Aspitech E-waste Recycling Tour

Yesterday Robert Hart was kind enough to take a group of local hackerspace members on a tour through Aspitech, and Adelaide e-waste recycler. The Australian government has mandated that all importers must pay to recycle 33% of their products (by weight), which has created a new, high growth industry. The South Australian government is unique is requiring zero landfill from old TVs and PCs which I think is pretty cool.

Aspitech currently processes 200 tons per month. The TVs and PCs are disassembled into broad categories, such as plastic, copper wire, circuit boards, metalwork. These are then bagged up and shipped off to other companies that can use them as raw materials, for example melting down the copper, or using glass from CRTs as road base. Aspitech is a social enterprise that employs a number of disabled people.

Robert is looking for entrepreneurs who have ideas and most importantly the passion to create spin off businesses from e-waste resources.

Not Activiating Mt Remarkable

Last Saturday I had my first Summits on The Air (SOTA) attempt on top of Mount Remarkable here in South Australia.

As a first step on Friday I registered my SOTA attempt on the Sotawatch web site

On Saturday morning I started by testing my FT-817 and Alexloop magnetic loop antenna at our camp. While . . . → Read More: Not Activiating Mt Remarkable

Fox Hunting

This weekend I have been attending the SERG Ham radio convention in Mount Gambier where I have enjoyed the company of some good friends and learnt a lot about fox hunting.

A group of us decided to go 3 weeks ago. The well-connected Mark VK5QI has been scouring Adelaide for fox hunting equipment, including beam mounts, . . . → Read More: Fox Hunting

FreeDV Robustness Part 3

Since the last post I have explored some improvements to PAPR, and tested the 1600/2000 modes introduced in the last post in real time. These tests have given me a little more insight into the problems with HF channels and led me to better understand the requirements. This has lead to a new 1600 bit/s . . . → Read More: FreeDV Robustness Part 3

FreeDV Robustness Part 2

Since the last post I have been working on two new FreeDV modes (1600 and 2000 bit/s), designed to improve the performance of FreeDV over HF multipath fading channels. This involved modifying the Octave and C modem code to support a variable number of carriers, a new 1600 bit/s Codec 2 mode, and some C . . . → Read More: FreeDV Robustness Part 2

FreeDV Robustness Part 1

Here is the next installment in my adventure of making FreeDV work as least as well as analog SSB over HF multipath fading channels. I’ve included the command lines I am using for those who want to play along with me.

Incremental Improvements

Over the past few weeks I have made some incremental improvements:

Bill Cowley pointed out . . . → Read More: FreeDV Robustness Part 1

Dead DC-DC converter in my EV

About a week ago I returned from LCA 2013 after being away from home for 1 month. My EV was parked at a house close to the airport. It burst into life and off I went. However about 1 km from home the front lights and dash went dim and the EV ground to . . . → Read More: Dead DC-DC converter in my EV

HF Modem Bit Error Patterns

I am working on improving the performance of FreeDV on HF channels. As a first step I have been exploring the bit error patterns from the modem using some samples of a 1300 km HF radio path. These samples were kindly collected by Mark, VK5QI and Brenton, VK2MEV.

The FDMDV modem has 14 DQPSK data . . . → Read More: HF Modem Bit Error Patterns (LCA) 2013

Last week I attended 2013, my sixth LCA. It was a very well organised and enjoyable conference for me. After a few days back I miss it. I have made some good friends at LCA over the years, and catching up with them is as important for me as the conference talks. It . . . → Read More: (LCA) 2013

Coherent PSK Demodulation on HF

This post is rather technical, and assumes a knowledge of PSK demodulator design. I apologise if it is difficult to understand for the general reader. I have spent the last few weeks working on this part time so felt compelled to record the results somewhere. Thanks to Bill Cowley VK5DSP and Peter Martinez G3PLX . . . → Read More: Coherent PSK Demodulation on HF