Taming the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with VVR power scaling.

It’s common knowledge that the Rod Rod Deluxe is a fantastic amp, it’s also LOUD.  I play live a lot, but almost all my playing is with my amp mic’d and run through a PA, so really need to maintain a manageable stage volume without loosing the sound of driven tubes, especially the sound of saturated power tubes (yum).  Plus as much as I like the sound of my playing, when practising the same lick over and over, I don’t know that my wife and kids really want to listen at full volume.

Time to find a solution that didn’t involve buying another amp.

Hot Rod Deluxe III. 40W of sonic gold.
Hot Rod Deluxe III. 40W of sonic gold.

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International Space Station SSTV reception

I’m super stoked.  I listened to the International Space Station (ISS) pass yesterday with my kids.  Lots of beeping and screeching, but it was coming from a radio on the ISS, that we were hearing in Margate, so it was exciting none the less.  So this morning I thought I’d best install some decoding software (MMSSTV) to see if we could receive the images they were transmitting, which I did, and wouldn’t you know it, the ISS was due for a long pass (eight minutes) almost directly overhead as soon as I’d finished.  ISS 20160414-2

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Accessing a VKLink node via a SIP client

I’ve got a VKLink node that doesn’t get a whole lot of use, so seems a little daft to have a radio on all day just in case.  Most of my “radio time” happens in my office, so I always have my computer on.  Seeing as the VKLink internals uses Asterisk, I should be able to connect and monitor the node from a SIP client on my phone or computer.

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I’ve only got it configured to access via the LAN at the moment, but there’s nothing stopping you accessing the node via the internet too.

This post demonstrates how to set it up for yourself.

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Fixed IC-208h with no power with remote head.

It’s my fault, I fiddled.

Radio was working fine, then I attempted to DIY a remote head cable as they can’t be purchased any more.

Funky remote head cable for IC-208h
Long story short, after trying my funky cable, the radio wouldn’t power on any more, so assume some pins shorted one of the other lines perhaps.

I left it for a couple of days, trying it again each morning, in the eternal hope that by some magic or via electrical fairy helpers, it would spontaneously start working again.  I kept telling myself things like “Perhaps the capacitors need a little more time to fully drain.  Yes.  that’s why it hasn’t started working again.”  For a hyper logical person like I am, it’s amazing the flights of fantasy we can summon in times of need.  I even offered a little prayer, while all the time knowing that in the grand scheme of things, there were more worthwhile causes to which God’s attention could be better addressed.

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Automating Cordova builds and deployment

This post will detail the process I used to fire a single command on my build computer, and then wirelesly install the app on my iOS device.

I use Cordova Cli to manage my project, but rather than execute the cordova commands myself, I let Grunt automate that for me.

Of note, I currently use Cordova 2.9, so while some stuff will have changed, the basic principle will work on newer versions too.

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