* Posts by Conundrum1885

531 posts • joined 29 Oct 2014


Quantum computing heats up down under as researchers reckon they know how to cut costs and improve stability

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Quantum chips

Recall reading an article that chips can be cooled using light.

Wonder if this approach could be used? Linde cycle refrigerators are unfortunately quite large.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

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Re. Turning off phones at night

Actually this is a good idea, as it extends battery life slightly.

Heat is the main enemy of Li-ion and letting the phone cool down once a day

means it has 8 hours where the battery isn't at >45 degrees so factoring in a 5% reduction per Celsius over its recommended operating temperature means the battery life should be roughly 15% longer

If the switch is rated for 10,000 cycles then the chances are the phone will run out of battery life before the switch fails.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

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Actually if the firmware subtly adjusted the timing then it might make a difference.

Changing a signal delay by 10ms is certainly enough to mess up the cancellation and

its been well documented that such a small change can have a large effect.

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

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Re: What about

There's a lot to be said for handing over full control of social media to the Government, in terms of controlling the flow of information during a global crisis so people aren't misled or given blatantly incorrect advice that might (and some cases will) do actual damage.

Case in point someone died because they didn't understand the difference between aquarium grade chemicals and ended up taking 100* too much, which could have been easily avoided.

I for one would cheer when the anti-vaxxers, 5G conspiracy wingnuts and suchlike are locked away en masse as they should be to protect everyone else.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 line has had a good run with four years of security updates – but you'll want to trade yours in now

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Actually the biggest threat at the moment is rogue updates to existing installed applications.

I am actually all for having manufacturers buy back old devices that are out of support. Not everyone can

afford to buy a better phone at the moment and people are using online banking a lot more due to the


Drones intone 'you must stay home,' eliciting moans from those in the zone: Flying gizmos corral Brits amid coronavirus lockdown

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Re: Don't give them ideas...

Mosquito. With directional modification and amplifier so it has a range of 200 metres.

Modify camera so it can pan and tilt the squeaker.

Deploy at Blackpool beach to punish eejits.


UK Information Commissioner OKs use of phone data to track coronavirus spread

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Re. phone tracking

Actually there's any number of ways to effectively track a phone.

I recently discovered a method using the faint acoustic signals from the switching power supply

inside, even to the extent that it can track battery use.

The detector can just be a simple piezo sounder originally intended for distance measurement but a modified tweeter from a TV can also be used.

I manaded to pick up the weak signal from the base clock and this is a very effective method: even turning the phone off didn't silence it.

Don't believe the hype: Today's AI unlikely to best actual doctors at diagnosing patients from medical scans

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Lack of data??

If it wasn't for the current crisis I'd probably have gone for an MRI anyway.

Apparently a basic scan isn't *that* expensive and it would be handy to have a base comparison.

The data thus gathered could have actual applications, such as providing direct information on

my neural anatomy for things like EEG inferfaces and other non invasive monitoring.

There's a lot to be said for every doctor's surgery having one in terms of rapid diagnosis as the

vast majority of modern scanners are comparatively low field due to advances in technology.

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging

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Re. Gloves and masks

I did the right thing and donated my spare stock to nearby neighbours who can actually use them.

Irony: had a few boxes of latex unused due to allergies so bagging them up is feasible if the health authorities

really do start to run out having gone through the cafes, vets and dentists.

The bigger problem is lack of basic equipment that unfortunately didn't get ordered due to

entirely avoidable politics so they are having to go without in many cases.

Incidentally if you have a few pairs of nitrile its worth saving them and soaking them for 30 minutes in HOT water

in a dedicated container with a mechanical oscillation above the maximum temperature which is IIRC 62C then dry out and reuse.

Better than nothing IMHO and they can be checked and saved for tasks actually requiring a germproof barrier using light method

then disposed of safely.


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This is where the nice maker folks can help out.

Its not hard to make an accurate non contact thermometer and IR chips from old defunct security scanners can be used.

The method I found is to use a drone or phone vibrate motor, take off the weight by crushing and solder a pair of wires to the connector.

Simple beam interrupt is all you need here and a single high gain bipolar transistor such as 2SD965 as the preamplifier.

Connect output of the preamp to a very basic readout such as a battery meter, run motor at about 1V and there you have it!

Add lens to fit, using the good old fashioned cylindrical casing from dead till roll method.

Calibration isn't too hard if you happen to have a kettle (100C) and ice (0C) along with a piece of flat black plastic as the

reference or pyrolytic graphite if you wanted to go all high tech.

I have a modifed calibrated IRT here which now has a yellow LED backlight instead of the red dot as needed it for other projects.

Broadcom sues Netflix for its success: You’re stopping us making a fortune from set-top boxes, moans chip designer

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Whatever happened to a "Gentlemans Agreement" ?

Netflix: a Broadcom company. Problem solved!

For that matter, Apple and Samsung could bury the hatchet, agree to share fairly and all would be well.

It seems awfully short sighted to sue your competitor for "stealing" when they are indirectly responsible

for the success of your product(s).

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88

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At least now he is free to walk among the stars.

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

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Things I am working on

Finding old phones which have working cameras and enabling USB out, so they can be used as webcams

In fact many cheap Nokias can be firmware bodged even if they have broken SIM slot etc, this is a low level

function so many will do this even if manufacturers won't support it.

Also feasible: Pi noIR as low light camera for folks working odd hours, so they can at least video conference

with different time zones.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

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Re. Patent Hell

Incidentally its not just 3D printed ventilator parts. In the US people can't even legally ask if their heart pacemaker, ICD or other implant(s) have any known firmware defects that are unpatched, nor even find out which version of the software they have.

People have DIED from possible malfunctions linked to this issue when they might have been saved, just to protect IP. Its totally unconscionable to permit such an atrocity.

I would say that this is an issue important enough to justify FEDERAL INTERVENTION against any company that misleads its investors and the public in this way, and take direct control of the board so this can never happen again!

<cough> recalls-pacemakers-due-to-software-error/548668/ </cough>


Tinfoil hat brigade switches brand allegiance to bog paper

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Now would be the time to deploy a few small mobile telepresence units serving double duty as delivery droids and Pirateboxes.

Making them waterproof is left as an exercise for the curious, but most cheap brushless motors are somewhat

water resistant already especially ones from defunct self balancing boards or robot vacuum cleaners.

Adding a pop-up screen wouldn't be ridiculous. "Hey can you put the goods in the basket and swipe the card on the

reader, thanks!" Could also feasibly extend the range on the card using a magnetic relay system on an extending arm.

Include a PIN typer solenoid + camera for the inevitable times it asks for this .

I call this creation the "Pandembot".. heh heh.

ExoMars team delays 2020 Red Planet road trip after failing to complete all necessary testing

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Is hard!

Actually Beagle 2 almost worked, the landing was a little harder than anticipated which doomed it.

The hinge mechanism was a known weak point which alas escaped testing specifically the

vulnerability to one very large jolt, as were the chutes.

For all we know the damage was done during launch or ejecting from the orbiter.

That LVI CPU hole wasn't the only Intel fix: Dozens of flaws patched to stop chips turning into potatoes

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Re. Bugs


Just had to fix this one, for the Nth time, This is 3 major updates in as many weeks.

So far so good, but its only a matter of time before this antique meets its Nemesis.

Half expecting very soon a "Windows 10 is unable to update due to Incompatible Hardware" message.

Astroboffin Kurtz ends 40-year quest to find a predicted one-sided vibrating star that was never seen – until now

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Fifty shades of Plasma

"Hurt me, Hurt me" she said.

"Very well" he said, as he installed Kerbal Space Program and Kubernetes on her Vista powered laptop..

After years of listening, we've heard not a single peep out of any aliens, say boffins. You think you can do better? OK, here's 1PB of signals

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Re. But

In fact this also won't work: entanglement still can't send information faster than light as the changes propagate at C.

However thanks to GR if you can go 57.78% of light speed it might be possible to (Felber) create a wormhole or at least something like it.

This still won't help with the time delay but what it will do is reduce power consumption to more sensible levels.

From what I can make out the hypothesis is that sufficiently advanced aliens could build a ground based laser array on an uninhabited moon

and lock onto the "hyperprobe". This has just enough circuitry to send its pre-recorded message to the systems in line of sight.

After 1.5 million days of computer time, SETI@home heads home to probe potential signs of alien civilizations

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Re: EBEs

Harsh! They are more than likely benign, may even be a lot more advanced than us.

Here's hoping we encounter something like the Vulcans, and not the Klingons.

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Here's hoping they find something.

Incidentally what will folks here do if we find proof of aliens?

It would be a very significant event in human history.

After 16 years of hype, graphene finally delivers on its promise – with a cosmetic face mask

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Incidentally I came up with the idea of fusing cheap (small) pyrolytic graphite sheets together using a pulsed 445nm laser M140 1.6W with glass 3 element lens, RF HV discharge and pressure under argon to make a larger monolithic sheet.

I wonder if there is anything like this in the literature because some searches revealed very little data.

The "secret sauce" is using a pulse transformer from a £9 plasma lighter to generate a radio frequency discharge along the sheet that causes the adjoining surfaces to fuse, similar to the slow process that generates pyrolytic graphite in the first place, with the laser scanning along each axis sequentially.

Its possible to use this process to make HTSCs as well by the "Direct" method with metal carbonates and oxides so BSCCO is incredibly simple.

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Well I am still waiting for the mythical "Room Temperature Magic Angle" material.

I had to resort to making my own version using HEAs, writing up the paper now.

Alas mine still won't work at a range of temperatures but if anyone wants a copy

of the paper as it stands please message me.

Also it appears that though Pb doped graphene does have "interesting" properties

it won't work properly due to Fermil level inconsistencies. I did try but its just not

stable enough for large scale applications.

Its a remarkable thing to see a 10:1 resistance drop in any material but to see it

with something so simple.

Superconductors and graphene

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Superconductors and graphene

Hi, found this on phys.org


As I now have the means to make a "window" material with an apparent Tc in the 278K range though not fully superconducting it does have a sharp resistance drop of over 10:1 down to below the minimum range on my DMM at the time.

Now thanks to some nice folks in the former USSR I have some pure metal samples with known properties, I can get the exact formula with better measuring equipment but it looks like its four metals with a dopant formed using a HEA method based on slowly decreasing temperature under DC bias from an inert electrode such as Ta or W on the vertical axis. Ultrasonic standing wave may help but trying to make this as simple as possible for mass replication once I iron out all the bugs.

To simplify things I may write some Arduino code that performs the correct procedure automatically.

Mostly bismuth with a little zinc, tin and larger amount of indium but having problems getting exact readings due to microscale failure: before it did break a few years back I got the exact formula which is written down in my experimental notes.

The trick as I now know is using zinc chloride flux to reduce oxygen infiltration.

What is *really* strange is that I was able to detect signs of magnetic field spikes from a previously non magnetic material at the "critical" temperature using my EPE magnetic probe with the floppy disk drive 4 pin sensor. Dopant *might* be one of the alkali metals which would make sense (Li, Mg, K etc)

I also noticed very similar spikes when experimenting with graphene and solvent later found to contain mostly MEK and acetone (!) but this one was completely unexplainable however Li or Pb in the matrix could in retrospect have been responsible.

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research

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Its older than Clinton's Presidency!

In fact you could say it sucks like a collapsed star. Only keeping it because both my S3s are down due to screen problems.

Think I have a dead S6 somewhere but £89 for a panel is.. EXTORTIONATE (DALEK voice)

If someone happens to have one with the bootloop please let me know!

My N4 is also a bit on the frelled side, has about the same battery life as a decade old Prius.

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc

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Digs out my

486 laptop.

Always have a "Burner laptop" for those times the SHTF as it still runs 98SE with Firefox + MAFF

Incidentally the 133 chip aka Cyrix upgrade does actually still work though is missing a few pins.

Bit of minor SMD repair to the tracks and voila!

You'll get your money – when this bank has upgraded Windows 7... or bought extended support

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I once had

A N**W**T machine do this. Went to get the money out and NT4 crashed, rebooted and ATE MY FRELLING CARD!!!!!!

Never did get the money back and almost got stranded in the UK.


Recently saw the XP logo over here on a machine undergoing some sort of maintenance.

Honeywell, I blew up the qubits: Thermostat maker to offer cloud access to 'world's most powerful quantum computer' within months

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Its qubits all the way down

Hi, I read an article online posted by the nice folks on "Whistle" and it seems that qubits based on electroluminescence

are a thing now.

Incidentally its said that the phenomenon of trapped light in phosphorescent materials and to a lesser degree OLED is

caused by quantum mechanical effects yielding fascinating effects like quenching it with infrared light.

I have high hopes for my idea of using a ZnS spinning disk as a quantum computer but the problem is using conventional

LEDs makes it too vulnerable to decoherence: has to be single photon ie based on an APD and PLED array.

Incidentally if anyone happens to have a spare IR VCSEL or 10 ideally in the 900nm range, please let me know.

A few spare AD500's wouldn't go amiss.

How's this for a remote support fix? Solar storm early-warning satellite repaired with million-mile software update

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RE. Re. Physics

Yes, this is significantly slower than light. A flare hitting us at even 1/10 of light speed would be very bad.

On the flip side a "Super flare" could explain some of the strange isotope anomalies in the fossil record.

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NASA triumphs again! Seems a similar fix was carried out on Galileo and Curiosity.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain

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Re: RE. Digital signage fail

Was thinking more drilling lots of small holes where the burn is particularly bad and dropping in a diode. Incidentally this is a lot easier than people think as blue LEDs in this form aren't that bulky.

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RE. Re: Digital signage fail

Incidentally I have an old moving display with terminal screen burn.

Anyone have a fix? this is LED based and you can clearly see its been used extensively.

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Bad memory can do this.

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more

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Hi, I'm sure the great man would rather have seen the stockpiles of plutonium used to help deflect the next Doomsday asteroid.

Orion in the context of compressed-liner fusion *may* work but at a pinch setting off multiple low yield warheads en route with an Ir alloy pusher plate to ensure a fast intercept would be possible. I did some BOTE calculations suggesting a berkelium enrichment reactor based on one from a nuclear submarine would permit warheads to be made about once ever 2.5 days with a "Coke can" sized pulse unit and external pulsed laser based trigger for safety with 5*100MT warheads for deflection.

Even got as far as designing one with a 90 ton yield which is the lower end of feasibility but unable to test due to entirely avoidable politics.

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May he walk freely among the stars he loved so much.

Your phone wakes up. Its assistant starts reading out your text messages. To everyone around. You panic. How? Ultrasonic waves

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Re: Could explain why

This happened before. The touch screen and OLED was replaced but the fingerprint sensor hasn't worked since. I think it might be faulty.

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Could explain why

Every now and then SO's phone goes berserk.

Could some app be responding to ultrasonic commands hidden in TV broadcasts?

It might be by accident as there don't seem to be any coherent effect other than

randomly launching the browser.

Aww, a cute mini-moon is orbiting Earth right now. But like all good things, it too will abandon us at some point

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You sure its just a rock?

Incidentally a "Free return trajectory" might arouse very few suspicions.

Its been suggested that a Bracewell Probe might use this method.

Mine's the one with "Hyperspace" M Kaku in the pocket.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

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Bring out yer dead!!

Core memory? Seriously.

I have seen some kludges, but connecting an MCM based unit via a 286 server, serial port etc to a more modern machine, airgapped and firewalled.

How that antique was still working after all those years is literally a mystery.

They told me that "there were no plans to retire the system". IN 1997!!!!!!!!!

Another week, another bunch of Windows 10 machines punched by a patch

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Updated BIOS

And several problems fixed themselves. I had to do some pretty extensive clenching when it "seemed" to brick itself after a reboot but after a 5 second wait it powered on minus being able to boot which was a 25 second fix in enabling "Both" in the HDD options.

I even took pictures this time in case anyone else runs into a similar issue.

Incidentally brightness control issues after a screen replacement are a well known problem and generally BIOS update will help.

Still waiting on a cursor-o-doom fix for my Craphard Hell laptop with the perfectly good battery (RIP)

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Re: Re. Interesting that you say that

Oh, you could do that.

Also as I found out IR thermometers are calibrated by emissivity. In order to get an accurate reading you need to use a black body ie piece of graphite.

The laser is actually a good test: if it shows a visible dot this could indicate a possible surface issue.

SpaceX Falcon 9 meets watery end, and NASA needs someone to go to Mars and whack its mole

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Re. Mole

Can they not just get Andy Weir to go out and "Science the S**T out of this" ?

Also a thought. Could the problem be that Mars soil is too wet? What are the odds.

NASA's Christina Koch returns to Earth as the longest-serving woman astronaut – after spending 328 days in space

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Probably a delicate question, but how exactly are the inevitable problems with uh, "feminine hygiene" dealt with in space?

Seems that they probably take the combined Pill but not clear what effects this has long term especially on bone density.

Its likely that some sort of manipulation of hormone levels will be needed to avoid bone decalcification over time and

the long term effects of that aren't yet fully understood.

Where would we be able to find out if/when this research was done and could it have uses here on Earth? Osteoporosis

has been studied extensively but as far as I know there isn't a specific treatment as such.

Kidney stones also result from too much calcium and generally speaking its a "get back ASAP" as this is considered a medical

emergency aboard ISS unless they have a lithotripter in Cabinet A-54 we don't know about.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down

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Re: up to win10

Did it have any strange side effects?

I have an SSD in my netbook as well but took the 4GB out because of previously mentioned issues.

Is it an Acer by any chance?

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick

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I have a theory about that

Seems a lot of older laptops enabled write access to the DDR2/DDR3 RAM and other I2C parts.

Technically this shouldn't be possible but it could explain why several machines have mysteriously broken BIOS chips, screens and RAM resulting in a black screen of doom (tm) and/or file corruption because the timing gets messed up also serious data corruption typical of bad memory.

If you want to check, run CPUID and see if the SPD chip data matches. With two identical sticks it should but a single corrupted bit may or may not result in problems over time.

Its not all bad news, these same machines can often be used to read and write 24Cxx chips including the ones used on software defined radios, digiboxes, digital scales, IR thermometers and other items in a classic example of life handing you lemons.

Good news: Neural network says 11 asteroids thought to be harmless may hit Earth. Bad news: They are not due to arrive for hundreds of years

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They will still be arguing how to fund it up on Capitol Hill when it hits.

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Knowing our luck

They will hit in the middle of us recovering from the next "Carrington Event".

Just for an idea, we dodged literal Armageddon by for weeks in August 2012.

People have no clue just how bad a direct hit would be, if it was bad in 1859 imagine every power line coming down globally.

Worst case all the nuclear plants, LPG plants, chemical plants, oil refineries etc all go up days or weeks later.

It's official: In May, Microsoft will close the door, lock the vault, brick over the entrance of dreaded Windows 10 1809

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Re: And yet it still lives...

Whatever happened to ReadyBoost ?

I liked that feature! Kept a high speed USB there but got fed up with it using up my one spare slot.

Of course the "Killer App!" would be a laptop camera sized PCB with the most common connectors and 16GB of high speed memory which also contains failsafe backups of all the drivers.

For most applications people rarely use the camera anyway but you could add this feature back in and make it 4K to boot with IR illuminator and face recognition.

Register Lecture: Can portable atomic clocks end UK dependence on GNSS?

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Re: Also useful

Why the thumb down? Also my double oven OCXO showed up.

The mini £30 Rb lamps are actually quite easy to use but do have issues: seems that some have off centre pinches and other manufacturing glitches so might need some creative engineering.

This is still a good idea even if it takes more signal processing than I first thought.

Note: Making a SRD from a broken Gunn oscillator is literally nearly impossible but you might luck out. Negative resistance diodes do often run at strange harmonics and the mixer diode is even wider range.

https://pic-microcontroller.com/rubidium-atomic-clock/ (Not mine!)

The argon gas actually increases the frequency slightly but as its a known effect it can be compensated for, also 3D printed silver cavity is feasible with some post printing fine etching to get the exact shape.



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