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NetRadio stations

A couple of months ago, The Funeral Home closed its doors. That is to say, the goth station Gothique13 ceased broadcasting. It was a shame, as a lot of other stations of that genre include "industrial" and "techno", so I guess they're appealing to a different sort of goth than one might find lurking in a graveyard on a rainy night.

For the past two weeks, PPN has been down. I don't know if the server has been left to itself, or if it is experiencing serious technical issues, suffice to say that it is usually "stuck" in dead air and with a set of recent songs that doesn't change as it is, well, stuck.

I plugged my NetRadio into my phone and started a serial terminal. This is when I ran into the first problem. It seems that they are sending too many CRLFs, so it's not possible to set the channel name. Plus, support for Delete is near non-existent. I did have one terminal that allowed me to set up "08" (hex) as a macro key, but it's still very line based and kind of naff to try to use.

So I plugged it into RISC OS, and hacked the SerialTerminal program that comes with the SerialUSB module to connect to a specific device (as the first one is my weather station!), to correctly send CRLF, and to send Delete as well.
The Pi actually managed to power the power-hungry ESP32, and editing stations was... not quite as nice as it could have been (I'll need to disable local echo!), but it worked and I was able to shuffle the stations a little, since Radio Four is a pain to get here outside of the UK, so I've just ditched it.

I have kept PPN in the hope that it gets fixed, and as an alternative added Epic Rock Radio which isn't quite the same, but sort of close(ish). I'll be willing to try any suggestions of stations catering to Symphonic Metal.
If the names Ayreon, Apocalyptica, Nightwish, Epica, Amberian Dawn, Sabaton, Angtoria, Olympus Mons, Freedom Call, Amaranthe, Iced Earth, Hammerfall, Lacuna Coil, Ancient Bards, and Stream of Passion mean anything to you, then that's a station I'd be interested in.

I've also found a potential replacement for Gothique13 called Abnormally Dead Air.

Here's a dump from the serial terminal.

ets Jun  8 2016 00:22:57

rst:0xc (SW_CPU_RESET),boot:0x13 (SPI_FAST_FLASH_BOOT)
configsip: 0, SPIWP:0xee
mode:DIO, clock div:1
ho 0 tail 12 room 4
entry 0x40080698

Rick's NetRadio is initialising...
(version 0.09 built at 20:38:21 on Jan 15 2021)

Connecting to

Connected to Abnormally Dead Air

Controls: [P]revious/[N]ext station, [L]ouder/[Q]uieter, [M]ute,
          show [A]ll stations, [0]-[9] direct station choice,
          [S]etup (playing stops), [C]opyright, or [R]eset device.

Currently playing "Furious Stars" by Snakeskin.

Press [Enter] to begin setup.


WiFi AP : "VonetsRepeater"
Password: "xxxxxxxxxx"

 0: Heart 80s (
 1: Love 80s (M) (;)
 2: Hits 93 Toronto (
 3: Retro Hits Canada (
 4: Alouette (
 5: JPopSuki Radio! (
 6: Birdsong FM (
 7: Abnormally Dead Air (
 8: Epic Rock Radio (
 9: PPN Radio (

Note:  It is NOT recommended to use the Arduino IDE Serial Monitor,
       use a terminal that supports Backspace and Enter = CR or CRLF.

Press: [W] to set up WiFi, [0]-[9] to set up the numbered station,
       or: [E]rase settings, [Q]uit setup, or [R]estart the radio.

Quit setup

Connecting to

Connected to Abnormally Dead Air

Controls: [P]revious/[N]ext station, [L]ouder/[Q]uieter, [M]ute,
          show [A]ll stations, [0]-[9] direct station choice,
          [S]etup (playing stops), [C]opyright, or [R]eset device.

Currently playing "Remember Me" by The Birthday Massacre.



Following a comment by Steve in the last article, yes, I remember that Mars bars were a lot larger.
It is worth noting that both myself and my gob were a lot smaller than they are now.

But Google to the rescue. A standard Mars in the 1980s was 49g. In the 1990s it increased to 65g. Nowadays, it is 51g if bought in a shop, but a paltry 45g if bought in a multipack.
There was also a "King Size" version that was something like 75-80g, but this was done away with by those pushing for controls to prevent kids getting fat. Can't have a king size anything, you might explode in a mass of slimy goo and cholestrol. I guess the concept of "just eat two" never occurs to these people...

Mars bars
Mars bars.

At the top is a Mars as sold retail, all 51g of it. This one is from the vending machine at work. Don't pay any attention to the use by date, I took this photo last September.
The notably smaller (45g) one is a multipack Mars.
I find the vending machine one to be a nice size, while the multipack one isn't really filling. Sometimes I eat two, which by my maths is 90g of Mars. Well, I guess that's an old King Size...

I often sneak one at around 11.30am as the sugar hit prevents me from getting a headache, which tends to happen in the lull between breakfast and lunch. So a quick Mars fix sees to that.
I say this because I'm not supposed to eat chocolate, so I have to do it quickly. Thus, I can inform you that the 45g bar is two bites and the entire thing can easily fit into the mouth (halves side by side take less space than the bar as a bar).
Pfft, kind of lame.



Swung by the shop yesterday on the way home. I wasn't hungry. So for dinner I grabbed a pack of doughnut-pretzel things and a 500ml tub of ice cream. Remember what I was saying about a sugar fix?
I'm not developing diabetes... not unless it takes >48 years to develop... as I've always been like this.


They had one box of cat food on special offer, so I grabbed that before anybody else did. I have four boxes, or 176 sachets of food for the furry critter.

Here's a gratuitous macro shot of the ice cream, made to look like a giant volcano.

Ice cream volcano
Ice cream volcano (not three words you'd normally see together!).

I considered going shopping today rather than quickly after work, but remembered that today was a big day of special cut price petrol... uh-hu... given the current price of petrol, I bet it was absolute madness. Not worth getting caught in that for a saving of, what, 10 centimes?


A moony night

Orion, moonlit
Orion, moonlit.

My Mi 10T has a long exposure mode that can take nice thirty second exposures of the night sky. This photo is about half nine on a mid-March evening, when Orion is in the south west. A month from now, it'll be setting in the west at this time. A month ago in early February, it was high in the sky in the south at half nine. And, of course, on the 1st of December, it was rising in the east (fully visible) at half nine.


Spring is here?

Mom said that if I could step on ten daisies at once, it was springtime. Well...



Gardening - grass

I took out the rotovator and turned the ground by the stream again. I pulled out numerous bits of bramble roots, and then raked the ground flat.
I spread grass seed all around. An interesting challenge on a windy day!
I then gently raked in little hops to cover the seeds a little.
After that, I walked over it to press down the dirt around the seeds. Human feet are quite small when you're faced with an expanse of land. So it took a while.
Finally, I put the sprinkler head on the watering can, dunked it into the stream, and watered the ground to help get the seeds to get the idea of what they're supposed to do now. ☺

Soon to be grassed?
Soon to be grassed?

I'm sure there will still be brambles and other nasties trying to crawl through the ground, so I'll need to keep an eye on what's growing there.

The other side was turned again, to continue the preparation for the potatoes later in the year. Wait, later as in... kind of soon! Time goes fast, too fast. ☺



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Rick, 20th March 2022, 20:09
In trimming down and copying over a lot of output into a TaskWindow, I had inadvertently copied across the wrong set of stations. Duh. 🤦 Fixed! 
J.G.Harston, 24th March 2022, 19:34
Ten years after digging out the brambles at my place I'm still pulling chunks out. But at least it's manageable.
Rick, 24th March 2022, 20:31
Pulling chunks out of what - the ground or you? 
With brambles, either is possible...

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