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February Last revision Feb 10, 2020

 

Next Meeting: We meet in Topeka February 11, at 7:30 PM at WIBW-TV13 studios hosted by Chief. Engineer. Mike Turner. Our program has been arranged by Chris Kreger of RF Specialties, and will be presented by Chris Crump, Dir of Sales and Mktg for Comrex. He will feature transport systems of interest to both Radio and TV with ENG and STL links included, I am told there will be a a pizza supper, soft drinks and door prizes awarded before the meeting - so come early !! See you there!

John Crump, Comrex Director of Sales and Marketing who will be our February program presenter.

Last Meeting: Seven Chapter 3 members met in Dole Hall on KSU Campus January 14, 7:30 PM, hosted by John Langer who also provided our program. The group ate supper at the Pizza Ranch before the meeting. Vice Chairman John Langer opened the meeting, in the absence of Chair Robert Nelson who was attending to some family business. The minutes were approved as published in the SBE-3 newsletter, on motion of Don Hogg, seconded by Duane Loyd and vote of those present. Secretary/Treasurer Bob Locke gave the Treasurer's report of $2260.67 in the bank. Don Hogg inquired of the progress on the Doc Brinkley presentation, but that is being handled by Robert Nelson who was absent this meeting. We will have a report in the future on the matter. The February meeting will be in Topeka at WIBW, with Kris Kreger arranging a program by Chris Crump of Comrex. I'm told the program will be of interest to radio engineers as well as TV. The obsolescence of the Flash App for computers in December of 2020 was discussed. It will be replaced with an HTML app yet to be released (used by several apps and also by NWS Radar Loop viewing) The business meeting adjourned to the program session at 7:44 PM on motion by don Hogg, seconded by Ron Jones, and vote of the attendees. John Langer told us of a small server he recently purchased online, and has been running at home since September. He uses a larger version of it at work, and wanted to learn more about its capabilities than he was allowed to explore, since its purpose is fixed there.

John records the lectures for his fellow cohorts who are studying for the ministry of the Diaconate. He was also looking for an affordable solution for a web server, due to our commercial host provider vastly increasing their cost for service. Due to the experience with our Synology Servers at work he decided to give them a try for this application and has been very satisfied with the results. He makes this happen by recording his class sessions, and posting them on the Synology server. He set up the server, qualifying users from the student list for the class and, setting permissions to Read-Only for those he has authorized with access. His security for the server is to block anypersontrying to access the server after five incorret password attempts, and the server then sends him an email when a block order is issued by the server . He says you would be surprised at the number of hacks attempted. He showed us a list of those IP addresses blocked, with most originating from the country of Russia. John found an app that shows the country of origin and even sometimes the region within that country, of those attempting access. Most are from automated apps that try to find any server on the web that is not well protected. John says he has watched unauthorized barrage of attempts on his server, and once the block order is issued, the sender is usually blocked within the next five to seven ttempts. Not bad at all !

The servers produced by Synology vary in size and capacity from the home use size John purchased, to full industrial users with the server occupying many racks. John's home unit has a USB port allowing the addition of an external drive if desired, and his is not set up as a RAID array, though this can be done, and is so at KSU. The Synology actual operating system is based on some version of Linux, which allows other systems to operate under a shell of the Linux. This is another protection against hackers, since most don't mess with Linux. John set up his home server in a SMPT secure mode. He allows users limited access of only specified folders containing their class lectures, and then only with read-only permissions. If they forget their passwords and
get blocked, John gets an email about it, unblocks them and gets in touch with them to get them back on track. The Synology server is sold as a frame to accept the hard drive of your choice. The model John has will hold one drive plus ports for added external use. The larger units will hold more drives internally and port out for other connectivity. They can be configured with included apps for various uses such as:
 • Library for media streaming, • DNS Server,• Web Server wih or without commerce, • Mail Server, • VPN Server, • File Server, • Home Security System, ( additional charge for more than four Cameras), • a continuous running backup system so you don't have to depend on cloud storage if you aren't confident in that mode. No wonder John calls Synology his "Data Swiss Pocketknife". He also connected with his home server from his hand held tablet, in addition to the connection he had through the KSU gear that was projecting the session on screen to view in the meeting room for our evening program. John is impressed with the data throughput - very fast, about 10MB/s at his home, but that is bottlenecked by his IP provider, unless he wanted to pay for higher capacity. Industrial users can expect up to 5500 MB/s. He also says the setup is quite intuitive. Twenty minutes out of the box and you are up and running. This server is an extremely versatile product and seems to be the next wave of affordable accessories available for home and small business users. It is a continuation of increasing density of data storage at lower prices for affordable cash outlays. Our thanks to John Langer for an interesting evening, and for showing us how an average home user can increase the versatility of their home network or business at reasonable costs For more information on Synology, check at www.Synology.com or on Amazon.

SBE-3 Meeting on January 14, 2020

The DS118 server from Synology. John has a DS119, but the DS120 is now in production. Features:
• Single bay disc housing
• You supply Hard Disc
• 64-bit quad-core proc
• 10-bit 4K H.265 video transcoding on the fly.
• Sequential throughput at over 113 MB/s reading and 112 MB/s writing.
• Op Sys: Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Ron Jones tells me he measured the power required for his new heat pump hot water heater and was astonished to find it runs at 300W once the tank is heated and stabilized, and he gets some cool air as a byproduct of the endeavor.

I have been battling blue screen crashes on my Dell laptop since mid October. But, I was reluctant to put it in the shop, but it got to the point it had to be done. My reluctance was because I was using it to log my activity in administration of my brother-in-law's estate, and wanted it ready for immediate access if my lawyer called wanting information. The problem was some what intermittent, but usually occurred after extended use like on the newsletter or some other document, and if you were not careful to save frequently, you often would lose and hour two of work. Finally, I took it in. After two days they called me to come get it, saying they found no problem in the hardware, and suggested I might have corrupted files in some of my software. I was glad to have it back, but it crashed again within couple of days and I took it back. They ran many diagnostics but stuck with their original diagnosis. I plodded along with it for a while, logging what I was doing each time it crashed and looking for patterns. There wasn't one with what program I was using, so I kind of ruled out their theory, but it did finally dawn on me that each time it crashed, the vent exhaust was quite warm. It wasn't until I had ordered a replacement laptop that Sams had at a good markdown price, that found the cooling plate (two thin muffin fans that ran off a USB port) I had been looking for. Placing it under the Dell laptop, I had no more crashes - period.

I have not yet taken the Dell in to see if the repair shop can replace the fan, or fix the thermal sensing control for the fan. When I do, I intend to let them know they did not fully check the hardware, as they said. If the cooling can be fixed on the Dell, I will let the wife have it for games and such. In the mean time, I have been engaged in setting up the new 17" display, getting used to its larger desktop and keyboard, and selectively copying files from the Dell to the new HP which has no traditional hard drive, but has replaced that with solid state memory, though not as much as I had on the Dell HD. It does boot faster and has a touch pad that I am constantly trying to avoid activating inadvertently. The old Dell was six or seven years old so it was likely that I needed to update anyway, but it certainly gets one out of their comfort zone. One thing different I found when I got ready to burn a set of recovery disks for the new computer, was that HP advises making a recovery drive instead of burning CD's, so I bought a 32GB USB thumb drive and completed that task. Can you put your hands on all the programs you have installed on your favorite computer or device, along with the installation key codes that authorize it to function?

The last couple of upgrades I had purchased for my page maker Which I use for the newsletter and other correspondence, along with my web page maker, I had simply downloaded, rather than having a disc sent to me, and I could not for the life of me, find where I had stored the installation key codes. I reviewed old e-mails, searching with the software maker's name with no success. Finally reaching out to the provider's support group, I was able to have them send me a list of all software I had purchased from them, along with key codes for each. I was then able to download replacement software and be assured I could install it on the new laptop. You would be correct in assuming that I printed a copy of those e-mails off and stored them, along with the recovery drive from the new HP, in my lockbox. Since the new laptop does not have as much storage space as the old Dell hard drive, I was a bit selective about what I transferred to the new one, but there seems to be plenty of room for the programs I used most, and all the documents and pictures I have accumulated, and the solid state memory can be doubled in the HP, with another slot being available for that purpose. Another battle was getting my printers to run on the HP. HP had drivers they thought were good enough, but until I got the specific driver for my model from Brother and installed it, the printer spit out paper with black background and white print. Moving web sites to the new computer also causes loss of reference of photos used on my web sites, since they are stored at different memory locations than where they were on the old computer. But in all fairness, the web sites probably need a redesign and cleaned up anyway. Since the old Dell will operate with a cooling plate under it, there is less pressure to completing a rebuild of the existing websites before the monthly update occurs. It's been a process !

Back to an article Marty Heffner made me aware of regarding tropospheric scatter communications between USA and Cuba. I made some rough drawings on page 6 showing the path and cross section of such a link. Obviously there are more reliable means of communication, because tropo-scatter is not in common usage today, but it may be of historical interest to you. Do keep in mind that all this took place before man had placed any commercial communications satellites in space, let alone those in geosynchronous orbit. Politically, the timing was such that Batista rather than Castro controlled Cuba, but likely neither of them wanted the US poking around in their phone calls which was possible with this link. Like I said, "History". The above reminds me of another project occurring just as Low Earth Orbit satellites were put in use by the National Weather service, for the purpose of downloading images of earth to NWS so they could see storm clouds arriving.

Dennis Main, WØYMG, had a business in Wichita calibrating gear for hospitals and labs, and he developed a way to read this data, then by feeding it into an old fax machine, it could print out a photo of a section of the US. The LEOs would capture 3 or 4 photos each pass, and It took about 4 passes to cover the entire United States. By pasting the black & white photos into a montage, one could assemble a complete picture of weather seen from above - and no TV station in Wichita had that ability.

It didn't take Dennis long to approach KSN management to make his services known. He would assemble the receiver and fax machine, along with the antenna and its dual azimuthelevation rotators. All KSN had to do, was supply someone to read the LEO schedule he would supply, and track the LEO on the receiver field strength meter to obtain the data, then assemble the printed pictures and we could scoop the market. It was a huge success - for about a month, when lo and behold, the AP news service began doing the same thing, and a fully assembled daily picture was available to anyone subscribing to Associated Press!

It was rumored that Dennis still had shaving foam remaining on a sideburn, when he was hastily escorted from a barbershop to the KSN General Manager's office to explain how their new and exclusive feature had so suddenly been duplicated and made available to all. An advancement in technology, to be sure, but things do tend to change at a rapid rate, and it was so in this case. If any of you have such a story, I would appreciate hearing about it. If it is published, it could gain you some points for recertification.

The 90 mile path most of us are familiar with is from Key West to Havana. From the closest mainland point to Havana is 150 miles, but the path chosen by AT&T for the Tropospheric Scatter path is about 540 miles from the panhandle city of Panama, FL to Havana. Below is shown a cross section of the path. Of course, the ocean is going to present a nearly flat terrain along the path, but even so, it appears that the earth curvature is close on the 5 and 95% points along the path, were the dishes aimed directly at 0º elevation. Instead, the beam is angled upward, reflecting off the ozone layer between the troposphere and stratosphere layers above the earth, some 59,000 to 60, 000 feet above sea level. Remember this all took place before man had communication satellites in place. Geo Sync birds are 22,300 miles above earth.

I don't often give personal kudos, but KPTS has been featuring an hour lon g documentary put together by TZ-Productions on Doc, the B-29. Tom Zwemke heads up that company, and I knew him first when he was a floor and camera man for KSN while he was in college. Tom succeeded in assembling a complete history of Doc from its discovery in a California Desert, through its restoration, to fly-ins completed through 2018. If you get a chance to do so, sit down and watch it. It is extremely well done!

Raun Hamilton with Doc at Oshkosh in 2019.

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired

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