Archive for month: December, 2011


December 31, 2011 | Amateur Radio, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, this morning I did a bit more work on my G0UPL beacon kit. As I mentioned yesterday, I got was having difficulty with the frequency swing: despite a very tightly wound gimmick, I was getting just a little over 1Hz or frequency shift. Late last night I decided to just try a new one: […]

QRSS Beacon assembled, but not quite right…

December 31, 2011 | Amateur Radio, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

I ordered myself one of Hans Summers’ QRSS beacon kits before Christmas, and it arrived a few days ago. Yesterday, I started tinkering it together, and today got it hooked up and began testing. First, the good news: The oscillator is running. I was able to adjust it with the trimmer to get it into […]

Nanode on the Web!

December 30, 2011 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, to test my nanode‘s Ethernet capability, I put it on the web! Check it out by clicking this link. Hurrah! Not too impressive, but consider: it is dynamically generated on an eight bit microcontroller that costs about $35, Ethernet included. Perhaps not as cool as the Raspberry Pi, but unlike the Raspberry Pi, you […]

Christmas Kit: The Nanode

December 28, 2011 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

My wife is the best. She listens to me even when I yammer on about the most boring and geeky of topics, and does so with patience and grace. What’s more, she even remembers what I talk about, and I reap the benefits at Christmas time. I mentioned Nanode about a month back, because I […]


December 27, 2011 | Link of the Day, Links | By: Mark VandeWettering

Okay, I’ll confess: I’ve spent a bit too long playing Minecraft, both on a shared server, and even by myself in single player. I find it kind of soothing to create models, rather like playing with blocks or legos. But Eric Haines (a long time friend, and one of the people who was most influential […]

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011 | Merry Christmas | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’d like to thank each and every follower and friend of the brainwagon blog for their encouragement, for their attention, and for their continued participation in my little stream of consciousness experiment on the Internet. To all you, and your friends and family, I’d like to extend my best wishes for a Happy Holiday and […]

Extending Tiny BASIC on the Arduino

December 24, 2011 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was intrigued by @monsonite’s challenge to extend Tiny BASIC for the Nanode. I don’t have a Nanode, but I do have some Arduinos, and extending Mike Field’s Tiny BASIC port to include some additional Arduino functionality seemed pretty straightforward. An hour or so staring at the code told me pretty much all I need […]

Tiny Basic running on Nanode – Christmas Challenge

December 24, 2011 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

As a followup to my post yesterday regarding Arduino BASIC, here’s a contest challenge to extend the Arduino basic to drive the Nanode, an Arduino compatible microcontroller board that extends the conventional Arduino with Ethernet and other cool features. The challenge is to make a good hack using Tiny BASIC: perhaps by extending the BASIC […]

Arduino Basic

December 23, 2011 | Arduino, Computer Science, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

Edsger Dijkstra, Dutch computer scientist and winner of the 1972 Turing Award wrote: It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. While I have respect for his great contributions to the field, in my […]

Nice article on making an Arduino DDS…

December 23, 2011 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

My experiments with generating RTTY signals yesterday made me begin to think about generating RTTY signals with an Atmel/Arduino setup. The obvious way is to use PWM and a low pass filter to approximate a sine wave. While doing a bit of research, I found the following link which seemed to be nearly ideal: it […]

More on the crazy ITA2 encoding…

December 22, 2011 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

So, this morning, I was trying to test my understanding of the ITA2 code used in amateur radio teletype communications. I wrote up an encoder, generated some test audio files, and tried decoding them with fldigi. It mostly worked, but I had some difficulty with certain punctuation marks. I was curious what the problem should […]

Question regarding the ITA2 “Baudot” code…

December 21, 2011 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

While looking at the hadie high altitude balloon project, I got to thinking about making a microcontroller that could send RTTY. I knew that traditional Baudot (more properly the ITA2 code) was a five bit code with codes designed to switch back and forth between “letters” and “figures”, but I had never looked at the […]

Hadie High Altitude Balloon Project

December 21, 2011 | Amateur Radio, electronics, High Altitude Balloon | By: Mark VandeWettering

While listening to the Amateur Radio Newsline podcast this week, I was interested to hear that a group of hams from Ireland had launched a balloon which transmitted digital pictures back from the balloon while it was at altitude, using a version of dl-fldigi. While I was familiar with fldigi, I hadn’t heard of this […]

Cook’s Illustrated Almost No Knead Bread

December 21, 2011 | Cooking and Recipes, Food | By: Mark VandeWettering

My early success with making tasty no knead bread has sent me off on the Internet looking for additional recipes. As a complete breadmaking newbie, I have a lot to learn, but luckily, there is lots of good websites to help me understand and extend my tiny skills in this vast topic. The best of […]

Back to QRSS…

December 20, 2011 | Amateur Radio, QRSS | By: Mark VandeWettering

For some reason, I’m getting back into the universe of QRSS, or very slow Morse code. I goofed around with this for a while, writing some software to record audio and produce the necessary FFTs so that you can read Morse from these incredibly long Morse messages, but lately haven’t done much lately. Hopefully, that […]