Weeknotes 1

Let’s try this.
Every week, once a week (specific topic brain dumps exempt) I blog about what I have been thinking / doing the past week.
Credit due… I totally stole this idea from Nick O’Leary, the author and maintainer of my beloved Node-RED.
You can check out his weeklynotes (yes, I even stole his title) here: https://knolleary.net/

  • Dish tracking.
    I an idiot. Years ago when I started all this, I attached the linear actuator to a hinge on the dish, its been flopping around all this time.
    As a result of remounting it, I have found the tracking to less than satisfactory. Working on that.
  • You cant control what you don’t measure.
    Wanting to view the dish data in more detail I put together a trend that shows elevation, azimuth and message rate. (And yes, I did the trend in groov View because Node-RED trending is basically broken – It’s not Nicks code)

    Its pretty clear that I have a periodic fade. Who knew.
    Made me wonder about what other data I used to trend in my life and have let slip. If you don’t measure it, you cant control it.
  • Aircraft database.
    I have been struggling with this one since year dot.
    People will openly brag that they have the only accurate aircraft database on the planet, and because its the only accurate one, they wont share it.
    So we are all left to our own devices and scratch around to try and put something together.
    I hand built mine from two, Mitronics and BaseStation.idb. Yesterday I found a third.
    Problem is, some have ICAO as the primary key, some have the Registration as the primary key. The two I have been using have ICAO, the new one, Rego.
    Now I have to modify the MySQL select statement to include an ‘OR’. ICAO or Rego. Bleh.
  • MQTT.
    Oh so handy for pushing data around between different points on the planet.
    Just last night I used it without even thinking about it. Just the way technology should be.
    At the moment my V1 broker is on a Raspberry Pi sitting on a broken fridge in my lounge room. I am mulling over the idea of installing Mosquitto V2 on my Windows PC and using that as the broker.
    Another avgeek in San Francisco joined the Node-RED clan and helped me with some code to get the data out of PC-HFDL log file and DDE feed.
    We are so happy with the improved decode rate and stability of it vs Sorcerer (that we have been struggling with).
    Its really given HFDL a massive boost in usefulness.
    Now we can really stop and consider the autoswitch code to track the HF propagation and aircraft.
  • Radiosonde.
    I have added a docker container to the system and am now tracking Radiosonde launches and any high altitude balloons.
    Its pretty good fun.
  • SatNOGS.
    Their software continues to be very unstable/unreliable and I am getting a little sick of the constant crashing.
    I have a bunch of money and time invested in the stations and love the crowd sourced data concept, but its getting tiring keeping it going.