My OHP feed - new hardware

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n5usr

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I know there are at least a few people who use my OHP feed so thought I'd mention what I've done with it recently. Don't know if the listeners happen to be anyone who reads here or not, but oh well... ;)

Been upgrading the home network, and generally moving things around, still have a bit to do so it may go down periodically in the next few days. Apologies for the interruptions!

But I'd be interested to know if it still sounds okay (or at least, no worse than before! :D ) as I have it on a new computer and soundcard. The card is the biggest worry, it's a cheap USB thing. I do notice some background noise that's always there, but it's fairly quiet so hopefully not too objectionable.

The computer is a new experience for me - an OpenRD Client, which is an ARM-based "embedded PC". I'm using it for a firewall box and hoping it handles the feed okay, seems to anyway. The thing pulls all of 7W while running so much lower power than running a regular computer. (For those interested, another option would be the Sheeva Plug, which uses the same processor. It doesn't have all the ports the Client does, but if you aren't running a firewall then no problem. Also costs less and uses 1-2W less power.) Sofware is Debian Linux, darkice for the feed.

One of these years I'll get around to reimplementing my tagging script and switch the scanner for one of my PRO-197s so I can have alpha-tags going as well... So much to do, so little time! :)
 

n5usr

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Hallelujah! Finally found something that works in a way I find acceptable...

I've been attempting to work with various (admittedly cheap) sound cards and nothing was working well... Something about the server room (er... closet) made them very unhappy, putting objectionable levels of background noise (mostly a high-pitched whine) on the feed. They were never silent, but just moving them in there made it BAD.

I almost gave up in frustration, but remembered I have a couple of Signalink USB interfaces for ham radio rigs. Figured they are designed to work around higher-RF environments so why not... And they work wonderfully! Perhaps a bit of overkill for a feed, but they do have a handy pot on the front to adjust receive levels, no sliders to mess with in the OS. (They don't even present a slider for audio capture to the OS at all.) And not a bit of background noise when not receiving a signal. (Or, I don't hear any under normal listening conditions, which is what matters to me! ;) )

So the feed is now (finally) on the OpenRD embedded system I mentioned above, and I can shut off the 100W+ computer that *was* supplying it! :)
 

plaws

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So the feed is now (finally) on the OpenRD embedded system I mentioned above, and I can shut off the 100W+ computer that *was* supplying it! :)
Nice job!

I forget where you are, but if you're on OEC, your daily kWh mail should show a 2.4 kWh drop. :)
 

n5usr

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Not OEC, I'm right in metro OKC with OG&E. But I can already see the drop, my entire network is powered through my solar system (configured as a sort of whole-house UPS, grid at night solar during the day) and it lets me keep very good track of power usage.

It's one of those funny things, prior to the solar system I wouldn't have thought much about 2.4kWh/day - not even a quarter a day on the utility bill. But when you are trying to generate the power yourself, you quickly realize just how difficult (and expensive) that can be. So now I'm working to reduce my always-on or critical-infrastructure loads as much as possible.

A nice side effect is that now, should the power go out, I don't have to shut down the feed computer to reduce battery usage. Long as Cox can keep their end of things going, my feed won't go down! :) My entire "server closet" - cablemodem, router, server, switch, wireless AP, feed scanner - now pulls about 60W, down from close to 300W when I started. It is much cooler in that closet now too!
 

plaws

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Not OEC, I'm right in metro OKC with OG&E. But I can already see the drop, my entire network is powered through my solar system (configured as a sort of whole-house UPS, grid at night solar during the day) and it lets me keep very good track of power usage.

It's one of those funny things, prior to the solar system I wouldn't have thought much about 2.4kWh/day - not even a quarter a day on the utility bill. But when you are trying to generate the power yourself, you quickly realize just how difficult (and expensive) that can be. So now I'm working to reduce my always-on or critical-infrastructure loads as much as possible.

Still on the grid here, full time, but once the mortgage is gone, solar hot water is in the top 5 things to do, followed by PV. ETA is probably 2015. In the meantime, we're trying to shed as much load as we can. Geothermal really helped out. Want to do solar well pump, too. We have a TED, too, in addition to the OEC smart meter emails.

The sad thing is that I have a 17-year-old Solarex panel (about 30 Wp) that's in the attic and not on the roof. I really need to get that into service to power at least part of N5UWY.
 

LACoFD

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Oct 20, 2010
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Los Angeles, California
Not OEC, I'm right in metro OKC with OG&E. But I can already see the drop, my entire network is powered through my solar system (configured as a sort of whole-house UPS, grid at night solar during the day) and it lets me keep very good track of power usage.

It's one of those funny things, prior to the solar system I wouldn't have thought much about 2.4kWh/day - not even a quarter a day on the utility bill. But when you are trying to generate the power yourself, you quickly realize just how difficult (and expensive) that can be. So now I'm working to reduce my always-on or critical-infrastructure loads as much as possible.

A nice side effect is that now, should the power go out, I don't have to shut down the feed computer to reduce battery usage. Long as Cox can keep their end of things going, my feed won't go down! :) My entire "server closet" - cablemodem, router, server, switch, wireless AP, feed scanner - now pulls about 60W, down from close to 300W when I started. It is much cooler in that closet now too!
What sound card did you get to work with your client?

I have a sheevaplug with same os on it and having trouble finding right USB sound card. Any help appreciated.

Thanks
 
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