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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Live AC Wire or Neutral House Wiring Antenna

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Live wire antenna
or how to use live or neutral wire in your home as receiving antenna for long wave, medium wave, or short wave


Warning: use of this antenna is not recommended if you do not use fuse, separate antenna coil and high voltage capacitors to connect to high voltage live wire. You risk death otherwise. Be careful and use all safety precautions. Always assume that neutral wire might be live as well, if improperly wired. Even if properly wired, it can become live due to a fault.

Live wire / neutral wire antenna

I was looking through some old radio books - mostly tube designs - when it was mentioned that it's possible to use live or neutral wire in AC household wiring as receiving antenna. Of course, this is possible only with high voltage capacitor inserted between the receiver antenna terminal and live or neutral wire. AC wiring antenna solution was mentioned as some type of last resort, when no other antenna can be installed due to space constraints. Ground conductor can be used as Earth ground.

Old books recommend cold water pipe as ground connection, but I'm not sure whether this is good/practical/allowed any more. They also recommend "one good condenser" for antenna connection, not 2 in series. I guess people were braver then :)

Receiver circuit and antenna connection

I decided to test this system myself. I made a small 2-transistor medium-wave AM receiver, with headphone output. To reduce main tank circuit loading, HF is taken from a capacitive divider of variable cap and 5 nF cap. Smaller voltage drop exists on larger capacitor due to its smaller capacitive reactance Xc=1/(2*pi*f*C). Received high frequency is demodulated at the base of first transistor and then amplified as low frequency in the first and second transistor stage. Calculated frequency range: approximately 700 kHz - 2800 kHz.

To protect myself and my receiver, I decided to use two high voltage capacitors in series, antenna coil galvanically separated from remainder of circuit, and fuse. If high voltage spike is somehow able to penetrate through both 1 kV rated capacitors, it will blow open the fuse. Failing that, antenna coil (0.3 mm diameter wire, 20 turns) will burn out, with no further damage done to receiver (or user). Hopefully. :)

Simple MW AM direct receiver schematic with live wire antenna connection shown.

Coil, variable capacitor and receiver circuit. Headphones can be of low or high impedance.


Several tests were done: first with 1 m wire antenna, without ground connection. Four nearby AM stations were received, 3 were identified for testing. Latter tests were done with live wire antenna, neutral wire antenna, and power cable antenna NOT plugged into the outlet.

Connection setup with live wire (black wire) connected as antenna. Male power plug not plugged into the outlet.


Video Link...

Testing video with live wire as antenna. Antenna is plugged into the AC outlet during the video. This changes main receiver LC circuit frequency somewhat, so re-tuning is necessary for maximum sound output. Sound is weak because it is coming from the headphones only, so weaker stations cannot be heard in the video.


Back in the 1970's AM-FM Stereos came with a little T-Antenna. Made out of flat TV Antenna Wire. It was the Standard Antenna wiring at the time. This was before RF Cable came into wide spread use for TV Antenna wiring. Since the Flat TV Antenna wiring was not shielded. It made a pretty good little Antenna for Radios. I suppose that the T-Design was supposed to improve reception. But, I discovered that a longer piece of flat antenna wire, actually worked better. I also discovered that pretty much any type of un-shielded wire could be used for a Radio Antenna. I think that single strand copper wire works better than multi-strand wire. But, I usually just try what ever type of wire that I have available, when the need arises for better Radio Reception. The old Copper Single Stranded Telephone wire works pretty well for this purpose. I have tried different Configurations. Straight, Looped and T's. But, the thing, that makes the biggest difference, is, putting your Wire Antenna near or in a Window. I also had an actual FM Radio Antenna, back in 1976. I had moved to Wichita Falls, TX and they had No Rock n Roll Station there!:( I grew up in Azle TX, near Fort Worth and my favorite Radio Station was KZEW, "The Zew" (Zoo). An "Album Rock" Station. They played the whole songs, not the shortened "Radio Cuts". And I liked Q102 as well. It cam out just before The Zew wen out of business. I could not get any of the Dallas Rock Stations on my Home Stereo. But, sometimes I could get them on my Car Radio. Depending on where in the City that I was. It was staticky and the signal faded in and out. So, I figured there was a chance, with a better antenna. So, I bought a 10 to 15ft (don't remember the exact size now) FM Antenna at Radio Shack. It worked great!:) I was able to listen to my favorite Radio Stations on my Home Stereo!:) The signal dis degrade with Weather Changes, such as certain types of Clouds. Sometimes, the Clouds would cause other even more distant Stations to come in too. I kept that Antenna for at least 15 years. I used it as a TV Antenna, wen I moved back to Azle, a few years later. It wasn't as good for TV reception. You had to choose, to either aim it for the best VHF or UHF reception. So, I mounted it on a pole, close to a Window and would just reach out and turn it when I wanted to get a better Signal on a Certain Channel. I never did get one of those Electric Remote Antenna Turners, like I planned...


Live AC Wire or Neutral House Wiring Antenna
Using mains wiring as an antenna - Hack a Day
DSCF0525.AVI - YouTube
Live wire / neutral wire receiving antenna

Programming an Arduino using an audio file and Audio Bootloader

A proof of concept that uses an Arduino to read a Korg monotribe firmware file in m4a audio format.


TribeDuino is a proof of concept that uses an Arduino to read a Korg Monotribe audio-encoded firmware file. It doesn't do anything with the data except calculate a checksum to prove that it read it correctly. The program works by connecting an Arduino to an MP3 player of some kind via an audio patch cable, and then playing the firmware audio file so that the Arduino can hear it.

UPDATE: Want to program Arduinos with sound? See Audioino!


The firmware uses frequency-shift keying, or FSK, to encode its data. In FSK, you pick a point on a sine wave (like the peak), and measure how much time elapses between peaks. Over time, variations in the peak-to-peak period represent data. The Korg firmware uses binary FSK, which means that there are only two possible period lengths. A short period is a binary one, and a long period is a binary zero.

There is a 342-short-bit gap between packets that would seem pointless for a PC that's decoding the sound file offline. But for an Arduino or Monotribe that is reading the audio stream real-time, it's a much-needed 75-millisecond break during which the device can do something interesting with the packet it just decoded, such as writing it to flash memory, without falling behind for the next packet.

The effective bitrate is very close to 2400 baud (calculated using a 33,024-byte final firmware file, 8 bits per byte, and an audio runtime of about 1:50). That figure is not entirely comparable to a real 2400-baud modem for various reasons.


Read More and get files at sowbug/TribeDuino - GitHub...

Audio Bootloader

by chris on Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:17 pm

Audio Bootloader for Atmega Microcontrollers

It is possible to load a program into an AVR-microcontroller over the audio interface of a PC or laptop:

The bootloader presented here has the following features:

- automatic Baudrate detection and calibration
- works without calibration with 8Mhz or 16MHz sysclk ( possibly 1MHz, not tested )
- very simply hardware circuit: 2 resistors and a 100nF capacitor to connect to the audio line
- only one pin for data transmission needed and an additional pin for a status led
- low memory footprint: 800 bytes
- java program to generate the sound, works on win and Linux

As line coding scheme Manchester-coding is used. With this type of coding we achieve only half the transmission speed than with "Flankenkodierung" used in Soundrxtx. Therefore the mean value of the signal is more stable and no calibration potientiometer is needed.

have fun,
(172.27 KiB) Downloaded 650 times
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 7:21 am
Go there...

Cool Stuff!:) I wonder if this would work on a TI MSP-EXP430FR5739? That's all I have to work with... 

Programming an Arduino using an audio file
Programming an Arduino using an audio file - Hack a Day
sowbug/TribeDuino - GitHub
Program an Arduino using your sound card - Hack a Day • View topic - Audio Bootloader
Reverse engineering a Korg Monotribe - Hack a Day
Microcontroller comm with a computer monitor - Hack a Day

Thursday, December 29, 2011

WiFi Protected Setup Flaw Can Lead to Compromise of Router PINs | threatpost

December 27, 2011, 11:59AM

WiFi Protected Setup Flaw Can Lead to Compromise of Router PINs

The US-CERT is warning about a vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Setup standard that reduces the number of attempts it would take an attacker to brute-force the PIN for a wireless router's setup process. The flaw results in too much information about the PIN being returned to an attacker and makes the PIN quite weak, affecting the security of millions of WiFi routers and access points.

WPS is a method for setting up a new wireless router for a home network and it includes a way for users to set up the network via an external or internal registrar. In this method, the standard requires a PIN to be used during the setup phase. The PIN often is printed somewhere on the wireless router or access point. The vulnerability discovered in WPS makes that PIN highly susceptible to brute force attempts.

"When the PIN authentication fails the access point will send an EAP-NACK message back to the client. The EAP-NACK messages are sent in a way that an attacker is able to determine if the first half of the PIN is correct. Also, the last digit of the PIN is known because it is a checksum for the PIN. This design greatly reduces the number of attempts needed to brute force the PIN. The number of attempts goes from 108 to 104 + 103 which is 11,000 attempts in total," the US-CERT advisory says.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Solar Tech Town - How To Build A Solar Panel

How To Build A Solar Panel

Robert explains in the video below how to build a solar panel and a solar power system easily and cheaply. Note, the video player will automatically take you to the next video in the series of videos.

Go there...

How To Build A Solar Panel - Part 1

Video Playlist Link...

Uploaded by on Jun 6, 2009

Watch in HD

I, Robert Smith, show you every step I take to building a custom made solar panel from scratch. I explain in detail about each item I use and why to use it, so the video is fairly long.

I will be hosting the majority of the video on my own server so you can view it all in one take. It will take time to edit the video, but the more of you that subscribe to the video, the faster I'll try to get it out to you guys as it just shows that people are interested and appreciate what I'm doing, as I'm providing this video for free unlike some videos you see on YouTube.

The method I described in this video is just one way to go about it, however, there are many ways you can build a custom solar panel. Some use aluminum or plastic frames, but I found for a beginner, working with wood would probably be easier and cheaper.

Overall, building a solar panel can be fun, but there are many factors that play into building a solar panel, and I as well still have an extreme amount to still learn about it.

So I hope that for those wanting to learn more about solar energy and wanting to take the adventure of building their own solar panel will find this video very useful.

To watch to full video just video, just visit:

Again the video is fairly large, so to prevent from having to put 6 or 7 parts on youtube in 10 minute sections, I'm just going to host in on my server.

If you all have ANY questions, feel free to leave a comment under the video.

Thanks guys!


Howto & Style



Standard YouTube License

Looks great from the Start!:) I will watch the whole Series soon... And yes, I have noticed the same problem with finding complete info on Building Solar Panels. Most of the Videos I find, just end up being Sales Pitches for some Company or individual Selling their "Best Method" for building Solar Panels. The thing, that I am interested in is, how to build the actual Solar Cells... I'm sure that there have been some advances since 2009. But then again, most really new Tech is also more expensive. So, I think, after seeing your How To Build A Solar Charged RC Electric Lawn Mower - Intro - YouTube. That this Series is definitely worth watching. So, thanks in advance Robert, for putting all of this work and effort together!:)


How To Build A Solar Panel
Solar Tech Town - How To Build A Solar Panel
How To Build A Solar Panel - Part 1 - YouTube

Solar Powered Water Purification Systems
solar-powered water purification systems - Google Search
solar-powered water purification systems - Google Search Steripen Adventurer Opti Uv Water Purifier with Solar Charging Case: Sports & Outdoors: Reviews, Prices & more
solar-powered water purification systems - Google Search
YouTube - Solvaten Water System
solar powered water purification systems - Google Search
Texas Colonias Renewable Energy Projects
Solar-Powered Water Treatment
WorldWater Solar
YouTube - Solapure (Solar Powered Water Purification System)
YouTube - safe drinking water from solar powered water purification systems
SECO Stimulus - American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
Funding and Incentives

Solar-powered bird house Tweets using B-Squares
YouTube - B-Squares Recipe: Solar Powered Wireless Tweeting Birdhouse.
B-Squares: Modular Solar Powered Electrics. by Jordan McRae — Kickstarter

Solar Energy - A Simple DIY Solar Tracker - Living on Solar
Living on Solar - How we use solar power
Solar Electricity - Our Solar Electric Home
Solar Tracking - How We Made A Solar Tracker
Reviewing last week's solar energy news : Clean Energy Authority
YouTube - Diy Solar Tracker
Solar Panel Kit - 45 Watt
Solar Tracking Video - We Made Our Own Solar Tracker

Robert's Video series shows how to build your own solar-charged R/C lawnmower
Video series shows how to build your own solar-charged R/C lawnmower - Hack a Day
How To Build A Solar Charged RC Lawn Mower | Robert's Website - Projects | Resources | Creative Works
How To Build A Solar Charged RC Electric Lawn Mower - Intro - YouTube
Robert Smith's Website - Projects | Resources | Creative Works
Robert Smith The Official Robert Smith Site | The Official Robert Smith Site
RobertSmith3's Channel - YouTube
RobertSmith3's Channel - YouTube
How To Build A Solar Panel - Part 1 - YouTube

How To Build A Solar Charged RC Electric Lawn Mower

Robert Smith has put together a series of videos below that will show you how to create a solar charged remote control electric lawn mower (SCRCELM). The videos below will explain everything you need to know such as what parts to order, how to hook up components, advice, and more. After viewing a video, the video player will automatically take you to the next video in the series. So sit tight, enjoy, and let Robert guide the way.

Go there and download full Drawings and see his other Projects too...

How To Build A Solar Charged RC Electric Lawn Mower
Robert Smith explains and shows his entire process for creating a solar charged remote control electric lawn mower.

Video Playlist Link...

RobertSmith3's Channel - YouTube

From: RobertSmith3  | Nov 1, 2011  | 2,214 views
Visit for more details regarding this project.

All parts, documents, and other components used in the project will be listed on the website above.

If you have any questions or feedback, please post them in the comment section below.

FaceBook Fan Page:
Website: (less info)
View comments, related videos, and more

Robert did a great job on this Project and a fantastic job with the Detailed Videos and Drawings on How to Build one of your own. I think that if I built this one... It would be easy to "Tom Sawyer" my buddy Lee, into Mowing my Lawn for Free, for Ever!;) He loves RC Toys:) After I'm done playing with it, of course;)


Video series shows how to build your own solar-charged R/C lawnmower
Video series shows how to build your own solar-charged R/C lawnmower - Hack a Day
How To Build A Solar Charged RC Lawn Mower | Robert's Website - Projects | Resources | Creative Works
How To Build A Solar Charged RC Electric Lawn Mower - Intro - YouTube
Robert Smith's Website - Projects | Resources | Creative Works
Robert Smith The Official Robert Smith Site | The Official Robert Smith Site
RobertSmith3's Channel - YouTube
RobertSmith3's Channel - YouTube

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Light Shows 2011

2011 - Bruce Broughton Overture 34th - on Vimeo

2011 - Bruce Broughton Overture 34th - from on Vimeo.

Video Link...

Don's Favorite Christmas Light Shows on

Video Link...

Christmas Light Shows
Skyrim Christmas Light Show, Other Amazing Holiday Displays | WebProNews
Skyrim Theme with Christmas Lights - YouTube
Heavy Metal Christmas light show - YouTube
2011 - Bruce Broughton Overture 34th - on Vimeo
DonsDeals: Hacked LED and Standard Christmas Lights - Videos
Google Custom Search

Hacked LED and Standard Christmas Lights G35 LED Christmas Light Review and Teardown - YouTube
Multiplexed, MOSFET driven, dual microprocessor controlled LED array with 1474 LED's - YouTube
Nightlights on the Canal - Cubatron - YouTube
3D LED Mesh - The O2 Dublin - YouTube
LED Video Ball, RGB LED chandelier, LED ORB - YouTube
Hacked LED Christmas Lights - Hack a Day
MAKE | Hacking LED Christmas lights
Hacked Christmas Lights - YouTube
LED color-changing lights - YouTube
schneefall led snowfall led falling down led led schnee weihnachten - YouTube
Color Changing LED Tree - YouTube
DonsDeals: Choreographed Christmas lights - Hack a Day
Hacked LED Christmas Lights - Google Custom Search
Choreographed Christmas lights - Hack a Day
DIY Christmas Lights Set To Music - Choreographed House Lights
Sound activated christmas lights - Hack a Day
musicsyncronizedchristmaslights - rybitski
The Rybitski Christmas tree Effect - YouTube
How To Make Music Synchronized Lights - Video
Wizards In Winter Christmas Lights - YouTube
Let It Snow - YouTube
Jingle Bells Techno - YouTube
Boucher Family Christmas Lights
Boucher Family Christmas Lights − Videos
2010 Silent Night - YouTube
2010 disclaimer - YouTube
2010 All I Want For Christmas - YouTube
2010 Boucher Family Christmas Light Power Meter - YouTube - Google Search
Christmas 2009 - Wizards of Winter - Light-O-Rama - YouTube
Parallax Christmas light show - Hack a Day
Nes controller with leds lighting up the logo
nes light controller - Google Search
The force is strong with this Christmas tree light show - Hack a Day
Merry Christmas!:)


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comet Lovejoy C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 Video Link...

Video Link...

Isn't that the name of the Comment that caused the E.L.E Event in that Movie Deep Impact (1998)... Which caused the "World as we know it" to End!:O??? Oh! No, that was the Wolf - Beiderman Comet... That was my favorite Comet Movie of all:)


C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)

Comet Lovejoy image captured by the ISS on 21-DEC-2011.
Discovered by: Terry Lovejoy
Discovery date: 27 November 2011
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch: 2455900.5
(5 December 2011)
Aphelion: 92.4224 AU
Perihelion: 0.005490 AU
Semi-major axis: 46.2139 AU
Eccentricity: 0.999881
Orbital period: 314 ± 13 a[1]
Inclination: 134.785°
Last perihelion: 16 December 2011
Next perihelion: ~2326

C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) is a periodic comet, classified as a Kreutz Sungrazer. It was discovered on 27 November 2011, by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy.[2] The comet's perihelion took it through the Sun's corona on 16 December 2011 at 00:35 UTC,[1] as it passed approximately 140,000 kilometres (87,000 mi) above the Sun's surface.[3] It was not expected to survive the encounter, but the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), as well as other Sun-monitoring spacecraft, observed the comet emerge from the corona intact.[4][5][6]
Before perihelion, the comet nucleus of Lovejoy was estimated to be between 100 and 200 metres (330 and 660 ft) in diameter, but after surviving perihelion it has been estimated that the nucleus was larger, as much as 500 m (1,600 ft) before the passage through the corona.[6] At its brightest the comet had an apparent magnitude of around –4[7] (about as bright as the planet Venus). It is the brightest sungrazing comet ever observed by SOHO,[8] and is the brightest comet to appear since Comet McNaught of 2007, which shone at visual magnitude –5.5.[9] However, Lovejoy was largely invisible to the naked eye during its peak brightness as a result of its small nucleus and proximity to the Sun.
The comet first became visible to the STEREO-A spacecraft on 3 December, and to the SOHO spacecraft on 14 December. Before and after Lovejoy passed through perihelion, it was the subject of observation campaigns by eighteen instruments on six satellites: STEREO-A and -B, SOHO, SDO, Hinode and PROBA2.[7][10] It again became visible to ground based telescopes on 17 December.[11] In the Southern Hemisphere, Lovejoy was a naked eye object around 21 December.[12]

[edit] Gallery

STEREO-A close-up of Comet Lovejoy before perihelion  
STEREO-A sequence of Comet Lovejoy approaching the Sun  
SDO witnesses Comet Lovejoy survive the Sun's corona  

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b "C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)". JPL Small-Body Database Browser. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Beatty, Kelly (6 December 2011). "Comet Lovejoy's Date With Destiny". Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Malik, Tariq (16 December 2011). "Sun Rips Tail From Comet During Solar Close Encounter". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Wall, Mike (15 December 2011). "Satellites to Watch Comet's Death Plunge Through Sun Today". Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Wall, Mike (15 December 2011). "Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun, NASA Says". Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Phillips, Tony (16 December 2011). "Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives". Science News. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Battams, Karl (15 December 2011). "The Great "Birthday Comet" of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival". Sungrazing. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Battams, Karl (15 December 2011). "The Great "Birthday Comet" of 2011, Chapter 1: Inbound". Sungrazing Comets. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Brightest comets seen since 1935". International Comet Quarterly. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Great "Birthday Comet" of 2011". SOHO. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "What's Up in Space". 17 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Cain, Fraser (21 December 2011). "Timelapse of Comet Lovejoy Rising by Colin Legg". Retrieved 23 December 2011. 

[edit] External links

Go there..

Comet Lovejoy
Comet Lovejoy brings early Christmas for crew of International Space Station | The State Column
comet lovejoy - Google Search
C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Lovejoy-hi1a srem dec12 14.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Comet Lovejoy - Google Search
Comet Lovejoy Defies Death, Brushes Up to Sun and Lives
comet lovejoy - Google Search
NASA - Multimedia - Video Gallery
Mercury, crescent moon, Comet Lovejoy make the dawn sparkle | Astro Bob
Deep Impact (1998) - IMDb
Deep Impact (1998) - Plot Summary
movie ele beterman commet - Google Search

Antennas to Improve Your Wireless Connection

I found some good Pages with Templates for building WiFi Antenna Boosters for your Wireless Router. They are free, easy to make and you can make them from very inexpensive materials too!:)



Video Link....

(c) M. Erskine 2002-2008 All Commercial Rights Reserved

  Windsurfer Reflector Template V2.0
   Ez-10 10 dB Corner Reflector Template

Antenna Models for 2.4 GHz
Antenna Models for 900 MHz
Outdoor AP
The Original Parabolic Reflector Template
How to build a tilt over tower?
Do I need power over ether net?

Go there...

Antennas to Improve Your Wireless Connection
HowStuffWorks "5: Position Your Router"
HOW TO MAKE A WIFI EXTENDER - YouTube - Google Search
Ez-10 Corner Reflector Templat
Outdoor AP
Parabolic Templat
Numerical Electromagnet Code (NEC) Archives
PC-Tools.Net: Tools and utilities for Windows, Unix/Linux, DOS
Boost Your Wireless with a Free Antenna
Internet Speed Test - Test Internet Speed
windsurfer.jpg (JPEG Image, 509x758 pixels)