Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lots of Distractions

I've been messing with a few things, the kids had a cubmobile race, and my wife had plenty of things for me to mess with. Along the way, I've been only reading about stuff. This week, Hackaday had some talk about this Jerri person who is building a FPGA software defined radio. I've been reading hackaday for a couple years, and always find some really cool info.

It turns out this Jerri person is Jeri Ellsworth, another self taught engineer. Instantly I respect her, but after seeing her work, I am even more impressed. She publishes a vlog, and a blog about her hobby work, and some other stuff. I've only been reading about her a couple days, but I thing this is really good info.

She is up to part 6 of her vlog reporting about this, and will end up publishing on element14. Suddenly I know about element14. Well, I knew about it a while ago, but never really paid any attention it is, since I had no idea if they sold something, or what they did. I've been getting EE Times and Embeded Systems Design magazines for about 20 years, and they are getting thinner and thinner, probably a sign of the times.

I've always enjoyed Circuit Cellar Ink, and still have issue 1, and a bunch of older Byte magazines, where Steve got his start. The price is up to almost $40/year ($45 for print) for the magazine, and that is scarey, and sad. It eliminates a bunch of people from being able to afford it, or thinking really hard about the magazine. It has always been at the high end, with limited advertising, and great content, but now I think it went too far. We will see how long that lasts.

The other thing I saw, Garmin has an "affordable" transponder for ADS/B. Turns out it is a 1090ES transponder. Well, that is a non-starter for GA as far as I am concerned. The FAA wants everyone below 18000ft to be using UATs, not 1090es transponders. This transponder is still about $2500, and UAT's are
still priced less. I am guessing this is "affordable" in the business jet jargon.

I promise to get back to my original project, check back next week.