Stephen Coates' Homepage
Updated: July 2021
My Views on Autism (and other disabiltiy) Alert Cards
Should disabled people carry ID cards? Certainly not! Read More...
December 2020 & January 2021 Anti-Lockdown Protests
I continue to visit Sheffield to document anti-lockdown protests. Find out people's opinions on the new coronavirus vaccine, and watch a small march through the city centre.
How to Complain about bus services
In an addition to the Crap Customer Service section, find out how to complain about First South Yorkshire's buses.
On this page I document my year-long saga complaining about buses. Will I get a satisfactory outcome?
More Anti-Lockdown Protests - October & November 2020
There have been more coronavirus-related protests in Sheffield. This time I took my video camera and tripod and spoke to people to gather their opinions and experiences. Its clear that people are getting fed up of this so-called 'pandemic' now.
I have updated this page for November, with videos of more speeches and opinions.
Sheffield Freedom Protest - 5th September 2020
I visited Sheffield for a peaceful protest about freedoms during the Coronavirus pandemic. Here I document the speeches, march, and subsequent police brutality.
2nd August 2020 - Coronavirus: Exemptions from wearing a face-covering/mask
A rather long article explaining the legislation behind the requirements to wear a face-covering in shops in England, and what to do if you are exempt. (Hint: Many people are).
June 2019 - More Cycle Lockers
Long time no updates (again). I've decided to compile some pages showing various cycle parking facilities in my local area. I'm starting with the ones here in Rotherham. The Rotherham Cycle Lockers page shows the locations of various facilities and comments on the poor condition of many of them, along with details about how I tried to get the council to improve them.
TI have also detailed the cycle parking facilities across Sheffield. I'll be interested to get people's feedback on cycle parking in South Yorkshire.
14th February 2017 - Cycle Lockers
I updated the Crap Customer Service page with an article about cycle lockers at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield.
October 2016 - Lincs Amiga Group 10th Anniversary
The Lincs Amiga Group (LAG) celebrated its 10th Anniversary this month by holding a 'bash' at the usual venue in Welton, Lincoln. Special guests included Trevor Dickinson of A-EON, and Matthew Leaman of AmigaKit. Many systems were on display, and yours truly won the raffle :).
8th April 2016 - Cherry Pi
A while back, I started a project to mount a Raspberry Pi computer in a Cherry G80-3000 keyboard (Amiga/BBC Style). Here is the result.
8th April 2016 - A quick comparison of Lightjet prints vs Inkjet prints
In this post I demonstrate some of the differences between these two printing technologies.
13th July 2015 - SLR/DSLR Focusing Screen Experiments
Many modern low end SLR cameras have terrible focusing screens. If you have seen one of the high quality focusing screens found in manual focus film cameras, you will probably come to hate the focusing screens in modern auto-focus cameras.
I attempted to bodge a higher quality focusing screen into my EOS 500D, with varying success.
Left: A typical DSLR viewfinder, with no focusing aids.
Right: A high quality focusing screen with a cross split prism
for high end cameras.
6th March 2015 - Customer Service Updates
The Crap Customer Service pages have been updated to feature Northern Rail, and a couple of response letters.
28th October 2014 - New Series! - Crap Customer Service
After getting fed up of being treated poorly by many
organisations, I decided it was time to name and shame them on
the internet. Over the coming weeks I will be publishing various
complaints here on this website, and where applicable, any
responses received from the organisation concerned.
Feel free to get in touch if you have similar experiences with the organisations listed.
First up in this series is Manchester Airport, and the security bloke who lacked fluency in English. I'm getting rather fed up of people working in England who lack fluency in our language.
22nd June 2014 - Sony Walkman Repair & Maintenance
My old Sony Walkman has suffered lots of abuse over the years, but I manage to keep it working. Find out how on my new Walkman page.
March 2014 - Motor Cars & Safety
I wrote a short article about the safety and environmental
impacts of motor cars. As someone whose health issues are
somewhat a consequence of this, it is something I feel strongly
about. Read the article here: Motor
Cars & Safety.
I urge everyone to do their best to consider safer and more environmentally friendly transport.
An important note on noise pollution: I don't mention noise pollution much in this short article, because I focus more on safety in terms of 'car crashes', but noise pollution is a major issue which so few people seem to understand. Cars create noise at such a level, that if the road were a typical work place, we would be required to wear hearing protection. The noise can be very distressing, as well as irritating. I live near a busy road, and can not keep my window open in summer because of it.
I'd be willing to hear from other people who suffer from motor
car related noise problems. If you would like to get in touch,
please visit the Contact Me page.
March 2014 - EEWeb Site of the Day
My site is due to be the Site of the Day on EEWeb next month in April. EEWeb is on online community for electrical and electronic engineering. It features forums, news, jobs, featured engineer, featured website, and a comic :).
Check it out here: http://www.eeweb.com/websites/stevecoates
18th January 2014 - More Updates
Firstly, you may have noticed the site's new look. It has been modernised, and looks a bit cleaner. I'm updating all the existing pages with the new look, and all new pages will get it. It utilises some CSS, which simplifies the code. I may eventually update it to include some PHP, but that's something for the future, at the moment, I'm focusing on the content.
After being frustrated with the backlight on my Mastech MS8218 multimeter, I decided to improve it. Check it out here. I also made a backlight for a telephone's LCD, which didn't already have a backlight. I documented that as well (click here). The page shows how you can make a simple but effective LED backlight to place behind your LCD.
2012 Update: The Amiga 1200 Tower is now working much better.
I have uploaded a few pictures of my Amiga 1200T. They aren't very good though. The Amiga is located in the loft where only limited space and light is available. The photo at the side shows the system working with a Microvitec 1438S monitor.
Unfortunately though, this system isn't very reliable. Last time I used it, the graphics from the VooDoo were rather weird. But sometimes, it wouldn't work at all. I wonder if there is a bad connection somewhere between the VooDoo and the Amiga.
See the rest of the pictures here.
To the left is a screenshot of the programme I wrote to monitor up to all seven inputs from a Maxim MAX118 8 bit ADC. The screenshot is showing just Channels 1, 3 and 7 in use.
The circuit interfaces to a PC with a 'Standard' (unidirectional) parallel port. This means it *should* work on an original IBM PC. However, I was unable to test this. The programme was written in QuickBasic 7 and runs in MS-DOS or Windows 95/98.
The circuit diagram shows how the MAX118 is interfaced to the parallel port. The 74LS157 is used to convert the 8 bit output from the ADC into two 4 bit nibbles.
I will put some more complete details on the site eventually, but do to accuracy issues I had with the MAX118, I am currently trying to make a similar system, but using the cheaper and slower ADC0808. The ADC0808 should be just as suitable despite its slower speeds, as high speeds are not required for measurements such as temperature.
I also hope to try and make interface such a device to the Amiga computer as well as the PC.
At LAG13 last Saturday, I got a Power Tower to put my Amiga 1200 in. Well, only the Blizzard 1230-IV, Mediator, HD and cards, as the tower already had a motherboard. Pictures and details coming soon. In the meantime, check out the topic about it on the Classicamiga forums and my Flickr page (see below).
Also, we have some new members at the CRT Fan Club :).
I haven't put much on this website. I made a brief update about the convergence problems on my Sony monitor.
I have finished my college project of building an Analogue to Digital converter for the PC's parallel port. I will post some information and pictures of this soon.
I am also going to make a page about getting the VooDoo 3000 graphics card to work on an Amiga 1200 with a Mediator PCI. I expect this was simple for some people, but me and the guys at LAG had a bit of difficulty. It is all working now though. Just got to sort out the sound and network card, and hopefully get it in a tower.
Got a few photos of LAG meetings and of Lincoln which I will put online sometime. In the meantime some lower resolution versions can be found on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36651585@N04/
Cool websites I recommend you should check out: