63 posts • joined Tuesday 10th January 2012 12:01 GMT
IBS should be more apt given the stress of seeing the spaffing so much taxpayers money.
The one thing that always works in emergency comms scenario's is HF radio - specifically NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) where a signal is propagated vertically towards the ionosphere and is reflected back to ground in an parasol illumination pattern covering hundreds of miles. Gets over any V/UHF line of sight issues and is extremely robust, especially when coupled with modern digital modulation schemes such as Olivia which can resolve signals -13dB below the noise floor. I've used 500mW to establish reliable comms over 500 miles.
No need to put up large antenna structures or run kW of power - a low slung dipole as an inverted Vee with an apex of about 8m and ends close to ground is all that is needed.
But ITU-R also deem the best use of HF spectrum is PLT and g.fast.
I can't see the point in clearing Band II of FM - Apart from allowing it to be polluted by junk OFDM in-house PLT or from a cabinet to home g.fast crap.
The band has no real commercial use in the telecoms market, so why not just leave things alone?
I'm waiting for the day when our airport gets the moniker "London Birmingham Airport"
Good luck Bill!
Really sad to hear you are leaving us, I will miss reading your articles on wireless comms and technology. And thanks most of all for investigating and highlighting PLT and it's impact on spectrum when very few others were bothered enough to even listen.
Good luck in your future endeavours :)
In 2008, the UK was listed as having contributed 1.75% of the worlds CO2.
China, the US and Europe combined contributed over 55% by the same stats. Why are we taking it up the shitter with extortionate taxes and the threat of the lights going off when this can happen?
Joke alert because that's what I think global environmentalist evangelism is.
Is not always a good idea, especially with things that have a lot of new code and hardware in them. As stuff gets more complex, there is more to go wrong with them.
I tend to let the early adopters do the pain for me - I'm quite happy to hear the bleats of woe and the promises of fixes that mess something else up.. Wait 6-12 months and then take the plunge based on reading reviews and general market feedback.
Re: Well, that's good news really...
Jack, you are missing the big picture (pun intended)
. It's about EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility. The EMC regulations were put in force to ensure that electronic stuff works together. You buy one thing and it doesn't stop something else working. It happens to be EU law.
Your attitude may be not to give a fuck about interference to something that you have no interest in and your enjoyment of your TV is more important than someone else’s enjoyment of radio communications.
What you fail to understand is that this is the tip of the iceberg.
Cheap LED replacement lamp fittings are becoming a major problem to DAB and FM reception and have also been reported to cause issues to xDSL broadband services. Why? Because they are cost engineered and as EMC components cost money, they are often left out of the production build, meaning that they radiate radio signals. Not just on Short-Wave but throughout the VHF spectrum.
Have a look at this: http://conversation.which.co.uk/energy-home/led-bulb-radio-interference-dab-test/
First generation Powerline networking products were a problem to Short Wave users, but the later products are using VHF spectrum and are also causing similar problems to DAB, FM and xDSL.
What really made me laugh was someone whined about interference to their powerline HDMI distribution system getting caned by LED lights.
The upshot is that EMC regulations are being over-ridden to ensure that There are "no barriers to trade" The real scary message is that now precedents have been set, there are no almost no limits to the amount of electromagnetic junk that a product can spew out, yet still be CE marked (EMC compliance is a mandatory part of getting EMC approval!) and put on the market.
So in the current market, you cannot buy something in the knowledge that it's use won't knock out something else in your home working. Same goes with your neighbour. What's to stop him wanting to enjoy his floodlit kitchen at the expense of you watching your Plasma TV? And it will get worse.
Maybe that might be a more interesting prospect to you than a Lib Dem treasury meeting :)
Re: I bet a lot more people would switch if...
Yes - SDA1 = NTFS and SDB1 is SSD
Is a really great operating system - But it's not something that just works out of the box. Windows does.
That is the reason why it is going to be difficult to get people to migrate to Linux. Every machine that I've installed it on has needed some coaxing and drivers downloading (especially for internet connectivity) to make good. I don't have a problem with this - I can faff about until the cows come home, but it's not going to be an easy transition for out Teutonic pals. An OS has to work out of the box - if it doesn't, it's going to make more enemy’s than friends.
One bad experience can have more of a detrimental effect than if that person had not tried to install. Unity is also a real dog IMO. Ubuntu has been promising a lot for a long time but to make it work, it does still need a level of competence to install which most users don't have. Until this is addressed, Linux will not get the user base it so deserves.
I hate BT with a pure passion. Rolling out xDSL and PLT - utter, utter, utter bastards.
Stones and glass buildings
I wouldn't have a problem with MS taking the piss IF they could get their key products right.
Yay for more stupid crap!
We have PLT and this is just extending the realms of useless techno-shite! Bring it on! I'm sure it will play nicely with everything else on 2.4GHz and not de-sense every receiver front end in the surrounding area...
HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!
Re: Am I alone?
It would be nice if the Nvidia tool could make settings changes to Powermiser permanent. As it stands, I have to go into the tool every time I boot to get smooth scrolling. It seems to be a commonly reported bug..
I think it's time....
That we took it upon ourselves to personally crap on Zuckerberg's desk and those of his minions, so he has plenty of personal shit to to sift through.
Re: Their days are numbered
Stupidity and narcissistic tenancies are very much merkin ways...
Re: How to sell more boxes ..
Thank you Sir!
I've been looking for a Linux app to play my iTunes music, and this seems to promise much :)
How long is a piece of string?
Twice the length from it's centre to one end...
That there Dihydrogen Monoxide is dangerous stuff! ;)
Am I the only one still using it? I've used it daily pretty much since it started up.
And we can expect to see the cost of their bloatware to come down in light of their cost reductions???
The enemy on the wrist strikes again...
Bloody hell - it was 2005 when El reg landed on the rock?????
I thought it was only a couple of years ago....
Shrinking antenna galleries
I've noticed over the years a dramatic reduction in the number of horns and dishes on the Birmingham BT tower, the older analogue links being replaced by fewer smaller digital ones. The silent drawing to an end of a chapter in communications engineering.
I've been using a pair of Stax SR-303 electrostatic earspeakers and an SRM-313 enegiser for getting on for a decade. Not a portable system and you look like a Cyberperson wearing them. But they work really well. Anyone who is serious about getting a good set of cans should listen to Stax.
When I'm out and about I use a pair of B&O headphones. Not a fashionista, I bought them because I liked the sound. IMO they are very good. Well made and I've had them for quite a few years and no problems with broken wires. Beware that there are fake ones on E-Bay; I bought and sent back a pair.
Ahh...those were the days.... Sportster 14k4 modem, Compaq luggable DX2/66, Windows 3.1, Trumpet Winsock, NCSA Mosaic 1.0 and Demon Internet :)
Re: What a surprise! Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop!
I've had Ubuntu running on my Vaio VPCEB4L1E for a few years now - It's running 12:04 and Bluetooth works perfectly for me - I can use my phone as a modem with it. Hibernate works when I close the lid. Granted, I'm limited to 802.11G at the moment as it has the Centrino 1000 chippery but that doesn't cause me any problems.
Then there is my main home office machine which is another Ubuntu box. Dual monitors with an Nvidia card, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, serial port and works perfectly, as does my wireless printer - It does everything that I want it to do including controlling my radio station. Same as the old machine that this replaced. Runs Ubuntu and does what I want it to do without fuss or waiting around. With this machine I had to faff about to get the wired Ethernet chippery working - but if you are delivering a platform with an OS, then there are no excuses for not getting the basics right before shipping. Sounds to me like Dell haven't done their job in putting together a build to support their hardware.
Unfortunately, Ubuntu is not really ready for main-stream release because it is not an out-of-the-box experience. But if it does what you want it to do and you have the time to mess about, it's a much tighter solution than Windows. Stuff I can't do on Ubuntu (audio editing mainly) I can do on my Mac.
Just thought I'd chip in and say thanks for a really enjoyable article.
I think I'm going to stay with my iPhone 4 and get a new battery. Since the discontinuation of the 30-way connector and the demise of SJ, I'm quite happy to sit on the fence for a year and see what transpires at Apple. I'm not a happy fruity punter at the moment as I don't think that the products offer the stability they once did.
I'm still running iOS5.1.1 based on the reviews and tales of woe I've read about subsequent "upgrades" and I'll be really quite annoyed to scrap my clock radio charging dock and I'm not bastardising it with a huge great crappy adaptor.
Yay for old phones!
I still have an Ericsson GH-388 which I still occasionally take out for an airing and still works very well and have a selection of batteries to use with it :)
Re: 4G must be going badly
I really am hacked off with being charged to "tether" - When I took out the contract almost two years ago, I was told that i wouldn't be charged to tether. Then the bills came in.; Funny how only my iPhone attracts tether charges, yet my old phone doesn't. I probably spent the best part of a couple of days arguing with Vodafone over charging to "tether"
I too may well be leaving Vodafone soon. Shame as the service used to be very good.
Re: Crud generators.
You might want to look at NVIS communications - Near Vertical Incident Skywave. It 's a propagation mode where you mount an antenna at near ground level and you launch your power vertically towards the ionosphere. The signal is then propagated back to earth and it's rather like an umbrella effect. Using a decent digital transmission mode (such as Olivia) you can resolve signals -13dB below the noise floor.
From my home in the Midlands, I can reliably communicate with other amateurs across the UK using these propagation and modulation modes and at low powers - sub 10W very easily. I have had contacts at nearly 1000km using 100mW.
I can very easily set up a full "HAM " kit anywhere. I don't need an external source of power and everything I need including a Toughbook computer, transceiver, antennas, modem, poles etc all fit in a bog-standard rucksack.
In deepest Wales where your phone is as much use as a one-legged man at an arse kicking competition and I have my kit with me, I will have comms where you don't.
The comments that you make about listening to static and truckers are so passe. We have heard it all before and just smacks of ignorance.
You might want to listen to this:
It is about the work that amateurs did 9/11 when emergency comms went off line.
Re: FprEN50561-1:2012 is not a standard!
Moving towards an inadequately regulated electromagnetic environment in the home where things can no longer be near guaranteed to coexist in harmony doesn't seem very wise to me. Throwing RF around unbalanced and unscreened cables is a wholly flawed idea, requiring an equally flawed specification. Has anyone seem adaptive notching in a product? No? I didn't think so because the cost of implentation would be too high.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If I was in the business of manufacturing LED lighting, SMPSU wall-warts etc, I'd be clapping my hands because I would design to EMC levels laid down in prEN50561 and argue that it is just as relevant to my products as PLT and save a shedload of cash by not fitting supression components. The upshot? No more EMC.
People can navel-gaze and whitter on about EMC and PLT being a problem for radio amateurs, but they fail to understand the real scenario. These things have been demonstrated to knock out FM and DAB radio and are of concern to the CAA and GCHQ. A colleague had an issue with LED lighting killing his DAB radio and in the early days of BT's peddling of PLT, they were seen to knock out their own users 27MHz wireless keyboards!
I have had to replace a number of switching PSU's supplied with equipment for linear ones because of interference to HF. Set Top Box PSU's are particularly awful. This is the tip of the iceberg and I am watching with great interest, waiting to hear the whines of fail from people whose radios, TV's or whatever begin to suddenly stop working.
Caveat emptor :)
A flash of fail
At 1min 1 sec....
Re: Lightning Accessories
Can someone explain to me the logic in changing from the old 30-way dock to the Lightning port? It's commercial suicide.
There are two sides to the argument - Apple says iPhone 5 and lightening...Ooooh...its small and fast and goodness shall pour through each pin. But why make FSM-knows how many accessories almost unusable?
If I can't use my existing docking stuff such as my car stuff, my clock radio etc, what is the point in changing? You can get an adaptor but its shit, ugly and inelegant. I can't understand Apples business model in trying to sell this to the Fanbois let along intelligent consumers. My two year old iPhone 4 works well, is in nice condition, works with my adaptors, runs iOS5 and none of the stupid crap with Apple Maps.
The headphone socket has also been moved to the bottom of the phone - why? Why not put the Lightning port on the top of the phone, retain the 30-way connector on the bottom and everyone is happy?
I'm holding out to see what happens - the re-introduction of the 30-way connector would IMO boost sales. Marketing is about listening to what your customers want, NOT what you think your customers want. In the early days of the iPhones, yes they were revolutionary and brilliant. Unfortunately now it seems to be seen as a commodity and lacks the creative input that the product was once given.
I think that now is the time to start to look at dropping Apple stock. The Emperor is gone and no-one will be able to fill his shoes.
Conformance to EN55022 is non-mandatory. It just shows due diligence to the EMC regulations. In fact, conformance to the law seems to be non-mandatory if you have enough cash and can lobby hard enough.
A lot of LED lights that are on the market do not conform to EN55022 and have been seen to cause interference to DAB receivers...
Bye bye EMC, it was good to have known you.
What most people seem totally oblivious to is that this "Standard" sets a precedent to allow products to flaunt the law. It makes a mockery of the whole idea of having products in the home that co-exist; the whole idea of EMC. Incidentally, conformance to this standard is non-mandatory! The EU law is contained in the essential requirements of the EMC regs - period. As has been constantly argued by Ofcom for years.
It allows manufacturers of for example Switching PSU's or LED lighting to remove EMC suppression components (and cost) and emit at levels that PLT operate at; but over whatever frequency range they care to. If PLT can operate at the levels stated in EN50561-1 then I would argue that these levels should be suitable for me as a manufacturer to use as showing due diligence to the EMC regs. Either a device emits RF onto a medium or it doesn't. You cannot limit emissions by a product type.
The whole idea of EN55022 (which is the relevant EMC standard for PLT) was to ensure that products we purchased didn't interfere with each other. This is not nor ever has been a purely radio amateur issue. It affects us all, yet the vast majority seem to have their heads in the sand and not to care. One of my colleagues has had problems with CE marked kitchen LED lighting stopping his DAB radio working. As a previous commentard mentioned, in the quest for higher bandwidth, these things will use higher frequencies. They are already up to 320MHz and who is to say that they will not continue to use more and more spectrum. It would make me smile if PLT caused interference to someone's 4G phone whose infrastructure caused interference to their enjoyment of Freeview.
I'm with Vodafone and have been for a long time. I took a contract out and was catagorically told that I woud not be charged to connect my laptop to an iPhone. Then I got billed for "tethering" My old phone (windows 6) didn't give a shite if the data was from the phone or from a BT connected laptop and still doesn't.
I like Vodafone because they have a 2G network which I use most of the time when I'm not using data and am pretty reluctant to move off their network but when the contract is up for renewal I'm going to look around.
The random's appear positively chuffed with their shiny new green box :)
Re: Radio Active, perhaps.
You beat me to it! I bet the people who are whining about these beautiful cabinets being lovingly situated outside their homes are quite happy to fling electromagnetic shit at their neighbours by using PLT.
It seems strange that there wasn't this hullabaloo when Virgin deployed their service, maybe because their cabs are a lot smaller and are sited with more respect for the surroundings than Bastard Telecom?
Re: If a HAM radio enthusiast
I presume that you would be quite happy for your TV to suddenly stop working because I've installed a solar generation system?
People seem to be ignorant of the fact that once a commercial precedent is set, it's set.
prEN 50561‐1 is a junk manufacturers dream and what's an issue to radio opersators now may well prevent people using their DAB radio's, listening to FM or any other electronic product functioning correctly.
Raising the acceptable radiated limit of interference by 10,000 times (which is what we are talking about with prEN 50561‐1) means that any spectrum is open for abuse. It means that your cheapo LED lights can be built without EMC components, and if they wipe out you telly, so what! The manufacturers can save a few cents of the BOM costs.
And to put things into releif, EN-50561-1 is just as enforcible as EN-55022 - in other words it won't be transposed into EU law. The whole idea of EN-55022 conformance is to show due dilligence to the EMC regulations which are law.
Using band IV for broadband is another complete f**kup by Ofcom. That is insanely stupid and will end up in tears. Our regulator may be great at rapping Clarksons knuckles for having a go at Civil Servants, but tech is something that Ofcom have no idea about.
So if the sun is so active, why is it always sodding raining (joke!)
Solar activity has really had a big impact on HF comms over the last week - NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) used for National HF comms has really taken a beating....
500Gb over mains....
Watch out for interference to DAB and FM......Buy and have fun
Ha ha ha!
I'd rather have by balls ripped off and fried in battery acid rather than buy another Vauxhall.
My current car is an 06 Vectra VXR and it's cost me shedloads to keep the thing on the road - hadbrake failure (£400), a/c fan failure which took out the control (£550), two new computers, wing-mirrors falling off and recently a new clutch (£1200) and has now failed its MOT because the suspension all needs replacing (£750). The car has done less that 56k miles.
You rarely see them on the road, maybe because they have all fallen to bits.
Ofcom are not fit for purpose
First we have PLT's knocking out Short Wave and VHF, and now this retarded use of spectrum.
I find it quite funny, really
Maybe I'm being a tad unfair, but Ubuntu seems to have always had issues with standard wireless hardware . I've installed 12.04 on my personal laptop and the Centrino 1000 -N don't work properly and so I've had to switch the router to b/g mode.
I'm happy enough to faff about and now have it working, but if the idea is to get Ubuntu into the mass market, it has to pretty much work straight out of the box with PC's that are based on standard chipsets.
- It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources
- iSPY: Apple Stores switch on iBeacon phone sniff spy system
- Chinese gamer plays on while BMW burns to the ground
- Pic NASA Mars tank Curiosity rolls on old WET PATCH, sighs, sniffs for life signs
- How UK air traffic control system was caught asleep on the job