Archive for the “Videos” Category

I have, for a long time, wanted a real weather station at my QTH. For Christmas I received a LaCrosse WS-2315 weather system.  It measures temp, wind, wind direction, wind chill, heat index. barometric pressure, humidity, rainfall, and the dew point.

My computers run the Linux operating system.  Specifically, Ubuntu Linux.  I found some nice weather software called “wview” that is compatible with my weather station.  I put wview on my desktop, configured my weather station, and have it upload the weather data to my web site.  You can see it http://mcdougallshome.net/wx/.  The whole system worked real nice, but my desktop had to be powered on all the time, and for some reason, when one of my kids would get on it, the weather system would crash.

My solution is the “SheevaPlug” plug computer.  The SheevaPlug is slightly larger than a wall type transformer.  In fact, the SheevaPlug plugs into the wall just like a transformer “wall-wart.”  It also has an option for a power cord, which I find more convenient to use.

Here are some specs from this small box:

  • 1.2 GHz Arm processor
  • 1/2 GB RAM
  • 1/2 GB solid state memory
  • SD/MMC card slot,
  • USB port
  • Gigabit eithernet port
  • USB port to use your computer as a terminal for the SheevaPlug
  • It comes loaded with Ubuntu 9.04 for the Arm Processor

I added an 8GB SD card and upgraded it to Debian Squeeze since Ubuntu does not support the Arm processor anymore.  I then loaded up wview weather software, and my webcam software scripts.  And voila, it works!  It was a fun process and not as clear cut as one would think.  The SheevaPlug is a development kit; and therefore, has no instructions, but there is a lot of information on the Internet.

I made a video (actually three parts) showing an overview of the process that I took to get it all together.  Also, here are some pictures of the setup.

— John – K7JM

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direktwview - SheevaPlug Part 1 embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direktwview - SheevaPlug Part 2 embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direktwview - SheevaPlug Part 3

Here is a list of web sites shown on my videos:

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Here is a great YouTube video showing off Ham Radio on the International Space Station given by Expedition 25 commander Doug Wheelock.  He also gives a great partial tour through the Russian section of the ISS.  Very Interesting!

– John K7JM

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New Logo, New URL

I am an avid user of the Linux operating system, and of course, a Ham Radio Operator. There happens to be a great podcast that combines these two endeavors into one.  Linux In The Ham Shack.  Recently, they have moved their web page and therefore have a new URL and here it is:  http://lhspodcast.info/ Check out Russ’s and Richard’s Linux In The Ham Shack site and their podcast.  If you are a regular listener to the podcast, it might be worth mentioning that they also have a new feed, so if you have been missing episodes lately (like I have), try updating the podcast feed.

I’ve also updated their link on my Links page.  Check that page out for other places I visit often.

Keep up the great work guys!

John – K7JM

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On December 27, I posted a short video by N0TU announcing SKN (Straight Key Night).  He has made an update to that video after the fact of SKN.  View his excellent video and see what you missed if you did not operate SKN.

I operated for a short while and made two contacts using my old Heathkit SB-102, and an old navy key.  It was short but it was a lot of fun!

See you on the air!

John – K7JM

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My Leap Second Capture Setup

My Leap Second Capture Setup. Click the picture to see a larger view.

A “Leap Second” was added to our clocks at 12:59:60 on Dec. 31, 2008 (12:59:60 is not a typo).  Leap Seconds are added or subtracted every so many years, to keep our clocks in sync with the actual orbit of Earth around the sun.  There are several different methods to capture the leap second, and I took the opportunity yesterday to see if I could do the same without fancy or expensive equipment.

HERE is a good web site about the “Leap Second”.

And, HERE is a page about how to watch a “Leap Second”.

This is how I did it.  I tuned into WWV on my Ham Radio receiver, and set up a camera to record the time on my GPS.  After looking at the Leap Second web site, I should also have connected my computer to my GPS to capture the NMEA output from it.  Click on the picture to the left to see my setup. View the video below, and you will see that 12:59:59 lasted for two seconds on the GPS.

John – K7JM

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December 31 is SKN or Straight Key Night. It is an opportunity to get out that straight key and make some great contacts with others.  Many people fire up their vintage tube equipment and have a blast of the past.  Here is a little video from Steve – N0TU, encouraging us to participate in SKN.  I hope to get a couple of contacts in, in between family priorities.

John, K7JM

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I guess that I have a weird sense of humor! I find this video hilarious! Be sure to watch it to the VERY END! HA! Ubuntu!

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Here is a neat video that I came across about how radio works. It is from 1937 and made by CBS and sponsored by General Motors.  I think the animations are great for being made in 1937.

John – K7JM

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