Dear Dad, wish you could see this! | Odd Blog

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Dear Dad, wish you could see this!

Dear Dad,

You left us in 1999, it happened to be on 20th July, the 30th anniversary of the first moon walk. Thirty years before, I remember you sitting in a chair in our new house, a 405 line black and white tv on, watching what seemed like a never-changing picture of those moon walkers. I was only six years old, so I really did not understand the significance.

So over the years you taught me loads about electronics and radio and that pretty much determined everything I do every day to this very day. We use current technology daily and just get used to it so quickly. But sometimes I still look at something and so wish I could find you and say, hey have a look at this. I would love to see your face.

What has prompted this entry is a message just popped at the top of my phone – yes they can do that, phones have screens now, you never saw that. The message said that two astronauts on the ISS (yes, that spacecraft whose first module was orbited just six months before you went) would be beginning an EVA in ten minutes, to change some worn-out batteries. So I tapped the screen and there, on my phone screen, in high definition, is a live feed for me to watch of the EVA and even images from the astronauts head cameras too. I mean, that is just WOW isn’t it? It is one of the things that still has wow impact for me.

The other thing I would show you is a 4K TV programme. You taught me how to fix TVs and radios and lived through all the changes of the time: 405, 625, colour. I think you would be left speechless with the quality of say a Blu Ray movie on a good 4K UHD TV. It really is stunning Dad. And I know, you would have looked around the TV, commented on how thin it is (they had heavy, glass CRTs when you last saw them) but the big thing that would prompt a comment from you is, ‘Where’s the TV aerial plugged in?’ I actually have no aerial plugged in at the moment, everything I have watched for a long time is streamed. Yes, Dad, it comes down the phone line!!! How weird that sounds just saying it.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that have changed just as dramatically, but these relate to things we did together and stand out. I suppose the other thing is a tuned circuit. Once we used a capacitor and an inductor to tune a signal out of the ether. Now we just use a microprocessor to direct sample the signal and decode it in software. SDR it’s called Dad, how amazing is that? You were a huge aviation enthusiast, especially listening on the air bands. How I wish I could sit you in front of a pc I have set up for you with a simple SDR dongle and ADS-B reception showing you your very own air traffic control display! I think out of all of this, that would have bowled you over the most!

I don’t notice how much has changed often enough, but one thing that always grounds me is the thoughts I often have of wanting to show it to you…


Thanks for everything Dad x   🙂

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