Monthly Archives: November 2018

Getting A Great Swiss Army Knife On The Cheap

Do you love Swiss Army Knives?  I love Swiss Army Knives.  I’ve been carrying multi-tools for years.  I’m kind of a fan of the Medium sized knives however they tend to run upwards of $30 or   so and some of them way more than that.  Even though they are worth every penny there is a way so essentially get a “new” knife for just less than $20, even cheaper if you can find an inexpensive source for “Scales”.

Scales are the plastic colored outer housing pieces on your Swiss Army Knife.  They are pretty easily changed as well.

I have kind of figured out that the going rate for an “old” Swiss Army Knife (91mm), unless it is something collectible is about $5.  Go to the antique store.  $5.  All manner of eBay auctions can be won for $5

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Swiss Army Knives – Multitools

I’ve loved pocketknives ever since I was a Cub Scout and got my first real pocketknife which looked something like the knife below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It had a SCREWDRIVER which I guess made it my first multi-tool.   Now I’m not into knives or blades, have no desire to cut anyone or myself but the concept of carrying around useful tools in your pocket has always fascinated me and it maybe did come from scouting where they taught you to always be prepared.

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A Tale Of Two Decoders – OP25 & DSDPlus

It was the best of decoders, it was the worst of decoders……… As you can tell I’m quite the literate bastard and highly up to speed on my Dickens.

I love digital signal decoding as it is almost something that you seemingly aren’t supposed to do, hence the attraction of it all.   There are several hunks of software that can decode digital signals and each one has it’s strength and weaknesses.  The ones I have dabbled around with are:

There are certainly others, not to mention maybe the most powerful one (but by far the one that requires the most geek foo) is GNURadio.

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DSD+ Trunking Tutorial

One of my favorite programs for decoding digital audio is DSDPlus.  I’ve been using it a couple of years to dissect and decode SINGLE digital signals.  Like for instance if I’m in the airport or airport hotel I can listen to DMR radio where the baggage handlers are talking to each other, or the mall cops are planning how to be real cops.  Or you can hear the hotel staff on their radios which is sometimes really fun.

BUT…….DSDPlus also follows Digital Trunked Radio.  That is where there is a Control Channel which is monitored and then the calls are “trunked” to available frequencies allowing for more users to use the system without confusion.  Also users can be placed into Talk Groups which keeps down the confusion even more.  Entire cities can use one radio system to control municipal services such as Police, Fire, EMS, Public Works, Events, etc.

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