Saturday, May 28, 2016

Satellite Tracking (Update)

In a previous post I discussed the possibility of tracking satellites through the use of 9 degrees of freedom (9DOF) sensors to indicate the position of an otherwise arbitrarily positioned antenna.

Interestingly enough a kind reader pointed out to me a recent publication of a nearly identical solution to what I had envisioned.  Not wanting to necessarily duplicate the work of someone else, I faced the dilemma of continuing my efforts without reference to this other body of work or not.  It would be nice if the other author had done a poor job and I could improve on his work by publishing an update with an improved implementation.  However, I would find it difficult to improve on the work that has already been published.

So, my solution is going to be to recommend that you go take a look at the fine work done by Elwood Downey over at and leverage the excellent write-up and complete code listings if you are interested in building such a device.

I will be taking my own advice and implementing Elwood's solution, no doubt customizing things along the way.  Once I have that functional, I will publish an article here on my implementation of his work.

Nice work Mr. Downey!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Windows 10

So after 26 years at Microsoft, you would think I would welcome Windows 10.  Not so much.  Especially given I came home last evening and opened up my laptop to find it in the middle of an auto-magic update to Windows 10.

That being said, thus far the experience has been fairly seamless.  Everything was still where I left it and with the exception of the touch pad having some quirkiness I have not found any issues with windows or my installed base of applications.

The other advice I have for you if you decide (or have it decided for you) to install Windows 10 is to actually read that bloody license agreement.  Once you recover from that experience, do not take the automatic settings offered to you and actually go in and turn off the options to kindly share all you browse history, all your contacts, all your usage patterns and "other data" with my old employer and unnamed third parties.  Turn off Cortana unless you actually wish to have a live microphone transmitting everything said in the room to another unnamed third party.

Ok, so enough ranting.  I am now in the Windows 10 camp, wiping the slime off from the process of how I got here and more than slightly disgusted with the business practices of my former employer.

Monday, May 2, 2016

And now for something completely different...

Spent the weekend out at the coast with a group of aviator friends at the only beach state airport in the lower 48, Copalis State Airport at Copalis Beach, WA.  The sand is rock hard at low tide and I think you could have landed a 747 out there.  The airport normally has about 220 aircraft operations per year.  We landed over 54 aircraft on Saturday from all over the Pacific Northwest, hung out for several hours and departed without leaving any trace of our having been there.  The weather was perfect with about 15 knots of wind straight out of the north making for a rather epic day at the beach.