Professor Slatton's Dark Electrons


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


Ralph Slatton has the BFA and MA degrees from Arkansas State University and the MFA from the University of Iowa.

Before pursuing an art degree Ralph Slatton had strong interests in science and math. He completed two years as a chemistry major at Arkansas State Univeristy. He also completed several years toward an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Arkansas. He served as a radio team chief in the Army Air Defense in Grafenwohr, Germany, providing support for Hawk missle systems.


Keywords: Ralph Slatton, Professor, electronic projects, Ralph Slatton Biography, dark electrons, windows 7 fixes.



This site is dedicated to one of my favorite subjects, Electronics.


You have stumbled upon a hobbyst site. Above, you will see an NRI Oscilloscope kit, which I put together in the 70s. If you were like me, you grew up with the electronic hobby. My room was filled with test equipment and junk parts, wire coils, and boxes of components. I used to purchase a surprise box of surplus electronic supplies from Olsen Electronics. This was probably left over from defunct electronic assemblylines.

This site will explore my fetish. I call it dark electrons because the hobby can be consuming in a most devious way. Building electronic projects is like solving a puzzle. It is seldom that anything goes right the first time the wires are soldered. In the old days of building Heathkits, I always found that after the last component was installed, it was still necessary to tweak or backtrack some errant circuit, some badly interpreted connection diagram. This site will be a collection of my best projects.

Other areas of exploration will include the kinds of fixes I have found with windows 7 and other software packages that fail to work or have bugs that won't go away. Some of these conumndrums are elusive, even to the world wide internet. Have you ever seached the many deadend of forums, only to discover that no one knew the answer to a popular problem. It is with this spiritl that I will post some of the most difficult fixes that I have solved.

I remember my old Electral Engineering studies at the University of AR. My professors had a very appropriate response to why they went into this field. What better discipline is there than chasing down electrons all day and getting paid for it.

Recent Projects

July 04th 2012. by Ralph Slatton

Foundation for Gambrel Barn
This is not exactly an electronic project, but it does deal with engineering to some extent. No, it is not the beginnings of an underground bomb shelter. I've decided to construct a gambrel barn in my backyard. The word, barn, may be a little overblown. It will be only 20 x 28 ft. I looked at several construction kits, which provided the blue prints and supply lists. They ship some pre-assembled sections, like the gable walls. The beams and other lumber is shipped locally, through one of our home improvement stores. This is the first time I am required to secure the approval of the city building inspector. I thought of different ways to dig the foundation. The problems I'm having now is dealing with the extreme slopes on my land. To make my building plot flat, I had escavated a large section of earth, which left a very unattractive hole in the side of the hill. I may have to build the foundation up a bit, so that the cut is not so abrupt.

Electronics Vintage Pics

1. The first picture is my ham radio station, mostly of Heathkits, Kenwoods, and various wave generators that I collected while I worked as an electrons technician.

2. The second picture, R. C. Meyer with 2-meter Van de Graaff generator at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, April 16, 1936. Photo courtesy of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

3. The third is an advertisment of the popular Gilbert Chemistry sets of the 40s and 50s. I liked this photo because it reminded me of some of my distillation apparatus when I was younger.

4. 1904 experiment where Nikola Tesla experiments with the ball lightning phenonmena.