Friday, September 4, 2015

KC4LMD's Open Letter

An Open Letter to #HamRadio Manufacturers from Brian McDaniel (KC4LMD):
"For this generation of radio amateurs, FM repeaters have been the first (and maybe only) impression of on-the-air activity. Perhaps a few experiment with APRS, EchoLink or IRLP. Some may try Pico-Sats, but fundamentally, Ham Radio as a Technician is nothing more than GRMS with better repeater coverage. 
Why haven’t companies like yours developed radios tailored for Technicians? 
Why is it all FM when there are many more possibilities in the world above 50 MHz? 
Where are the Dual-Mode radios, such as SSB/FM, on VHF and UHF? 
Where are the sound card-ready interfaces? USB interfaces? 
Why does it all look like Land Mobile Radio on Amateur Service frequencies? 
Is there no imagination, innovation, or experimentation left in your Skunk Works?"
I wish there was more innovation as well. My first and primary thought is that they just don't think there is any money in it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Serial Ports

Ah, the good old days of serial and parallel ports... I have several tubs of old computer hardware - IDE cables, video and sound cards, old processors (even my favorite of all time - the Celeron 300A*), etc. I went through them over the week-end and have set aside about a third of it to be recycled. I digress...

Alex (PA1SBM) finds no serial ports or PCI on his new PC, but after a false start finds a card that works.

* Does it make me a huge geek for having a favorite CPU? I just remember how much bang for the buck you got with the Celeron 300A as it easily overclocked to 450 MHz.

Morse Code - A Visual Guide

I stumbled across this visual guide for Morse Code. Some of them make sense and might be helpful in remembering, but others are stretch for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Zhem's Fighin Words

I'm too old for this:
“You can always politely ask,” she wrote. “’Oh, nice to meet you (insert name). What pronouns should I use?’ is a perfectly fine question to ask.”

Cheap Kindle Books

I've not read of the "50 Shades" books, so I can't comment, but I liked Ready Player One, The Martian, A Game of Thrones (duh), The Kite Runner, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl. My wife loves the Outlander books.

$2 Kindle Books

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Windows 10 - Edge

I upgraded my laptop and everything seemed fine - except the new Edge browser. It would not load anything. All the other browsers (IE, Chrome, and Firefox) worked fine. Hitting F12 showed no activity - no page elements, no network requests. Eventually Edge would timeout and display "Hmm, we can’t reach this page."

I ran the System File Checker (sfc /scannow) and rebooted. All was good afterwards. The only other problem I have is that it keeps trying to update my printer driver and fails. Printing works, so I've spent zero time looking it to it.

That's two computers upgraded with only the problems mentioned above. I've got two left.

Monday, August 24, 2015

TYT TH-7800 Mobile

TYT TH-7800 at the 409Shop for $234.00:

Dual Band 136-174/400-480MHz Mobile Transceiver Car Radio

Main Functions:
    V+U Full Duplex Operation  
    Cross-band Repeater Function
    Ultra-size LCD Screen Dual Display    
    800+Memory Channels
    A+B dual band Operation    
    50 CTCSS Tones /1024 DCS Codes
    8 Group;s scrambler option  
    Detachable Front Panel
    50W output power for 144MHz    
    35W output power for 430MHz

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Google OnHub Wireless Router


Google is releasing their own wireless router: OnHub Wireless Router from Google and TP-LINK.

Specs here. Of note, it is 802.15.4 compliant and has Bluetooth. The wireless specs standout as well.

2.4 GHz wireless802.11b/g/n 3x3 with smart antenna
5 GHz wireless802.11a/n/ac 3x3 with smart antenna
AUX wireless802.11a/b/g/n/ac 1x1

AUX wireless?

Google definitely wants to be in your home.