Following the arrival of the longer screws, all 4 motors were quickly attached and their directions checked. Only one was incorrect and needed the wires swapping. Despite the colours of the arms clearly showing direction I also went with green propellers at the front and black at the back (as per the first quad) to give additional indications.
After a quick tweak of the PI values and a zeroing of the receiver inputs it was time to see how it flew.
The answer was surprisingly well. Compared to the earlier design there was far less yaw evident when lifting off and the extra indicators of direction made figuring out corrections easier. The shorter legs means it sits closer to the ground which appears to make it slightly less stable just as it lifts, but that was easily corrected. The main issue I ran across was some of the receiver leads came loose and didn’t seem to be seated as well as I’d have liked, constantly becoming disconnected. As I have spare cables it’s an easy fix.
As it was hovering around freezing when I was trying, I didn’t stay out long. The early signs are positive. Now if the gale force winds can just abate to allow me to tune the PI settings…
I recently had a request for a shapefile containing geographic informaton for some of the stations listed on Variable Pitch. I’d been meaning to create a simple export facility for a while, but had never really looked at shapefiles in any detail before. As it took me a few attempts to get them working correctly, the following may help others!
Essentially I’m creating a shapefile with a list of points. Each point will have a series of data fields associated with it. At the present time I’ve not specified types or other details for the fields, but that may be something I do in the future.
Now the writer object is prepared, I loop through the stations I need to add and write the data. This is done in two steps, the first adding the point and the second the data associated with it. As the station names are stored in Unicode and the shapefile expects ascii, I have forced a simple conversion to ascii (ignoring any characters that cannot be converted).
for s in stations:
writer.record(s.name.encode('ascii', 'ignore'), s.category.desc, "%d" % s.id, 'Point')
At this point I have all the data in the writer object, but now need to create the 3 or 4 files that comprise a shapefile. To keep things simple I elected to create a single zipefile containing all the generated files which can then be downloaded. All generation is done in memory.
s = cStringIO.StringIO()
zf = zipfile.ZipFile(s, "w")
# Must close zip for all contents to be written
My initial code simply used the lat/lon co-ordinates I already had stored for the stations, but when the file was downloaded by the person requesting it they complained they had expected the points to be in UK Grid Easting/Northing format. This pointed me to look at the .prj files that are often included in a shapefile and give details of the co-ordinate system used. As the format is simple formatted text (WKT) I found the appropriate text for the formats I support and insert the appropriate text in shapefile.prj and include that with the download.
I’ve been asked about producing shapefiles from the geo data on Variable Pitch. This seems like a good idea, but having no experience with such files I thought maybe I should have an app to test them with. I was pointed at QGis but it needed to be added to the sources list for Ubuntu 13.10. This is how I did it.
I created a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/qgis.list with the contents
deb http://qgis.org/debian saucy main
deb-src http://qgis.org/debian saucy main
Then I imported the PGP key as the sources are signed.
~$ gpg –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv 47765B75
gpg: requesting key 47765B75 from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
gpg: key 47765B75: public key “Quantum GIS Archive Automatic Signing Key (2013) <firstname.lastname@example.org>” imported
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)
~$ gpg –export –armor 47765B75 | sudo apt-key add -
This was all that was needed and so installation was then as simple as
Seemingly hitting the ground on a regular basis with legs that rotate leads to them not staying vertical – who knew?
After spending a lot of time adjusting the rotors on my Talon 2.0 quadcopter frame to try and get them vertical, I decided it was time to look for an alternative frame to use while learning. The constant battle to stop spinning due to non-vertical motors really didn’t help figure everything else out.
When the Q450 frame came back into stock at Hobbyking I decided to get one and try it. Having had it for a while I finally had time today to start assembling it.
The frame arrives with no instructions, but is so simple that none are needed The supplied screws were fine, though I had one that appeared to have skipped a step in manufacture and could not be used. At the end of construction there were a couple of spares, so the rogue screw wasn’t a problem.
The top plate has plenty of holes, but it doesn’t have the 4 holes for the power distribution board I’m using (recycled from version 1 of the Talon quad which came with the holes to attach the board pre-drilled). I stuck the board using the supplied tape and it’s pretty solid, but having the holes available would have been nice.
The other problem I had was attaching the motors. The screws that come with the accessory pack are M3 x 5mm which are too short to allow the motor to be secured to the frame. Longer bolts are required (M3 x 8mm will probably be fine)!
I also bought another KK2.0 flight control board and this has been fitted and flashed to version 1.6 already. Hopefully once I get a the longer bolts and mount the motors it’ll be taking to the skies.
The M3 x 8mm screws arrived and are a perfect match for mounting the motors on the frame. I bought one pack of these, which had one screw with a twisted head, but the rest were fine and 16 are now attaching the motors to the frame.
After upgrading to Ubuntu 13.10 I found that often my keyboard layout, which is selected as English(UK) as it had been since starting to use this laptop, would change to English (US). Annoying as this is, even worse was that it didn’t always happen and would sometimes be fine. The layout is always shown as English (UK) despite the US layout being used, which only adds to the strangeness.
Quite how this odd bug was introduced isn’t clear, but I have found a fix.
Select US keyboard
Select UK keyboard
Hopefully this will be fixed soon, but at least I’ve stopped having so many odd characters appearing in my source files.
I’ve been waiting to update the firmware on my KK2.0 board for a while as I needed a USBasp. The one I ordered turned out to have a 10 pin connector, so I then had to wait for the 10 to 6 pin adapter to arrive! Thankfully both parts are now here and so having time this morning it was time to upgrade from the old 1.2 firmware the board shipped with.
When I first looked at the KK Multicopter Flash Tool I missed the fact it’s a Java application and so, mistakenly believing it required Windows, I hunted down and installed the Windows 7 drivers the USBasp required. This took a few attempts as the drivers I found initially wouldn’t install, though why they wouldn’t install remains a mystery to me. Once everything was installed I connected the board, ran the application and flashed the new firmware in less than 5 minutes.
Once flashed to firmware version 1.6 I powered the board and configured/calibrated ready for a test flight, though with the high wind and heavy rain that wasn’t possible today.
Ofgem produce a lot of reports. They store a lot of data but when reviewing it I’m constantly astonished at how poor the consistency of that data is. Today I have been looking at a PDF they have available which contains a large number of addresses with countries.
This should be such basic data they can’t get them wrong? So why does it list several occurrences of ‘United Kingdon’ and one instance of ‘England’? Is ‘Ireland’ the same as ‘Republic of Ireland’?
If they can get something as basic as the country wrong, what confidence should I have in the rest of the data that I have no way of verifying independently?
It’s probably a silly assumption to make, but surely this report was generated automatically? If so then what does that say about the underlying data structures? This really isn’t good enough for a government department in 2013.
Having built the QuadCopter from scratch I always knew it would need tuning. The initial few flights proved it could fly and that it responded as expected, but I had expected it to be slightly more stable given the reputation of the KK2.0 board.
After those first few flights I started looking for advice on tuning via Google. While these produced lots of opinions and advice much of it was contradictory and mildly confusing. All of it agreed that I needed to adjust the P and I values. Exactly how to adjust them and what the effects of getting it wrong would be was less clear, but as the next step was tuning, I decided I would start changing the values. (However, as I outlined in Changes the timing wasn’t ideal and I probably shouldn’t have.)
The weather finally cooperated, allowing me to fly it for the first time with all the changes in place. The results were mixed. The new cleaner layout was an improvement and the new dome gave it a more robust feeling, but the handling was noticeably worse. Was this due to the new ESC or the changed P values?
Yesterday and today saw more flights and as my experience has grown things have gotten easier, but still I felt that things weren’t quite right and that set me to thinking back to all the advice I had read around tuning the P & I values.
Finding good guides to help with the tuning wasn’t easy and some of the videos weren’t as clear as they thought they were. Watching obviously experienced pilots perform fast manoeuvres over a large area and then declare what needs to be changed isn’t helpful It would be great if someone could write one!
“The KK2.0 board requires flying.”
This was one statement I saw in many different places and led me to think that the amount of effort involved in getting the Quad airborne was normal. That said, when looking at videos of other people flying none seemed to have so much trouble so I suspected something was wrong.
So, what values to start with?
“For small quadcopters start with a P value of 30″
What’s a small quad? Is mine small? It’s certainly not as large as many, but is it small? As I didn’t know I decided to start assuming it was a small quad and so set the roll and pitch P value to 30, I value to 0 but left the limits at their factory defaults.
Higher Values == Better Stability?
30 was certainly too low to start and appears to have been the reason for the challenges I was experiencing.
After changing the P value to 70, the Quad lifted off smoothly and was suddenly far easier to fly! Increasing it to 80 seemed to help even more though a very small amount of oscillation started to creep in. With the I value still at 0 this was acceptable.
Next time I fly I’m going to try increasing the I value and also see if a higher P value gives me a little more stability.
In addition I have ordered a cable to allow me to upgrade the firmware in the KK2.0 board from the 1.2 it comes supplied with to 1.5 (or 1.6) which will hopefully also improve the stability.
After Flying the Quad, I did some more looking around the web and started thinking about tuning the KK2.0 board. This is done by adjusting the PI values, which initially seems like a form of dark art. It wasn’t abundantly clear what these values were until I cam across a piece that identified them as the values used for a PID Controller loop. After reading the page the values I was entering made more sense and some of the advice I had found also became more obvious.
The first step was to change the values and see how it flew. All went well and thanks to the easy menus the values were soon changed. The next few days brought wet and windy weather, so no flying was possible to see if the new values were an improvement or not.
It was at this point that the upgrade parts from HobbyKing finally arrived (have I said before how their shipping isn’t the fastest?). With the benefit of hindsight I should have resisted the temptation to upgrade the frame and flown it to check the new PI values, but I didn’t and so the new ESC was installed and the frame made ready.
In order to use the QBrain ESC, we needed to solder on an XT60 power connector, which was trickier than it looked given the nylon connectors tendency to melt. More than one attempt was required.
The numbering of the QBrain ESC outputs differs from what the KK2.0 board uses, so I had to experiment to get the correct orientation and connections. When ordering I also failed to appreciate how much larger the module was compared with the power distribution and KK boards, meaning the well aligned holes in the top plate were of no use requiring some alternative attachments to be used
It was dark when the changes were finished but undaunted we went outside and powered it up. All seemed good and my calibrating of the ESC was successfully starting all 4 rotors at the same time. Edging the power brought a couple of surprises.
There was a clear pulsing between the propellers
The #2 rotor seemed to be producing noticeably less thrust than the others
After these discoveries I did some headscratching and had a look around the web. The QBrain ESC is still a new product and there wasn’t as much help available as I had found for the Plush models it replaced, but the instructions sheet that came with it showed the default timing was set to Medium, not High. Using the ESC Programming Card I changed the settings and then calibrated the ESC again which seemed to cure the pulsing.
When next flying the quad the #2 rotor seemed to be producing more power, but the addition of the GoPro on top meant the whole frame was unbalanced. I’ll try it again without the GoPro and hopefully that will be better balanced.
With hindsight I made too many changes at once. Given my current lack of experience and knowledge I should have changed one aspect and evaluated the results before changing another. It would have been slower, but that’s not always a bad thing.
Since finishing the construction we’ve had 4 opportunities to fly it. The first of these was largely wasted due to the ESC’s not being calibrated, but the next 3 have all seen the quad take to the air. Today marked the first time I’ve tried flying our older GoPro Hero2 on it.
The GoPro attachment proved to be inadequate and so more thought is needed to figure out a better way to attach it. I have a solution in mind just need to get some pieces and some time to try it.
I anticipated that the learning curve would be steep – and it has been! As with all such things every time it flies things get easier. The initial hesitations about increasing the throttle to get it airborne are reducing and I’m starting to be more gentle with the controls and overcontrol less. That said, after today’s session I have adjusted the PI values to try and improve the handling. Time will tell if these are better or not.
Liftoff occurs with around 45% throttle which I think seems a good point and means there’s plenty of power left. It’s certainly spritely when it starts moving
The frame is proving to be more resiliant to damage than I had feared and despite a few minor and one larger crash it’s still in good shape. Ordering some replacement legs may be on the agenda soon, but it’s certainly not desperate
Ordering from HobbyKing was great for price, but the delivery was expensive and their stock situation highly frustrating. Additionally when ordering the pieces it often wasn’t clear whether pieces I wanted would work together as I envisaged, necessitating much use of Google.
Calibrating the ESC’s
NB You also need to order the accessory pack for each motor as this provides the shaft and attachments for a propeller!
In addition to the above I also needed to do some soldering for various cable connections and the screws are hex (2 and 2.5mm as best I can tell) so suitable tools were required. I didn’t use screw lock for the frame as I was sure I’d be replacing broken parts
The horror stories about charging LiPO batteries aren’t hard to find and certainly deserve being taken seriously, so I wanted to get a charger with some “smarts”. There are so many conflicting views about this that eventually I bought an Accucel-6 50W charger/balancer and a power supply (though the power supply is likely overkill). As an additional safety precaution I also got a charging bag for the battery.
Actually using the charger proved interesting and required me downloading the manual and reading the appropriate section. This would have been easier (and more obvious) had they included a link to the manual in the box, but they didn’t.
The first job we did was to solder all the connectors onto the ESC’s and heat shrink them. This took a while as there are 5 connectors per ESC.
Assembling the frame was easy enough. The motor attachment plates appeared to have the countersunk holes on the wrong side, so we put them on upside down without any problems. I had been hoping to run the wires inside the arms but without fabricating extension leads this wouldn’t have worked, so we just tied them to the side (we decided early on to change our ESC so this was temporary). One thing we didn’t do initially was spend a little time ensuring that all the legs were level prior to tightening the legs, which with hindsight we should have.
Attaching the KK2.0 board was straightforward and connecting the RC receiver was simple enough (though without the online pdf manual getting them in the correct order would have been much harder). Once the ESC’s were attached to the KK2.0 board it was time to power it up
The layout is quadcopter-x and once selected it will show the correct numbering and directions. Again the pdf manual was very helpful for this. Once selected I checked the rotation direction and changed connections as required on the ESC’s to ensure they were all correct.
Calibrating the ESC’s
This turned out not to be as simple as it initially appeared. Reading the instructions for the KK2.0 board provided the basic procedure but as there are a lot of different ESC’s available knowing the beep sequences to wait for was the stumbling block. As I’m using Turnigy Plush ESC’s I eventually found this helpful video that explained where I was going wrong.
Essentially I was waiting too long and so the ESC’s went into programming mode (after playing their funky tune). Being quicker and moving the throttle from max to min after the 2 beeps was all that was required to correctly calibrate them.
After a lot of searching I eventually decided to use 8×4.5 propellers and decided to follow convention and have different colours at the front and rear – green for the front and black for the rear in this case. As you need both left and right rotation propellers for each, this means I should have ordered 4 packs, but managed to misorder initially and only got left handed propellers! When ordering the right handed ones I also forgot I needed both colours and so it took a while to have everything I needed! Hopefully this will act as a warning to others
One thing to note is that the propellers don’t have many markings on them, so it’s not always easy to quickly tell them apart It would be better if they were clearer about what they were.
Having read the various guides online I did a receiver test early on in the setup and zeroed the controller, but by the time we came to fly they had changed so needed doing again. Failing to do this caused an early accident when it flipped on the ground and smashed a propeller
Between my initial ordering of components and the final assembly it has become possible to get 4 ESC’s on a single board, with integrated power distribution. To simplify the design and make things far neater we have ordered one of these boards which will allow the cables for the motors to be run inside the arms and removing the need for extra wiring for power distribution.
As I also plan on flying a GoPro I’m debating how to attach it and balance the frame.
Up, Up and Away…
Following some initial teething problems and after climbing the inevitable learning curve, today marked the first few flights The next post will detail more about that though
Tonight we wanted to watch something via the Sky On Demand service, but when we tried to find the programme there was no option for ‘Catch Up’. Some scratching of heads ensued, then a quick visit to a web page or two. The solution turned out to be simply resetting the network connection and all was well, but obvious it wasn’t. Hopefully this post will help someone else.
In order to allow the debate around renewable energy to be informed it’s necessary to be able to answer these and more questions. Knowing the details of every station will allow many questions to be answered.
“Just the Facts, ma’am”
Variable Pitch has been running for over a year and I have been contacted by people from all sides of the debate. Such a reception has confirmed my view that sites providing information should be totally impartial, regardless of the views of their authors. Opinion and commentary have no place on such sites and I would suggest that a register is certainly in that class.
At a minimum the information needed for each station is (I believe)
Name and address
Dates of key events
Details of renewable generation
Number and type of installed generators
The information collected should then be
be freely available to all
easily searchable and exported
as up to date as possible
as accurate as possible
Following on from work I have done for http://www.variablepitch.co.uk/ some of this information can be obtained from Ofgem. Some of it can be obtained from DECC and some is simply not readily available. Quite why so many companies go to great lengths to not reveal the turbines they install is an ongoing source of mystery and amusement.
Once the information has been gathered the next challenge is keeping it up to date. Most of the sources of information listed above are slow to update (if they ever are). There is nothing that forces developers of renewable energy to inform anyone of their plans until they enter the planning stages. Once complete they only need to supply the information requested by Ofgem. Asking them for information will sometimes result in a reply but often simply results in silence. For an industry that claims to be open there is a lot they don’t want to openly discuss!
Making It Happen
There is no point lobbying the government for such a resource. Even if they were interested and motivated we’d end up with another travesty like the Ofgem website (which is barely fit for any form of purpose).
Any collection of information needs to be totally impartial so none of the trade bodies or protest groups are in a position to manage it.
That leaves us.
I believe that such a site should be created. Further I believe it should be created sooner rather than later. There are people throughout the UK developing websites that collect information on developments in their areas, whether geographic or technologic. Pooling that information would be an excellent start, but we need more. We need to push for developers to be more open and for information to be updated on a more regular basis.
The success of online communities shows what’s possible. Those of us who have experience around this subject need to start talking and thinking about how we work together. If that sounds like you, get in touch!
It’s been a long, long time since I last picked up the Pocket Wizards to do anything but move them from place to place, but after talking the other night about some shots that Rosie would like, it seemed as though I should try and reacquaint myself with the off camera flash toys we have around the house.
As the dogs are always willing subjects (as long as the ball is being thrown from time to time) and I had some time before needing to start cooking, I headed into the garden for a quick refresher.
The processing is a little too dark, but given how long it is since I last played I’m not unhappy with the results. The next step involves heading further into the unknown, so wish me luck!
It’s fair to say that when I started the Variable Pitch website I didn’t know a lot about the energy market or the data that would be useful and available. I had an idea and some data and I started trying to make it available. The site started with just scottish stations but soon I had people asking me about english, welsh and northern irish stations, so I expanded to also cover those countries.
It wasn’t just the coverage that expanded. While I started out focussing on Renewable Obligation certificates (ROC) and their value, I was soon being asked about other aspects of finance related to renewable energy. The Ofgem data provided a way of viewing the output for stations but my early focus on ROC was soon shown to be an error as other financial schemes such as the Feed In Tariff needed to be considered. Then there was the selling of electricity that I hadn’t thought about and the constraint payments made were another area that I had not originally anticipated tracking but something I added to the site.
As with all projects that grow in such an organic manner my initial design of data structures turned out to be totally inadequate. I added the pieces I needed but over time it grew arms and legs on it’s arms and legs. It worked, but adding things was getting harder and harder. Simple maintenance was proving a challenge. Developing the site was also getting harder.
As a result of everything above I finally decided that the time was right to bite the bullet and use the my additional knowledge to develop a better set of structures for the data. This finally allows me to add some of the extra things that I’ve been struggling with – hopefully in a manner that also allows for better maintenance and easier upgrades!
I’ve made a good start on getting things changed and have a lot of the new design work done, so it’s just a question of finding and correcting all the small (and some not so small) bugs before pushing it live. I’m hoping to get that done this week, but it may drift into next week.
“Scottish wind farms paid £1 million to shut down one day” 1
“Record Breaking Day for Wind” 2
The above headlines have both been published recently. They both quote impressive facts and figures – or do they?
Emotions tend to run high when discussing green issues and even more so when discussing renewable energy. It’s an important debate but one that I feel is regularly trivialised by the sort of reporting evidenced by the above headlines. I have some sympathy for the journalists as due to the complexity of the energy market writing about it in an accessible manner isn’t easy, but that’s not an excuse.
In order to have the informed debate that I feel is missing it’s important to establish the facts and it’s at this first obstacle that problems start to appear. People make money from the energy market – lots of money. There are markets where trading takes place and as with stocks, shares or other commodities these markets require real time data. Whenever you mix finance with information you come across barriers, restrictions and payments to the companies that grow to control access to the data.
Without free and unencumbered access to such data it’s impossible to have an honest and open debate of the issues.
Much of the information about the UK energy market is provided by Elexon UK. They have a lot of information available, for free, but when trying to use the information things soon become less friendly. Given what the data relates to and how important it is, the fact that Elexon UK consider they “own” (their words not mine) all information they make available should be of concern.
I previously wrote about my dealings with Elexon UK in April 2013.
Having the GoPro cameras has led us to open up our imaginations about how to use them. We’ve had one suspended from a kite (more to follow) but I’ve been pondering building a Quad Copter to fly a camera around for a while. The ready made solutions seem a lot of money for what they are and it’s always good to have a project
When I started looking into what was required there was the usual very steep learning curve. All the new terms and concepts to grasp coupled with people keen to sell you things without telling you the details meant it has taken me a while to bite the bullet and start assembling the parts I’ll need.
I’ll try and document what I do to try and help others and remind myself of what not to do next time. It’ll probably also help when reconstructing from the inevitable crashes!
In order to keep the UK National Grid working correctly a delicate balancing act must be performed. The various units generating energy must be matched with the likely demand in order to keep the system within strict limits of frequency and voltage. When the system drifts beyond those limits bad things happen, inevitably depriving people of the energy they need.
Underpinning this process is a complex set of rules and procedures, detailed on the National grid website here. Given the scale of the UK energy market and the significance of the service, the volumes (and therefore cashflow) involved are very large. An obvious question when developing Variable Pitch was how involved wind energy producers were?
The information is available via the BMRS webiste (Elexon) which allows you to get figures for all Balancing Mechanism Units for any given date or settlement period. This had been available on Variable Pitch since Nov 2012 and showed the volumes and financial amounts involved. However, as with any set of numbers, taken out of context it was difficult to fully assess them. While the amounts paid to wind generators seem large – are they really out of proportion with those being paid to the other participants? Context is important and was lacking.
Once the lack of context had been pointed out I started looking at the available data again and started collecting additional information to allow me to provide the context that was lacking. Along the way I had to delve deeper into what the data meant in order to avoid misrepresenting it, but that required me to contact Elexon UK. Initially they were happy to answer questions, but they then delivered this statement.
The information is available, but the data is owned by Elexon and permission to reproduce will need to be obtained.
Variable Pitch has always had a strict policy about the data it uses.
Only data that is freely available and can therefore be validated from the source direct should be used.
It may not have been stated on the website (but perhaps it should be?), but that’s been the underlying policy I have always applied. All sources of data are noted on the site and no attempt is made to disguise where information comes from. As far as possible the “raw data” is available on the site. This is the minimum I feel is required for an open and honest representation.
I could contact Elexon UK and request permission to use the data, but then anyone else who wished to do likewise would need to contact them, which isn’t acceptable to me. Sadly I have reached the decision that I will have to remove all data that is sourced from their website.
To say I do this with a heavy heart is an understatement and it marks a retrograde step by decreasing the transparency and honesty with which the energy market operates. Elexon UK make money by selling the data so I can fully understand their desire to control the data, but as it relates to an industry that is an essential service it really should be freely available.
Without free and open access to such data honest, open and informed debate is impossible.
When looking at the certificates issued by Ofgem all seems simple and straightforward. Each station has certificates issued based on output and various factorings. Simple. Except it isn’t. certificates can be revoked (no explanation is provided so it’s unclear why), expired or retired. Some are eventually redeemed. along the way things are just as unclear.
As an example, look at the Glyndebourne Wind turbine REGO issuance (http://www.variablepitch.co.uk/station/392/REGO/). In January 2012 there were 2 sets of certificate issued, both for 158MWh of production and both with the same certificate numbers (click on the i to see the details). The only difference appears to be that they were issued to different holders. Hmm. Similar patterns are visible for the rest of the periods covered until July 2012 when things got more predictable.
Why does this matter? Well, by simply looking at the certificates issued in a naive manner such double issuances would lead to double counting so to use the collected data a smarter approach is needed. In fact looking at the data things sometimes get even stranger.
For instance, look at the REGO issuance for An Suidhe in August 2012 (http://www.variablepitch.co.uk/station/98/REGO/). It appears that only 334 certificates have been issued, but the process of arriving at this number is anything but straightforward.
Until I changed the method of storing and collecting the certificate data for Variable Pitch these changes weren’t as obvious or as easy to view. Now that the data is easier to work with I’m working towards new processing that should allow the site to better track the correct output levels and who has ultimately ended up with the certificates. It’s proving to be a difficult problem due the variety of possible paths that can be taken, but hopefully I’ll get it working before long.
Last week I noticed just how poorly organised the music collection on the home server had become. It’s inevitable that over the years things will change and so I was expecting it to be a little messy, but what I found was far, far worse than that. As I have some time off I resolved to fix the problems and so have spent a few hours going through and tidying up the metadata, changing formats and removing duplicates to a point where things are looking pretty good.
Of course, that’s only half the battle as the metadata is then used by the media server to serve the files – destroying much of my good work in the process I really wish there was a decent media server for linux.