European Space Agency ETV-5 approaches the ISS

Hugh Brown, VA7UNX

What Happened in January calendar Feb 5, 2021

Here’s a quick list, for my own reference, of what I got up to in January. It’s heartening to see everything laid out, and realize that I’ve actually managed to get a fair bit done!

Hardware hacking

  • My father-in-law and I worked on getting the precipitation meter going for our weather station. It took a while, but we finally got it working. 🎉

  • Some one-wire temperature sensors came in, and I was able to whip up a quick demo to make sure they worked.

  • Talked to my father-in-law about building a Lehmann seismograph. Early days, but I think he’s in.


Machine learning

  • Some progress, though slow, on going through the FastAI book.

  • Tripped over Roboflow, which generates synthetic data for ML; very interesting, and I may give this a try for the dishwasher loading critic.

  • Some initial experiments with detecto, a simple wrapper for PyTorch object detection.


  • Not a whole lot of trips out, but some…and managing to reach D4Z Cape Verde on 10W. 9,155 km!

  • Totalled up my contacts toward SKCC Centurion…42/100. Normally I’m not big on this sort of thing, but it’s a number to reach for, and that’s no bad thing right now.

Urban Trail Cam calendar Jan 9, 2021

Last year, my father-in-law got a trail cam at my suggestion – mainly to get pictures of the rats that were eating his compost. It worked:

Rat trail cam picture

I borrowed it a while back, and finally set it up today under our bird feeder to see what we could get. Not a bad haul! We got:

  • Spotted towhees:

Junco and spotted towhee

  • Dark-eyed juncos:

Junco close up

  • Black and grey squirrels:

Black squirrel

Grey squirrel

  • A chickadee:


Not bad!

Out for radio as well: 12 QSOs from the North American QSO contest, including D4Z from Cape Verde – about 9150km on 10W. Nice!

Dishwasher Loading Critic calendar Jan 7, 2021

My project: critiquing your dishwasher loading technique using machine learning. A work in progress. You can find the repo here.

Fast Ai and Pytorch calendar Oct 25, 2020

I’ve been interested in machine learning for a while now. Like a lot of things, my approach has been a bit scattered. I’m slowly learning how to get better at that, but I still tend to veer around.

A couple of months ago, I decided to take the course again. I had done a couple of lessons a year ago, but had not followed it up. This time around, I saw that they not only had a new version of the course, but a book as well. I ordered the book (and another book as well), and got started on the Jupyter notebooks that the book is based on.

Let’s see where this goes!