GPG Key to Card

How to move your PGP private key across to a smartcard using gpg for Windows:

gpg --edit-key Key_ID_here

You should see some background on your key. Key line is “Secret key available.”

GPG will enter interactive mode – you will see gpg> at the start of the command line.



key 1

followed by


When asked to select where to store the key, enter:


(It’s got an E flag, so can only be stored in the E slot on card). You will then need to enter your passphrase followed by the admin key on the card.

key 1


key 0

Really move the primary key? (y/N)


Please select where to store the key:
(1) Signature key
(3) Authentication key
Your selection?


You will be asked for your passphrase and then your admin PIN again.



And you’re done.


I turned 17 today (first driving lesson on Friday, yay!), and had a think about all I’ve had to be grateful for in the past year:

  • December 2014 promotion to Cadet Petty Officer in the CCF
  • February 2015: appointment to the RSGB Youth Committee
  • May: appointed as the Mayor’s Cadet for Wirral
  • July: was successful in gaining an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship
  • July: attended ‘Project DX15’, a youth DXpedition to the Brecon Beacons with the RSGB Youth Committee
  • August: all A* GCSE exam results
  • September: accompanied the Mayor of Wirral to the Granting of the Freedom of the Borough to T.S. Astute Sea Cadets and H.M.S. Astute
  • October: Arkwright scholarship awards ceremony in London
  • November: represented the Royal Navy section of the CCF at the Festival of Remembrance, Royal Albert Hall
  • November: ran sound for my fifth play – Guys & Dolls – with the school Dramatic Society
With Steve Hartley, trustee of the RCF at the Arkwright Awards Ceremony

With Steve Hartley, trustee of the RCF at the Arkwright Awards Ceremony

I’m thrilled to have been able to do all the above, and am immensely grateful that I’ve had these opportunities. Thank you to everyone who’s made this possible!

Now, if I can just get through A-levels…

Switching to ODF in Office 2013

  1. Open Word, create a new document (or edit an existing one)
  2. File>Options>Save
  3. Change ‘Save files in this format’ to OpenDocument Text (*.odt). Press OK.
  4. A pop-up will come up with “You are changing your default file format to OpenDocument Format. Do you also want to change this setting for all other Microsoft Office applications that support this format?”.
  5. Press “Yes”. Then, save your document somewhere. Word then alerts again something along the lines of “Document1 may contain features that are not compatibl ewith this format. Do you want to continue to safe in this format?”. Tick the “Don’t show this message again” checkbox, and click “Yes”.

And finally, you’ve  now switched over to an open, useful standard, which anyone can work with.

Obfuscating email addresses on your website

Spammers harvest email addresses by crawling websites. It’s common knowledge.

But for a personal website, you want people to have your email address… and solutions such as writing ‘user [at] domain.tld’ look ugly and aren’t user-friendly – and neither is using something like ReCAPTCHA mailhide.

But there is one thing you can do that might help to foil the spammers – use Javascript to split up the email address so automated crawlers (hopefully) won’t see it, and then to recombine it in the user’s browser so that it’s readable and clickable:

Building an APRS iGate using a Raspberry Pi and a TV tuner dongle

I’ve been messing around with APRS – the Automatic Packet Reporting System – for some time now and had noticed an absence of coverage in my local area. The end goal of APRS is to feed packets (which might be position data, weather reports, messages or other information) to the APRS-IS (which can be viewed at, and this is done via digipeaters and iGates. A digipeater merely re-transmits packets, until they reach an iGate, which feeds them to the Internet.

My local RAYNET group frequently uses APRS for position tracking at events, but often position reports fail to reach control due to a lack of APRS coverage. I therefore deemed it would be a good project to make a portable, lightweight iGate that could be deployed quickly. (more…)

Project DX15 – RSGB Youth DXpedition

Last week, I travelled to South Wales to take part in the RSGB’s Youth DXpedition – the first such trip organised by the Society’s recently-formed Youth Committee.


Arkwright Engineering Scholarship – interview results

The outcome of my interview for the Arkwright Engineering Scholarship came through on 16 July – I was successful.

The scholarship gives a financial award of £600 to the scholar over the two years of sixth form and £400 to the scholar’s school, but I am more interested in the industry links and mentoring that will hopefully be available to me.

I do not yet know who my sponsor will be, but will find out in August…

LG G Watch – adverse skin reaction?

I’ve had an LG G Watch since September 2014 – being a sort-of-early adopter. Overall, it’s been great – both as a wristwatch and as a phone accessory; getting notifications through to your wrist is brilliant.

But not all is good. (more…)

Update on Arkwright scholarship

Earlier this year I was made aware of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust, and their engineering scholarships which are available to those with an interest in the topic who intend to study mathematics at A-level. Unfortunately, I was only told about the scholarship three days before the deadline for applications, but nonetheless applied.

A few weeks later, with six others, I sat the aptitude exam, which consists of several interesting problems for which applicants are to design innovative solutions. I found it stimulating and not that challenging, though I was not sure whether I had done particularly well given that I study electronics instead of product design (and was hence unaware of finer details such as construction methods and materials).

Much to my relief, an email finally arrived on 3 March with the good news that I had been selected to progress through to the interview stage. This consists of a twenty-minute interview with two interviewers who have experience in engineering. Out of the seven from my school who had applied, three were successful.

The TP-Link Nano Router is the best thing since sliced bread.

For the past two weeks – and for the next – I have been travelling around the state of California. Wanting to keep connected, I’ve brought my laptop, my iPad Mini and my Moto G along. Three give me ‘unlimited’ mobile data in the US, but I’ve still needed WiFi for the other two.

Most of the places I’ve stayed have had WiFi, but a fair few have had the AP located in a neighbour’s home, or actually just had a cat5 cable. That’s where the TP-Link TL-WR702N came in. (more…)