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Alex@rtnVFRmedia Suffolk UK

This is the mini PC.

I was a bit sceptical TBH that you could get this for £104/€120 with legit Windows Pro (alas, we have to use that for patients database software), but they seem to be purpose built to run Windows on modest hardware..

The activation glitch is not the fault of the OEM but Redmond, it plagues *loads* of different hardware (including much bigger manufacturers) and can happen any time a Win10 upgrade goes tits up.

(apparently you can run Linux on some of these too)

140m range (double the whole building area!) from these small €8 transmitters to the pagers at only +18 dBm with a UHF coil antenna (there does seem to be quite decent RF groundplane on the PCB).

For those who are curious the TX is an SI4432 controlled by a STC11L04 MCU

A tip for any or others who might obtain these (GP2012 type): 📟

*some* variants have special firmware that converts raw numeric msg on capcode 1 to more friendly msg via PC programming software (so cheap €9 portable TX buttons (+18 dBm) can be used)

But this makes the pager act strange for other msg types on capcode 1, you may even think it is defective!

Workaround: Turn off capcode 1, use the others (there are up to 8) and everything works as expected..

there was a reason I did this and why i even have a screenshot for it, my other laptop ended up with the entire Office 2016 UI in Dutch (when I only wanted the spellchecker), I decided to leave it like that (as a free language course from Redmond 😆 ), but that means I need to enter the names for the formulas in Dutch..

Another reason for NL pirate stations to play DE Volksmusik/Oberkrainer (dates back from days when MF/HF was more popular) is that it could confuse *both* the PTT-RCD and DBP-Telekom (which used to have the HQ in Mainz, BNetzA might still be there today) as its easy to get the DF bearing 180 degrees wrong, and then it is impossible to be sure which country the music is coming from 😸

As I was working late last night and rode back home when it was early morning there was hardly any traffic.

This is what road users in England have to put up with, huge on a main road that has the town football stadium on RHS and the offices of the newspapers on the LHS (in the background), and even then the Council doesn't have the resources to fix it yet!

This turns up on my mobile phone today.

I'm more amused and intrigued than anything, Google *does* know my age since many years ago when I bought some health supplements online so had to convince the vendors that I am >18).

If anything I would be "early middle age" (mid 40s) rather than "senior" (in UK society this is usually around age 75-80+).

Perhaps the marketers who buy these ads consider British people over 45 (who have "older" hobbies / know other languages) as "seniors"...

the remaining in the building, used (very occasionally these days) for the console of the telephone exchange (normally I SSH into it), 3 RJ11 sockets for the analogue trunk circuits and WARNING, 100 VOLTS label (taking the covers off them exposes open terminals, ringing voltage can bite).

(it is blank partly for security reasons but also in a corner and difficult to photograph well)

the script to put the 9 on the front of the caller ID (so endusers can use the redial key on their telephone sets) works too, and I didn't even have to hack the Asterisk C source code like with earlier versions to deal with the timing variations of caller ID signalling (1980s era British Telecom equipment still in use!).

(If anyone wants the script I will share it on my blog or other places).

Handling of alarms on analogue circuits is better on this version of DAHDI too..

Got a chance to test the new telephone exchange server (to replace 8 year old hardware at other site) this evening.

I had to run 10m network cable the length of the admin office and disconnect one of the analogue trunk circuits from the live system (leaving 2 connected in case the nurses had to make a 999 call), then reconnect and retest the circuit I had been using.

So far looks good (the DAHDI drivers are detecting -48V on the line and correct inbound signalling)

I saved this cardboard box for the catte (the one who likes German Schlager and Volksmusik) when she visits 😸

@amylsacks this was in the local shop a while ago (an unusual thing, a block of flyers where you could tear off one to taken home).

I'm not even any good at cooking, I only swiped one so I could photograph it as it reminded me of the 1970s recipe cards my aunt used to have a collection of and I hadn't seen recipes distributed in this form for about 30 years!

The last box in the company (running a now decomissioned time recording system) was switched off today.

The hardware (refurb box from 2011!) might have some life left in it - I'm impressed TBH at how long its lasted (its been around 2 of our sites and was once a PC used in an admin reception area), I will haul it out of the stairwell at some point to experiment with a Linux distro on it)


Found this from 1840 medical book I happened to have a PDF stored on my computer.

Tables were a lot more basic then (and librarianship appeared to take a far greater toll on health than today). Probably not advisable to keep some of those compounds in a modern library as today they are at least Class B controlled if not class A 😆

I was cycling back home very late last night, and there was a sat right in the middle of the road.

There is still sporadic motor traffic 24/7 in this area, so I persuaded it to go to a safer place on the pavement and then into a front garden of a nearby house..

(apologies for poor photo quality, it is dark as all other street lights are switched off in that area after 00:00)

Hack to get 1970s style testcard on modern with :

1. Select BBC red button on 200. When this appears press yellow and green buttons.
2. Move to another channel
3. Select channel 200 again. when this appears press green button (an extra menu appears, press the green button again)

You then see the testcard - its not full HD res and lacks the moving bits and tone, but its still reasonably useful for adjusting colour/contrast on a telly

Awoo over 😆 - took me way longer to get to this stage than I wanted, thought I had wrong Win10 drivers on new laptop for USB-serial but they were OK, standalone PuTTY was acting up.

Tried MobaXterm, that worked, now PuTTY works too!

Not even sure *why* that happened, but it all works /now/ (including RTS/CTS) and I have 2 USB-RS232 adapters to use just in case (less stress to test these things at home than have to deal with more issues on site)

some oldskool tech (but still has its uses), such as comms from the nurse call panel (this system was originally designed long before healthcare facilities had local area networks everywhere, it uses serial comms at 9600 bps).

The card reminds me how to wire up the cable that goes with this correctly (CTS is important here, its used to signal that the datalogger or pager TX can receive the data from the controlpanel).

TIL : In 1890s era , there was a big problem with the unauthorised export of (or in Scots), presumably some form of tax evasion and (or concerns there would not be enough eggis available for the people at a fair price?) 🥚

Testing of the coverage yesterday went well.📟

With only +17dBm (50mW) the UHF signal is good 3 floors below in the nurses office, the actual TX will be +33dBm (2W).

Some care homes only use +20dBm (100mW) as they don't want to pay for Ofcom license (exempt below that power) but then there is risk of coverage blackspots and nurses/carers not receiving the calls correctly..

(and extra range means both systems can be monitored from head office which is between the two sites)