writes: In the video here, the Falcon 9 first stage is shown landing with a tilt, and then a thruster keeps the rocket vertical on the barge for a few seconds before it quits, followed by Kabooom with obvious significant damage to the barge. It looks like this attempt was incredibly close to success. Given fixes, a successful first-stage recovery seems likely.Link to Original Source
writes: Chris Testa KD2BMH and I have been working for years on a software-defined transceiver that would be FCC-legal and could communicate using essentially any mode and protocol up to 1 MHz wide on frequencies between 50 and 1000 MHz. It's been discussed here before, most recently when Chris taught gate-array programming in Python. We are about to submit the third generation of the design for PCB fabrication, and hope that this version will be salable as a "developer board" and later as a packaged walkie-talkie, mobile, and base station. This radio is unique in that it uses your smartphone for the GUI, uses apps to provide communication modes, contains an on-board FLASH-based gate-array and a ucLinux system. We intend to go for FSF "Respects Your Freedom" certification for the device. My slide show contains 20 pages of schematics and is full of ham jargon ("HT" means "handi-talkie", an old Motorola product name and the hams word for "walkie talkie") but many non-hams should be able to parse it with some help from search engines. Bruce Perens K6BPLink to Original Source
writes: Republican Senator Thom Tillis said, during a widely reported appearance, that businesses should be allowed to opt-out of requirements that food-service employees wash their hands after using the rest-room.
Tillis was obviously attempting to out-do Rand Paul and Chris Christie, Republicans who have both recently voiced opposition to vaccination requirements.
writes: Chris Testa KB2BMH taught a class on gate-array programming the SmartFusion chip, a Linux system and programmable gate-array on a single chip, using MyHDL, the Python Hardware Design Language to implement a software-defined radio transceiver. Watch all 4 sessions: 1, 2, 3, 4. And get the slides and code. Chris's Whitebox hardware design implementing an FCC-legal 50-1000 MHz software-defined transceiver in Open Hardware and Open Source, will be available in a few months. Here's an Overview of Whitebox and HT of the Future.
Slashdot readers funded this video and videos of the entire TAPR conference. Thanks!
writes: I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of
congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter
end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space.
Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join
me and send something similar to your own representatives.
Find them here and
here. — Bruce
Dear Congressperson Lee,
The U.S. is dependent on the
Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can
bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space
vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed
around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.
Mr. Putin has become much too bold
because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia
Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.
Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner
than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has
announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate
foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private
funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that
SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over
existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully
brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the
ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground.
They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to
significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar
test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's
first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use
after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable
first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could
result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps
1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new
frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our
nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now
support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.
This plan is not without risk, and like all space research
there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life.
However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased
support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our
nation and the world.
Please write back to me.
writes: The TAPR Digital Communications Conference has been covered twice here and is a great meeting on leading-edge wireless technology, mostly done as Open Hardware and Open Source software. Free videos of the September 2014 presentations will be made available if you help via Kickstarter. For an idea of what's in them, see the Dayton Hamvention interviews covering Whitebox, our Open Hardware handheld software-defined radio transceiver, and Michael Ossman's HackRF, a programmable Open Hardware transceiver for wireless security exploration and other wireless research. Last year's TAPR DCC presentations are at the Ham Radio Now channel on Youtube.Link to Original Source
writes: Codec2 is the Open Source ultra-low-bandwidth speech codec capable of encoding voice in 1200 Baud. FreeDV (freedv .org) is an HF (global-range radio) implementation that uses half the bandwidth of SSB, and without the noise.
Here are three speeches about where it's going:
- David Rowe: Embedding Codec2: Open Source speech coding on a low-cost microprocessor, at Linux.conf.au 2014. YouTube, downloadable MP4.
- Bruce Perens: FreeDV, Codec2, and HT of the Future (how we're building a software-defined walkie-talkie that's smarter than a smartphone), at the TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference 2013. Blip.tv, YouTube
- Chris Testa on the .Whitebox handheld software-defined radio design that is the RF portion of HT of the Future, which was also shown at the TAPR conference.
writes: FCC is currently processing a request for rule-making, RM-11699, that would allow the use of Amateur frequencies in the U.S. for private, digitally-encrypted messages.
Encryption is a potential disaster for ham radio because it defeats its self-policing nature. If hams can't decode messages, they can't identify if the communication even belongs on ham radio. A potentially worse problem is that encryption destroys the harmless nature of Amateur radio.There's no reason for governments to believe that encrypted communications are harmless.
See http://hams.com/encryption/ for more information.Link to Original Source