In the fishing town of MALOY and a Rocket Launch

We know it’s 6 days since we sent any word, but we didn’t want to appear complaining, and wished to send good news only.

The good news is that Maloy is a very nice place and the people we have met couldn’t be more obliging. There was one good day, we plotted for Scotland and measured the distance to the Caledonian Canal, and Westport, in days. Not to be.

Read the rest here.

A Rocket Launch at Sunset. An explanation

Sustainable Energy Ireland

logo_sei_large.gifBernard alerted me to the fact that Sustainable Energy Ireland launched their new website, in conjunction with the beginning of Energy Awareness Week.

The more people that follow the 10 Energy Saving tips the better for everyone. It does however annoy me, ever so slightly, that given there can be a fairly large initial outlay, there are no incentives for home owners to do more, i.e. Solar Heating, Solar Power generation (even with current, relatively ineffecient technology), and even wind power.

I quote
There are currently no general grants available to the consumer for the installation of renewable energy or energy saving measures. SEI’s allocated funding and resources are not sufficient to support this. At present SEI provides information on energy systems for consumers. The House of Tomorrow programme provides support for large scale housing developments – where solar panels can be supported – in order to encourage best practise in the building industry.

The government is regularly updating its policies of support. The latest policy update is likely to be a change to the price support mechanism for electricity generation from wind and biomass. The relevant department is the Sustainable Energy section of the Dept of Communication, Marine and Natural Resources. It is the primary body charged with the implementation of EU Directives on energy such as:

Directive on Electricity Supplied from Renewable Energy Resources
Directive on Liquid Biofuels
Directive on Combined Heat and Power
Directive on Building Services


I emailed Brendan Minish (EI6IZ) last week as I heard he was looking for me to to a talk on APRS at the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network annual Radio Rally (Sunday the 20th of November). So I replied to him saying that I it should be no problem. In his reply he said that he was in Tromso, Norway, waiting to join Northabout. A quick google gave me that link.

This vaguely jogged my memory, then I remembered seeing a documentary about The North West Passage, and it turns out its the same boat. This time they are attempting the North East Passage. They are making a documentary of this trip as well.

Their last reported position is available here. And its you can check their progress reports here.

Looking out at the sunshine outside, I think I would prefer to be on a boat.

PROGRESS REPORT No. 15 (from the site)
Continue reading Northabout

More APRS Stuff

It has been a while since I got a chance to put something on here. Lets see, workwise I’m very busy. I managed to get in a visit to Moss (still recuperating from his very close call), while on a work trip to Spain. We enjoyed a few pints before work interfered ;), and I had to head up the road to University of Murcia for a SEINIT meeting.

Moving away from work, I ordered (and since received) a DTMF Remote Control from NHRC Repeater Controllers. I’m going to use it as a remote switch for a Valemount Networks Wireless Advanced Router (aka WARboard), that I’ve received (thanks Lonnie) and is going to be put into service in the attic. I currently have a Celeron PC serving as my Node, but its a big beast, uses a noticeable abount of juice (and can make quite a racket as well.. just ask Dee 🙁 ).

Also, I was trying to get the Yaese FT-736 in the WIT clubs radio shack up and running as a PCSAT2 groundstation, but unfortunately there is a fault in the radio, so that idea has gone onto the back-burner.

Staying with the radio theme. I’m awaiting the delivery of a PCI serial port controller card. I’m plannig to use it as a) an APRS Igate, while using the radio for the NHRC DTMF Remote, and b) to effect Doppler frequency correction on my Yaesu Ft-847 for UHF Satellite downlinks. At least that is the plan at the moment.

Lastly I’m trying to put together a portable APRS station that I can bring mobile to Australia later on this year. I’ve just got the APRS Igate in the college to send and receive email, so it might come in handy while ‘down under’.