Archive | May 2013

A Hyperlapse Demo

I have this great piece of kit and a good dose of experience in relation to time lapse photography. I’ve began to notice a few TV shows using moving time lapse videos on things like Britain’s Got Talent and Got To Dance. I have the kit to do it, and have pretty good rates too!

If you have a TV show, feature film, music video, promo or anything else that could benefit from this sort of shot, please get in touch with me for availability and I can help you. The kit is brilliant and can go in pretty much any direction you want over a period of speeds. The overall effect id quite spectacular:

Laying the Foundations

Following on from my post last year about playing with the DX and more recently revisiting a hobby, I have decided it’s about time I went back into education. My interest in Amateur Radio has, so far, been more than a fleeting trial. Some of my previous interests and hobbies waned quickly (snow boarding, RC helicopters and painting to name a few!). I’ve learned to give things time before devoting more effort (and money) towards them. So I plan on learning the Foundation License syllabus to gain a basic license as set out by OFCOM.

The Foundation License is the basic of three levels. It’s the “easy way” in to Amateur Radio and tests the basic understanding of transmitting and receiving, antennas, the technicalities of radio and, most importantly, safety.

In order to see if this interest will stick, I’ve set myself the challenge of learning and passing the exam within the next six months. My understanding is it shouldn’t take more than 12 hours worth of ‘classroom based’ theory with a trained operator, or alternatively learning the whole syllabus by myself, but I’m keeping in mind the fact I’m freelance and have no idea what my schedule will be like from one week to the next! When I’ve passed the exam I’ll be given a call sign, be allowed on certain frequencies and interact with other hams around the world.

I’m interested to hear from others on their experience of Amateur Radio, so please do leave a comment below.

Are you a ham operator?

Was it easy for you to get your licence?

Did you run into any particular problems?

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UPDATE 1: Out of interest to see if my (rather old) high school education in Physics and Higher Physics would help, I took a mock Intermediate License multiple choice exam. I scored 37%. Clearly I need some work!

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UPDATE 2: I contacted my closest Ham Radio Club to discuss training, but they were fully booked on their upcoming courses. I guess that proves the hobby is still as popular ever. The gent I spoke to suggested I could probably go it alone, and he’d send me notes, homework and mock exams. So that’s the plan!

Amateur Radio; Revisited

As a geek of all things “film and television” I’m also becoming a geek for radio. Today I rediscovered my interest for amateur radio. As a kid, my friends and I used to use my dads “citizens band” radios for fun, pretending we were police officers, or spies, running around the neighbourhood playing electronic hide and seek. Today I was reminded of the fact it was my granddad who probably started my interest in radio as a young boy when he gave me a radio scanner which let us listen to the pilots at the local airport. Of course, amateur radio has a bit more to it than just scanning frequencies. But it’s definitely granddad John’s fault I like the sound of white noise!

Last year I bought an Intek HR 5500 transceiver. After many nightshifts of research I bought this model as it has the ability to be reprogrammed and use other frequencies, more than what it shipped with as standard. It meant it was capable of the ‘standard’ CB channels, but could also be used on 10m. However, reprogramming it wasn’t easy. For starters, the software to reprogram the radio only works on Windows. And I’m a Mac user. So I had to use emulation software in order to run it. Secondly, the emulator didn’t recognise the reprogramming cable device. This turned out to be a software driver problem. And thirdly, I couldn’t find any documentation to show me where to plug in the cable, or how to use the software!

And so, out of frustration, this tutorial was born. If you have an Intek HR 5500, an Anytone AT5555, a Comtex CX 1000, a SuperStar SS 6900, a Hannover BR 9000 or a K-PO DX 5000, then this video will show you how to reprogram it. The circuitry inside appears to be from the same chinese factory and rebranded for export to different parts of the world. The steps to reprogram all these radios is the same.