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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Eircom D1000 Zyxel Router
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.