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Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink

tvsjr Re:500? (171 comments)

One more time, in something approximating proper English?

about 6 months ago

White House May Name Patent Reform Opponent As New Head of Patent Office

tvsjr Re:Classic Obama (211 comments)

I don't know what the hell to think about Obama anymore. The guy we elected was smart, charismatic, capable, articulate; he ran a brilliant campaign that took out the heavily favored Hilary Clinton. He came across as a man with the intelligence, principles, and pragmatism to fix the nations problems... or at least not fuck it up as catastrophically as George W. Bush did. So where the hell did that guy go?

Same guy... what you saw was an act, and millions of people fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Now, since he's in his second term and Congress is unlikely to grow the cojones to impeach him, he simply doesn't care.

about 7 months ago

Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

tvsjr Re:Touch Server (681 comments)

If you give it the middle finger, will it wipe itself and install Linux?

about 7 months ago

Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

tvsjr Re:Doesn't give warm fuzzies (162 comments)

Just a thought - why would we trust your thoughts regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) when you can't even get the acronym right?

about 7 months ago

FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

tvsjr Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

So, who charges $20K for programming software? CPS for the latest and greatest APX7000 portable is $265 for a 3-year subscription and runs on your favorite WinXP, Win7, or Win8 machine. The USB interface cable is sub-$100. And, by the way, several Motorola radios are capable of front-panel programming, to include the entire APX line (mobile and portable), the XTS2500/5000, etc.

about a year and a half ago

What To Do With a 1,000 Foot Wrecked Cruise Ship?

tvsjr Re:Thats given me an idea... (416 comments)

Quite correct. Bunker C (type 6 fuel oil) is a thick black sludge similar in consistency to molasses and must be preheated above 200 degrees F before it becomes combustible.

If you're going to have to pull it out and preheat it prior to burning, may as well load it on another ship and do something useful with it.

about 3 years ago

More Details On Drug Cartel's Clandestine Communications Network

tvsjr Re:some detail, best post! (84 comments)

For clarity, I'm not seeing a mesh network here. A mesh network is defined as a "swarm" or "cloud" of clients, where each client talks to multiple other clients to transfer data from the client to some endpoint. Typically, these networks are "self healing", where they gain and lose connections to other clients as those clients move in and out of range.

With the gear I'm seeing here, this is a typical linked repeater system. A subscriber (mobile or portable radio) talks to a repeater. His voice is (typically) repeated locally, but also retransmitted down the linked system to be broadcast elsewhere. There are quite a few amateur radio examples out there - check out Armadillo Intertie and Cactus Intertie. Disclaimer: I'm a member of Armadillo, which is affiliated with Cactus. We use 440MHz UHF repeaters, with backhaul links on 420MHz, 900MHz, microwave, and via the Internet. There are many other linked systems out there - MOTOTRBO systems that link using IP Site Connect, other conventional/analog systems, etc.

If mesh is your thing, google HSMM-MESH. This is a self-healing, fault-tolerant, amateur radio mesh networking system using off the shelf WRT54s (did you know 2.4GHz was actually an amateur radio band?) and some custom firmware to provide link-state routing, etc. Pretty cool stuff.

more than 3 years ago

More Details On Drug Cartel's Clandestine Communications Network

tvsjr Re:Anyone have actual news about this? (84 comments)

The Washington Examiner has some higher-res images available (download the pic and zoom in)

I'm seeing:
Kenwood TKR-750/850
Kenwood TKR-720/820
Motorola XPR8300
Motorola CM200 pair (presumably using a RICK)
Also an Icom rack-mount something or other (sorry, I don't do Icom)

As far as RF conditioning, I'm seeing:
Simple fiberglass sticks with radials (such as a Comet GP-3)
A couple Stationmasters
UHF yagis

The subscribers they show include two Kenwood business-class radios, a Moto HT1250 and MTS2000, and the FRS crap. Antennas appear to be UHF.

However, the duplexers are all sized to be VHF. If they're UHF, they're designed for some seriously high power output.

I'm thinking simple analog repeaters (the XPR is an oddball, but maybe they're just using it in analog mode) and analog links, like many wide-area amateur repeater systems. These systems would be relatively easy to set up, and would provide what they'd want with a minimum of fuss. Delivering traffic to some radios while bypassing others could be accomplished using MDC, FleetSync, etc.

Considering the geographic area, I'd also not be surprised if we're looking at pieces from multiple systems. They may have basic UHF conventional stuff in places, MOTOTRBO in others.

As far as OpenSky - as powerful as they are, I don't think the Zetas have whats necessary to successfully deploy OpenSky (don't tase... err, slaughter my family... bro!) - that technology hasn't been invented yet!

more than 3 years ago

Star Falls Into Black Hole

tvsjr Re:Octillions? (169 comments)

10^27. Is your Google broken?

more than 3 years ago

China Starts Censoring Phone Calls Mid Sentence

tvsjr Re:Foolish? (366 comments)

As a side note, I'd hate to live under this regime, but I'd have a blast playing with this system if I had access to it. What Sesame Street quotes would set off the filter, etc.

Right up until you were "detained" indefinitely (at what I'm sure would be a first-class Chinese prison) for "suspicious activity".

more than 3 years ago

Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car

tvsjr Re:The problem with safety systems like that (334 comments)

No. Why would we?

One of the key components to any fire department is mutual aid - we help each other out. We do similar things with external entities. I need high voltage cut off? I call the power company. I know of no specialized "high voltage" unit or response team in any FD anywhere in the world, save for some industrial fire departments working at large power generation facilities.

We will strip a meter out of a box as a last resort, but we prefer letting the power company handle it. They're trained for it, they have the equipment (which they know how to inspect properly), etc. If we have an electrical hazard, we make a risk/reward decision and try to work around it. If the structure is fully involved and we either know everyone has been evacuated (per the homeowner) or we see that the conditions are not compatible with life, then we won't take a big chance. If we know there are three kids trapped in a bedroom, we'll work around the hazard as best we can to effect the rescue. Firefighting is a series of these decisions - is the amount of potential "good" worth a given amount of peril to my life and the lives of my crew?

Now, think about a crunched-up car, especially a little microbox like a Prius. The guys who work on HV for a living don't have "suits" - they have proper clothing, long insulating gloves, insulating boots, etc., along with tools that do their best to keep them away from the high voltage where possible. Ever tried a set of lineman's gloves on? You can forget any fine motor control. Now, think about what happens when you have no fine motor control and you need to mount an effective rescue on a car that's been crunched badly, while people sit inside bleeding to death. As it is, we are issued additional equipment for vehicle extrication and wildland firefighting (dual certified gear) - jumpsuit, gloves, lightweight helmet. The typical structural firefighting PPE is simply too big and bulky, and it impairs movement to the point that working with hand tools, rescue tools, etc. becomes very difficult. Lineman's gear would be even more of a problem.

Plus, how much gear do you carry? As it is, for my personal gear (this is what's in my locker, not counting what lives on the apparatus), I have:
Full set of structural PPE (coat, pants, suspenders, boots, helmet with light/band/wedges, 2 pairs of gloves, medical gloves, hand tools, rope bag, search loop, additional flashlight, etc.)
Full set of extrication/wildland PPE (jumpsuit, gloves, helmet, hand tools, flashlight, medical gloves, rope bag)
Handheld radio, another flashlight or two, more tools, etc.

I carry all of this every time we get a call (about 700 calls a year, I average 50-60%, all volunteer). Add too much more and we'll need a second truck to carry all of the gear!

more than 4 years ago

Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car

tvsjr Re:The problem with safety systems like that (334 comments)

It's frightening that someone modded you insightful.

Vehicle extrications are death-traps for firefighters. Just to name a few issues:
Shocks in bumpers, prone to send the bumper flying off the car at knee height
Rollover bars, prone to release at the wrong time and pummel anything in its path (already killed more than one FF)
Chemical airbags, which can cause injury or burns
Stored-gas airbags and their cylinders and tubing - not good to cut into a ~3Kpsi cylinder
High-voltage cables in hybrids
Magnesium and springs in steering columns
Hood and tailgate struts, prone to overheating and exploding
Fuel tank, fuel lines, etc.
And more...

Our bunker gear is insulating... from HEAT, not electricity. I carry a few different types of gloves (structural, extrication, work gloves for hose rolling) - none of them are rubber or insulating from electricity either. There is nothing in a firefighter's typical equipment that will provide any significant protection from electricity. Cutting a high-voltage cable in a hybrid will result in significant injury at best... death at worst.

more than 4 years ago

What Drugs Do Astronauts Take?

tvsjr Re:One drug is certain (132 comments)

That's what the duct tape is for.

more than 5 years ago

Can Cell Phones Ignite Gasoline Vapors?

tvsjr Re:It's not using the cellphone (685 comments)

You can get "intrinsically safe" radio equipment which will not generate a spark, or will keep any sparks safely enclosed, for use in hazardous environments, they have a severely restricted RF output. They also use FM, with peak power the same as the average, and even then probably only about 100mW.
Huh? I have, sitting before me, a Motorola XTS3000 ASTRO-25 digital-capable radio. The radio and the battery are Factory Mutual approved as intrinsically safe devices (class 1, 2, 3, division 1, group C-G) and nonincendive (class 1, division 2, group A-D). The radio emits 5 watts on transmit. The radio itself is no different than its non-FM-approved bretheren, it just has the magic green dots and is FM-approved.
In the case of something like a mobile, with digital modulation, the peak power is the important thing as regards ignition hazards. The peak power of a typical mobile is 1.5 watts and is definitely unsafe.
The Motorola ASTRO Spectra, a digital-capable mobile, can be purchased in versions that produce up to 110 watts (other available power levels include 40 watts and 20 watts.) I have several.

Read and learn before talking out your ass. Clearly you have no clue about radio communications equipment.

more than 10 years ago


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