Monday, 18 September 2017

Bat Detector: electret microphones

Building your own Bat Detector is a relatively easy electronics construction project.


The tricky bit can be locating a suitable transducer or microphone that has a useful frequency response into the ultrasonic range used by common bats.


During the last few weeks I have been testing a number of devices, and here are my notes.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Gambas: working with JSON

The JSON file format is widely used by internet sites when returning data requested by an a.p.i. call.


It is relatively easy to handle JSON data in Gambas, once you have an understanding of its basic structure.


Here we use the Gambas method Json.Decode() in a couple of examples.

Friday, 8 September 2017

BlissFlixx: Pi HDMI config.txt settings

I recently set up another Raspberry Pi as a BlissFlixx set-top box using an earlier post.


Although the system worked, I quickly realised that I'd missed a couple of config settings from my original post.


So this update includes those important settings.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The new Nokia 3310: just another stupid phone

I've read a lot of inaccurate customer reviews of the new Nokia 3310 recently, which probably goes to show that most people don't read manuals anymore.


Well I do, and I've just received my new Nokia 3310 from Carphone Warehouse.


So here is a more accurate than average review.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Editing GPS coordinate data with the Prune GPS Tool

This is a great tool when working on GPS track files (.gpx) that are downloadable from the internet.


You can view tracks (e.g. recommended walks) overlaid on a map, and edit the route by adding, deleting or simply dragging the data points to a different location.


And once you have made your changes, you can copy the .gpx files to your Garmin GPS ready for your next outing.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Caroline on Pirate BBC Essex?

On the 14th August 1967 the UK government introduced the Marine Offences Act in a desperate attempt to stop offshore "Pirate" radio stations.


It was pretty successful as, one-by-one, the stations turned off their transmitters and their staff headed for home.


But Caroline didn't stop, and now on the 50th anniversary of this legislation, Caroline is not only transmitting via the web, but also on the Medium Wave radio band!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Increasing the VOLUME in Linux

One annoying characteristic of Lubuntu in particular (and I suspect Linux in general) is that the playback volume is often too quiet, especially on laptops.


This problem is due to differences in audio recording levels, and is most noticeable when listening to audio via a web browser (e.g. watching a video).


Having put up with this for years, today is the day I feel I need to take some action.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Robots are coming! (...and the future is looking grim)

We live in a very exciting age, with scientific discoveries, inventions and technological development moving at an incredible pace.


The next few decades are likely to produce products which will really help humanity, especially in the field of medicine.


But what will happen to us and the world we live in, in the longer term, say in one or two hundred years from now?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Why don't my domestic LED lights last forever?

Domestic LED lighting is a far better alternative than incandescent or flourescent lights.


LEDs produce light while generating practically no heat, and they seem to last forever when used in electronic equipment.


So why have 2 of my expensive bathroom LED lights gone kaput?