amateur radio.  There are lots of reasons why different people do ham radio.  Some like to talk, some like the technical challenges, some like contesting, some like helping out in emergencies, some like fox hunting.  For me - it was always because I love to build things!

VLF :  One of the forgotten cousins of ham radio is all that goes on below the AM radio band.  I particularly like to experiment with this art because the circuitry and theory is much more like audio than it is like RF.  Consequently, "building stuff" requires little worry about layout issues and the gremlins associated therewith!  You can also use op amps and other easily obtainable, readily substitutable parts to make things - no weird, impossible to find transistors or capacitors, no silver solder required!

~ Common & Favorite Links ~


Computer Software 

Electronics Suppliers For Hobby-ing

News & Info Sites

Tucows Digikey Drudge Report
Funnet Software Downloads (FTP) JDR Micro NewsMax
Gibson Research Mouser Breitbart

Pocket PC DOS

SparkFun Rush Limbaugh

Commodore Site

MicroChip-PIC Lucianne
C64 Front Ends Grainger


Arnold's C64 FTP Files

Heritage Foundation


Computer Hardware

Ham, Regen, And VLF Sites Entertainment
Commodore Cables

Long Wave Club of America

WDCB-FM C.O.D. Radio

Commodore 1541 Info


Jazz24 Radio



ARRL Stardate

Emulation Theremin, Synthesizer, and Music Links

Sheet Music Links

Commodore Emulator Stuff 

PAIA Mutopia


Theremin World Schematics

Music Scores

Good Theremin Page

Sheet Music Now

Guitar Effects Circuits

Piano World


Great Midi to Notation Software!


On-Line Tools & Interesting Info



Accuweather Radar - MI


Winning Lottery Numbers - IL IN MI



Yahoo Groups 












Last Update:   V2.05 02DEC17

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