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Tom Murphy
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But why?
Tom Murphy   7/22/2013 7:42:32 PM
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This sounds like a clever chap -- good story, Caleb. But I stumble across one line:

 "Travis wanted to be able to track moving satellites..."

Now some people climb mountains just because they're there.   But that made me wonder why he wants to do that.   Any insights on that?  Anyone want to guess?

mcgrathdylan
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Re: But why?
mcgrathdylan   7/22/2013 8:12:29 PM
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A very good question. I have a feeling it is not unlike climbing a tall mountain because it's there. It strikes me as a personal challenge kind of thing. But I'd be interested in hearing more.

One question I have is: Why is he located so far from the dish? Couldn't he have set it up closer to him home?

JeremySCook
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Wow
JeremySCook   7/22/2013 8:45:28 PM
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Wow, that is insane.  Nice find Caleb!


I don't think I'm a bad engineer, but seeing something like this always reminds me I've got a lot to learn still!

rick merritt
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What's the app?
rick merritt   7/22/2013 9:59:53 PM
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Fascinating stuff but what's the motivation, as they say at technical conferences. Is this guy competing to have the best TV reception on the block or should we be calling the FBI ;-)

eewiz
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Re: What's the app?
eewiz   7/23/2013 12:39:18 AM
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There need not be a specific end application in mind when you start to do such things. Its totally plausible  that people who are inquisitive and have time, do things like this. Sometimes other people can find an end application. History of tech shows it very clearly..

classic ex: Xerox engineers made first GUI and didnt know what to do with it. It took a Steve Jobs, to connect the dots between GUI and personal computing.

kfield
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Tracking accuracy?
kfield   7/23/2013 9:46:02 AM
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Great article - i read through the build instructions but didn't see anything about the accuracy requirements for the application, but the fact that he chose a stepper motor leads me to think they were not that stringent, or possibly he has instituted some kind of microstepping scheme. Details, we want details!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: What's the app?
Caleb Kraft   7/23/2013 9:56:12 AM
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Like any hobby this has its points of pride. Often people brag about connecting to difficult or distant satellites. While his is receive-only, he has quite the display to show off. I imagine there's a certain thrill in being able to "see" these things that are often quite literally invisible to the lay-person. The more you can see, the more respect you get.  

This is all conjecture based off of my familarity with other radio enthusiasts though. 

Caleb Kraft
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Re: But why?
Caleb Kraft   7/23/2013 10:00:34 AM
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There's a little more insight in this link, where they discuss the joys of snooping the feeds from satellites. They can get a raw, unedited feed and see "behind the scenes". In the hacker culture, simply aquiring difficult to find information usually enough of a drive to get some amazing things done. 

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Tracking accuracy?
Caleb Kraft   7/23/2013 10:02:19 AM
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I don't have any exact details on that, however, keep in mind that he started with a system designed for this purpose(fine tracking). There could be gearing in place or something to refine the movement. 

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Wow
Caleb Kraft   7/23/2013 10:05:03 AM
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Travis always has great stuff. I have massive respect for that guy. 

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