CCrane CCRadio EP Pro Review

Recently picked up a new CCrane CCRadio EP Pro and have the difficult task of shaking it down.  Why?  Because I also own the CCrane CCRadio 2E which is a FANTASTIC RADIO.

So why did I get an EP Pro?  Because I can.  It’s true, I don’t need it but I’m a radio buff.  And I own enough radios that I can form an opinion FAST on whether or not I think a particular radio is viable or not.   So what do I think about the EP Pro?

First impression.  Nice looking, attractive radio.  Not too heavy.  Good placement of controls. Also it has one of my favorite features for a radio……….a Line Out.  It does not have a jack labelled Line Out, however, the manual says it can be hooked to “an optional recording device” also known as “a computer with Audacity” on it.

Continue reading

Radiwow R-108 Short Wave Radio Review

Hi, I’m John and I’m addicted to short wave radios.

You can never have enough radios I always say.  I’ve seen the radio in question here around since 2018 or so but initially it was a buy from AliExpress only kind of radio.  It since crept over to Amazon and I recently decided to pick one up even though the last thing I need on planet earth is another short wave radio.

I have maybe 20 or 25 radios (I’m scared to actually count).  That being said I do actually break them all out and use them from time to time so they don’t just totally collect dust. I do use my gear.

Continue reading

HF Listening. My Favorite Way.

I’m an old dude that grew up in the height of the CB radio craze.  CB radio is a gateway drug to ham radio or short wave radio.  I love listening to short wave radio, aka HF.

I have TONS of short wave radios.  There are tons of web pages on which radio is best and I personally think we get wrapped up too much in technical details. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that people are giving things a proper shakedown but I’m a simple guy who just likes to spin the dial and listen to unusual things on HF.

I’ll show you what I’m up to this morning.  I have my Sangean ATS-909x which is probably my favorite short wave radio.

I’ll GUARANTEE you there are people out there who would scoff at that but I’m telling you…..I have at least 20 or 25 short wave radios and pound for pound, for where I live, under my conditions the Sangean almost lays everything else to waste.

Continue reading

OP25 Dashboard

OP25 is my FAVORITE police scanner program.  I track two trunked radio systems with ONE software defined radio.  My Uniden Police Scanner that does that costs $800.  This way costs about $30.

Anyway, I’m reading through some OP25 stuff today and I found out it has a web interface.  SAY WHAT?  Looks like this.

Continue reading

Fixing Your Own Appliances

I am a HUGE advocate for buying appliances that are easy to maintain, without computer chips and boards, and that have an abundance of readily available spare parts.

I have a washer dryer combo I purchased in 2003 which is still going strong.  In 16 years I have only changed the pump on the washer (about $20) and replaced the belt on the dryer as far as general wear and tear goes.   When I moved back from Japan the movers crushed the top of the washer and dryer and broke the timer switch on the washer and some plastic brackets.  I negotiated a settlement and fixed all that stuff up like new as well.

Continue reading

Good Swiss Army Knife Find

I have a thing for Swiss Army knives and I’m a somewhat sporadic collector and sometimes modifier of them, and by that I mean changing the appearance of the scales.

The Swiss Army Knife has been around for quite some time and when a company has been making a product with robust sales for over 100 years you have to figure they are doing something right.   Over all those years there are some knives that are a bit more collectible than others.

Continue reading

Making Your Refrigerator SMART

I have an old refrigerator in my garage which I suspected was a power hog.  I bought a Sonoff S31 Power Monitoring outlet and flashed it with custom firmware (Tasmota) and blogged about that here.

I’ve since figured out you can do a WHOLE LOT MORE with a Tasmota flashed Sonoff S31. I figure there are two important things you’d want to know about an old refrigerator.

  1. Is it running?
  2. Has the door been left open?

Both answers can be tackled with home automation.  I use the EXCELLENT program HomeAssistant.  So let’s get to it, shall we?

Continue reading

Using A Laptop As A TV – Old School Stuff

So sometimes a really good technology just never really takes off.  A USB TV Tuner is just one such technology.

It should have taken off.  Just about everyone who has a laptop should have one of these.  I have three.

So what would you use it for?  In my case I live in a Hurricane zone and in fact got blasted by Hurricane Florence last year and had no power for several days.  (Actually I had power because I have a full house generator). Anyway, due to a concern for the amount of fuel I had on hand I shut down at times and THIS is how I got my news during those times.

Continue reading

AirSpyHF+ Spyserver on Raspberry Pi

AirSpyHF+ on Spyserver on Raspberry Pi

What is a Spyserver and why do you NEED one?  A spyserver takes an RTL-SDR software radio and allows it to be used over the network or controlled from the internet if you allow.

 

For this project I’m using the AirSpyHF+ ($199 USD).  The AirSpyHF+ is probably the BEST HF SDR radio you can get.  This project will let us operate from about 9kHz to about 31 MHz where AM radio, and Short Wave Radio reside.

Continue reading

Reading Other People’s Pager Traffic And Shit

Did you know a lot of people still used pagers? I had no clue. Did you know that all that pager traffic and all those messages are sent unencrypted and can be easily decoded? All you need for hardware is a $10 USB SDR radio stick with a cheap indoor whip antenna.

NOTE: Reading pager traffic is NOT against the law, however retransmitting it or acting on any information you learn from it is. Decode for good. Not evil.

And much like any other Linux techie project I’ve ever done following the directions somewhere else DIDN’T WORK. Oh, it mostly worked but something is always missing. This page is for the first timer trying to figure this out. And for me to recreate this once I screw it up or my computer dies.

Doing this on Windows is easiest and the directions I found here DID WORK. This will be a tutorial on Ubuntu (Or LinuxMint) Again most everything worked but the actual decoding process didn’t until I changed a thing or two. Also one major step was left out that almost caused this to epic fail for me. YMMV. Depends on the Decoder your system is using.

Continue reading