Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tech Flashback: Future Vision Multimedia’s Infopedia

Remember these wretched things? Yes, that’s a volume (number 21) of the Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia. Well and truly a relic of the past, physical paper-based encyclopedias are relegated to uselessness. Aside from being entirely static, extremely expensive, … Continue reading

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Teardown: Huawei E153u and E160E 3G USB Modems

It’s been a week of not having ADSL2+ and my connection has been relying on an assortment of USB 3G modems which I have collected over the years. Lets take a look at two of them – a Virgin Mobile … Continue reading

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Situation update and a mixed bag of opinions …

If you think it’s been quiet around here lately – well, that’s because it has been! Not that I wanted it to be quiet. Unfortunately, things always get in the way of getting blog posts written, but they also present … Continue reading

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Cityrail ticket barriers being upgraded for Opal – Western Line next?

Another morning, another journey into uni – although this time, instead of travelling to my normally preferred station (Granville), because of the bus times, I travelled to Auburn. In my brief stay at Auburn station this morning (about 10:50am on … Continue reading

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More Trouble at Home: Roof Leaks

For a tech blog, it’s been a little bit random as of late. Unfortunately, trouble often comes all at once. After the root was excavated and the pipe was repaired – that wasn’t the end of the story just yet. … Continue reading

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Project: Arduino Clock with DVD Player LED Display

A while ago, an Aldi DVD player with a dead laser pickup landed on my desk. Not being economically worth repairing, it was to be scrapped anyhow. I found the front panel had a potted LED module – so I … Continue reading

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Pipe Excavation – Offending Tree Root Found!

The sewage backflow event proved to be a rather troublesome issue – it’s nice that the strata has been able to get quotes and approved for Megacorp and Platinum Hot Water and Plumbing to survey and repair the pipe. It … Continue reading

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Salvage: Duracell RM4R Mercury Cells

I suppose this is another one of those “I never thought I’d get my hands on this” kinda salvages. I won’t say where this was salvaged from, but if you’ve been reading along, you could probably take a guess. It … Continue reading

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What happens when heavy machinery meets telephone line?

Those who have been connected with me on Facebook would know that on Friday (21st) morning, I lost my normally-reliable naked ADSL2+ service with TPG. Coincidentally, over the night of the 20th to the 21st, Downer Engineering, on behalf of … Continue reading

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Tech Flashback: Tcard

Since I was cleaning up the house because there’s a council clean-up on the way, and things had been flooded with sewage – I managed to unearth many old items I had kept and almost completely forgotten about. This is … Continue reading

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Salvage: HP 5243L/5245M/5426L Frequency Counter Plug-in Modules

Time’s always been an issue – but salvage doesn’t wait for a blog post! A month ago, while visiting the Electrical Engineering (is not a) dumping ground at UNSW, I came across four modules, each inside its own cardboard sleeve … Continue reading

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Salvage: Foxtel Cable Smartcard

Another one of my old salvages surfaced today as I did some cleaning up of my room – it’s a Foxtel Digital Cable Smartcard. This was taken out of an Amstrad branded cable tuner (if memory serves me correct). The … Continue reading

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Kogan LED Light Globes – Unwelcome RF Noise!

Today, I fired up my Winradio G31DDC SDR for some HF action, but wait a sec – what’s that noise all over the place? That wasn’t there before!!! The above is a spectrogram (click for larger – resized to 50%) … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Lighting | Tagged , | 1 Comment

RTL2832 (ISDB Mini) ADS-B Reception Field Test

After I realized that the RTL2832 TV dongles were capable of receiving and decoding ADS-B transmissions from aircraft using ADSB#, I really couldn’t resist testing it out further. It was a simple one-click (well, almost) procedure, unlike the early incarnations … Continue reading

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Review: Kogan 8W LED Light Bulbs (E27 and B22)

I’ve always been a fan of energy efficiency. Those compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) which people love to hate just don’t bother me at all. I’ve lived through the blink-blink starter pre-heat type, to the “delayed start” preheat type, right up … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Lighting | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Checking out NFC Smartposters

To most consumers, NFC technology is still in its infancy. There really hasn’t been much to do with NFC for most people – you could write a few NDEF tags to trigger URLs, phone numbers, or even actions. And for … Continue reading

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Opinion: Tech giants stumbling …

Normally, I try not to write opinion pieces – I’m (admittedly) not an industry insider, but I do follow the tech news with some enthusiasm, often becoming disappointed at the “new”. It seems we are living in a climate where … Continue reading

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My Opus: Vivid Sydney 2013 Timelapse Video – Final Version

Earlier, I put a little short first-timelapse teaser out there. It was a first attempt with bits played back at 12fps and others at 24fps – smoothness was a bit of an issue, but I was learning. I also made … Continue reading

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Teardown: Kogan Pixie Digital Radio

After covering my impressions about the Kogan Pixie Digital Radio in my previous post, I thought – why not be daring and take it apart just to see what’s inside? That’s exactly what I did! The rear shell is held … Continue reading

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DAB+ Digital Radio in Sydney and Review: Digital Radio Receivers

Digital Radio is nothing new, after all, the Digital Radio Plus campaign has been running for a while, advocating radio that doesn’t sound like sh*t. Yeah right! The Radios I suppose if you’re in the market for a Digital Radio, … Continue reading

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ADS-B with RTL-2832 based USB TV dongles made easy!

If anything, I think Realtek and ezCap are very happy companies when hobbyists discovered they could leverage a mode inside the low-cost TV-tuner chipset to get direct access to I/Q samples at a decent rate (2-3MS/s at 8 bits). Many … Continue reading

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Opal Card trial expanding to the Train on 14th June

As I’ve been a bit busy, this post comes a bit late – in fact, all of these things happened at the beginning of this week, but it’s still worth a mention. Apologies for the poor photos – I just … Continue reading

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e-QSL Cards: Radio New Zealand International, Metservice

It’s been a bit too busy for me to chase broadcasts – but the QSL cards trickle in. Radio New Zealand International accepts QSL requests via their website, and offer electronic QSL cards for free – I’ll call them e-QSL … Continue reading

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Cheap Li-Ion Replacement Batteries – “Lies, damned lies …”

Most people may have a phone – maybe an older one where the battery is just no longer holding enough useful charge. Or maybe it’s a camcorder, where you need some more record time, or a Bluetooth GPS unit. Whatever … Continue reading

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Site Update: Sewage Flooding, CeBIT Australia, Vivid Sydney, etc.

I suppose some of my followers may have noticed that posts have been somewhat thin on the ground recently, and that is definitely true. Recent developments with my PhD have meant a lot of time being taken up by it … Continue reading

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TPG DNS Problems – VoIP not working, sites unreachable

TPG is one of Australia’s most value-for-money ISPs. I have been a loyal customer of theirs, being on an old Naked ADSL2+ plan with VoIP bundled in, and generally speed and reliability have been nothing short of brilliant for the … Continue reading

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