About Me

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My name is Dr. Gough Lui, 27 years of age (as of 2016), single. I am fully fluent in English, and know a small amount of Cantonese. Currently, I reside mainly at Chester Hill, in the south-west of Sydney, Australia with my mother and younger brother.

In 2016, I graduated from UNSW with a PhD in  Civil and Environmental Engineering. The research topic was Photovoltaic-powered light-emitting diode based disinfection of water for point of use application under APA, ERA and ASI/ARENA scholarships.

In 2012, I graduated from UNSW with a Bachelors of Engineering in Photovoltaics and Solar Energy with First Class Honours. During my undergraduate career, I had authored two conference papers, one of which received a highly commended award for the Wal Read Memorial Prize titled Comparison of Bypass Diode Technologies published in the AuSES Solar 2011 Conference Proceedings.

I was a Taste of Research Scholarship recipient undertaking a project with the School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems on Wi-Fi localization, authoring several posters, one of which was award winning. This summer scholarship resulted in my first conference paper titled Differences in RSSI readings made by different Wi-Fi chipsets: A limitation of WLAN localization published in the ICL-GNSS 2011 Conference Proceedings which is available to IEEE Xplore members here.

During the period of 2009 to 2012, I was involved as a lab demonstrator for UNSW Electrical Engineering and Telecommunication’s ELEC2141 (Digital Circuit Design) and ELEC2142 (Embedded Systems Design) courses. In doing so, I was responsible for assessing students, as well as facilitating their learning through programming and circuit construction exercises. A certain level of debugging ability is required, and new challenges always present themselves along the way. It was very enjoyable and refreshing to see different ways of solving a problem, as well as challenging to debug code in Verilog, C and ARM-Assembly that was written by someone else. I was also engaged as a lab manual author and editor for ELEC2141, having developed several exercises and refined the content of the manual over several years.

I was also mentioned in the UNSW Engineering Dean’s Honour List for high achievement in 2008, recognising my academic achievements in 2007. I had also represented UNSW Electrical Engineering on their open days in 2007 and 2009. I was also a member of BlueSAT, a student run organization at UNSW to build and launch a student-built amateur radio packet satellite (which still hasn’t happened yet). I was responsible for several teams and was involved in maintenance of their antennas (you can see some photos here if you scroll down).

I was a Co-Op scholarship recipient, having entered UNSW in an Electrical Engineering program. As part of the program, I had undertaken leadership camp (quite an enjoyable experience) and undergone industrial training at the NSW Department of Commerce in the Building Engineering Services department where I was responsible for drawings of the photovoltaics system on the NSW Parliament House for the development application and was involved in the tender process, as well as performing lighting modelling, circuit breaker sizing and cost estimations. My final presentation for my industrial training experience is here.

I was schooled in Australia and attended Cabramatta West Public School, Harrington Street Public School, Hambledon Primary School and Sefton High School. I was a selective school student at Sefton High, as well as being a prefect, peer mediator and yearbook editor. I received a double premier award (the highest merit system award), as well as the Deputy Principal’s award for technical services to the school. I was also involved in school representation in the Australian Science Olympiad, as well as the Great Engineering Challenge having ranked highly in science subjects. I was also involved in leading the Electronics Club and developing a CNC-milling pattern for their electronics courses.

From a very young age, I have been interested in electronics and computing no doubt thanks to the teachers who have schooled me along the way (especially Mr. Mitchell Thomas, Mr. Brian Cawley and Mr. George Frangos), and my Dad who taught me how to use the computer. Over time, this has expanded to other technical hobbies including photography, satellite TV, amateur radio, scanning and short-wave listening/monitoring. I enjoy building computers, and overclocking. I am proficient at soldering and like to build circuits and work with embedded systems/microcontrollers.

For a period of time, I was a writer for Australian Personal Computing (APC) Magazine (some contributions I wrote here, here, here, here and here) but that eventually became problematic due to organizational problems.

Lately, I have been involved with element14’s community, especially in producing RoadTest reviews and featuring in instructional webinars.

I currently am a licensed foundation level radio amateur license and possess a full unrestricted driver’s license.

I also enjoy TV shows such as Community, The Big Bang Theory, 39318_105163456208853_190268_nMythbusters and Top Gear. In fact, sometimes I find it hard not to associate myself with Sheldon and the group …

This blog represents a work of passion – which I hope will come in useful or handy for those who read it. I don’t earn anything from it – in fact, I pay for it to be hosted, and I write what I feel like, and make no bones about it. There is fact, and there will be experience and opinion – I try to present it the way I feel makes most sense and covers an area in a complete holistic manner. It is built from the spare time and energy that I have, and sometimes “distracts” me from work I should be doing because I enjoy writing for you – the reader.

For a full list of publications and appearances, please see this page.

34 Responses to About Me

  1. Moser says:

    Loved your posts about SDR! I’m currently getting into it myself

  2. Absolutely remarkable (in a good way) posts about Vintage Computer Diskette Hardware … Kryoflux et al. We are so very impressed and we’ll definitely be adding you to our RSS feeds. regards Marcus and Agata.

    • lui_gough says:

      Dear Marcus,

      Thanks very much for your positive remarks. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed some of my posts – I know not all of them are interesting to everyone, but I try to cover a variety of different topics.

      I have taken a look at your blog – you haven’t enabled commenting, although for your post about IBM’s IP address, the reason is due to a service called CDN (Content Distribution/Delivery Network). They have contracted with Akamai Technologies to “bring their website closer to their end users” for a better experience (speed-wise). As a result, depending on where you do a DNS lookup for http://www.ibm.com, you will be returned the result for your nearest Akamai Technologies cache which contains IBM’s website – this way, the data travels through less hops, the main site is protected against large volumes of data “clogging the pipes”, it’s protected against some attacks (e.g. DDoS), ISPs may be happier because they can use peering bandwidth instead of expensive transit to deliver the website and the end user sees faster load times.

      You will find many major sites are using Akamai Technologies CDN technology to deliver their websites – e.g. Apple, Facebook. There are other CDN providers which you may notice while surfing the internet – e.g. CloudFlare, CloudFront, Edgecast, Limelight just to name a few popular ones.

      I hope that answers your question 🙂 If I could leave a comment on your post, I would have!

      – Gough

  3. Darryl Morris says:

    Thank you for interesting reading on such a wide variety of subjects. Every day that passes without learning something new is a wasted day. Your articles are comprehensive and very enlightening. Great work. Thank you. DM.

    • lui_gough says:

      Dear DM,

      Many thanks for your comment and encouragement. It’s just part of what keeps me going :). I hope you enjoy further posts to come, although I realize not all posts will be to everyone’s liking.

      – Gough

  4. John says:

    Hi Lui Gough – sorry to bother you but because you are so smart I would like to ask you a question / problem that I have with my Twinhan Magic Box 2 model 7046 which I resently installed on my windows 7 lap top – when I try to launch the program I get a pop-up that says “can not support the card or driver – please check them” – everything else appears to be correctly installed and connected ?:-)
    thanks regards John

    • lui_gough says:

      First check if you are running Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 7 32-bit through your Control Panel -> System and Security -> System. If you’re running 32-bit, then it’s as simple as running the PC-TV application using administrative privileges (configure via Properties, Compatibility).

      If you are running Windows 7 64-bit, the default Twinhan application will not work regardless of setting as it doesn’t seem to like its own 64-bit drivers however, the BDA drivers still install and function. It’s a matter of trying alternate TV tuning programs to see if they will work with the card. You might want to try ProgDVB, and configure it for a BDA Source, which should pick up your Twinhan card. There are other tuning programs out there, like AltDVB or even VLC via Open Capture Device. Others have used the tuner via Windows Media Center with no trouble.

      It’s definitely not a plug-and-play operation and stability is not guaranteed, but I typically run the tuners on Linux nowadays and use mumudvb to serve them through the network. The tuners are about 10 years old (I would know since I own four of them) … and the company has been bought out and no longer develops TV tuners, so if anything, it’s overdue for retirement (from the technological sense). New tuners are cheap, so if you don’t feel like wading through a sea of BDA driver technicalities, you might as well just buy a new one that is supported. Some (e.g. the RTL2832 based DVB-T tuners from eBay) start from as low as US$12. Because of this, it’s really not worth my time to walk you through and troubleshoot every issue.

      – Gough

      • John says:

        Hi Gough
        Thanks for your advice (I know you have a few of the Twinhans Magic Box/s thats why I asked you) I did as you said – I configured user privileges on my 32 bit pc but still it did not work? I know that I should get rid of it but I just want to see it work (it has been in the box unopened brand new for years and now that I eventually took it out it will not launch? it is very frustrating when you are defeated by something so simple!?:-)
        thamks again I will keep on trying –
        best regards John

  5. Andy Gough says:

    Hi Gough, I’m hoping you might know how I can find information on a 3.7/8400mah powerbank I have & am having trouble using. It’s labelled WE.COM model M9 with a micro usb input of 5v 1A and 2 5voutputs, one is 1A and the other2A.I’d appreciate any input you might have. Thanks, Andy

    • lui_gough says:

      Unfortunately, the information you have provided doesn’t seem to match up with any unit I can see online by searching. Most power banks share similar characteristics in terms of having two outputs.

      The operation of a power bank should be fairly straightforward. Start by charging the unit by attaching the unit to a USB charger with supplied cable. Once charged up, it should be as simple as connecting a device to be charged to the USB A-F port. If charging doesn’t automatically commence, you may need to press a physical power button to activate the output. Try both short-presses, long-presses and or double-presses. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

      If it still doesn’t operate, please check your cables and whether it’s been plugged in correctly. Otherwise, try a different end device as it may be a compatibility problem (e.g. power bank is designed for Apple charging, device expects to see something different).

      – Gough

  6. Mike says:

    I am trying to get the PI B+ to work with the Xtrinsic sense board, but it won’t boot with the image from Element 14, the PI just shows no activity. I got the B+ to boot with Raspbian but I don’t know much so I can’t figure how to load the software for the sensor board. I also got the Xtrinsic image to work fine on and old B model? I am not a Linux or Pi guy so my knowledge is very limited. Any Ideas

  7. Yuriy Nazarenko says:

    Hi Lui, I liked your review about Fiio x1 player( I read it twice),very interesting and full, it’s very hard to add something else, thank you.
    Yuriy.

  8. Victor says:

    Hello Gough, I read many of your great article about power banks. Do you know why many people who uses unbranded (cheap) power banks got their battery swollen in months ? What’s the most reasons ? (e.g. overcharging, overvoltage, overcurrent, noise and ripple, etc.)

    • lui_gough says:

      Swelling normally is more visible with Li-Polymer cells more than Li-Ion cells, as Li-Poly cells have normally a “soft” plastic outer jacket, whereas Li-Ion have metal outer casings. However, since both chemistries are virtually identical, both chemistries have been observed to swell.

      Swelling can occur when the cell is overcharged/overdischarged or left at a high state of charge for a very long time. Another cause is poor manufacturing – i.e. too much moisture in the battery, or storage at high temperatures. The cause is likely related to impurities in the components that make up the cell, which cause chemical reactions that produce gas, causing the cell to balloon.

      Better quality cells, treated properly, should not be observed to swell in their useful lifetime of 3 years or thereabouts.

      I’m sure a Li-Ion expert somewhere has a better explanation – e.g. http://barnson.org/node/1842

      – Gough

      • Victor says:

        Thanks Gough, keep posting !!!

        • Victor says:

          I forgot something, what’s the meaning of overcharging ? If it’s mean to leave the phone at charged after reached 100%, but if I use charger doctor, it will turned 0.00A after 100% charged. Is it still bad to the battery even it shows 0.00A ?

          • lui_gough says:

            Technically, for Li-Ion and Li-Polymer, overcharging means a case of where the internal circuitry to the phone or power-bank doesn’t stop charging at the right voltage (which changes due to temperature) and instead continues to charge beyond the cell’s recommended maximum. This might increase capacity slightly, but it will also increase the voltage stress on the separator, increase the rate of internal chemical corrosion of the cell and can also be dangerous with extreme overcharging leading to explosion or venting with flame. In Li-Ion and Li-Poly, no continuous trickle charging is possible!

            A user should not be able to induce this condition in properly designed products regardless of how long they leave it on the charger. Only products with poor design or component failures will allow the battery to be overcharged, although slight overcharging isn’t immediately dangerous, repeated overcharging may be a contributor in the swelling battery problem.

            If the Charger Doctor reports 0.00A, then the device is operating as intended and has terminated the charging process because it thinks the battery is full. But if its internal circuitry is flawed, then it still may have caused damage to the battery.

            – Gough

  9. Victor says:

    Thanks for the explanations, I thought it’s only about amperage. As you test a lot of power banks, I suggest you do test only famous power banks like you did with Xiaomi brand. Because if you test unknown (aka cheap) brands, not many people can utilize your reviews. You did great with revealing noise and ripple values, as not many reviewers did that. Keep reviewing…….

    • lui_gough says:

      Dear Victor,

      I think it’s important to realize that I do the reviews because I feel like doing them – unfortunately, while reviewing more popular famous branded products are perceived as being more useful, such products are often more expensive and unless I buy them myself because I feel like owning it, there isn’t many chances to test or review such products. The supply of money is, of course, limited as a student as is the need to accumulate many devices of a single type.

      Ironically, the cheap unknown brands are often where there are no reviews at all and they turn up the most educationally interesting characteristics which makes the article very worthwhile in the sense of contributing something new that nobody else has thought to do.

      – Gough

      • Victor says:

        Yes, I understood about the cost reason of the branded power banks such as Sony, Energizer, Panasonic, etc. But if you tested the cheap unknown brands, even the result was good, we couldn’t find it easily in the market. As most are OEM, so they use different brand on different markets.

        I wish you test the Anker brand (#1 in U.S.) but unfortunately you’re not eligible to joint their Power User Program as you’re not reside in the chosen country.

        So, next cheap branded power bank should be OnePlus $15…..let’s wait….

  10. hartwinder singh says:

    My best of luck for you…you are such a gem..i liked all that i read here…plz carry on you passion..
    Its worth doing …

  11. Jin says:

    HI Gough, found your site while looking for Xiaomi powerbank reviews. Your articles are very informative and I just kept reading. I learned many technical stuff, and now I’m not going to buy cheap unbranded powerbanks to save my life! A quick question though, I am going to buy this new phone with “fast-charging” feature. Is this supported by a scientifically possible fact or just a marketing thing? And are non-removable batteries on phones a bad thing? I read about your samsung replacement battery post, and I fear that the battery-fattening is possible on non-removable ones and render the phone unusable in a few years. I hope you’d reply. Thanks alot!

    • lui_gough says:

      Fast charging is indeed a real “thing”. The technology deviates from regular USB charging by “negotiating” using a special protocol between the charger and the phone to allow the charger to supply a higher voltage (9v, 12v, etc) which improves power transfer by reducing cable and connector resistive losses. This is how the Qualcomm fast charge technology, used in most flagship Android phones today, achieves this feat.

      Previously fast-charging involved using a special “signalling” on the D+ and D- pins to inform the device that the charger is capable of higher currents (up to 2.4A at 5v for example). This was accomplished at the same fixed USB standard 5v, and thus, was just a matter of increasing the supply capability. Sadly, this is problematic mainly due to the energy lost in the cable in the form of voltage drop (I have an article about that here: http://goughlui.com/2014/10/01/usb-cable-resistance-why-your-phonetablet-might-be-charging-slow/)

      Sadly, the number of power banks that support such fast charging is very limited and I haven’t had my hands on one nor a device that could actually utilize it. As a result, I can’t comment on the reliability or quality of the fast-charging-capable power banks. However, fast charging in general, while convenient for end users, can be harmful to the cycle life of the battery if not carefully controlled. As a result, most of the advertisements typically claim a fast charge for a range (i.e. 1 hour to 60%), as the fast charge can only really occur when the battery is towards the low-end of its state of charge. Towards the high end, the risk of overcharging/overvoltage is too high, thus the charge current tapers off to a regular charge when it reaches near full (i.e. above 80%). At the fully-depleted end, the lithium-ion battery isn’t capable of receiving fast charging, so normally it is trickled until a minimum pre-set level, and then fast charging kicks in.

      Non-removable batteries in phones can be a bad thing, but it might not be as bad as it seems. This highly depends on the quality of the cell used and the quality of the charging protection/control provided. With proper design and quality parts, it is reasonable to expect most users will upgrade their phones before the battery has too much capacity depletion (many are on 2 year upgrade cycles, so at one cycle a day, is about 800 cycles – most Li-Ion/Poly cells claim 300-500 cycles to 80% of original capacity, however, as some of my testing shows, they can handily exceed this).

      However, if the cells are poorly made and somehow contain moisture and impurities, or the circuitry is incorrectly overcharging the cells, then an early cell death is indeed possible and this is definitely a concern. Despite the cells being non-removable, some of them can still be replaced if you have the adequate tools and dexterity to attempt it at home, or you can find a cell phone repair shop to do it at a reasonable cost. Thus, it might not be too big of a problem. You don’t, however, have the flexibility to carry spare batteries around with you, but I suppose the proliferation of USB power banks have mitigated this issue to some degree.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      – Gough

      • Jin says:

        Thanks a lot for the really complete answer! I appreciate it very much. I guess I will not have a problem on non-removable battery if I purchase a good brand like apple or samsung. By the way, the email subscription for the comments didn’t seem to work. I wasn’t notified when you replied. Thanks again!

  12. Glenn says:

    Hello Gough,

    If it wasn’t for the over inflated shipping cost to ship an item from the USA to Australia, you would have a world of pagers to choose from.. I have been in the paging industry since 1985. I still sell mainly Motorola products but do sell an off brand occasionally. My eBay ID is thumper696969 if you can’t find something in your country. The USA ran VHF mostly in the 151-165 range, but since
    the late 90’s many synthesized units sill cover your 148 MHz tinkering needs.

    Glenn

    • lui_gough says:

      Highly agreed! Getting something from the USA is a bit of a double-whammy with both the shipping cost, and before, our exchange rates were not favourable either. I am aware you guys seem to also run VHF 450Mhz or so, as well as UHF 900Mhz as well. If anything, pager penetration in the US was much higher than it was in Australia – I don’t think we ever had a two-way pager service either for that matter, and Flex was not highly popular here with only one provider offering Flex from memory. The rest were all old-fashioned POCSAG/Super-POCSAG.

      – Gough

  13. paddedjungle says:

    I came across this blog on searching for information regarding the Sydney Trains API. Super interesting Gough! Great work!

  14. shaunakde says:

    I love your blog. I am so glad I found it. The information here is so well presented and complete. Thank you!

  15. Mr. Gough
    I read aout you as well as some of your work. I am 65 years of age and went back to school.
    Thank You

  16. Intel Slave says:

    You are Gold Gough!
    The best type of reviewer, organized and unbiased!

    Please continue your work and appraisals.
    Straight to my favourites.

  17. Pradeep says:

    Thank you for your post titled ‘Review: Avantree Bluetooth 4.0 Micro USB Dongle’. Helped me resolve the issue with my CSR8510 bluetooth USB dongle and bluetooth headset.

  18. Abdulsslam says:

    thanks Mr.Gough, you article about the electronic-ballast was so interesting and informative
    Abdulsslam

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