Software-defined radio and a steam engine built out of crap

Two quick things I’ll be getting to in a bit.  The first is an open-source software defined radio.  

The Gnu nerds have figured out how to hack a simple european usb tv tuning stick to make it work as a software-defined radio.  If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, it’s essentially a radio that scans and either decodes or stores all receivable radio frequencies simultaneously.  This particular model can also be reversed  and transmit in the same way.  
 It’s theoretically (and actually) possible to record a segment of radio reception for a certain amount of time, then go back to it and decode any and all frequencies you’d like, across whatever modulation methods  you’d like to use.
I picked up this usb stick  or $27 including shipping from a dude in Niagara Falls.  A quick ebay search for “nooelec” will help you find him.
If you buy anything be sure to ask him for a drawing.
My goal is to convert this software code so that it can run on a BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi microcontroller, making it the world’s first open-source standalone software defined radio.
I probably won’t get to that.
But I’ll be leaving SDR’s for a while until this whole solar thing gets sorted out.
I also built a steam engine out of crap parts and sticks I had knocking around.  It looks gross and it’s not quite done but ideally it should be able to torque a 12v stepper motor such that at least 600mA will be kicked out of it.
I’m also leaving this alone until the solar panel is done.

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