February 12th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

This blog was created so I could share the little projects that have made my life easier (or more interesting 😉 ). I hope you have fun looking around!


  1. December 9th, 2010 at 12:55 | #1

    Hi we would love to feature your last RF Transceiver project on our website. Would you be willing to work with us in doing so?


  2. December 9th, 2010 at 13:39 | #2

    I sent you an email.

  3. Diego
    June 24th, 2011 at 08:18 | #3


    I’m studying engineering and I would like to test the MRF49XA for a project, but I don’t want to make a some board just for that, because the cost is very expensive.
    Do you sell these cards? Are you interested in selling two units?

  4. June 24th, 2011 at 08:29 | #4

    I don’t have any way to sell them at the moment. It mostly depends on your timeframe. It’s also possible for you to make them yourself, as I have the PCB design as a public design on BatchPCB. If you are unable to make it yourself and don’t mind waiting a month for them, we can work something out.

  5. February 8th, 2012 at 19:10 | #5


    I’m wondering if you do contract electronic design work? We have a project which might be of interest to you. I couldn’t find your contact information elsewhere, so this seemed the best way to get your attention.

    Thanks for your time!

  6. February 9th, 2012 at 08:09 | #6

    In general, yes. However, I’m in the last year of my Ph.D., so I have no time at all at the moment. Thanks for asking…

  7. Jared
    February 13th, 2012 at 19:19 | #7

    I have some questions pertaining to a wireless jeopardy system that I am attempting to construct. If you would be willing to help in this please message me.

  8. February 13th, 2012 at 19:57 | #8

    Sure, lay ’em on me.

  9. Tony
    July 22nd, 2012 at 16:31 | #9

    Hi William,
    Do you have a contact email for future reference?
    Just got Cocoa-Radio up and running on my Mac. Will start looking into the code to see if I could work with it

  10. Peter
    January 2nd, 2013 at 10:10 | #10

    Hi Bill and happy New Year!
    I was happy to discover cocoa radio and wanted to use it with my RTL stick, however the program starts, displays a messages that it couldn’t open the RTL stick, and promptly exits.
    As it exits I didn’t know what to do or try to repair, if this was possible.
    I am using a Macbook pro, OS is 10.7, Lion.
    The stick is a RTLDVB-T plus FM stick with the RTL2832U chip and the RafaelMicro receiver.
    Thanks for any help,

  11. January 2nd, 2013 at 10:28 | #11


    Can you provide some information from the system profiler thing? I just need to verify that the USB device is being detected by the OS. Also, what is the exact model number of the tuner chip?

  12. Jeff
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:49 | #12

    William, can I get you to take a detailed, close-up, picture of the CM-5 light panel? I’m building a replica and after scouring the internet I can’t find any photos detailed enough to show what’s going on in there. I can see that there appears to be white graduations for each set of 8 LEDs and something written under each set but can’t make it out in any pictures available on the web. I thought I would take a shot and ask for your help. Driving the 500 miles to the National Cryptographic Museum in Maryland isn’t really an option right now. –Thanks, Jeff

  13. July 18th, 2013 at 12:22 | #13

    Sure, I can do that. I’ll try to remember to do that tonight.

  14. July 19th, 2013 at 20:06 | #14

    I updated the original CM-5 post with a close-up image of the LED panel and its silkscreen. I hope it helps.

  15. Jeff
    July 23rd, 2013 at 03:27 | #15

    William, the picture is perfect. Thanks for letting me take a bit of your valuable time.

  16. July 23rd, 2013 at 08:40 | #16

    There is something important to notice, depending on how much you care about authenticity. Notice that the bottom half of the LEDs look different? There is a mask of black paint on the inside of the plexi, and the bottom few banks of LEDs are completely masked out. The first bank that isn’t covered is node 45. You can see evidence of this in a few of the photos. Even though they’re masked-out, there are still LEDs under there.

  17. Jeff
    July 24th, 2013 at 05:48 | #17

    I wonder if that particular CM-5 only had 45 nodes in that cabinet.

    A few more questions…

    In the pictures I’ve seen the LEDs look rectangular. Are they indeed rectangle LEDs or are they round?

    Are the single digit nodes labeled as 01, 02, 03 or 1, 2, 3?

  18. July 24th, 2013 at 07:49 | #18

    This CM-5 was a full load. The interesting thing is that nodes 2-45 are blacked out, nodes 46-255 aren’t. Also, I just noticed that there isn’t even a place for nodes 0 and 1.

    The LEDs are round and 5mm. It’s the masking between rows that makes them look rectangular.

    The single-digit nodes do not have a leading zero.

  19. Richard
    April 13th, 2014 at 09:27 | #19


    I saw your article about the helical antenna. I was given one of these, and happen to also have an Ensemble II receiver. How do use this setup to receive weather satellite data?


  20. April 13th, 2014 at 11:12 | #20

    My article about that is here:

    I’ll probably depend on whether you using windows, linux or mac. You’ll need to use GNURadio, SDR#, DSP Radio; some kind of “virtual audio cable”; and WXtoImg or WXAPT to decode the audio.

    I’m planning a post about using the RTLSDR dongles for weather satellite images, too: https://twitter.com/hpux735/status/452674180970864641

  21. Jack_Andal
    December 8th, 2014 at 22:35 | #21

    Where did you find the stickers for that Cyvasse set you made?

  22. December 9th, 2014 at 13:06 | #22

    Do you mean the bulk sticker material? I don’t remember the exact product, I think it was transparent address labels by Avery. I designed the icons on my computer and printed them onto the address labels. Then, I put them on the tiles and cut around the edges. If you use a bone-folder or something like it to press the sticker it’ll be almost clear. Also, when you paint the sticker it makes it appear almost completely transparent.

  23. Jack_Andal
    December 11th, 2014 at 10:17 | #23

    @ hpux735
    Thanks for the reply.
    Yes, your process on the set is a streamlined one; I really like your lexan idea. I’m trying to make a set of my own but I don’t think I could reproduce such great sticker pieces. Would it be too much if you would send me the designs?
    You’d make my year.
    No joke.

  24. December 11th, 2014 at 14:29 | #24

    I looked all around, and I found most of the artwork, but some of it’s missing. I can’t find the rabble, horses, or crossbow artwork. I’m pretty sure I just google image searched for those anyway… I sent it to the email address you used with the comment. Cheers.

  25. Jack_Andal
    December 11th, 2014 at 21:53 | #25

    @ hpux735

    I absolutely appreciate it.
    For your time, I’ll post this; it’s streamlined rules after many playtests. And they’re not too hard to look at either.
    Thanks again.

  26. Bob Madonna
    April 27th, 2016 at 13:09 | #26

    Thanks for all the great directions on getting swift and foundation running on BBB or Pi.

    I’ve been trying to follow your directions on running Swift on a BBB which has
    Ubuntu for ARMv7 installed but I keep getting this error:

    “-bash: ./swift: cannot execute binary file: Exec format error”

    Any suggestions?



  27. April 27th, 2016 at 17:05 | #27

    I don’t really have enough information. I don’t know why you’re making binaries that are the wrong type. What operating system are you using? What version of the raspi? Those instructions might be out of date.

  28. Bob Madonna
    April 28th, 2016 at 05:17 | #28

    @Bob Madonna
    Sorry for the lack of detail.

    I’m running Ubuntu 14.04 on a Beagle Bone Black

    I did not build the binary.

    I downloaded it from this link thinking it was built for a 32 bit Beagle Bone Black running ubuntu.


    I did not realize that some of the targets on this page were 64 bit machines.

    I’ve been running Swift on this board for several months with a Debian Jessie OS installed. I decided to try Swift out on a Ubuntu version.

    FYI: I tried to send a comment from the link above and I repeatedly got a server error. I had to go to your “About” tab to send this comment.

    Thanks again for your site I’m a big Swift fan.

    Are you available for consulting by any chance?


  29. May 3rd, 2016 at 10:38 | #29

    Hi Bob,

    Sorry to have taken so long to reply, I’ve been fairly busy recently.

    Thanks for catching the error in my link on that page. I’ve renamed the arm-based swift builds on my site to swift-armv7.tar.gz as I’ve used the swift.tar.gz for x86 recently. That would explain the incompatibility with the binary! If you’re interested in the 64-bit version (it’s still rather buggy, there’s a problem with the linker on 64-bit) there is also a swift-arm64.tar.gz.

    That server error is very strange. I’m not much of a web person ;p

    I am available for consulting if it makes sense for both of us. Please send me an email at william@housedillon.com to discuss. 🙂


  30. Raymond McNab
    November 27th, 2016 at 21:54 | #30

    I am using you brilliant little Fontscape 1.3 and would very much like to be able to print out a list of my fonts to keep in a reference book. Is there any way to print from Fontscape?


  31. November 28th, 2016 at 07:19 | #31

    Hi! Thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad that you’re enjoying it.

    You’ve probably noticed that printing from the app doesn’t work, but what does is to copy and paste from that window. If you select-all and copy then open TextEdit or Pages, or something else, you can paste into it and the formatting will follow. I’ve tried this on TextEdit and it worked.

    Give it a try and let me know!

  32. Raymond McNab
    November 28th, 2016 at 15:46 | #32

    Yes it works! Thanks for the tip to print a catalogue of my fonts. Computer runs a little slow with all that in memory but at last I have a printed copy.

    Brilliant, thanks for your incredible little app.

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