ARM Notebook

Recently acquired a PineBook Pro. This device is to replace my ageing (2013) Macbook Air. The Air is still adequate for the tasks however the battery is EOL and will turn off once below 40%. Replacing the battery is an option costing ~$100 with 12 month warranty. Ok, Apples new Airs are based on ARM processors but I have been […]

That was one of the messages from hungry people who suffered through famine as far back as 1417 in what is now the Czech Republic. They carved their notes on the stones to warn future generations of the dangers of drought: Spoiled crops, expensive food and widespread hunger.During a 2013 study on the rocks, researchers revealed that numerous dates had […]

Allen’s Antenna Farm

The year started with major work on my antennas. Sourced a TET-Emtron TE-46 and it arrived November 2021. Had to wait until January to hire a cherry picker to remove the existing 20M mono band and replace with this 4 Element 6 band Yagi. Also had to fix the faulty 160M loop as well as paint and reseal roof lines. […]

2021. The year that barely was,

2021 taught us to plan but to detach from the outcome. So whilst there may have been grand plans for activity,2021 was not a big year for activating as circumstances changed. Time was a premium as I joined local SES and WICEN units. Can see need for preparedness given the frequent and severe extreme weather events occurring. This is due […]

Time Machine Backup Target

We will install Net talk to provide APF and Avahi to advertise and host on a external drive. The RPI4B firmware natively supports USB 3.0 and booting from SSD drives. Will boot from the SD card as want separate data partition. Booting from SSD is not the issue. With a 4 and latest OS it is a case of selecting […]

26092021 – SiOTA VK-BLL3 & VK-DLE3

COVID Restrictions had been eased. There has not a lot of activating going on here but i have kept my eye on two Silos in the Ballarat area. SiOTA rules describe the activation zone to be within 1km of the silo. This gives an lot of room to operate. You can check the activation zones using Google Earth by downloading […]


SMSGTE allows you to send text messages via APRS to and receive responses from your phone bridging the gap between APRS and SMS. SMSGTE came to my attention when park activators started to exploit JS8 to send SMS messages when out of phone range. APRS supports real time information sharing between enabled assets, not just positioning packets and SMSGTE enhanced […]

Storm Switch

As we live in the country, the power supply is not reliable. Any issue downstream results in power loss. This is frustrating as we have solar cells and actually sell into the grid. During winter even minor storms usually result in short periods of no power and summer is worse as the heat stresses the grid, brownouts and again storms […]

31072021 – HEMA VK3/HVC-041 Black Hill

This is a local hill that I have been looking forward to activating from for a while. It does not have prominence so not included in SOTA but qualifies for HEMA. VK3/VC-018 Mt Buninyong to the left and VK3/VC-019 Mount Warrenheip (VKFF-2402 Mount Warrenheip FLR) to the right. This is a private hill however access is easy. I will share […]

ParksnPeaks – Site Update

Recent months had seen new programs for portable operation commence in VK & ZL. These new programs required updates to ParksnPeaks to support. A common awards page was developed to improve the time required to add support and to address some old code that was lacking. Also the menu system was revamped to enhance user experience in smaller devices. Finally […]