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UAV/UAS Drones are often victim to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), especially when being used anywhere near metal or other energized objects such as electric fences, radio towers and antennas, power lines and switch yards, and other RC Signals.  It’s just a fact that pilots have to consider and deal with when planning and executing a plight plan.

Obstructions like buildings, especially ones with lots of metal, WiFi systems and the miles of energized cabling that the building is hosting.

Pilots also have to consider their restricted Flight Path, due to Radio Range limitations.  Pilots cannot just plan a long shot down a highway without hitting the “Radio Fence” at some point.  Once the UA has lost their connection with the pilot, it’s programmed (or should be) to shut down the radio and use it’s own on-board system to return to it’s launch-site.

Imagine if you could reduce the chances of these issues to a near zero factor.

You can be confident that your radio signal is powerful and present to a degree that minimizes the chances of RFI is not a concern; You won’t have to worry about a superstructure or office-building will create a Radio Frequency “Shadow”, knowing that you will have seamless control in and around your flight path; You can plan flights that can literally extend over the hill and through the woods, all the way to grandma’s house, or as far as your battery will let take your UAV.

UAV Repeater System

By using this Unmanned Aircraft Repeater System (UARS), comprised of a system of Connected and Controlled Wireless Access Points (WAPs), you can setup a customized Radio Perimeter to establish an RF Secure Flight. The modular design allows the repeaters to be setup almost anywhere in seconds.  With Low-Power Consumption Electronics, the UARS is powered by a Rechargeable Battery System that includes a Solar Charging System to charge the battery when not in use, and to greatly extend the UARS “On-Air” Time while in use.  The Network is secured and controlled using the Small and Energy Efficient Raspberry Pi ARM Based Computer System.  The system is also designed to be directly powered and charged with any standard AC source.

UAV Repeater System Parts

The entire package comes with a customized water-tight package that is designed to mount to almost any tripod, and is Tamper and Theft Resistant.  Using basic locking and theft-deterrent systems to secure the UARS and it’s payload of gear, you won’t have to worry about it growing legs or being plundered in mid-production.  The system is programmed to alert you of any GPS changes, excessive vibration or movement, and can include the optional PTZ Camera (not shown) that allows you to view or monitor the area around the UARS with simple Video Surveillance Software and a Laptop, exactly like the remote police observation towers. The UARS standalone tower has a very long operational “On-Air” run time of over 120 minutes.

The system also comes in a Waterproof Floating Configuration (UARS-F) for over-water flights.  The UARS-F (not shown) has a large 4 foot square Solar Landing Area with a net system extending 12″ over the edge to be used as an emergency Landing Zone (LZ).  It is fully-motorized and uses the same GPS Location System that UAVs are tied to.  The “Buoy-Mode”, the UARS-F can maintain it’s nautical position, giving your flight-plan a major advantage and a safe alternate LZ in the case you need to land over-water.  In “Extend-Mode”, the UARS-F will attempt to maintain a centralized position between the pilot and UAV.  In “Follow-Mode”, the UARS-F will attempt to maintain a programmed position as it relates to the location of the UAV or Pilot; if the UAV or Pilot moves 10 meters south, the UARS-F will move 10 meters south.  Depending on how the UARS-F is used and its operating conditions, it has an average “On-Air” run time of 120 minutes with light-currents, and over 5 hours on still-water.  The UARS-F is not designed to operate on water with strong currents.

The UARS-A (Ariel) model is a complete UARS Drone (not shown).  It’s waterproof design and Solar Shell keeps it protected from rain or slashes and powered with extra flight juice from the sun.  The UARS-A operates with the same GPS Location Controller that the UARS-F is equipped with, allowing you to program its behavior or flight-paths.  The on-board Obstacle Avoidance Radar will keep it safely distanced from or between objects that might otherwise interrupt its flight.  Because of the Solar-Shell, the UARS-A has an average flight time of 30 minutes in sunny conditions.

.What do you think?

wireless-aironet-1130-ag-access-pointI recently had a run-in with figuring out some hard to find settings on a Cisco AIR-AP1130AG WAP.  If you don’t know what that is, you probably shouldn’t be fussing with it.  It’s a Commercial Cisco Wireless Access Point that can also be configured to act as a Repeater, Bridge, Gateway, ect.. It’s a pretty nifty device with a decent output that drowns most retail Residential WiFi toys.

The fact that they offer 54MBps factors into their current price of about $30 used (in various working conditions), which is an acceptable speed for most uses.  With a 150′ “G” range, these toys work great for event WiFi AP’s and Repeaters, especially in areas like in the concrete tunnels and on stage of Arena’s where rockstars and touring staff live during their stay.  They can be powered by POE, which is sweet if you’re going to install one in your home on the ceiling, or if you’re just running a single cable to a tripod with a WAP mounted on top of it for temporary WAP points like we do in Arena’s.  I have a collection of these just for setting up WiFi connections at events, and I use a LAP  version (Lightweight Access Point) in the home.

They take some Level-2.98 wisdom and plenty of patience to configure, as mentioned, this is a Commercial toy, not something you’re going to find on the shelf at WalMart or Staples; you’ll have to look higher, like at their ceiling, because that’s where they typically install them.

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Event Photos

Were you at or did you have an event photographed by ZaqHydN?

Event Photography

If so, here is some information on how and where you can find the images from your event!  You can also find information on how to get your LOGO included on the publicly released image set!

If you’re not interested in having your LOGO included on an image set from the event, you can just zip down to the end of this post to find the catalog number or event image set and it’s status.  If it’s published, you’ll also find a link to the image set or catalog.  There’s a brief contact form if you’d like to be notified when an image set or catalog is published.  (My Catalog Numbers look like this: “2015 01 25 NRH” which represent the Year, Month, Day and Event Initials).

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Hard Drive Failures, File Storage, and Recovery in a nutshell..

Some secret wisdom from the Tech Closet:

  1. sata-top-ata-bottomStay away from huge drives. Those 2 TB, 3TB & 4 TB may seem to be “all that and a bag of chips”, but when they fail (and they will) – you will lose “all that”, and your bag of chips.  Instead, for personal use, look for a reliable and highly rated Network Attached Storage Device (NASd) and load it up with smaller Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) (I prefer the 1TB Western Digital “Green” or “Blue”); they are reliable for three to five years (depending on how many power cycles they are forced to endure).  Smaller HDDs tend to have faster seek/access times too.  Solid State Drives (SSDs) are becoming popular and affordable, but are currently a bit pricy and are not competing well on speed per dollar.  With SSDs, there are no moving parts, so there’s less to go wrong, no noise and less power consumption, but are incredibly sensitive to Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).
  1. esdHDD’s (and computers) fail 100% for two reasons:  a) Changes in power conditions, a power-on cycle surge or brown-out kills a component or data.  b) External physical force or energy encourages a hardware failure.  Leaving your computer ON (or a NASd drive – preferred) reduces the chance of a hardware failure by 95% or better.  Some of the corporate Backbone PC’s I service for Hardware Upgrades on the field were born in 1998 and have only been powered off/on by power outages, but are still running reliably (and slowly) versus the incalculable number of PC’s and servers I service for Repairs for failures, which are power-cycled daily and sometimes several times a day. “A” is easy to address, simply connect your PC/NASd equipment to a UPS and leave it on; it’s 95% less likely that you will experience a data failure due to changes in power conditions.  “B” is equally easy to address, don’t drop your equipment or handle it without using Static-Discharge & Anti-Static gear (those silver ESD bags & dumb little wrist straps with an alligator clip designed to equalize the energy between you and the components to prevent static charges from zapping hardware).

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Okay, so you’ve installed your Windows 7 and (regardless of why) you’re suddenly bugged by a message that “you may be a victim of software piracy” along with your display background being changed to BLACK (my default anyway – lol) and you find that your screen now displays a rather irremovable message just above the clock that reads something like this:

“Windows 7
Build 7600
This copy of Windows is not genuine”

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Do you have a problem with right clicking in explorer, causing it to crash?

Some applications add a Right Click context menu item into your Windows Registry; this is most likely (and the most popular cause) where you will find the problem.

Here is how I fixed the problem on my system…

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The Fax Machine, n. (1964-1998) An obsolete physical printer/telephone-like device that is connected to a dedicated phone line that clutters offices, consumes power, paper, time and toner, and causes great stress within the professional and business community.

The accused “Fax Machine”

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