REAST Members learn about Virtual Reality

Ian Mackintosh Explaining Virtual Reality (Photo VK7TW)

It was standing room only and we had a visitor in VK2 Bob VK7BS who has moved down here and is about to become a member of REAST.

The room was setup in a theatre of the round configuration with a big table in the middle with three different Oculus Rift headsets (DK1, DK2 and CE1), computers, high power video cards, controllers and cameras.

Ian then took the audience through the video games that pioneered 3D and VR with Doom and Quake. We started to see standardised 3D gaming engines that most manufacturers adopted.

Ian Mackintosh started with a presentation on Virtual Reality (VR) Archeology. Starting in 1965 with Ivan Sutherland and Ian took the audience through the development of computer graphics and specifically three dimensional computer graphics. The VR boom took off in 1970-80s with Atari with arcade games which overtook the military applications and development. The game that took Atari to another level was Star Wars with vector graphics and Ian bought along service manual for this game. The 1990 saw NASA put resource toward VR along with Nintendo Virtual Boy and SEGA cockpit arcade game. But unfortunately each manufacturer would custom build and develop the hardware and software. Most of these were commercial failures. Ian then went through the VR Recipe including 3D hardware, multi-thread multi core processors, six degrees of freedom, 3D audio, etc.

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Remote Control Aircraft Presentation Fills Clubrooms for June Presentation Night

Ron Cullen presents on RC Aircraft Controls

Ron Cullen presents on RC Aircraft Controls

Wow standing room only for our REAST member Ron Cullen’s presentation on some very impressive radio control kit.

Ron started with some history of his Radio Control (RC) journey starting in 1979 when he was in the Air Force and they had an Aero modelling club and even showed and RC controller from that era.

Ron was posted all over Australia and he took his RC planes with him. Zoom to 1998 and Ron left the Air Force and shelved his interest in RC. A couple of years ago he started to get back into it. The night Walrus was his first purchase and some VR google was he first foray back into RC. This included some interesting innovations including a Visual Approach Slope Indicator for his RC planes and this mirrors the use of this technology at commercial runways.

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The Dish Mount and Controller Forum had us Spinning!

Richard VK7ZBX's impressive 1.8m mobile dish.

Richard VK7ZBX’s impressive 1.8m mobile dish.

We had a great roll up to our forum with many people coming along with show and tell.

Notable there was a large 1.8m AZ/EL dish that was trailer mounted that Richard VK7ZBX brought along – more on that later.

The night was all about sharing people’s experiences. We started with Rex VK7MO who took us on a picture journey of his adventures in dish mounts starting with 1296 and working through each iteration of the mounts and heading into the 10 & 24GHz telescope mounts with milling machine table used for accurate azimuth adjustment. Rex’s show and tell included the azimuth and elevation measuring devices. Thanks Rex.

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October Presentation – Antarctic Communication and Science Programs

AAD PresentationKim Briggs VK7KB gave a fantastic presentation on support the Scientific Program run by the Australian Antarctic Division with some communications references as well.

Kim started off with the Aurora Australis ship and the many different aspects that it is used for and how it is used. It is a very versatile ice-breaking science platform that is leased from P&O.

Throughout the talk there was references to the many many projects and programs that Kim has been involved in – from camera mounts, trawling, echo sounder refits, operating maritime mobile, calibrations, battery packs, data collection, whale recorders, Conductivity, Temperature, Depth instruments, etc. Kim has been involved in it!

We ran out of time for the communications presentation so we have booked Kim in for that presentation next year.

We finished of with many questions and ran a video from one of the trawl camera showing the sea bed at a variety of depths down to over 500m.

A huge thanks you to Kim and we look forward to the sequel.

The talk was videoed and will be played at this Wednesday night’s DATV Experimenter’s night.

(73, Justin, VK7TW)

REAST Visits the ABC!

REAST Members visit ABC (Photo: VK7TW)

Thursday night saw a good group at the front door of the ABC next to the Railway Roundabout and we were welcomed by Damien VK7SD and Alan VK7KAD who were our fantastic and very knowable hosts for the night.

We started in one of the radio studios with producer Dave who took the group through the preparation of radio segments using the various tools that are used to edit and queue radio promotional segments around Australia. Thanks Dave.

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