Monthly Archives: February 2013

Toshiba DT01ACA300 aka Hitachi HDS723030BLE640 3Tb 7200rpm Hard Drives

Finally, I have managed to purchase a fourth Toshiba 3Tb 7200rpm drive to make my 4x3Tb array complete, but interestingly, this drive was from a newer batch. The previous three came from the September 2012 batch which featured mention of … Continue reading

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The Good with the Bad: Kogan Mobile SIMs delayed again!

In one of my previous posts about Kogan Mobile, I presented a generally favourable view of Kogan Mobile aside from the delays and lost SIMs, issues with number porting and generally encouraged those who would want to try them to … Continue reading

Posted in Telecommunications | Tagged | 1 Comment

Am I Crazy? An SSD in a USB 3.0 Enclosure

Given the now stable, but relatively low price of SSDs today, I still regularly lament the small size and low performance of USB sticks. While I haven’t purchased any newer USB 3.0 memory sticks recently, I did have a sizable … Continue reading

Posted in Computing | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Alps Electric Touchpad Internals

Another day, another salvage. Someone smashed apart a laptop and left the touchpad sitting out in the open – why not take a peek at it and see what it’s made of? Well, the first thing to realize is that … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics, Salvage | Tagged | 1 Comment

Weekend Collation: Cassettes, Computers, Data Recovery and E-mails

A new sort of post for a new sort of thing. A lot of the time, I have little things which happen all around me that don’t really easily lend themselves to a full-blown post, but I think are still … Continue reading

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Salvage: IBM Deskstar 75GXP Hard Drives

Look at those pair of drives for a sec … they’re just a pair of drives, right? Wrong! These drives have a special place in computing history and were one of the reasons for the downfall of the IBM Deskstar … Continue reading

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Tech Flashback: SyQuest SQ5510 88Mb Removable Hard Disks

In another opportune moment, I had the chance to play around with a SyQuest SQ5110 88Mb removable hard disk system as part of a little data recovery challenge pitched to me by (one particular) Robert at UNSW. This particular drive … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Salvage and Tech Flashback: Pioneer CT-W430 and Compact Cassettes

I guess today, I’m going to try and do a two-in-one post because the circumstances just so aligned. Another one of those UNSW Electrical Engineering salvage runs turned up this gem – a Pioneer CT-W430 dual cassette deck! This was … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Salvage, Tech Flashback | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

DRM DXing Session: More fun than AM broadcast DXing!

I’ve made a passing mention about DRM in my first post about DRM DXing when I received The Disco Palace from home early in the morning when I couldn’t sleep. But I guess I really should delve into DRM a … Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Deutscher Wetterdienst (Hamburg, Germany) Radio Fax – the Ultimate DX?

Deutscher Wetterdienst (also known as DWD for short) is the German Meterological Service. They currently operate a weatherfax service over radio as listed here. The centre frequencies are as follows (from NWS’s documentation): 3855khz at 10kW, callsign DDH3 7880khz at … Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sounds of Fax Modes and ECM

Modem noises annoy many people – and many devices go to great lengths to mute the speaker after connections have been achieved. In fact, most fax machines mute the speaker as soon as the first HDLC 300bps Phase B data … Continue reading

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DRM Radio: The Disco Palace

So, one night, I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up scanning the airwaves with my Winradio Excalibur G31DDC and my Wellbrook Communications ALA-1530 loop antenna. I stumbled across a strong DRM radio transmission (i.e. digital shortwave). Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) … Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Salvage: Unisearch PC-ECG ISA Card

Another interesting salvage from UNSW – pulled from a disposed machine in Electrical Engineering. This one is a Unisearch PC-ECG v2.1 ISA Card. As one can guess from the name, this card is meant to perform electrocardiograph functions on a … Continue reading

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Telstra Fax On-Line Diagnostics (FOLDS) Test

Just yesterday, a friend (Robert) reminded me about the Telstra FOLDS (Fax On-Line Diagnostics) test and showed me some of his diagnostic reports. I had tried the FOLDS test a long time ago, but I didn’t get a reply despite … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Telecommunications | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Testing: Kenko 2x MC4 DGX Teleconverter for Nikon

As part of my new camera journey, I’ve been busy checking out pieces of gear. It used to be conventional wisdom that if someone wanted a cheap way to get more out of a lens, they would buy a teleconverter … Continue reading

Posted in Photography | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Color Run – Olympic Park, Sydney (10 Feb 2013)

After a Chinese New Year dinner last night, I barely had three hours of sleep, but I decided I should go anyway to The Color Run in Olympic Park, Sydney to do some photography. I didn’t know how it would … Continue reading

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Salvage: Axiom Technology AX5411/AX5411H DAQ Card

A little while back, I salvaged these cards from boxes just outside of UNSW Electrical Engineering Room 201. Special thanks goes to Mr. Chris Lu for giving me permission to remove these and keep them. AX5411 (specs from here) 60kHz … Continue reading

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Tech Flashback: Sony MiniDisc

Just this month, it was announced that Sony will make its last MiniDisc system next month, so I thought this was a good time to reminisce about MD and what it really meant … The MD was basically a small … Continue reading

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Salvaged: Dranetz Series 606-3 Line Disturbance Analyzer

Another day, another salvage – this time, a Dranetz Series 606-3 Line Disturbance Analyzer. Just a forewarning – this post is image-heavy! Anyway, this is another one of those items being thrown out by UNSW Electrical Engineering, who can resist … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Obituary, Salvage | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

JMH/JMH2/JMH4 Japan Meterological Agency Radio Fax

JMH/JMH2/JMH4 are a set of radiofax stations transmitting from Tokyo, Japan. They had many more transmitters formerly – hence the “gaps” in the numbering, luckily they haven’t discontinued the service altogether. Transmissions are all made at 5kW, and all three … Continue reading

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Cheap Data: Kogan Mobile and Telstra Modems

Kogan Mobile is one of the hottest new-entrants into the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market. There are many MVNOs on the Australian market, including Virgin, Amaysim, Boost, Crazy Johns, Dodo, TPG, Pennytel, Live Connected, Red Bull Mobile, Lebara, Lycamobile, … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Radio, Tablet | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Browser Comparison on the “new iPad” (3rd Generation)

After some discoveries in comparing different browsers on the original iPad, I decided to do some comparisons on the “new iPad” (3rd Generation). This has a more beefy A5X dual core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with a more respectable 1Gb of … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tablet | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Comparing Browsers on an original iPad

The original iPad was released in 2010 – not that long ago, but has already been superseded many times, in fact, we’re now up to the 4th generation iPad (full size) now. Sure, the iPad was released with an A4 … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Tablet | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Some cheap cables are fine … some are rubbish.

Most of the time, we pay little thought to cables. We know better than to buy Monster Cables and or other exotic cables – after all, their claims are worse than snakeoil. But lets examine what happens when we go … Continue reading

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Design Simplicity: Twinhan VP-7045A/7046 USB DVB TV Tuner

How easy can it be to build a TV Tuner? Quite, if you design it like Twinhan did. Twinhan (also known as VisionPlus) was a big company making digital TV tuners back when digital TV tuners were new. The VP-7045A/VP-7046 … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics, Radio | Tagged , | 1 Comment

SCL3711 SCM Microsystems NFC Reader/Writer Teardown

For my experiments with NFC-type cards, I needed a fairly cheap reader which is quite full-featured and compatible with libnfc (a library of NFC functions). This allows for fairly good low-level access to NFC hardware. While cheap readers are available … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Electronics | Tagged , | 4 Comments

VMC/VMW Australian Bureau of Meterology Radio Fax

The Australian Bureau of Meterology operates two radiofax stations – VMC and VMW. VMC broadcasts from Charleville, QLD, and VMW broadcasts from Wiluna, WA. These stations broadcast nearly around the clock with 1kW transmission power. The frequencies, technical information and … Continue reading

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