Aurora Borealis over Helsinki

It's quite rare to see aurora borealis in Helsinki, I've mostly only seen them around 400 km or more north.

Fairly weak and variable. I was only able to point my camera south and up, not north where the auroras normally are brightest - because of buildings and light-pollution in that direction.

As usual only green is visible to the naked eye, while the camera also picks up reds and maybe blues.

Canon 500D with 17-40/F4L lens at 17mm/F4 on tripd. iso400, 8-10 s exposure with cable-release.

See also: Kilpisjärvi auroras from 2012, and Oravais auroras from 2011.

Korttelirastit Otaniemi

6 km course, about +2C and cloudy. Most snow has melted - no need for spiked shoes. 7.99km route at 5:51/km pace. Placing around 18th out of 107 runners. About 2 min of error in total.

  • Just after #2 there is no way through directly towards #3, but I still run that way and check that the fence is really there. +30s.
  • Out of #8 there is a steep hill to climb on the direct route - but I choose the easy way around instead. +30s.
  • Running down the hill from #9 towards #10 I plan to round the building to the right - it looks better - but then follow others the left route around the building. Again probably +30s.
  • At #13 it's hard to say from the map if there is a passage between the buildings, and the left more direct route would work. The long way around (right of the building) and back is slow and probably at least +30s again here.


Korttelirastit Heureka

Start -> #1: along the rail-road in front of Heureka, then along the street might have been better. My route is more scenic along the river.

#5->#6 route choice between left or right side of the rail-road for the long straight bit. Close to the control I slow down at the right smaller road/path towards #6 but then I fail to make the turn there.

#8->#9 and #9->#10 on both of these legs the left route choice seems better in hindsight. Especially my S-shaped route to #10 does not look good.

6km course, 9km route in 48min48s or 5:22/km. 11th out of 86 runners. Around +2 C, windy, and snow/rain at the start.


Korttelirastit, Hakaniemi-Kruunuhaka

Sprint-O on familiar streets today. The 5 km course was composed of two sprint-courses, 2.4 km in Hakaniemi and 2.6 km in Kruununhaka. I didn't use a compass today ;)

The Polar V800 GPS did not work great on the Hakaniemi map and I had to correct the GPS-trace a lot to get this result. Mostly OK going, but out of #12 I took the wrong path down from the control-hill, assumed I had hit the right street leading towards #13, and ended up close to the forbidden area (Hämeentie). Green arrows show the correct path, probably up to 2 min lost here.


On the second course I didn't make any major mistakes. #3 was hard to say if it was reachable only below from the sloping hill, or also from the top along the much easier terrace with a fence. I took the slower path from below and then climbed the fence after finding the control. The way out from #8 towards #9 seems awkward and slow, but maybe there is no route directly south out of #8?

Total time 47min 22s for both courses. 12th place out of ca 63 runners.



Let's say you have a DSO-X 2000 or 3000 series oscilloscope and you're not super keen on paying about 300 euros for the brand-name DSOXLAN module to enable the Ethernet port it already essentially has on board? No worries, just build yourself this DIY DSOXLAN module! The most expensive part of this build is the 8 euro magjack Ethernet connector.


In other news this blog has been updated to WordPress 4.1. Hope everything works OK.

SMD R/C kit

  • Inspiration and labels from: DIY SMD Resistor Capacitor Kit. I enhanced the labels with tolerance and wattage/voltage infromation as well as color-coding.
  • Boxes:
  • Components: Digikey
  • Resistors 1x, 2x, 3.3x, 4.99x over 5 decades from 10 Ohms to 100 kOhms. All 0805 size.
  • Capacitors: 4.7x and 10x over 7 decades from 1pF to 10uF. Smallest 0603, mostly 0805, and largest 1206 size.
  • Bugs: X7R is misspelled as XR7. One printed label was lost in production. My choice of components uses 36 out of 40 boxes - still room for 4 more components.