Posted by gerry

The hugely hackable Girltech Im-Me has been used for many interesting hacks. However the internal antenna leaves a lot to be desired, being basically a little piece of wire.

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Posted by gerry

The FT817 from Yaesu is still the most featured portable radio available. The Elecraft KX3 might have better HF performance, but for sheer spectrum coverage, it doesn't come close... unless you spend a few hundred more Euros for the 2W output 2m or 4m transverter. You will definitely have a world class radio, but it still won't do UHF, and would cost something between twice and three times what an FT817 would.

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Posted by gerry

I have had an ASUS N56VZ laptop for about 18 months, and rate it as one of the best laptops I have ever had. I was dual-booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu off the 750GB hard drive since I got the laptop until one day I basically destroyed the Ubuntu install while playing with Docker.io

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Posted by gerry

Proton Mail is a free, web-based encrypted mail service founded by CERN in 2013. It uses client-side encryption, and could be termed a "trust no-one" mail service, since the data stored on the servers is encrypted, and the user never loses control of the encryption key.

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Building the PiDP8/I

23 Jul 2015
Posted by gerry

The story leading up to this can be read here. In short though, I have always had a thing for retro computers, and DEC boxes in particular, and now I have a remake of a PDP8/I in the form of a kit provided by Oscar Vermeulen another retro computing geek with an excellent site at Obsolescence Guaranteed.

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Posted by gerry

I have always been a fan of DEC minicomputers... 
I grew up in Galway, Ireland... often seen on the front panel of PDPs instead of the more common Maynard, Massechusetts, since DEC had a manufacturing plant there until the late 80s. 

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Posted by gerry

Having been emboldened by a successful conversion of my Thrustmaster F22 Flight Stick, I decided to try to capture all of the buttons on throttle too. A job that worked out easier than I expected as it turned out.

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Posted by gerry

Having done some more research, it turns out that the chips in the handle are not MCUs, or at least not all MCUs. A few are shift registers, and, according to this post, talk SPI. The post also has a bit of code to capture the buttons.So, despite having the matrix all built, if I can just use a Teensy and build on that code, all the better.

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Posted by gerry

During HF field day 2010, I had occasion to get some experience with the off-centre fed dipole, in this case, a commercially made unit from Buckmaster.
Prior to this, I had heard that OCF dipoles ‘are a compromise’, ‘are noisy’, ‘are deaf’, ‘have wildly varying radiation patterns’ and many other negative comments. During field-day, our experiences definitely gave me cause to doubt the nay-sayers.

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Posted by gerry

The DDS and related clock generation circuitry has made possible high accuracy, broad-banded programmable VFO functionality for very little money. Analogue Devices' AD9850 series offer HF frequencies for about 5. Higher frequencies can be had for not much more money, with the Silicon Labs SI570 with its near GHz maximum frequency offering the highest.

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