A few days ago I built a radio receiver out of junk, because my usual radio had died a death and I wanted to listen to a specific part of the shortwave bands around 3.5 – 4 MHz.

Last night I scanned up and down the band and located what sounded like a fax transmission, a short while later and I’d recorded several minutes of the signal. A litter later still and I’d decoded it using some software I wrote nearly 10 years ago.


It looks a little messy, but it is quite obviously a weather map showing iso-bars and weather fronts over the Atlantic, the UK and Europe.  Not bad for random DIY experiments.

Enough with the conferences!

I returned from a Canadian conference had barely a day and a weekend to recover from jet-lag before the kickoff of IVESC in London. IVESC ended on Wednesday, Thursday was a mad rush to arrange stuff before the Boss heads off to India for the rest of the month.  Friday was a one-day meeting elsewhere in London, I only made half of this due to the Great British Beer Festival attendance the night before.

No more conferences this month, please!

Some notes:

  • Alcohol – the USA and Canada issue drink tickets at conferences. The UK issues bottles and cans (especially at poster sessions).
  • Apple Macs (all sorts) and Asus Eee PCs seem to be the favourites with scientific conference delegates.
  • You can really only get a decent cup of Tea in the UK.

Oh look. Another conference I’ll be at. Not until November though.


My luck held out and there were just enough gaps in the cloud to catch the start and maxima of the eclipse. It is pretty much solid cloud now, so I’m not going to see the moon leaving the sun.  I’ve taken about a dozen photographs of the progress of the moon across the sun – I’ll post them here when I’ve cropped and fiddled with them.


Not that I watch my visitor stats obsessively or anything, but after appearing first on diamond geezer’s (alphabetically ordered) sites-wot-link-here list yesterday, I thought I’d see if the link sent any traffic in my direction.  Google Analytics claims at least 13 people clicked though to me, some of those that visited even went back and read some stuff that isn’t on the first page.

*wave* Hello new people if you’re still reading.

Right, I’m off to watch the eclipse.