Papers, Presentations
Robert L. Fischer


Papers, Publications and Presentations



"Bring A Dead Band To Life" A short article describing the design of a Very-High-Frequency radio beacon in CQ (Amateur Radio) magazine, December 1976

 "Mountain Line" A short article describing radio frequency transmission losses at Very-High-Frequencies in The West Coast VHFer, April 1982

 "Current State of Robotics in Industry" An invited 30 minute presentation to the West Virginia Department of Education, Vocational Education Conference, August 1983

 "Practical Applications for Robots" An invited one hour presentation at an Institute of Industrial Engineers'  seminar titled "Practical Applications for Gaining the Competitive Edge," March 1985

 "The Sleeping Giant Awakens" A short article on solar electromagnetic activity published in OVAS News (Newsletter of the Ohio Valley Astronomical Society), June 1989

 "Tech-Prep Class Developed Winners in 1965" A paper detailing the results of a 20-year follow-up study of an advanced high school Electronics Technology program sponsored by the "National Defense Education Act of 1958." Presented to the 1992 Annual Session of the West Virginia Academy of Science, April 1992

 "These Voc Ed Grads Chose College" The Tech-Prep paper presented to the WV Academy of Science was picked up and summarized in the November/December 1992 issue of Vocational Education Journal

 "Industrial Power Quality Problems" An invited 30 minute presentation on Fischer's study of transient voltage generation, propagation, reflection and magnification on a 69kV high-voltage transmission line.  Transient voltage spikes produced by a utility company's power factor correction capacitors were exciting resonances in an industrial plant 28 miles from the capacitors.  Fischer identified then proposed three solutions to the problem.  One of them was implemented by the utility company.  Presented to the prestigious Plenary Session of the 1997 North American Power Quality Symposium.  This international technology-transfer conference was hosted by the U.S. Electrical Power Research Institute and Electricite de France, March 1997

 Developed and for 13 years instructed the 3 credit hour course "Introduction to Robotics" at Marshall University Community & Technical College, 1986-1999

 Ph.D. dissertation: "Calgon Carbon Corporation Strategic Plan to Develop Electrical & Instrumentation Technicians...",  Kennedy-Western University, 1993

"Fischer Technical Services Flying the Tri-Nado AL"  A short technical article describing design and construction of a low-power wind generator using a DC motor and Tri-Nado aluminum turbine blades was posted on the TLG Windpower website.  The generator supplements a solar panel for charging batteries to support communications equipment and lighting at a remote hunting camp.  May 2006 

Coauthor of the three volume set of "Pipeline Electrical & Instrumentation Trainee Guides." These texts are being used by the National Center for Construction Education & Research.  They prepare technicians for examinations leading to nationally-portable certification required by law for certain life-critical and environmentally sensitive work on interstate pipelines transporting hazardous materials.   2008

Quoted as a maintenance expert in the March 23, 2012 Industry Week magazine article titled "High Precision Maintenance and Manufacturing Efficiency."

Dr. Fischer contributed the bulk of a critical revision to Graphic Products'  "Best Practices Guide to Arc Flash Labeling."  His proposed revision of the "Facility Transformers" section of the handbook provides a safe and accurate method of qualifying transformers for NFPA 70E-2012 labeling compliance.    May 2012

"Labels Can Save Time, Money and Lives"   An article published December 13, 2013 on the Graphic Products’ News Blog dealing with electrical safety and proper use of labels on electrical apparatus.

"Sniffing out an intermittent high-voltage fault"   A technical article describing the use of logic and forensic science to locate intermittent faults on an industrial high-voltage distribution system.  Published in the March 2014 issue of Control Engineering magazine and also online in Safety and Security News.

"Sniffing out an intermittent high-voltage fault"   The article in Control Engineering turned out to be the most-read article in the March issue of the on-line version of the magazine.  It was reprinted in the April 2014 issue of Plant Engineering magazine.

"Other Dimensions"  A two-hour presentation on dowsing, dreams and precognition.  Presented to the February 2015 meeting of the  Florida Metaphysical Research Forum.

"Build A 50MHz Dipole Out Of Crutches"  A short technical article describing the innovative design and construction of a very-high-frequency communications antenna built from a set of aluminum crutches.  The antenna can be used over a wide range of frequencies and has several other properties that make it useful for teaching antenna resonance.  Published, with front page billing, in the August 2015 issue of Nuts & Volts magazine.

Forums on the Crutches Dipole Project were presented at the  2015 Huntington, WV Hamfest,  the  2015 WV State Ham Radio Convention  and the 2020 Orlando, Florida "HamCation."  HamCation is one of the largest Ham Radio events in the U.S., attended by approximately 25,000 Ham Radio, computer and electronics enthusiasts. 

"Energy around us - Energy in us - Energy IS us"  A two-hour presentation on the energy of the universe and various roles of that energy in biologic processes including human physiology.  Presented to the March 2016 meeting of the Florida Metaphysical Research Forum in Edgewater, Florida.  A second presentation was made on March 23, 2016 to the Titusville Florida Metaphysical Group.

“Using High-Tech Maintenance To Achieve 99% Reliability”   A two-hour Industrial Reliability seminar presented  July 19, 2016 at Mountwest Community & Technical CollegeThis seminar provided an overview of the process one maintenance department used to take a 250-employee, eastern Kentucky, chemical plant from “fighting fires” to world-class reliability in four years.  It included brief introductions to:  Vibration Analysis, Laser Alignments,  Infrared Analysis, Time-Domain-Reflectometry, Ultrasonic Analysis, and Oil Analyses.

Wayne County Couple’s Garden Boasts Moonflowers”   An article in the  September 6, 2016 edition of Huntington West Virginia’s Herald-Dispatch newspaper.  The 4-1/2 inch white blossoms of moonflowers open after sunset and close in the morning.  They can be spectacular with the proper landscape lighting.  This article describes how to grow the tropical plants in WV climates.

"Grandfather and Grandson Team Build the Fischer uBITX"  A short technical article describing the construction, modifications and operation of a software-defined, 2-30MHz Single Sideband and CW radio transceiver.  This article was selected for posting on the uBITX website.    November 2018

"Mountwest Community & Technical College Professor Corrects 30-Year-Old Textbook Error"    A December 10, 2018 Herald-Dispatch article about Dr. Robert L.Fischer discovering the failure mechanism for dielectric materials subjected to high voltages was not properly described in the 12th edition of Grob's Basic Electronics.  A McGraw-Hill Science, Engineering and Mathematics Department representative notified Fischer his alternate description of dielectric breakdown has been accepted by both the author and the publisher.  It will appear in future editions of the text.  Fischer was able to trace the error back to at least the 6th edition of the comprehensive, widely-used, college textbook.   The mistake had apparently gone unchallenged for 30 years. December 26 update:  Subsequent to publication of this article, Fischer was notified the error had been printed since the 1959 edition of the book - nearly 60 years.

“A Safer Way To Save Your Motors”    An article advocating Robert Fischer’s safety recommendation to use current measurements to calculate voltage unbalance in three-phase motors - instead of directly measuring line voltages.  Voltage unbalance is known to reduce the service life of electric motors.  There are widely accepted guidelines for de-rating three-phase motors based on the magnitude of unbalanced voltage.   This article was written by the Editor-In-Chief of Automation World magazine.  It received front-page billing.   August 2019 

“Know Your Valve’s Limitations”   An article in Processing magazine (serving oil, chemical, gas and pharmaceutical industries) describing how a valve can be automatically controlled to deliver stoichiometric gas flow to multiple burners by using an actuator that senses combustion air pressure.  An extremely cost-effective energy reduction project was implemented by changing the spring in a diaphragm actuator and recalibrating the valve for lower gas flows.    September 2019

"A WEST VIRGINIA MIRACLE,"  An ageless story about hunting and the “life off-the-grid” heritage of the Bob Fischer family.  This could very well be the story of countless other rural Appalachian families.  Printed in Issue 281 of W.Va. Sportsman magazine, November/December 2019.  page 26.  

"Love A Challenge?  Try Hunting for a Signal with Ham Radio"  An article promoting Ham Radio for public service as well as emergency communications.  Directed toward an audience of over 100,000 hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts.  The hobby is highly recommended for those with physical disabilities preventing them from engaging in rigorous activities.  Published in the Summer 2020 issue of Union Sportsmen's Journal, pages 44 & 45;image,//,fill 

"Static Discharge Helps "Cure" Audio Amplifier"  A troubleshooting article describing static electricity's unlikely role in finding an intermittent ground connection.  The fault originated in a software-defined SSB radio transceiver's  Integrated Circuit audio amplifier.   Published in the 2020, Issue 2 of Nuts & Volts Magazine.  

"An Easy CATV Coax Antenna"  A technical article describing construction of a 14 MHz end-fed half-wave antenna.  The unconventional aspect of this antenna design is that it utilizes the outer shield of common RG-6 coaxial cable as the radiating conductor.  The unique design can be used for other high-frequency and very-high-frequency antennas.   Published in the 2020-Issue 3 of Nuts & Volts Magazine.  pages 16 & 17

"Build A $6 Desk Mic"  An article describing how to repurpose an inexpensive LED desk lamp to construct a high-output electret microphone.  Published in the 2020-Issue 4 of Nuts & Volts Magazine.  pages 71-73

"Build A Voice Keyer For The Backpack"  A technical article describing the design, construction and operation of a “Voice Keyer” small enough to be carried in a backpack - along with other radio apparatus suitable for off-the-grid, portable or emergency communications.  The innovative design utilizes inexpensive, solid-state “record-playback” and “repeat cycle timer” modules available from eBay vendors.  The keyer can easily be used to add a “radio beacon” operating mode to many radio transceivers.  Published November 2021 in the "2020 Issue 5" edition of Nuts & Volts magazine, pages 20-23. 

Book Review of:   “TROUBLESHOOTING ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS,” A Guide to Learning Analog Electronics.  Written by Ronald Quan.  Published in 2020 by McGraw-Hill.  Quan is an extremely accomplished electrical engineer and university lecturer with more than 450 patents.  This was a solicited review of his latest book.  It was published November 2021 in the "2020 Issue 5" edition of Nuts & Volts Magazine, page 17.

"Tailgate Portable"  An article about operating low power, high-frequency Ham Radios in off-the-grid locations.  Fischer's QRP stations can be powered from batteries and solar panels.  They can be on-the-air in 20 minutes with inter-continental communications capabilities.  These stations are not only fun to operate, they can provide emergency and disaster communications with no dependence on commercial or governmental infrastructure.  Published in Volume 63, Number 3,  July 2022 edition of QRP Quarterly, page 30.

"Mount a 31-foot Vertical Antenna on Your Pickup"  An article describing two proven methods of mounting a heavy-duty Jackite antenna support on a pickup truck.  Longer antennas have more capture area and are generally better performers than shorter antennas.  Both mounts were easily constructed from inexpensive, readily available parts.  Published in Volume 64, Number1, January 2023 edition of QRP Quarterly, pages 24-25.  This international journal promotes weak-signal radio communication technologies, antenna experimentation and off-the-grid operations.

A Voice Keyer for QRP Operation”   This article was actually written by Nicholas Haban, AF6CF.  He describes building the Voice Keyer described in Robert Fischer’s Nuts & Volts magazine article, with minor modifications, such as the addition of LEDs and switches.  Published in Vol. LXIV No.5, the May 2023 edition, of  “RF,”  the journal of the Orange County (California) Amateur Radio Club.  Pages 8-10.

First Ham Radio Experience”  is the condensed version of a story written about an eight-year-old deer hunter getting his first exposure to Ham Radio communications.  It unfolded in a most unlikely place - an old farmhouse, with no electrical service, in the backwoods of West Virginia.  The young man came to hunting camp for his first participation in the age old traditions of the hunt.  He left with a bonus:  A new interest at the opposite end of the technologic spectrum. He was immediately captivated by the ability to hear and talk to distant stations from the remote location.  The radio was powered from a solar panel and batteries.  The young man was happy to be able to pick up the microphone and make radio contacts.  Printed in Volume 107, Number 8, page 20 of the August 2023 issue of QST magazine.  QST is the technical journal of the American Radio Relay League, circulated to more than 155,000 Ham radio operators around the world.

"uBITX Audio Amp for Field Use"  A short technical article describing three options to increase audio output from BITX,  uBITX and other transceivers.  Printed in Volume 64, Number 4, pages 38-39 of the October 2023 issue of QRP Quarterly magazine.

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