Author Archives: Jon Byrne


Warning: printf() [function.printf]: Too few arguments in /var/sites/j/jonbyrne.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/colorway/author.php on line 42

This is my site.
  • Doctor Who Adventures Magazine – Daleks Miniatures

    Posted on September 3, 2012 by in Everything Else

    After finding the Doctor Who Miniatures Game (DWMG) a few months ago I really wanted to try it out. However with my natural cheapskate outlook I have been looking for some reasonably priced miniatures. There are plenty of options for all of the Doctors and as you only need one of them the couple of £ they are is no issue. Unit troops can be played by my EM4 Troopers for now, not perfect but will work in my whoniverse.

    The big issue is the baddies, they generally need a fairly big force for them to come up against the Doctor so that will start to add up, I could use substitutes but I prefer something real. A few people on the DWMG mailing list had mentioned the battle pack that often come with the DWAM every now and then, I had not managed to find any reviews, so after browsing ebay and not being happy with the prices I was pleased to see that this weeks magazine had a mixed pack on the front including 5 daleks a big enough group for anyone to worry about along with a number of other enemies. This is not that pack I got but the Daleks are the same.

    They look like the cheap toys they are but I am mostly interested in the Daleks so I took the plunge and spent 30 mins tonight trying to get them a little more menacing. After a base coat of pound shop acrylic and a light brushing of Humbrol number 11 this is what I have. I am going to do a little detailing but am pretty pleased and they certainly look much scarier.

    The troopers on the pictures are EM4’s 28mm plastic troopers to give you an idea of scale.

    So for £2.70 I have 5 daleks and possibly a a few other usable figures, not bad.

     

     

  • My Kindle Reading List

    Posted on April 30, 2012 by in books

    I keep a wish list for Kindle Books that I plan to read soon. I welcome any suggestions.

    Here is my Kindle Reading List

     

  • Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 1 – Sean Platt & David Wright

    Posted on April 1, 2012 by in books

    One of the things that the Kindle has opened me up to is short stories and serialised novels. Like Dickens of old they are back with vengeance.

    Yesterday’s Gone: Episode 1 is the first of 12 episodes that are currently available in this series and is at this time free on the Kindle.

    The story follows a number of people in the immediate aftermath of something that causes 99.9% of the worlds population to disappear, with the characters ranging from a 7 year old boy to a escaped prisoner how they tackle the situation varies greatly. As the pieces start to come together the mysteries increase as to what happened and what the future will hold for the survivors.

    The book is very well written is one of the better written self published books I have read recently and I am currently straight into the second episode.

    So if you like Science Fiction, post apocalyptic or just a nice cliff hanger it is well worth investing the time into this book.

     

    *amazon links are affiliate links, however this does not effect my reviews honesty.

  • E-Books VAT Abolition

    Posted on March 21, 2012 by in books

    If your in the UK and find the 20% VAT rate on ebooks when physical books are exempt it might be worth signing this petition.

  • Review of The Hunger Games Triology

    Posted on March 19, 2012 by in books

    With the upcoming release of the film version of Susan Collins book I thought I would take the time to read the trilogy before I let Hollywood make my mind up for me.

    I would love to review the first book as a stand alone piece of work, however the author decided to turn the book into a trilogy and that is where it all falls apart in my eyes.

    The setting is sometime in the unspecified future where the world has changed, and Panem is a new country founded where the USA is now, there is a Capital City and 13 districts. In the past the Districts had an uprising and the Capital retaliated by destroying District 13 and starting the Hunger Games as a reminder to the Districts of the power they hold over them.

    The Hunger Games held each year take a Boy and Girl from each district and pit them together in a to the death fight televised for the nation.

    Whilst gruesome the general set up holds a lot of promise and the books start off well, with the first book selling the characters and games to the reader allowing a strong connection to form. Without spoiling the plot, this continues right to the end of the first book and if it ended there I would have wanted more.

    The problem was that Susan Collins gave me more, but what she gave me in my mind was the content of one book spread over two and far to many unexplained questions. Being a review this is not the place to ask those questions as this would spoil the plot of the first.

    I cannot imagine that the second and third books are worthy of a movie but unfortunately the decision will be based on money made rather than the quality of the book. I guess the studios hope this may fill the Harry Potter void, but if they had done a decent job with Philip Pullmans “His Dark Materials” trilogy then that hole would not be there yet.

    So in short read the first book or see the movie and then stop there, life is short.

    *amazon links are affiliate links, however this does not effect my reviews honesty.

  • RSGB 144MHz UK Activity Contest

    Posted on March 19, 2012 by in radio

    Since becoming licensed as M6BYR I have enjoyed taking part in the monthly 144MHz UK Activity Contest run by the RSGB, it is one of the most affordable contests to enter and can give a good sense of achievement and an excellent way to test your set up.

    I currently use a Trio TR-7010 with a home made dipole in the window of my shack, powered by a cheap eBay 3amp PSU, in all the set up cost about £50. With the radio being almost 40 years old there are no luxuries but it does the job, with the channelised VXO covering 144.100 to 144.300 and then 4 extra crystals allowing access to about 144.320, missing a chunk of the SSB section it does put me at a disadvantage, but it is something I can live with. Putting out only 8 watts there are no licence issues with this rig.

    The contest schedule can be found here on the RSGB VHF Contest Site, along with the other band contests they run, but the 2 Meter on is on the first Tuesday of the month and by far the busiest in terms of enterants.

    So if your newly licensed, experienced VHF FM or HF operator, give it a go next month.

  • Railroad! Volume One:Rodger Dodger (a steampunk western)

    Posted on March 19, 2012 by in books

    This book by Tonia Brown is another free pick up from the Kindle Store, the combination of Steampunk and Railroad in the title was enough to convince me to download it, it is however now £0.77.

    Whilst this is Volume One of three it does stand alone very well and provides enough of an hook for me to want to go back and find out more about the slightly cheesy named Rodger Dodger and his future adventures aboard the Sleipnir. Like many Steampunk novels there is a super natural element, however this does not overpower the story and sits comfortably in the plot. The book is a well written introduction to the character and the world he lives in, providing a good amount of technical info on the inventions without boring the reader.

    All three volumes are now available for £1.99 so if you like the free 1st chapter sample you may be better opting for that over the individual volumes.

     

    *amazon links are affiliate links, however this does not effect my reviews honesty.

  • M6BYR

    Posted on March 16, 2012 by in radio

    Is my UK Foundation Amateur Radio Call Sign.

    Based in Stockport 500m from Junction 1 of the M60 approximatly 200ft ASL. I am newly licenced and took my exam at the Stockport Radio Society.

    I am a member of the G-QRP club member #13710 & FISTS member #15821 and am building up my QRP HF CW Station over the next 6 months or so.

    I have built a simple Android App which allows offline access to the UK Band Plan 2012 it can be downloaded for free below.

    I am currently set up to work 2M SSB with my Trio TR-7010 and take part in the UK Activity Contests.

    My Shack PC runs Puppy Linux and I use FLDIGI for data modes.

    I am currently learning CW and will hopefully be on HF soon.

  • Doctor Who: Infinity Doctors

    Posted on March 15, 2012 by in books

    Finished Lance Parkin’s Infinity Doctors last night, would recommend to anyone. Its an Eighth Doctor adventure and is set back on Gallifrey. Possibly set a separate time stream to the modern TV series, it does however give some very nice info on the Time Lord back story.

     

    *amazon links are affiliate links, however this does not effect my reviews honesty.

  • UK Band Plan 2012 Android App

    Posted on March 15, 2012 by in Everything Else, radio

    I have recently launched a simple but effective Android App which provides you with offline access to the UK Band Plan and a list of call sign prefixes. It is nothing clever or complicated just nice and simple.

    It can be found for free here

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.bandplan

    I would really appreciate it if you contact me with any comments or suggestions.

    Thank You

     

    Jon

    M6BYR