Cynics Soapbox

Random thoughts...

Snap?

Snap?

The current state of package management on Ubuntu isn't great. I get the arguments about snap being superior but it does seem a little too systemd like for my liking :-( Today I ran into an issue where the vlc snap has a permissions issue that prevents it using the onboard webcam without a fix. Oddly the apt version has no such issues and in all the years I've had...


Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Modbus: 2 Readers, 1 Producer

Our Solax inverter talks to the power meter via 2-wire modbus. It works well but the inverter really does want a constant stream of information so the requests flow at a high rate. We want to monitor our consumption of electricity, which means we want to look at data from the power meter at the same time as the inverter. This isn't how the Modbus protocol works though. Only one Reader (not the term used in the spec but I'm...

Protobuf

Protobuf

I've been trying to talk to a network device that uses Googles Protocol Buffers for it's data exchange. Fair enough and thankfully someone had already done the work and created the needed protocol file. Of course, it was created a while back and protobuf has moved onto proto3! Enter proto3!After copying the original proto file across to my project, I edited it to adapt to the newer proto3 specification and pressed on with actually using it. syntax="proto3"; package...

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

Remote VS Code on FreeBSD

I've been using VSCode as my primary code editor for a long time, but recently I've been doing more and more working on code that will run on remote machines. The whole edit, rsync, edit cycle ws getting a little boring so I finally looked at using the remote extensions. I added the Remote-SSH extension, added the first host (a RaspberryPi)  I needed and suddenly I was editing the code directly on that machine. Simples! Why didn't I do this...

Solar Control

Solar Control

We've had our solar PV panels installed for over a year now and they've been working well. The same cannot be said of the battery installation. Our setup is pretty standard. Solax X1 Hybrid 3.7kW Inverter12 solar PV panels totalling 3.6kW2 4.5kW Solax Triple Power batteriesOur inverter has stopped talking to the meter (which was giving incorrect data anyway, though it has now been replaced) which means that the batteries are essentially useless at present :-( While...

SDR Pt.6

SDR Pt.6

It's been a while since I was able to devote much time to this and as the Weather Underground service is still not accepting submissions it hasn't been a high priority. However, with the festive season upon us and some time available I sat down to look at things again. The code I had written worked on my laptop but failed on the RaspberryPi :-( thinking about the differences between them an obvious line of investigation was the relative processing...

SDR Pt.5

SDR Pt.5

After the highs and low of the last coding session, it was heartwarming when after a few minor tweaks I saw this... Reading direct from the ISS :-)Now I had readings the next step was to start collecting them and then uploading to Weather Underground via their Personal Weather Station (PWS) network. My initial aim was to get a simple uploader working and then refine the data to slowly add the more complex items as time permits, but this...

SDR Pt.4

SDR Pt.4

I've managed to spend more time looking at it and have made some progress, though have once again run into issues. After much investigation I've created a processing flow that takes the raw samples and can extract valid weather packets -  but only from recorded files. When trying with live data it always returns invalid packets :-( The flow is this parse the samples into complex numbersdown mix these initial complex numbers using an appropriate frequency offsetpass the downmixed data...

SDR Pt.3

SDR Pt.3

Having found what appeared to be signals from the weather station in the data I captured (read here for more) the next logical step was to try and decode it. Inspectrum has some useful tools and following an example of analysing data I watched on YouTube, I started by adding a frequency plot (right click, Add derived plot > Add frequency plot). The center of the plot and the spectrum covered can be easily adjusted. Frequency plot centre and spread...

SDR Pt.2

SDR Pt.2

Continuing to try and figure out how to grab the data from the SDR it struck me I had  a few pieces of the puzzle to complete. Can I actually capture the data using the SDR? Until I know for sure that the data is available then doing anything else seems a little premature.If I can see the data, can I decode it and does it look as the information I have found on the web implies it should?...

Blog

I've finally got round to moving my blog to Ghost though the change has not been simple and I think images may not be fully working yet. I'm still using the default theme though I do plan to change at some point. Hopefully it will make things easier to read for people on mobile devices. Let me know :-)...

SDR

SDR

For the last few years I’ve had a Davis Vantage Vue weather station. It’s been great though getting the data in a useful format is far from easy. Following our recent move the weather station needs to be relocated. It’s new home will be more exposed and as we’re still building the house there isn’t anywhere convenient to locate the large weather station base unit or associated pieces to upload the data. This has led...