Author Archives: Jon Byrne

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This is my site.
  • DSC_2121

    Shack Update – 2E0RFU – October 2014

    Posted on October 19, 2014 by in radio

    Quick update picture of the shack @ 2E0RFU, much busier than the last photos.


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  • .uk Nominet Consultation Proposal – What does it mean to you?

    Posted on July 8, 2013 by in Everything Else

    I have copied this information from my free domain checker tool at but I feel it is info that should be read by as many people as possible who have an interest in the .uk namespace. This guide is own interpretation and I am expressing no view either way on if I agree with the proposal or not.

    On the 1st July 2013 Nominet, the not for profit company who are responsible for the registration of the majority of .uk extensions, announced a second consultation of their plan to allow registration at the second level of the .uk ccTLD. Previously the majority of UK registrations had been mad at the third level; i.e. with the somedomain being the third level, co being the second level and uk being the first.

    So Nominet’s proposal is that they will allow under most circumstances users to register under the second level; i.e.

    There are a number of reasons explained in the consultation documents linked below as to why Nominet think this is necessary, with one of the primary being the increased competition to come from the generic top level domains such as the widely covered .london

    A important part of the consultation is surrounding the release mechanism of the .uk extension, the normal release schedule of a new extension involves a number of stages with trademark owners getting first preference, then there is usually some auctions of premium domains and then a land-rush where it is every man, woman and child for himself. As .uk is not a new extension as such there has been some discussion since Nominet’s original consultation as to who would get rights of first refusal on any given .uk. This is particularly of interest where the same name has been registered by a number of different people as a, and (and possibly the less used,, and

    Within the fist consultation there had been suggestion that the interested parties could enter a auction to see who would take the .uk, however this has now been removed from the version 2 and the current suggestion is that the oldest of the Nominet managed registrations getting first refusal the .uk with the others being able to register an interest in case the oldest does not choose to take the domain up within the suggested 6 month period. Whilst there is no detail as to exactly how this will happen the process will probably all be dealt with online and there will most likely be no postal communication.

    The current suggested fee for a .uk is £5 per year, wholesale, a currently is £3.50 for the same.

    what this tool is here for is to enable you to assess which domain will “win” the .uk if the scheme goes ahead under the current proposal, it currently ignores domains as further clarification is required as to what date Nominet have as recorded as the registration date. Additionally Nominet are proposing to reserve approximately 150 domains for organisations who have lost their domains under the recent shake up. Finally there is probably going to be some difference with the 2 letter domains that where auctioned by Nominet a few years ago. One all these issues have been clarified I will update the tool.

    I would actively encourage anyone reading this to take some time to read the proposals on Nominets site and if you feel you have something to add take part in the consultation, which ever side your views lie.

    Thank You

    Jon Byrne

    Read more @ Nominet .uk Consultation

  • TalkTalk DNS Snooping / Hijacking?

    Posted on June 14, 2013 by in Everything Else

    A few days ago I was doing some security updates on my site as I had seen a number of reports of a recent spate of hacks on WordPress sites with the vulnerabilities coming not from the core WordPress code but 3rd party plugins which allowed the hackers to inject SQL Code and gain admin access to the install of WordPress.

    On checking the security plugin I was watching the live site traffic where I could see there had been a number of failed attempts to gain access, however what caught my eye was a fair number of visits from a IP Address in Warrington, not that interesting you may think, but I noticed all of its visits where logged just after visits form my IP Address. To confirm my suspicions I attempted to load a page which obviously gave a 404 error, however seconds later the Warrington IP Address tried to load the same page.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 22:53:31

    I took to Google and discovered that it was TalkTalk’s Homesafe security scanner checking the site out which they do when ever an address is resolved though thier DNS Server, now this may seem innocuous and possibly useful, however I had not enabled TalkTalk Homesafe on my account and do not use TalkTalk’s DNS Servers either, but use Google’s Public DNS Service.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 23:34:58

    It is apparent that TalkTalk hijack or snoop on all DNS lookups and then store this in order to crawl the site shortly after. I can see that this would be useful for their customers who wish to use the HomeSafe protection, but to do this for people who have not enabled this strikes me that they are collecting this data for other business uses.

    If you are a TalkTalk or other ISP Customer and are worried about this or just don’t want them using this data without being clear and transparent then I would recommend OpenDNS’s DNSCRYPT which I have tested and it seems to stop the TalkTalk Bot from following you around. Anyone using Fedora I would recommend the install guide here.

    It would seem that this does not work and they possibly do not use DNS Hijacking / Snooping as the only method of following you around, I will do some more investigation and keep this post updated.

    Screenshot from 2013-06-14 23:13:51

    I would be interested if any other ISP’s do the same.

    Thank You

  • Try Something New

    Posted on June 8, 2013 by in Everything Else

    Here is an old but very interesting talk from Google’s Matt Cutts. He talks about making changes, either by doing something new or stopping something, but doing it for 30 days. I think this fits in well with the Get Things Done methodology that I am starting to work with and I will probably try and integrate the two.


    Anyway enjoy.

  • shack3

    New Amateur Radio Shack

    Posted on May 18, 2013 by in radio

    When planning my new Amateur Radio Shack in the cupboard under the stairs, ala Harry Potter, there was only one option when it came to furniture. Ikea.

    Only in the big blue giant can you find nice and small furniture to make a usable workbench in a 75cm by 50 cm space without building it yourself.

    Using 1 x LAIVA desk and 2 x RAST night stand I put together this.

    The top RAST has the lower shelf not fitted as this leaves a large enough space for a 19 inch monitor if I decide to fit it, I plan staring off using my Nexus 7 for qrz lookups etc. connected them using a couple of straight brackets on either side and this gives enough rigidity as to not miss the second shelf. A 6 way power strip sat in the cable tray that the LAIVA powering two LAGRA clamp lights and a RIGEL hook as a headphone holder and the space is complete.

    And from the outside looking in through the Hobbit sized door.


  • Copy of the Kent Morse Practice Oscillator – Part 2

    Posted on April 20, 2013 by in radio

    Part one here

    Now complete on vero board and cased up in a  Ramsey Electronics Receiver  case that I picked up a couple of at a Radio Rally, for the final version I swapped the 22K potentiometer for a 100k one, it give a much finer control over the volume. I also took a minute to swap the plug over on my Czech Morse Key.

    Just needs some gluing inside and possibly some decals for the front.

    Another site with info on this kit is M0MTJ’s site. The Czech Morse key is from the aptly named Czech Morse Key who also do a practise oscillator, in kit or built form.

  • Copy of the Kent Morse Practice Oscillator

    Posted on April 20, 2013 by in radio

    I am currently in the process of learning Morse Code with the plan to get on air by the end of the year. I fancied a practice oscillator and being the cheap skate I am I was not happy spending upwards of £20 on a glorified buzzer.

    I had spotted a few plans for some 555 based designs but know from my 555 synth experiments that the sound you can generate from them is not especially nice. So after some googling I spotted that Kent Morse Keys do a kit for their practise oscillator, and whilst it is not to unreasonably priced they also provide a circuit diagram. So a quick order from for about £6 posted I had all the parts except the circuit board that you would get in the kit, I also end up with plenty of spares. Service from Bits Box is very fast, the order was with me next day.

    I had a spare hour this afternoon, so I breadboarded the design up to check all was in order, and here are the results.

    And here is Alfie on the Key

    I will try and get it soldered onto some vero board and in an enclosure this weekend.

    Thanks for reading



    Part 2 now here

  • Combat Zone: First Play

    Posted on January 22, 2013 by in Everything Else

    Played my first game of Solo Combat Zone tonight after picking it up last September as a birthday treat, the value of this game is second to none and after painting the figures after being distracted by painting a load of EM4’s bargain Orcs & Dwarfs and the start of an epic Dalek force I finally the figures from the box set painted (and a fair few others from the same range)

    So tonight I played the first game of many I am sure, the rules are good and after a thorough read and few turns the Quick Reference guide is all that you need.

    A quick shot of tonight’s “teams”.  (sorry for the poor picture)

    I hope to enjoy plenty more games in the future.

    Thank You

  • PIXIE II 30M CW Transceiver

    Posted on October 4, 2012 by in radio

    As requested by some members of the FISTS mailing list I have scanned the doc’s for the PIXIE I built for my Intermediate practical. They where drawn up by David G0VIE

    For the circuit diagram and VERO board layout please follow this link –>> PIXIE II 30M



    Jon 2E0RFU

  • Instant WordPress

    Posted on September 11, 2012 by in Everything Else

    This maybe something some of you have come across before but as someone who has used WordPress for about 5 years I was not aware there was a out of the box package to run a test\dev instance WordPress locally on your Windows machine with no configuration required.

    Instant WordPress is a a simple .exe which just a gnats hair over 54MB and contains a webserver with PHP and MYSQL fully configured to run WordPress 3.3.2. Plugins, updates and themes work just as you would expect and it runs very nicely. I have found it very useful in working on plugins and themes, hopefully some of you will too.