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Ben Sinclair's avatar

HamClock for Apple Watch

HamClock version 2.5 is now available in the app store.

Here's what's new:

  • Fixed a 12H/24H time bug
  • Made the dates easier to read
  • Added Apple Watch support

With Apple Watch support you can now find your grid square and location from your watch! With the new watchOS updates announced today, a future update should allow me to show your grid square as a watch face complication.

Here are some promo codes for a free download. When they're gone, they're gone!

  • X4K7PKKFF39X
  • NKY3949WPTNL
  • NMXL63T4F74L

HamClock for Apple Watch

Ben Sinclair's avatar

Horse Example

I bought You know, because it was available, and it's a .horse domain. DOT HORSE! Why do we have a .horse top level domain? Who knows? It's awesome!

Did you know that is taken? is also taken. I can only assume that's because NBC is working on a "Law and Order: Horse" spinoff. I can also only assume it will feature the ghost of Lenny riding a talking, crime-solving horse from the future.

As the owner of a .horse domain, I intend to provide a constant stream of high quality horse content. So just hoof over to for all of your horse content needs!

Actually, what I now serve at is the same content, but with most of the nouns changed to "horse." I used the Entagger gem to find any nouns over a certain length. I exclude a few specific words just so it doesn't get too horsey.

Ben Sinclair's avatar

Using an Apple Keyboard with vim

I've recently been trying to upgrade my development environment with a better vim setup, and by incorporating tmux. All of the cool kids use tmux these days, so I thought I'd try it out.

In getting vim up to speed, I realized that my Apple bluetooth keyboard doesn't work well for keyboard-shortcut intensive work. The main problem is the lack of a right control key.

The easy fix is to use Karabiner, which lets you customize your keyboard and mouse settings at a very low level. I was able to increase my key repeat rate beyond what OSX allows, and I remapped my right option key to control, and now I'm much happier!

If Apple made a modern version of their old full size wireless keyboard, I'd be even happier!

Update: I didn't realize that iterm2 lets you remap the right option key, so I'm using that now rather than run Karabiner just to remap one key. You can also use the OSX keyboard settings to remap caps lock and get a third control key!

Ben Sinclair's avatar

A New Oscilloscope


I finally found a cheap and functional oscilloscope! Here it is showing my 6502 running its single instruction over and over. The top trace is the clock, the bottom trace is one of the address lines.

This should make things easier! Next up I need to find a logic analyzer...

Ben Sinclair's avatar

Remote Control for the MFJ-1788 Loop

I've enjoyed using my Flex 6300 on wifi from anywhere in the house for digital modes and SSB with SmartSDR 1.4. However, my MFJ loop antenna needs tuning every time I change frequencies, which requires a trip back down to the radio.

Being lazy, I wanted to be able to remotely tune the loop. My first thought was to add relays to the control box switches, but the schematics aren't available, and I didn't want to damage anything. Instead, I went for the ugly, but fun, hack of using a servo to press the buttons!

Loop controller hardware

The servo is attached right over the slow tuning buttons using some metal brackets. On the servo is a horn, much like the type used for remote control aircraft, which just happened to be the right size to hit each button.

I'm just using one servo, and all it can control are the slow tuning buttons. That's not a problem with the Flex as I can visually see where I'm tuned, and don't really need the automatic tuning features of the control box. Using the slow buttons takes a while, but it's not too bad.

The servo is controlled by an Arduino, which is then controlled over serial by a Rails application. With a web application I can easily control it from almost any device, and could set it up for WAN remote in the future.

Loop controller interface

The first row of buttons stops and starts continuous movement of the tuner. The other buttons make short movements for fine tuning. There is a slight delay as the servo moves, so having the ability to do short button presses makes it easier to get the tuning just right.

It's a fun hack, and it works!