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Michael Watterson's picture

ARM based Server

ZT Systems announced what it says is the first commercially available ARM-based development platform for the server market. The Ubuntu Linux-based R1801e 1U rackmount server employs SSD (solid state disk) storage and eight ARM Cortex-A9-based computer-on-modules (COMs), providing 16 600MHz cores while using less than 80 Watts, the company says.

Michael Watterson's picture

Saorview Resource for Humans

New resource for Non-Technical folk (ordinary Humans) for Saorview and Saorsat (link)<, the new Irish Digital Terrestrial.

I think is a nice easy address for your friends. Comment to this post to suggest additions or corrections to the site or use this form here (link)< if you are not a Member here. 

UPDATE: RTE / RTE NL now have two excellent resources. The Information Site Saorview<  and the Coverage Site<.

Michael Watterson's picture

Continuing Lies about Broadband.

Click are offering really good value Compaq/HP netbook. It comes with a "Free" 3 Ireland USB Mobile Broadband Dongle.

RTE would like ideas on Hybrid Broadcast and IP

Hybrid Broadcast and IP

This is where the basic live content comes via FM Radio, Cable TV, Satellite, DAB, DTT or any true Broadcast medium but the richness of a multimedia experience you would have using a purely internet stream is via the Internet.

RTE cares about the Licence Payer. Using an all Internet content stream instead of hybrid Broadcast/IP costs you money (especially on mobile) and adds to RTE costs, meaning less Licence Revenue on Program content.

RTE Proposal / Questions


Ireland’s Broadband Performance Deteriorates

Ireland’s Broadband Performance Deteriorates Alarmingly Over The
Summer In May 2010 IrelandOffline issued shocking research(1) showing
that Ireland was grossly under performing in terms of download speeds,
upload speeds and overall quality. We were quite dismayed to find that
not only was Ireland then in 41st position in the world for Download
speeds and that [...]

Michael Watterson's picture

Final nail in Mobile WiMax coffin?

Fixed WiMax has a sure future, but Intel's dream of bundling their chips for Mobile WiMax into every Notebook, Laptop, Netbook and Tablet is fading. There were only two major Mobile Operators that adopted Mobile WiMax. The Russian operator is already switching to LTE for their roll out and Clearwire (USA major cities) appear to have a "road map" to switch to LTE in next couple of years.

Imagine's Irish Wimax using Intel and Motorola gear with Intel backing is giving WiMax a bad name as building penetration at 3.6GHz is very poor, though an improvement over the S-CDMA based Ripwave that Imagine "Inherited" on their 3.6Ghz licences when they bought IBB from NTR.. Clearwire in Ireland had a very poor reputation and the operation has been sold to Imagine.

Michael Watterson's picture

FM Radio to Stay. Who ever said it was going away?

RTE has started DAB for new Digital Only Radio in Ireland. DAB stations will all also be be on Saorview and Saorsat. We are having an ASO in 2012 (analogue Switch Off).

But FM-VHF is not going away...<

Britain and parts of Europe are planning to switch off their analogue signal in favour of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), sparking fears that the same would happen here.

Standard radios can't pick up the digital signal, which would make them, and millions of car radios, obsolete.

Michael Watterson's picture



Did you know that in  1936, the new 405 line service (377i) was called High Definition?

Since most screens were less than 14", and a 14" 405 line image has about the same resolution as HDTV on a 42" screen, they were correct.

Michael Watterson's picture

Goodies in Post today.

I got my Colour TFT 2.8" touch screen. It will use up about 6.5mm depth if you remove the SD card reader. About 8.5mm inc SD card reader.
The SD card slot/reader could be unsoldered and goes to separate connector through hole pads at opposite side of PCB to LCD connector. It's a 14 way set of through holes. 2 x 7 all 0.1" space.
Fibre glass PCB with 32 through plated holes as 2 x 16, all 0.1" spaced.

Overall PCB is 55 x82, dark area of LCD/touch panel about 45.6mm x 60mm.
2.8" TFT LCD Module Display + Touch Panel + PCB adapter<<
$45 / €33.50 inc postage. It took just over a week, inc Chinese Holiday weekend (same as easter Monday this year).
I also got a 128x64 KS0108 display and a minuscule 1" OLED 128x64.
I got the TFT touch screen for my ARM project, along with a 3 axis accelerometer, but I'll do colour version with aliased drawing of the  JAL libraries and test it on 18F4550.

I also got my 64 pin TQFP 18F67J50 parts today.


  • 64pin TQFP (surface mount) so 1/4 size of 40 pin DIL.
  • 128K Flash Memory, 3905 RAM (existing part is 32K Flash, 2900 RAM)
  • More I/O pins (Add GPS, packet Modem etc...)
  • $4.50 in quantity

I'm switching to it rather than 18F4550 for the CatPad.

GLCD Analogue Clock

Assume you have a LCD_write_pixel (x, y, ink)
where ink is on/black or off/white

Analogue Clock is centred in a 128x64 GLCD panel. Top left is 0, 0
bottom right is 127,63

to position any place from 32 to 95, subtract 31 off the x co-ordinates and have a constant added of the X-Offset.

The co-ordinates minutes and hours dots and the end points of the clock hands are created in a spreadsheet using
R * cos (minutes * 6 -90) and
R *sin (minutes * 6 -90)
as 1 minute is 6 degrees and 12 o'clock is 0 minutes = -90 degrees.
You'll need to convert to radians.

Assume you have a regular interrupt to count with:

first draw the clock face

              if  lastkey == "*" then
                    clock_on = true

in some initialisation or menu code

Main "tick" driven code fragment:

counter somehow gets incremented every 2ms in this example
if (counter == 0) then
counter = 500

if clock_on then
DrawSecondHand (seconds, off)
DrawMinuteHand (minutes,off)
DrawHourHand (hours, off)
end if
seconds = seconds +1
if seconds > 59 then
seconds = 0
minutes = minutes +1
if minutes > 59 then

Add-on portable CAT/CIV and DTMF

Slightly larger than a fist mike this project adds a direct numeric pad & menus to any radio with CAT/CIV. I'm testing it on an FT817ND.
The PIC based "speaker-Mic" is inspired by  Ham Radio Delux
[B]NOTE: This is still a "work in progress"!

The code examples here are considerably out of date.

The current design uses a 18F67J50 PIC, 60 pins, external I2C EEPROM data, 1Mbyte code Flash and USB.

PLT, Homeplug and mains Networking etc.

Some of these claim 200Mbbps or even 1Gbps. BT's own engineers have found they can interfere with ADSL, but the BT marketing guys selling Homevision don't want to talk about that.

RSGB has taken Ofcom to court alleging lack of enforcement of standards. Some produce more interference than others. It's hard to beat Shielded Cat5e along the edge of the skirting board.

Sweden has now taken action:<

If installing plugtop mains networking, do check your DSL Modem stats before and after and UK LW & MW Radio. SW too if you use it.

Some Energy saver bulbs completely obliterate R4 LW and others have no effect. Not all Electronic gear is created equal, but PLT/Homeplug etc is inherently a DSL like up toi 30MHz transmitter. DSL is on twisted pair wiring designed to minimise interference. Mains wiring is not, and the lighting and switch circuits particularly can act as aerials as "live" and "neutral" can be in different places in the ceiling or wall rather than side by side. The fuse box does not block the signals and the Electricity meter has only a small effect to block the signal.

See also<

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