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In September 2018 I went to my first Radio Buildathon and Hamvention, they were great fun, and made even better by the fact that the G-QRP club convention was co-sited with the Hamfest so I got to go to that as well! Telford Hamfest and the G-QRP Convention are annual events which run in Ironbridge, a small town famous for having a very old iron bridge. As well as the Hamfest, the G-QRP buildathon ran the night before in a hotel in the nearby Telford.

Last year I decided to finally investigate amateur radio – something I’ve been aware of and thinking about since I was a child – and got a UK intermediate license in Jan 2018. I have a couple of handhold radios, but my main interest is in data modes (there’s another post I’m saving for later). At the moment, my main antenna is a 25 metre ladder fed dipole which I threw up so I’d have something to play with.

A while back I realised I was a bit obsessed with mechanical keyboards, and I really wanted to build one. And almost as soon as I had ordered a 60% kit from mechboards.co.uk I was looking at 40percent.club and thinking about making a much smaller one too, from scratch. I’ve been using mechanical keyboards on and off for about 20 years now, (mainly a cherry slimline board with ML switches which I’ve had for ages), but it was the sudden proliferation of fully-hipster keyboards at work, where everyone suddenly started getting code keyboards and things that made me start thinking about upgrading.

Anyone who’s tried to use RSS knows just how fiddly it is, and these days JSON is the de facto format for most things on the web. So – like a lot of people – I read the announcement of JSON Feed with great interest and decided to add a new feed to my site. Like all good lazy engineers the first thing I did was search the web and find some decent resources, including a couple of blogs belonging to people who have already beaten me to it.

Spring Symphonies

Fear not good readers, I definitely don’t mean symphonies of the standard sort, I was just looking for a decent title. A while has passed since my last music post, months in fact, so there are plenty of excellent rock, metal and experiment albums for me to share, and the main problem I’ll have is keeping this short. So, in no particular order here are a few of the things I’ve been enjoying this spring.