V7 Chapter 53

298 - Using the Planning Chart 2014-05-09 to 2014-05-10

Using the Operations Planning 3D chart I was able to isolate open hits to there Hit ID. I then modified the SETI Control Panel to add a ReTest mode to the mix. In the ReTest mode I can enter a Hit ID and the station will configure itself to the conditions when the hit was detected. The following operations occur:

  • Sky Map Star - The target star is set in DEC and Ra. This allows me to turn on the search lock and the antenna will move to that location.
  • Receiver Frequency - The receiver is tuned to the base frequency in use when the hit was detected. This is recovered from the SML collected from the hit
  • Database - The database is opened to the Constellation, Scan and Hit.
  • Results - After manipulating the station to achieve falsification a button presents itself to set up the FalseBy flag in the database

Finally the 'retested and found false' hits were transfered to the Birds table to stop their being searched again.

297 - Highcharts 2D and 3D 2014-04-18 to 2014-04-24

I think I have a pretty good understanding of the process now. I can build 2D charts completely with HTML (as in BIRDS) and 3D charts like this one:

I found that JsFiddle is a great tool for creating JavaScript. Check out this fiddle of my live 3D chart (click on Result below)

Drag the Result to see a 3D picture of where the hits are as of this date.

Now that is a sweet tool.

296 - Antenna Re-alignment 2014-04-03 to 2014-04-08

I decided that it was time to realign the Az/El of the antenna. I bought a new level that could measure angles (Harbor Freight about $30) and set to work.

I align the antenna by setting the software to a known star, this case Arcturus in Bootes. I strap on a green laser and let the antenna point to where it thinks Arcturus is. Then I loosen the Az/El adjustment bolts and move the antenna by hand until it is actual pointing to the star.

I had it all aligned and was congratulating my self so I went down to the shack and tried to lower the antenna to the home position - it would not go down. I went out to the base of the antenna and found that I had not removed the aluminum ladder that I was using and it was driven right through the dish bending one of the arms - crap.

Two days later and I have rebuilt what I crushed and am ready to run an alignment again. I measured the Elevation minimum at 7.0 degrees and the motor turn counter takes 216,020 revolutions to move to 93.6 degrees. This is 93.6 - 7.0 = 86.6 degrees or 2494 counts / degree.

Last night while observing Arcturus again I had to adjust the Elevation to +4 degrees minimum. Now the the dish is spot on.

295 - Highcharts 2014-04-01 to 2014-04-24

As I was building the Bird function in the Control Panel I took the time to learn how to connect the Bird database to a chart on the web site (see Birds). This worked out fine and I was encouraged to try a more complex chart. The result is shown in Search.

If you click on Search you will be presented with a PHP grid of the hits in the seti database. This works fine. You will also see a scatter chart of the same data presented as Right Ascension verse. Frequency that is utter shit. I takes a full 30 seconds to populate the chart and the result is unreadable. Not good. This mash-up was created with KoolPHP charts. I think I have reached the limit of KoolPHP's ability on scatter charts.

I am now working with Highcharts to see how it handles large scatter charts loaded directly from a MySQL database.

While working with various chart types I ran across this web site and an exceptionally well organized chart-of-charts.

Stay tuned...

294 - Birds 2014-03-24 to 2014-04-01 (April fools)

The station is plagued by birds. I must get rid of them.

The first step is make sure that the amplitude readings coming back from the Spectrum Analyzer are correct.

They are. I also added an 'ambient' table entry in the Bird and Hit tables. This is the average of the average taken at the end of each frame of data and should be useful in computing the dB gain of the hits.

The Bird Hunt is running now with the receiver antenna terminated in a 50 ohm load. The Spectrum Analyzer is set with 2048 wide Spectrum (21.5 Hz/Bin) and a Integration time of 3 seconds. The Waterfall height is quite small to speed up the search process (20 seconds/frame).

I have switched to running with the antenna connected but pointed to the ground. Nearing the completion of the run now. You can see the results at Birds.

Bird hunt completed 2014-04-02 with 801 birds caught and destroyed. They will plague SETI Net no more...

293 - Yet Another State Machine (YASM) 2014-03-20 to 2014-03-20

The logic involved in the various modes and states of the Control Panel has required a reorganization. This in turn required YASM. This is it:

292 - Chirp 2014-03-02 to Present

I don't think I'm chirping - Damn. A couple of problems with this.

My current method of searching generates short JPGs and WAVs and really doesn't need, nor can it use receiver chirping. The problem is that when I search static frequencies - like the WOW or for a long integration in Kepler I do need the chirp function. Its the key element of the search.

Second is that since its broken its a bug and must be removed.

Work'n it boss.

291 - Auto FTP 2014-03-01- Present

Working on item 4 from the to do list.

I intend to run WinSCP from the command line via a Delphi module that will start it and feed it the command line variables it needs.

First the Path

  1. Setup a 'path' variable to WinSCP.exe - This is done right click on 'Computer' (Zeke in my case).
  2. Select properties >>Advanced System Settings>>Advanced Tab>>Environment Variables
  3. Select 'Path' variable
  4. Add path to WinSCP.Exe

Now try to figure out how to pass parameters to it. This turned out to be a real chore and not worth the effort. I simply execute the exe from my Delphi code and it opens the WinSCP GUI.

Now I need to find a way to shut WinSCP down from the Control Panel.

290 - To Do List as of 2014-03-22

  1. Fix falsification method -Done
  2. Find way to point to action from Splash or Main screen - Done
  3. Find a way to keep history when on a Target.php
  4. Build the Auto FTP using WinSCP - Done (sort of)
  5. SKY MAP regions are very fussy
  6. Move up more than 10 kHz (maybe?)
  7. Add notes from the Target to the display (why did I not think of that before) - DONE
  8. Add Clear function to the Hit editor
  9. Add time hack to items in Hit Editor
  10. Fix link on getConstallatons and Targets - DONE
  11. Add file size on WAVs and JPGs (pity the slow)