Typical conditions for September

Typical conditions for September, calculated from weather station data 2009. – 2016






Spaceweather: Solar Flare from Sunspot 2673

Sunspot 2673 unleashed an X-class solar flare earlier today, causing some radio blackouts on the sun facing side of earth.

Some images from NASA/NOAA:

mdi_sunspots goes-xray-flux radio latest


DIY – Stir Plate for Brewing Yeast Preparation

So, after watching a few online videos, I decided to build my own stir plate for brewing yeast preparation.

I am sharing this easy and cheap construction method, because it is so simple and easy to build and it works really well!

Step 1 – the parts

- An old PC fan (or a new fan, seeing that they are so cheap)


- Some small disk magnets (see photo of fan)

- An old USB cable to supply power to the fan.  you can plug this into a cellphone charger or pc or whatever you have


- Erlenmeyer Flask to prepare your yeast in


- Stir bar – I used a “Bucky Bar” to test with as I have not yet received my real stir bar in the post

IMG_8666_stir bar

- Plastic lunch box, large enough to fit the fan in and large enough to serve as a base to put the flask on


Step 2 – Assembly of the components

- Glue two magnets onto the rotor of the fan, ensuring that opposite polarities are facing upwards

- Center the fan on the lunch box and mark the mounting positions on the lunch box.  I used a drill to mark the hole positions.


- Drill the mounting holes and mount the fan. Try to mount the fan as close as possible to the lid, without any moving parts touching the lid.


- Solder the fan wires to the power wires of the USB cable and tie it down to make it look better.



Step 3 – All done, now it is time to test

- The completed project


-Testing –  The small magnetic bar draws a nice vortex down to the bottom of the flask.



Botswana Earthquake detected by the seismometer

Earthquake detected by my seismometer, all info points to a 6.8 quake in nearby Botswana


Amateur Radio Astronomy


Solar Storm Forecast: 2017-03-23


SDR: the basics of IQ signals, modulation and demodulation

Part 1:


Part 2:


STEM: Energy, Entropy , a must see video

This is an excellent video on energy, entropy, heat, order, and disorder in the world we live in


Cyclone Dineo – Satellite Image, Thermal Enhancement

Satellite Image - Thermal Enhancement: Cyclone Dineo over Mozambique

AMSAT SA Workshop held at NARC

A very successful SDR (Software Defined Radio) workshop was held on Saturday 26 November at the National Amateur Radio Centre (NARC).  Software defined radio concepts are already in widespread use in the telecoms industry and is spreading out into other radio communication domains.

Two presentations on SDR Fundamentals and a concept SDR based Satellite Transponder were done by Anton Janovski (ZR6AIC) and Cor Rademeyer (ZS6CR).

More information will be posted on the AMSAT SA website.

img_3331_img_3325_ img_3333_Photo credit: Hans van de Groenendaal


Secunda Beer Brewers Group – Beer Tasting 2016/11/12

The Secunda Beer Brewers Group held a beer tasting event, here is the results and some photos.

AMSAT SA – SDR Workshop


Graphs: Temp & Humidity mirror images

Last two days had nice mirror profile temperature and humidity graphs:

53ec9aa2-c820-47f0-be1f-ed0d62a4485d 46bfe2a6-afe4-4498-a64e-07718ee22bc0

Satellite Image: EUMETSAT RGB


EUMETSAT Satellite Image – RGB


Precipitation Forecast

Precipitation Forecast Animation

Satellite Image: 2015/10/06 17:25


Secunda Sundown


Hydroponics experiment / prototype system

I spent some time building a test platform for a hydroponic garden.  All components used were stuff I had in the ‘workshop’ already, so it just cost me a few hours to build.  Also bought some nutrients.

For now I am happy with the setup, I will keep it running for a few weeks to ensure the ‘test subject’ plants are happy, and then scale up the design to something more usefull.

A friend in high school (Koos Brits) told me about hydroponics in 1989 (if I remember correctly?).  I did some research over the years but never got to the point of building a working system.  Well, this is the beginning of a (another?) new hobby!

Here’s a pic of the test system:



5 Day Weather Forecast


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