Friday, 30 June 2017

09:22 – It was 65.4F (18.5C) when I took Colin out at 0620, overcast and drizzling. Barbara got back from dinner with her friend Marcy about 2100. The local ham radio club net runs at 2030 Thursday evenings. I could hear the repeater loud and clear, but it couldn’t hear me, either with the standard UV-82 rubber duck antenna or with the Nagoya NA771 whip. I need to do some work on that.

Frances and Al are stopping by this afternoon. They’re bringing along their Linux desktop system, which I haven’t looked at for probably three or four years. I had it set to autoupdate, but even so it needs a thorough going-over. IIRC, it’s running Linux Mint, but I’m not even sure about that.

I’ll get it set up, probably in the den, and then pull backups to two different external hard drives, and data backups to a couple of DVD-R discs as well. Once I’m sure I have good backups, I’ll do a deep hard drive test and then blow away what’s on there and install the current Linux Mint LTS version and get all of their plugins and software updated.

I’m not too concerned about the hard drives. Spinning disks have failure curves pretty much like incandescent light bulbs–pretty much a Poisson Distribution, with some very early failures, followed by what looks almost like a Normal Distribution for the next few years, followed by a long-tail curve.

Speaking of failures, we had an electronic scale fail yesterday. Barbara was filling agar bottles, weighing each to ensure they got at least the specified 10 grams each. I’d just bought agar from a new source, so I ordered only half a kilo until I could look at it. Nominally, she should have gotten 50 bottles from that 500 g of agar, but she always goes slightly over, so I told her she might get 45 or 47 bottles.

She came to get me a while later and showed me that she already had 45 bottles filled, but still had almost half the original agar left. So I went in and got a spare scale. It turned out she’d been transferring only about 6 grams to each bottle, even though the scale was indicating 10+ grams each. So I pitched the old scale in the trash and immediately ordered two more spares. While I was at it, I ordered another 500 grams of agar.

It’d been a while since I calibrated the bad scale with a standard set of weights. I probably need to put a reminder on my calendar to do that periodically.

Email from Jen. They tried their new NV camera system I mentioned yesterday with and without the supplemental IR LED illuminator. She said it helped some, but it was difficult to tell just how much. Like just about any location east of the Mississippi, Jen and David’s home suffers from some light pollution. They’re rural, but there are enough lights around that there’s some sky glow, which is apparently sufficient to let the low-light capability of their cameras function.

They’re rated at a 100-foot detection range at 0.00 lux, using the built-in IR LED illuminators, but even without the IR they’re supposedly good down to something like 0.01 lux. They waited until full dark and then sent the nephews out to walk around the yard. They were wearing reasonably dark clothing–jeans and such–and they were able to detect movement out well past 100 feet. Turning on the supplemental IR LED illuminator brightened things up a bit, but they really couldn’t tell just how far they’d be able to spot movement with just the built-in IR versus with the supplemental illuminator also lit.

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18 Responses to Friday, 30 June 2017

  1. Harold says:

    They tried their new NV camera system I mentioned yesterday with and without the supplemental IR LED illuminator. She said it helped some, but it was difficult to tell just how much.

    I had the same issue when setting up my outside survielance. I placed the IR illuminator next to the camera and could hardly notice any diference. When I moved the illuminator to a diferent location, closer to the area to be monitored and positioned it at an angle (about 20 degrees) to the line of sight of the camera, I found a considerable improvment. I had wanted to pick out details on cars in our drive and the camera was under the eaves facing the drive at a 20 degree angle. I re-mounted the illuminator on a fence post by the garage door and saw a huge diference. Ask her to expierment with illuminator location and angle to camera view.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ll mention it to her, but I probably don’t need to. I’m pretty sure she reads my posts every day, along with the comments.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    What kind of illuminator at what voltage did you use? I think Jen’s problem is going to be running power out into their yard. The one illuminator they bought so far is a power-over-Ethernet unit. There are also a lot of 12VDC units, but running low voltage any distance with reasonable size wire causes a huge voltage drop.

    I’d thought about this for our house. I have probably two or three thousand feet of Cat3 Ethernet cable in several partial boxes. It’s four twisted-pairs, so I figured I could just use four wires each for voltage. That’d help out some, but probably not that much.

  4. Harold says:

    What kind of illuminator at what voltage did you use?

    I used this. https://www.amazon.com/CMVision-IRS48-WideAngle-Degree-Illuminator/dp/B01BIDQNVM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1498832796&sr=8-5&keywords=ir+illuminator
    We have an older SWAN system that doesn’t use POE but seperate 12v and video connections inside a single feed cable. I used a splitter to distribute the 12v to both the camera and illuminator. When I moved it to the fence post I used a simple AC to 12v adapter. I can’t find the wattage but suspect that it could easily be driven by a small solar set-up.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, that looks like the one Jen has, except that it’s PoE and I think has 128 IR LEDs or something like that.

  6. nick flandrey says:

    “That’d help out some, but probably not that much.”

    There are newer POE standards that will supply much higher wattage. The change was driven by the surveillance industry wanting to power camera enclosure heaters, and PTZ bases, as well as access points, door strike releases, etc. The new injectors and endpoints use much higher volts and wattages

    Standard implementation
    Property 802.3af (802.3at Type 1) “PoE” 802.3at Type 2 “PoE+”
    Power available at PD 12.95 W 25.50 W
    Maximum power delivered by PSE 15.40 W 30.0 W
    Voltage range (at PSE) 44.0–57.0 V 50.0–57.0 V
    Voltage range (at PD) 37.0–57.0 V 42.5–57.0 V

    (the comment editor strips out white space and I can’t figure out how to add tabs.)

    PoE with current gear should be good out to 100 m at least.

    http://www.belden.com/blog/datacenters/poe-types-what-they-mean-and-how-they-re-used.cfm

    There are also splitters that will split off either PoE or 12v to power another nearby device.

    https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Gigabit-Ethernet-Splitter-TL-PoE10R/dp/B003CFATQK

    The problem I’ve seen with IR illuminators is that they are ‘spotlights’ vs ‘floodlights.’ In order to get the range they advertise (that buyers use to judge their product) they narrowly focus the beam. This is exactly what you want for a license plate reader, but not what you want for your yard. I haven’t any experience with a floodlight IR illuminator, but I’m in the market for one…

    n

  7. nick flandrey says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpXUCBaZXU8

    looks like an industrial grade product that will do the job…

    There might be cheaper DIY solutions involving diffusion material too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuHztifKwj4

    n

    ADDED- it’s priced like an industrial product too, $900. which points out the difference between chinese consumer gear, and the stuff it’s modeled on. A similar disparity exists with the cameras and dvrs too.

  8. CowboySlim says:

    crash near me. My daughter lives 1/2 mile other side of airport.
    http://ktla.com/2017/06/30/small-plane-lands-on-405-freeway-near-john-wayne-airport/

  9. OFD says:

    Wow, bystanders rushing over to help, in the face of billowing smoke and flames; etc. Gives one hope. And no one killed. Amazing.

  10. OFD says:

    We have a flash flood warning in effect through Sunday AM with continuing showers, heavy rain and t-storms throughout. Bay Day w/fireworks may be a bust here tomorrow. And wife’s flight back here late Sunday night could be problematic, depending.

    Scanner reporting usual motor vehicle situations and offenses, domestics, DUIs, etc. Also fiddling with TecSun shortwave and seeing if I can bring in anything at all with it. Ditto Yaesu FT-60.

    On recommendation of Mr. Nick. Also wading through taxes, VA stuff, office reorg, etc. All on Winblows 8.0. What a thrill for me. So exciting.

  11. ech says:

    Yet another reason to ignore InfoWars.

    Alex Jones had a guest on his show to talk about how NASA has been running a sex slave ring on Mars (of teenagers!) for over 20 years.

    I hope nobody goes all “pizza shop” and drive to a NASA center and shoots it up.

  12. Dave Hardy says:

    I must have missed the reference to InfoWars; but that would be normal for me, pretty much losing it by the hour.

    Sex slave rings on Mars, eh? Why wasn’t I notified? I could have provided security. Or something.

    Thanks for the laugh about going all pizza shop; excellent!

  13. nick flandrey says:

    There are times when I’m sure his whole shtick is an excuse to sell nutritional supplements. And then he puts someone completely normal and informative on. But after that, he’s ranting about lizard people in the basement of the whitehouse.

    So maybe it’s a case of putting every thing one, and some of them are right. Or it could be the kooky stuff is a defensive mechanism– “don’t kill me, I’m just this wacky talk show host….”

    His show is on shortwave, and is at least something in English to listen to.
    n

  14. Dave Hardy says:

    Ach, now I remember; someone did mention Alex Jones earlier and I just forgot. Short-term memory is a bear lately, but I remember chit from when I was three like it was yesterday, crystal clear. I guess it got backed up to the Cloud and we can just retrieve it whenever we want. Lousy security, I’m guessing, though.

    I’m not real familiar with him or apparently a lot of stuff on the air these days. When I listen to the radio it’s usually classical or rock oldies. I should get around more and listen to more chit, I guess; there’s another station operating out of the South on internet and a couple of others on shortwave I should check out.

    Fireworks might get canceled tomorrow night and if so I’ll maybe make a night of messing with the shortwave and listening to stuff. While I do fascinating paperwork on the Winblows machine, which I just upgraded to 8.1, and that took a good hour-plus to complete. Not going to 10, though. This is as far as we go with Windows, unless it’s a server.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Frances and Al are stopping by this afternoon. They’re bringing along their Linux desktop system, which I haven’t looked at for probably three or four years. I had it set to autoupdate, but even so it needs a thorough going-over. IIRC, it’s running Linux Mint, but I’m not even sure about that.

    A good rule of thumb is to put in a new Ubuntu-variant LTS every three years.

    I doubt that they were left unsecure, however. The 12.04 LTS was supported until the end of April, and 14.04 is the last LTS with a 5.x series PHP so it will be around for a while.

    I’m not sure which LTS version numbers for Ubuntu correspond to Mint. I upgrade Mint on my “No Windows None Of The Time” laptop every time a new major release hits (16.0, 17.0, 18.0, …)

  16. Greg Norton says:

    I’m not real familiar with him or apparently a lot of stuff on the air these days. When I listen to the radio it’s usually classical or rock oldies. I should get around more and listen to more chit, I guess; there’s another station operating out of the South on internet and a couple of others on shortwave I should check out.

    I think I’ve passed along the recommendation for Radio Caroline before.

    Their DJs have been doing an awesome job as of late. The other morning I even heard new Alice Cooper.

    That reminds me … gotta send a donation.

  17. lynn says:

    But after that, he’s ranting about lizard people in the basement of the whitehouse.

    Hey, there have been series about those lizard people ! Gotta be true.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_(TV_series)

    And I note that they replaced the lizard in the Hillary skin suit. She actually looks human now.

  18. OFD says:

    The White House is haunted.

    Let’s all hope it is soon additionally haunted by the ghosts of Bush I and Bush II (of the Bush Crime Family), Larry Klinton and Cankles (of the Klinton Crime Family), and the Obummers (of the Obummer Crime Family). Shouldn’t there be two more so there’s like the Five Families of Mordor or something?

    Overcast with rain expected later; not much activity yet down here in the village. Runners should be out running for the “Great Race” thing they do every year from this location. Mowed front and sides; leaving the back yard for tomorrow or Monday. Hit the bank and put more $ in the Princess account; now she wants more for a harp festival down in New Jersey later this month; I so texted her mom, who is now in the East Bay with kids and grandkids for the weekend. Her mom ain’t gon be happy and may just tell her to raise the dough herself. We’ll see. I hope there is only six more months of this; the money we’re sending her way every month could go to taxes or stuff that needs doing on the house. To the tune of about $20,000/year. I wouldn’t mind if it was a four- or even a five-year BA deal but it’s become seven years now with summers off to tour Europe and New England and the Maritimes and Quebec and Ontario, etc.

    I shouldn’t kick, right? My youngest brother spent $50k/year for his oldest daughter to do a BA out in Kalifornia (as far from home as she could get, short of going to college in Alaska or Hawaii) and she got a nice gig at Price, Waterhouse out in Sodom-on-the-Bay, and then quit because she didn’t like getting coffee for senior office people. Around the time of her sophomore or junior year, my brother had to start shelling out another $50k/year for his other daughter, also attending college in Kalifornia (see what they did there?), so $100,000/year for a couple of years. While also flying back and forth out there for endless visits and having them come home for more visits along with the hotel rooms, car rentals, etc.

    $50,000 could fix everything on this house plus stock up on all the prepper supplies we’d need for quite a while. Or pay off half our back taxes. Or split the difference.

    I’m just rambling and ranting and raving here…it’s Bay Day in the village. Teller at the bank asked me what my plans were for today; I said I’m hiding in the house and locking the doors. Sort of true, but I’ll be sitting out watching the fireworks later if it ain’t pouring cats and dogs, which is in the forecast.

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