Category Archives: Hardware

Don’t touch my Schiit!

As a work-from-home-er and a music fan, having good audio in my home office is important. Until recently, I’ve used my laptop to feed a two-channel amp and some decent speakers. A large collection of digital audio, combined with MPD … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, Linux Tagged , , , , ,

9600 baud packet on a Kenwood TK-840

The Kenwood TK-840 is a nice commercial UHF radio that is starting to go for $50-$100 on eBay due to the fact that it is not narrow-band capable. It is happy in the ham bands, has a good screen, excellent … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, Radio Tagged , , ,

Update your FT-817, FT-857, or FT-897 with the new 60 meter channel

In the US starting in 2003, amateurs have had a secondary allocation of five specific channels in the 60 meter band. Unlike most other allocations, these are restricted to phone emissions in upper sideband, with a maximum of 50 watts … Continue reading

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Q89 Compressor Modification

One of the first things you need when you start into off-roading is a good compressor.  This is because you air down your tires each time before you go, and have to air them back up before you drive home.  … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware

Kenwood TK-380 Self-Programming Modification

I recently purchased a Kenwood TK-380 UHF handheld radio on eBay.  This is a commercial UHF FM transceiver used by public safety organizations.  It will do 4W output, narrow or wide band transmission, and conventional or trunking operation. This radio … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, Radio Tagged

Custom UPS External Battery Bank

When we moved into our current house, I had a Matrix 5000 UPS that I used to power my server room.  This 5kVA unit was a really impressive device that ran on 220V and could have its “brain” replaced without … Continue reading

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ID800 Magnetic Head Modification

The ICOM ID-800 is a very common D-STAR radio, and for good reason: it includes the digital functionality, dual-band operation, and a remote-able head.  It’s much easier to mount a small head unit in view than an entire radio, with … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, Radio Tagged ,

Roku Player

I recently received a Roku Netflix player as a gift.  I have always been skeptical of the Roku player and the quality of the picture that they could possibly deliver over someone’s network connection of unknown quality and load.  When … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware

Embedded D-RATS

For a while now, I’ve wanted to see what interesting things I could do with a microcontroller by teaching it how to send and receive D-RATS packets.  I bought an Arduino Diecimila a while ago and played with it a … Continue reading

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Driving a 4-Bit LCD with an Arduino

I received my Arduino Diecimilia today.  Man, what a cool little device.  I ordered it last weekend with the intent of using it to learn about programming microcontrollers, in hopes of making some neat toys.  One of the first things … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware