Wherein I write about things that interest me….

Converting Suncom SFS Throttle to USB

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. I came across;this page, where a conversion was described. However, this conversion relied on a custom PCB and a SMD PIC which had to be soldered. I have had mixed results in soldering SMD devices with small leg-pitch, so wanted to avoid this route if possible. Read more →

Thrustmaster F22 USB Conversion - Part 2

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. Since the code was written for a Teensy 2. Read more →

Homebrewing an Off-centre Fed Dipole

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. Around this time, I moved to a new house, and as always, part of moving involves planning out the new antennas. Read more →

Thrustmaster F22 USB Conversion

A friend of mine bought me a Thrustmaster F22 for my birthday (thanks John!) a good number of years back, and I had many a fun sortie on DID’s excellent EF2000 or F22 sims. It spent much of the last 10 or 12 years gathering dust rather than blowing away bogies, however, and due to the progression of technology, is no longer useful. Or at;least this is what I thought, until I came across the controller modding community. Read more →

Signal Generator using Adafruit SI5351 Clock Generator

34,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. I recently came across;an interesting little device from Adafruit. Again, from Silicon Labs, the SI5351;offers 3 independent clock outputs from a single 25MHz reference, programmable via i2c, a maximum frequency of 160MHz and all for less than;€10 shipped. Read more →

Arch Linux Upgrade Breaks EFI Dual-Boot

I recently started using Arch as my primary distribution on my laptop. I made this change for a number of reasons… mainly that I did not like the direction that Ubuntu was going in, and I kind of missed the hands-on approach I had experienced with Slackware and Debian. ;I wanted to recapture the control that first drew me to Linux nearly 20 years ago. Part of the transition was getting used to a rolling-upgrade methodology. Read more →

Authentication Bypass on Zyxel D1000 (Eircom) Router

The Eircom D1000 Zyxel Router Eircom, an ISP in Ireland, supplies a branded version of the Zyxel D1000 router with their DSL broadband offerings. The web interface is protected, as one might expect, by a login&password challenge. All good, one might think. However, if you look at the source of the login page, located at;/cgi-bin/login.html;you might find an interesting surprise. ;function DefaultPasswdNote_check() { ; ; ; ; var random_passwd = 01282e7c08b4; ; ; ; ; var current_passwd = xxxxxxxxx; // ; ; ;alert(current_passwd + +random_passwd); ; ; ; ; if(current_passwd ! Read more →

EI2GCP - APRS Weather Station & Digipeater live in Galway

The Galway VHF Group Amateur Radio club has been doing some improvements on the APRS network around Galway. This includes adding a weather station - EI2GCP-2 ;- and renaming the digipeater to EI2GCP-10, and adding iGate functionality. The weather station transceiver Philips PRM-80 ex. PMR rig to replace my Yaesu FT8900, which, in testament to its reliability, had been on the roof, through all weather, for over 4 years, without a moments down-time. Read more →

KIM Uno - 6502 emulated on Arduino

When I was young, about 11, I was lucky enough to be bought a;Commodore 64, the computer that introduced a generation to computers, and likely launched thousands of careers in computing, mine included. It wasn’t long before I started to feel constrained by the very;basic version of BASIC;that it ran… 2 character variable names, no labels, no loops apart from FOR, no allowances to structured programming whatsoever. However, help was at hand, in the form of theCommodore 64 Programmer’s Reference Guide, and;Jim Butterfield’s;Supermon 64;machine language monitor. Read more →

Raspberry Pi Wobbulator

I came across am interesting project at the;Mayo Radio Experimenter’s Club;Rally;earlier this year.;A Wobbulator. A small board that would piggy-back on a Raspberry Pi and utilise an Analog Devices AD9850 Direct Digital Synthesiser as an RF source. ;The purpose of a Wobbulator is to generate an RF sweep which can be routed through a device undet test, and captured, in this case, using an RF-voltmeter, but traditionally using an oscilloscope, to determine the characteristics of the device to be tested. Read more →