• Category Archives Computers
  • Speed up, cost down

    After three years of very happy service from my Internet Service Provider (ISP) I thought they were worth a call.
    We had the day off on Monday (Labor Day) and so had the time to call them.
    Basically, I just wanted to know if that, after all this time, there was any wriggle room on either my speed or my monthly bill.
    Turns out, there was.

    We now have screaming internet speeds.
    A totally incredulous half gigabit up and down (I don’t always hit the 500 up for some reason, time for a new router?).
    The best thing of all?
    The bill was cut by a third.

    Sweet deal all around.
    Thanks Frontier.

  • One dish, two feeds (Inmarsat ACARS and Marine SafetyNET STD-C)

    Been tinkering with my other small dish while I collect data from my SatNOGS station……

    The dish is an old unbranded one we got for free, it seems to be a simple offset feed. It seems to be nothing special or of note.
    The GPS antenna is one I pulled out of an old broken GPS system. It is just the patch antenna, it does not have a low pass filter or amplifier on it at all. (This is not the one, but probably pretty close; https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00R3PFMRG ).
    The LNA is one I got off Amazon in the USA. It’s probably not that great, but seems to help a lot, looking forward to getting the Sawbird IO ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K1NMC23 ) today and will make a note of any difference in the signal strength.
    It is powered over the line by a bias T, so we use the SmaTee ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y1D7P48 ) to provide the 5v it requires.
    I did not want that 5v to get into the AirspyMini, so I got one of these splitters;https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003H2HNQWIf you take a look at the product image, you can see that only one leg passes DC, the other leg is blocked.

    So that is how I have one dish, one feed and two data feeds.
    Works great. We are getting hundreds of Marine SafetyNET messages and thousands of ACARS messages a day.

  • Data from plane tracking.

    People are finding different uses for aircraft tracking data.


    Where there’s a jet, there’s a data trail, and several “alternative data” firms are keeping tabs on private aircraft for hedge funds and other investors.

    More power to them, and I am glad that my freely supplied data can make them money.
    (Wow, that sort of sounded like a load of scorn… hehe).

    Also; https://dictatoralert.org/
    and; https://www.jettrack.io/

  • External HDMI monitor

    Yet another video, this one is a bit shorter and has a bit more action in it.

    Point is, we are really cranking out the video content.
    Trying to hit 2 a week.
    Its amazing how much work goes into each of these videos that you don’t really see. The script writing, the getting of the equipment, the dry runs, the multi camera shoots for the different angles etc.
    Might seem like fun, but trust me, its work…. And I am glad to be at it.

  • New Ham.

    Short story short. Terry got his amateur radio license.
    Of course, Terry being Terry, he studied hard and went for the ‘General’ level which is the middle of the three levels. (As a reminder, I went for and passed the lowest level – Technician).

    Pretty proud of my son and its great to share hobbies with him.

    Here is a shot of him messing about with his new software radio on the back of his phone. Its a pretty sweet setup.

    For about a year Terry has been doing the odd bit of coding for me and 2 guys in Arizona. They are hams and love to welcome new hams to the hobby by helping out with some gear.
    They sent Terry a radio to get him started.

    So, in short, he is pretty much set up and is having a blast listening and talking with people on the local repeaters.