• 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.



  • Built a gate

    The old one was about had it. I guess it was not too bad for 20ish years old…. it sagged and was a pain to open since it was dragging on the ground so much.
    Not only, but also, it opened into the yard. This made it hard to get the rubbish (trash) bins (cans) in and out since it opened into them.

    As you can see, even with the braces someone had put on there, it was not enough to pull the gate off the ground.
    Also whats with the non-level top? Who thought that was a good idea?

    This is what the three of us built in a few hours.
    Freddy has painted the other side so it keeps the HOA “happy” (You can never keep them happy, so we just do our best and hope).
    Anyway, swung it on the house side so it folds back on the house, giving much more room to get the wheely bins in and out.
    Leveled the top for no reason other than it looks oh so much better.
    Notice the top rail. The HOA demands that all fences and gates have a top rail. Why? Because HOA.



  • 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.



  • 1 inch makes a big difference.

    Might be hard to tell, but I lowered the BoltEV by one inch all over.
    Put shorter and stiffer springs on front and back.
    To be more precise. I put progressive springs on.
    This means that the more they compress, the firmer they become, they do not have a linear compression like the stock springs did.

    Night and day difference. I am now happy to sell Marty.
    The car just corners so much better. Its mostly flat and controlled all the way through the corner, rather than the point and hope approach, all 4 tires now stay planted and you can smoothly apply power from the apex of the corner and the car will just pull right through and accelerate cleanly out of the corner. Its gone from meh to thrilling to drive.