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1  Topics / E-Textiles and Craft / Re: Conductive Thread: Silver vs. Stainless Steel on: December 08, 2012, 01:47:07 pm
The plastic tubing sounds like a good idea, but how would you terminate the end?
2  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Can you buy pagers anymore? on: May 25, 2012, 03:10:07 am
Thanks for replies, I'll have to check them out.

To be fair I don't think a pager will be able to help too much with the intrusiveness side. Besides, for me its not the intrusiveness because I understand that I'm being paid to be on call. It's more about being caught off guard. Last time I really dropped the ball and thinking aloud mentioned something I shouldn't. You see the call can come at any point and typically the boss will ask me a question and because I haven't worked in months its only after I put the phone down I realise there was something I've missed.

But personally I'd be looking to set it up forwarded from my mobile phone. This way it would kick in when I go out of phone signal. Since being on call I'm amazed how many places don't have signal. I've swapped to another provider and so now I get slightly better 2g coverage but only 3g in cities. Whenever I go out of signal though I'm constantly worrying about it. It would be nice to reduce that worry and be able to do water sports etc, I've broken enough phones trying to be available.

I had a discussion with someone today who suggested never answer the phone, just ignore it and call them back when you've had a moment to get your head in gear.

But the reason why I post here is because the technology is interesting. Its receive only. A mobile phone is actually polling the base station all the time and there's something I find messy about this. A radio ham might understand. A receive only device feels much more passive. They make sense in hospitals. Since a pager is receive only then surely it should be phone safe?

I also find the idea of receive only transmissions rather interesting in themselves. A pager can't be tracked, its lower in power... I just like efficiency...

There are times when its really nice to go offline. Now I know a pager isn't offline psychologically but it is a compromise due being receive only. After a big job work generally don't call for the first 2weeks. Once I took this time to visit the amazon. We stayed on the edge of the forest and I took a slight risk in the sense that there was no signal. I have to say this feeling of no power grid or signal was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I cant describe the feeling, it could have brought me to tears. There a lot to be said to having a small element to this in life... if possible

Also, I think there is actually a lot of coded transmission out there. For example many people these days have no clue about shortwave radio, even long wave or the extra info you can get from gps and other broadcasts. I'd love to learn more. If I said that a radio can work without a battery people would think voodoo but a crystal radio set isn't a new age therapy.
3  Community / Bar Sport / Can you buy pagers anymore? on: May 24, 2012, 07:02:31 am

 I want to as offline as I can but my company require me to be available on call for work.

Can we get paging systems these days?

 I'd love to have something that:
- uses less battery
- works in a plane
- only receives, doesn't transmit
- easier to water proof and hack on
- works in hospitals and sensitive electrical environments
- informs me and allows me to answer when I want rather than being at the beck and call of of people

^ that's a pager!

But where can I buy such a thing these days and what is the state of it now? Are satellite pagers possible now for increased coverage?
4  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / SMS & email only 'phone' on: December 28, 2011, 02:04:59 pm

 I wondered how hard it would be to take a GSM module, couple it with a small querty keyboard and still have a thin form factor.

The advantage to this would be:

 - as a separate device, you'd have a battery backup for your smartphone
 - you can turn the phone off and have it check for messages in intervals of say 10mins. This would mean the battery would last a lot longer
 - you can use an old green LED screen (or partial updating eink?)
 - if it was thin enough you could velcro it to the back of your main phone... or just not carry a phone at all (some people only do SMS and txt to save cash)

I think this is too difficult to do well.
 I looked at adapting current phones but I'm finding it's either too big or too new.

An update to this tutorial is needed:

 Your thoughts?
5  Development / Other Hardware Development / Charging mat a la Duracell / Wildcharge on: August 31, 2011, 02:44:43 pm
I'm trying to design a charging mat like the duracell design:

But my head's in a muddle as to how i wire it as dc with 3 pins. I giess what i could do instead is actually open one up. The real thing could be combined with something homemade perhaps because the actual connectors on the phone look hard to make a slim fit without protruding from the phone too much.
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