Yaesu FTM-400XDR and Chirp

I use Chirp. I love it. It’s the only way to program my Baofeng UV-R(+) radios… Period.

Also I love that I can download repeater settings according to a zip code, county, state, etc…

I wanted to use Chirp for my Yaesu FTM-400XDR. However it looks like Chirp doesn’t support this model. So my initial reaction was to create the repeater list with Chirp, export on CSV, and import it to Yaesu.

But, that wasn’t possible either since Yaesu expects the data in a different order and format.

I wrote a small python script that rearranges and reformats the CSV file to the expected import file for the Yaesu’s own software. Check out the README to read how you can install and use the script.

By the way, Yaesu’s software to program the radio doesn’t work on Mac OS X natively, since it’s a Windows software. I managed to run it on Mac OS X using wine. But that’s another blog entry…

No timer in Mac OS X? No problem!

Mac OS X doesn’t come with a timer installed by default. There are bunch of timers in the App Store, you can definitely install one of those.

But here is how to make one from scratch. Open terminal screen and type:

sleep 5 ; say "Time is up"

Well that’s it 🙂 This command will sleep for 5 seconds and say “Time is up” at the end of 5 seconds.

We can make a little script out of it and save as /usr/local/bin/timer as below:

#!/bin/bash
sleep $1 ; say "Time is up"

You can invoke the command like this, it will sleep 5 seconds and tell you “Time is up”:

timer 5

As a bonus, if you want minutes instead of seconds, you can always do something like this which will run the timer for 5 minutes:

timer `echo "5*60" | bc`

Replacing Unity with XFCE in Ubuntu

Here is what I do as soon as I install a new Ubuntu instance: I remove unity desktop and replace it with XFCE. And if you want to do the same it’s pretty straightforward. 😉

Perform all of these as root in a terminal window, or prepend with sudo. (Look elsewhere for GUI steps 🙂 )

  1. Update your repos:
    apt-get update
  2. Uninstall Unity and ubuntu-desktop:
    apt-get purge ubuntu-desktop unity-*
  3. Install XFCE Desktop environment:
    apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
  4. Restart lightdm:
    /etc/init.d/lightdm restart

Voilà! You’re using XFCE desktop! 😉

ý yerine ı görmek istiyor musunuz?

Türkçe karakterlerin sorunsalı olan ISO-8859-9 formatıyla UTF-8 arasındaki uyuşmazlığı çözen küçük bir python scripti yazdım. Program girdi olarak ISO-8859-9 formatlanmış bir yazı alıyor ve de UTF-8 ile formatlayıp dosyaya yazıyor.

Kullanımı:

python convertToUnicode.py --input /path/to/filename.srt --output /path/to/convertedfilename.srt

ya da

python convertToUnicode.py -i /path/to/filename.srt -o /path/to/convertedfilename.srt

Siz de kullanmak istiyorsanız: https://github.com/emresaglam/convertToUnicode

OpenVPN client test, without a client.

If you need to test the connectivity of your openvpn server from a client’s perspective, you can use this command:

echo -e “\x38\x01\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00” |     timeout 10 nc -u your.openvpnserver.ip port | cat -v

 

This sends TLS negotiation header to the server and expects a reply in 10 seconds. If you get an empty line, things timed out. If you get a reply like the line below, you have connectivity.

@M-QM-^MTM-aM-^U^VM-Q^C^@^@^@^@^@@M-QM-^MTM-aM-^U^VM-Q^C^@^@^@^@^@

My letter to Recaro

91NL3dV8fxL._SL1500_Dear Recaro,

Today we are going to talk about a nasty topic: Puking. When input is not routed correctly, it becomes a nasty, dangerous projectile. And that’s exactly what happened when my almost 2 year old daughter started puking on our brand newish Recaro Performance Sport ChildSeat.

Your product acted like a champ!

Stopped the overflows in many layers, absorbed some of the half chewed blueberry leftovers, deflected some others. The smell and the colors of the grapes, almost fermented by the bodily juices and scorching sun, were very easy to clean since the different layers of fabric and foam were super easy to remove.

The designer team of the harnesses needs a raise or a trip to Hawaii or something like that. Where the harnesses meet the seat was designed so good that all I needed to do is to spray some fabric cleaner and use a toothpick to remove the oozy, jelly grape particles.

Overall, if you test your seats against puking, you already know you are doing a great job. If not, you can sleep very good tonight knowing that your product passed my daughter’s puking and my cleaning test!

Thank you Recaro!

Shake your power and sustainability

My wife showed me this really great project called Shake Your Power. I recommend backing their project up on kickstarter. The project is lead by a great musician called Sudha Kheterpal. It’s a good way of transforming kinetic energy to electricity. I’m not going to go into details on how it’s doing it, because their video is doing a great job.

My question on twitter to them was about the support behind this product (especially dead batteries). And their answer was that they wanted to hear my engineering ideas. Here they are:

First of all this is not an engineering issue (unless you want to solve one of the world’s biggest problems: concentrating energy in a reusable and tiny format). My question was more along the lines: What will these people do when their batteries are end of life? And this actually is a support issue.

You are working on a product that will change people’s life for good. People will depend on this product for their main portable electric source.

I’m assuming that the battery is a LiPo (or Li-ion) type. These type of batteries have a lifespan of 300-500 charges. After that, their output starts to degrade significantly. If we are talking about Africa, another factor will be temperatures over 30º C. High temperatures put even more stress on LiPo batteries.

With everyday charging and using, you will most likely get 1-2 years of life from these batteries. And when these batteries are dead, they will need replacing. And if people cannot find electricity, they probably will not be able to find special LiPo batteries.

My recommendation is simple: Leave the charger unit in the shaker just like the way it is. Replace your batteries with easy to find, rechargeable AA batteries.

Or better, build a support infrastructure behind this project that will find the owner and replace the batteries let’s say every 2 years. It might be a bigger challenge than engineering this product, but your change will be permanent!

I just don’t want this to be yet another western project that reaches out to developing countries and forgets about the people that they touched within a few years.

Image by Shake Your Power. All Rights Reserved.
Image by Shake Your Power. All Rights Reserved.

Balonda Yaşamak

Son zamanlarda bir çok arkadaşım (özellikle de sosyal medya üzerinde) ülkenin halinden nefret ediyor. Türkiye’nin bu kadar rezalet yönetilmesine rağmen neden hala AKP iktidarının %50’ye varan oyla başa tekrardan gelebildiğine şaşırıyor ve kendine ve başkalarına açıklamak için nedenler bulmaya çalışıyor.

İşin ilginci de, bu insanların (ve benim tabii ki) bütün sosyal medya arkadaşları da öyle düşünüyor! Çevresinde AKP yandaşı fikir üreten o kadar az kişi var ki, insanlar haliyle son seçimlerin nasıl böyle sonuçlandığına inanamıyorlar.

İşte bu, herkesin kendi balonunda yaşadığının en önemli göstergesi.

İnsanlar haliyle en rahat olduğu ortamlarda hareket etmeyi tercih ederler. Rahat kavramı birçok nedene bağlı olabilir: Kültürel, dinsel, ailesel, yemeksel, iklimsel, vs… Örneğin kabaca: islam dinine bağlı, sıcak iklimde büyümüş, haftasonlarını aile yemekleri içinde geçiren bir insanın, başka dine bağlı, buz gibi bir ülkede, kendi başına izole yaşaması düşük ihtimalli bir tercihtir.

Tercihlerimiz her zaman bize bağlı olmayabilir ama sosyal medya gibi kendimize kolaylıkla uydurabileceğimiz bir ortamda, bize rahat gelmeyen fikirleri olan insanları silerek, çok kolay bir şekilde sevdiğimiz parametrelere uyan bir ortam yaratabiliriz. Sonuçta birisi her dakika AKP’yi öven bir Facebook post’u yapıyorsa, siz de bundan rahatsız oluyorsanız, bu kişiyi listenizden silersiniz, olur biter.

Ama bunu yaptıktan sonra sonuclarına da katlanmanız, bizbize takıldığınızı unutmamanız gerekiyor. Aynı şey sizin balonunuzun dışında ve kendi balonu içerisinde yaşayan insanlar icin de geçerli. Herkes birbirine aynı seyleri anlatıp duruyor ama kimse balonunun dışını etkileyemiyor.

Demokrasi tamamen rakamlara dayalı olduğu icin balonunuzda istediğiniz kadar davul çalın, diğer balon dinlemiyor. Ya balonunu patlat, ya da olanlara şaşırma. Kalın saglicakla.

(Picture credit: The boy in the bubble)