* Posts by Fr Barry

32 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Sep 2010

Move over Raspberry Pi, give kids a Radio Ham Pi - minister

Fr Barry
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"Phone, ok, PS, well, the controlers are wireless, but DVD? Sorry, no wireless communnication that uses radio-waves on mine, just IR."

IR is electromagnetic radiation just the same as Radio 4, just a much higher frequency. It is also modulated, like "radio" to convey your instructions.

Scots council: 9-yr-old lunch blogger was causing 'distress and harm'

Fr Barry
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Re: The ban has now been lifted

I was just going to say that!


Fr Barry

Totally unnecessary

I'm with mrmond and sam, totally unnecessary use of the language. I'm no prude either but this was totally unexpected from el reg. I think I shall be following Sam...

Fingerprint scanner can detect drugs in sweat

Fr Barry

I was just about to go out for a smoke when I saw you comment and so had to stay to upvote it.

NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

Fr Barry
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Have a read of this then


Google unfurls Dead Sea Scrolls

Fr Barry

But then again

According to the Old Testament, of which these scrolls form an important part, it was an Apple which caused mankind's downfall in the first place.

No change there then

Google crams arsenal with 1,000 IBM patents

Fr Barry

And die by the sword...

It should be it's as it is a contraction of it is or it has, the apostrophe indicating there are letters missing. The possessive of "it" is its without the apostrophe! Trying to remember (old age is a pita) but I seem to recall the latter is the Saxon genitive case.

Sake is possessed by fuck and so imho the apostrophe is correct in that too.

Low blow: Phishers target student loan applicants

Fr Barry

Stop hotlinking graphics

I find it amazing how many financial phishing emails we stop that have their embedded graphics and logos directly from the organisation's web site. Simple expedient of preventing hot linking would help.

Also government departments are guilty of doing this too.

Ofcom clears 4G for maritime navigation

Fr Barry

According to the ever correct wiki

The metre (or meter), symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI).


And in the US it is likely to be meter http://www.grammarist.com/spelling/meter-metre/

Radio society responds to radio selloff

Fr Barry


So you can imagine a 5W TETRA handset working ok on the same frequency as a 10kW digital TV Tx

Opera 11.50 debuts with Speed Dial extensions

Fr Barry

And the best ...

... just got better

Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

Fr Barry

10 m has been open

There has been some very good propagation on 28MHz recently, Driving home the other day working the 10m repeater in Sweden for example. Dust off the cobwebs and have a listen, you may be surprised


Sony hack reveals password security is even worse than feared

Fr Barry

Or smartphones

Use the camera to take a picture of your retina?

Has Steve Jobs killed the consumer hard disk industry?

Fr Barry


I still have an innate fear of giving all my data to somebody else to look after on terms and conditions they can change whenever they want http://www.geek.com/articles/news/ftc-complaint-says-dropbox-lied-about-data-security-20110516/

4G interference will knock out Freeview

Fr Barry

Erm, no...

"A proper band filter will chop out the signal at well less than 600hz, amateures do it all the time, just look at their repeater systems."

The 144 MHz band uses 600kHz spacing but when you get up to 430 MHz we use 1.6 MHz spacing. At 1300 MHz this increases still further to 6MHz spacing. This is done with very expensive filters at the repeater site not at the "consumer" end of the link. The cost of installing cavity filters at thousands of homes would be astronomical plus, they will need regular retuning to maintain optimum filter shaping (dropping one will mistune it for example)

Commercial operators use much wider frequency spacing because it is then possible to use cheaper filters (and they have the frequency allocations to do it.

Hollywood to 'retell' Carrie

Fr Barry


not filming that in Japan then

How bin Laden thwarted US electronic surveillance

Fr Barry

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Leave my dog collar alone please...

Steven Moffat promises 'darker' Doctor Who

Fr Barry


Catherine Tate

Middle England chokes on Nice Baps

Fr Barry
Paris Hilton

A liverpool pub...

called the cockwell In(n) http://tinyurl.com/3nhqrj9

Ofcom forced to publish tests on dodgy radio kit

Fr Barry

Not to mention

mid Atlantic communications to/from aircraft

your wifi

Chicken Little report: Sat-nav dependency spells DISASTER!

Fr Barry


Another standard frequency I used to use was BBC Radio 4 Long Wave on 200 Kc/s. This was picked up on a long wave receiver, the audio filtered out, squared off and passed through assorted TTL dividers (divide by 200) to give a very accurate frequency source (and hence timing source). I believe it was (and still is?) accurate to 1 second in 3000 years and monitored by the National Physical Laboratory. My frequency source is no longer used as Radio 4 moved to 198 KHz and I didn't bother building a new one with new dividers.

Fr Barry

Oh yes they do

" the "MSF" (nobody really knows what this stands for) radio station ..."

MSF is the callsign allocated to the transmitting station. The "M" being one of the ITU allocated callsign prefixes (we also have 2 and G) and its original callsign was GBR.

Those who used to watch Zcars will probably remember "BD to zvictor1" coming over their police radios - the BD being short for M2BD, the Lancashire police callsign I believe. All radio amateurs in the UK have callsigns starting with 2, G or M.

More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_sign

73 from G4HDU

Android phone to replace shop till

Fr Barry

A brilliant idea

"This would be convenient if you didn't want to use your phone, or your battery ran out."

Or as in my case where my HTC desire has been back with Carphone Warehouse for the past 8 days because it decided to go into the multiple reboot then die mode. Not a feature google or HTC told me about when I got it

If I was using this technology I'd be stuck not being able to by my smokes or get to work on public transport.

Casio touts 'Bluetooth Low Energy' wristwatch with 2 year battery

Fr Barry


"Could this be rigged so if your bluetooth device drops out of range your watch buzzes?"

A reverse feature that buzzes when you come in to close range of the phone so you can find where you put it down - find the lost phone feature just by wandering around the house/office. My daughter SO needs that facility...

Christmas shoppers hit by BT fire

Fr Barry

We use 3G with ADSL failover

One of our sites has such poor ADSL (512k on a good day) that the Billion Router we have their is set to use 3G for normal usage. If the 3G fails for whatever reason the router automatically fails over to the BT adsl, works a treat.

Fr Barry

I remember SIDE

That was the most memorable of trade test films. I watched it when I was about 10 and have never forgotten its message. It is a principle I have always followed.

I wonder if it is available on youtube, would love to see it again.

Steelie Neelie floats pan-European phone number notion

Fr Barry

say no to 0870

Have you tried http://www.saynoto0870.com/ to look up the standard number. We use it all the time so that we don't get charged the massive fees on our mobile phones. Many web sites also have lurking for overseas visitors a normal number too.

Fr Barry

Yes some people do watch it

The European Curling championship has been on Eurosport all week.

Ofcom slaps down ham botherer

Fr Barry

The point is...

Radio will still work long after your internet connection and mobile phone network has gone down. Almost every country in the world which licenses amateur radio operation also has a dedicated network of operators who train and liaise with their local emergency services. In the event of some disaster (tsunami, earthquake etc) when power has been lost or the communications infrastructure damaged or overloaded radio amateurs can still deploy effective communication channels. These channels can be voice (analogue or digital) or digital (packet radio, amtor, psk etc) and can be local, national or international.

Do you realise how much of your "skype" connection uses some form of technology based on or derived from wireless? Maybe a satellite broadband connection or wifi link is used. Designers are needed to develop such technologies and amateur radio has been a good starting point for many such engineers and designers.

Transatlantic aircraft still use shortwave radio for communications and the frequencies they use are subject to varying propagation conditions. A world wide network of radio amateurs, who can devote far more time to propagation studies, still continues to provide valuable information to the professionals.

And, it is a fun hobby to boot.

73 de G4HDU

Erotica 2010: One big Teese, and a bit of a flop

Fr Barry

An ounce of shag please on my carpet

Several other polite meanings are a fine cut tobacco or a style of deep pile carpets. And of course there is "Shaggy" from Scoobie Doo with his shag pile beard

'Spacetime cloak' could act as 'Star Trek transporter'

Fr Barry

The chicken

For all the technology and science behind this it doesn't explain why the chicken crossed the road.

Penguin because there is no chicken

Vacuum-wielding thieves siphon €500,000 from store safes

Fr Barry
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Sadly I must be much older than you as I remember one shop in Southend (Soapers) which had the precursor system comprising wires running all over the ceiling back to the central cash desk. I was always fascinated by it when we went in. Money and bill was put into a container and coupled up to the transporter and then sent whizzing off to the cash desk. These "cash railways" are described at http://www.ids.u-net.com/cash/index.htm