Posts

Number Station Radio

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I'm a collector of niche online radio stations and have been for quite some time now. I'll list a few of my favourites further down this post. I've decided to start my own niche radio station that incorporates my hobby of amateur radio and shortwave listening. What I do is, I scanned the HF and VHF bands in the hope of discovering a few nice transmissions. These are then placed over an ambient soundtrack resulting on an oddly satisfying blend of radio transmissions and chill pop. I', a few episodes in now, broadcasting live every Sunday evening at 6pm but I'll never forget how lucky I was on the initial broadcast to receive transmissions from Croatia, Italy and the US, as well as the UK. You can listen to the live show on Sunday evenings at 6pm here . Alternatively, you can visit the Number Station website to hear a selection of pre-recorded tracks. There's an episode you can listen to below. In this episode, I go hunting for numbers stations around the world.

Starting Out In Amateur Radio

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WebSDR (Web Software Defined Radio) introduces a revolutionary way for individuals to explore radio frequency spectrums globally through a web browser interface. It offers an accessible platform for anyone interested in tuning into various frequencies, from amateur radio bands to shortwave broadcasts and beyond, without requiring specialized hardware. Users can remotely control receivers located worldwide, adjusting frequencies, modes, and bandwidth settings to listen to distant stations, monitor propagation conditions, or delve into the intricate world of radio communications.  You can access Hackgreen's WebSdr here:  http://hackgreensdr.org:8902/ The Jodrell WebSdr can be accessed here:  http://g0xbuwebsdr.ddns.net:8902/ HamSphere 5 stands as an innovative virtual amateur radio communication platform, simulating real-world HF (High Frequency) radio operations through an online environment. It offers a unique digital experience, allowing enthusiasts to operate virtual transceivers

Squirrel Falls Devlog Update

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I've been putting in the hours with regards to bug fixing and polishing my Game Boy game, Squirrel Falls. I came up with the idea of handing out a version of the game to my pupils as I know they wouldn't hold back with regards to their feedback. I've been reading up on the whole feedback process and there seems to be a common theme developing recently. That is, that people testing and playing the games don't want to hurt the developer's feelings and so are selective on what feedback they provide. This results in the quality and standard of games dropping. As I thought, my pupils were honest, really honest. They did actually pick up on a couple of issues that I'd overlooked and so more time and effort has been spent ironing out the issues. I'm really happy with the current version and I've recorded a bit of gameplay, stepping through the major changes. It's now a case of adding in little extras. As I would like the player to explore the map more and t

NFC Graffiti Sticker Prototype

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After a recent trip to Berlin, I was really impressed with the graffiti and the love the city has with stickers. Both were everywhere, some political, some just purely vandalism, but most were arty and for fun. I have also acquired a collection of NFC tags that I would like to pay around with and put together a little art project. After a little thought, and inspired by my trip to Berlin, the interactive graffiti sticker was born. The idea is that once you've designed your sticker, you slip an NFC tag behind it. The tag can then be programmed with a message, or even a website, when read by a mobile phone. Testing these stickers have been a lot of fun and I'm getting better at drawing graffiti lettering. They've been so much fin that I've put together little graffiti sticker kits to sell over on that auction site. CLICK HERE to take a look and get NFC stickering too!

Squirrel Falls Devlog: Part 1

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Over the summer months I decided to really get to grips with developing a Game Boy game using GB Studio . I have previously given this engine a go but without proper focus, I didn't really pursue it any further than just learning the basics. I entered the GB Compo 2023 game jam in order for me to have something to aim for, luckily this jam lasted pretty much the whole of the summer, so seemed perfect for what I wanted. The resulting game was Squirrel Falls, a game inspired by Animal Crossing, where you play a parcel courier. Thoughout the game, a dark story begins to unfold that eventually sees you fighting for survival as you attempt to escape the town. At the time of writing, the results of that competition haven't been released but while I wait, I'm in the process of developing the game further and already there has been so much progress made. I also have signed the game to Bitmap Soft , a retro games distributor who are going to help get the game to market, which is in

The Great Train Hack

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I've always maintained that a probem can be solved with code, so I was set a challenge. The challenge was make a friend's commute to and from work easier and more enjoyable. As they catch the train every day, my focus was on making their train journey easier. I've always enjoyed travelling by train but most of the time I get rather anxious when waiting on the train station platforms and I see crowds waiting for the same train as I am. Will I get a seat? Will I have to stand? Will I even get on? How can a problem like that be solved with code? One way would be to somehow get everyone to move off the station platform just before the train arrives, giving you the freedom to choose where you would like to sit. I soon hit on the idea of writing something that would announce in a convincing way, bogus train arrivals on other platforms. I found a really nice library of train station announcements and working with Pygame, put something together in Python. It took a couple of hours

Beating Pirates at Their Own Game

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Driving around the local area with my car radio tuned to 87.5 FM, I was really surprised at what I was able to pick up. After repeated tests, I've been able to work out that there's a small pirate radio station in my neighbouring town. They play a variety of music, it's a real (sometimes rather odd) mix with no commentary between tracks and every now and gain there is the sound of someone typing out a text message, so the audio source is an iPhone. It's been a really nice surprise to find and I've been listening to it lots as I pass through the town. After further investigation, I was able to track one of the signals down to an area hotel on the edge of the town and I wondered if they were broadcasting music on their own in-house station, or it could be emanating from one of the nearby factories. When I was a student working in the factories during the summer months, you would have to wear ear defenders but these had radios in them that we tuned to an internal frequ