• 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.



  • Shipping oil.

    So. Who knew? Not me…… But then I live under a rock. (And love it).

    “The ‘biggest change in oil market history’ is less than six months away.”
    Screamed the headline. I just had to read it right… I mean, wot? Bigger than electric cars? Bigger than peak oil? Bigger than ethanol in gasoline?
    Yeah. Seems so.

    Tens of thousands of ships sailing the world’s oceans burn more than 3 million barrels of sludge-like high-sulfur fuel every single day. But, starting next year, the shipping industry will have to comply with rules that should dramatically reduce sulfur emissions.

    “It is the biggest change in oil market history,” Steve Sawyer, senior analyst at energy consultant Facts Global Energy, told CNBC.

    “It is going to affect crude oil producers, traders, ship owners, refiners, equity investors, insurance companies, logistical businesses, banks… Who’s left? I’m struggling to think of anyone it might not affect. That’s why it is a huge transition,” Sawyer said.

    I recommend that you read the rest of the article.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/15/oil-imo-2020-marks-the-biggest-change-in-oil-market-history.html

    “It is an enormous switch. If you considered shipping alongside all of the oil consuming nations, it would be number four or five on the list — so it is an enormous amount of consumption,” Anthony Gurnee, CEO of Ardmore Shipping, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” last week.

    So. I am taken back a bit, this snuck up on me a touch. Ok, a lot. I am all for clean fuel, but wow, this really could turn things upside-down a bit. The sort of volumes they are talking about can not be downplayed. Somewhere, many many automation engineers are heading for some sleepless nights…. Along with a few bean counters.



  • Electric mower batteries

    The first set of batteries we had in the mower (from new) lasted around 9 years.
    When they no longer had the power reserves to mow both the front and back lawn, we replaced them.
    (So in other words, they died slowly).
    The replacements lasted 18 months and died ‘overnight’.

    I have just ordered another set.
    A different brand, but frankly, I don’t hold out much hope.
    Dad and I have been talking batteries via email for a few weeks now so the timing of the mower batteries dieing was pretty crazy.
    He has been having similar problems with electric scooter batteries…. Very similar load to mowing I suspect…. they (the new batteries) are just not lasting.
    Its like they are printing any old amp hour rating on the battery.

    80 bucks buys a lot of petrol, but both Freddy and I love the quiet power and easy start of the electric.
    Neither of us want to go to a cord electric, so other than pony up and spend the money, I am not sure what to do.