I have for many years measured broadband Internet access service performance by measuring the transfer rate for a single HTTP download which is scheduled regularly.
Since moving to iiNet / NBN about 6 months ago, I have had difficulty reconciling apparent workstation performance with the measured download speed.
During investigation of variation in download speed measurements, it became apparent that in the absences of other network traffic, the first download was faster than further downloads within a short space of time.
The above chart shows the download speed on 10 downloads, each download ran for 5s and there was a 2s pause after completion before the next download was started. The file downloaded is one nominated by iiNet for download speed tests and is internal to their network.
The first transfer in this cluster ran at 5.8Mb/s (about half of the ‘headline’ access service rate). The following nine were between 0.9 and 3.1Mb/s, averaging 1.9Mb/s.
This behaviour is reliably reproduced on subsequent tests. It may be a result of the MPLS network, it may be some clever management of what you see vs what you get.
To better capture network performance, I have changed by measurement strategy to perform a 2s download, then wait 2s after it is completed, then perform a measured 5s download to calculate a more realistic download speed.
Above is a plot of a day’s tests using the adjusted algorithm. The median speed is 3.9Mb/s, less than a third of the ‘headline’ rate.
Little wonder that we need intervention as announced by the competition regulator, the industry cannot regulate itself effectively.
This article documents a first project with the Espressif ESP8266 in its second evolution.
The objective is a module that will take periodic temperature and humidity measurements and publish them to an MQTT message broker.
This inital implementation is very basic, it is largely configured in code, though it does use DHCP. Later extensions might include a web interface for configuration of WLAN parameters etc, but for the moment the emphasis is assessment of reliability given some reports on the ‘net.
The original design embedded key configuration variables in the main source code for simplicity in getting the code working.
Evolution 2 separates configuration variables from code, and provides a web interface for configuring the most common variables. The screenshot above shows the configuration screen including the use of a datalist on the SSID input field.
A module was purchased with on board CP210x USB to serial chip. The only other component needed was the DHT22 digital temperature and humidity sensor.
NodeMCU was chosen for the ESP2866 firmware because of the inbuilt support for ‘interesting things’, including the DHT22.
(Baum 1964) describes his “Moibus strip loop” (sic).
In fact it is not made from a strip conductor but rather a circle of round tube with a gap at the top, and containing a transmission line which is cross connected to the outer tube at the gap.
Two main features are claimed for this antenna:
cancellation of induced Compton currents in the centre conductor due to incident gamma radiation; and
transformation of the feed point voltage V to 2V at the transmission line at the loop feed T joint.
Feature 1 is claimed to improve S/N when irradiated by gamma radiation, the effect would be of most benefit in the event of a nearby nuclear bomb. Given that most ham stations are not EMP hardened, this is unlikely to be of material benefit to those ham stations. Continue reading The Mobius strip loop – ham benefits
Having been pushed into CFLs due to conservationist action that removed incandescent lamps from the shelves before mature reliable product was available, I ventured into LED lighting because of the failure rate of the CFLs.
The LEDs are about the same power consumption as the CFLs they replace, the hope was that they had a longer life (you have seen the claims of 100,000 hours).
Two years after cutover, it is time to review their performance.
Of some 25 11W LEDs installed, most would not be used for an hour a month, but 11 are used every day for an average of around 4 hours per day.
Hams often postulate that certain HF antennas are “low noise’ antennas.
There are many possible explanations for why an antenna captures less noise power than another, this article discusses the distribution of electric and magnetic fields (E and H) very near to a radiator, and the power captured by antennas that respond more to E or H fields.
Electromagnetic radiation consists of both and E field and a H field, and they are in the ratio of η0=µ0*c0Ω, the so-called impedance of free space, often approximated to 120πΩ or 377Ω. Close to a radiator there are components of E and H additional to the radiation components, the ratio of E/H is not simply 377Ω.
LNR Precision have announced a small transmitting loop for amateur radio.
This article is a revision to take account of recently updated information published by LNR filling in some of the gaps in their original page. It is encouraging to see better product descriptions and measurement data.
The antenna is described at (LNR Precision 2016).
The loop itself appears to be 3/8 Heliax or similar (nominally 9.5mm outer conductor diameter) in a rough circle of 45″ (1.143m) diameter.
Little information is given of the internals, but the promotional material gives a VSWR curve for a matched antenna at 7.065MHz. To their credit, they give the height above ground and ground type for their tests.
The VSWR=3 bandwidth scaled from the graph is 18kHz.
If we assume for a moment that the VSWR measurement was captured at a substantial height above ground, its behavior approaches that of the antenna in free space. Taking the assumption that the published curve is similar to the antenna in free space, we can estimate efficiency based on earlier assumptions. Such antennas very close to ground have a directivity of about 6dB (dependent on ground parameters), and that can be used with efficiency to estimate gain in proximity to ground.
The assumed values and published VSWR curve indicate an antenna system half power bandwidth of 15.6kHz and Q of 453 which implies efficiency of 2.8%.
The antenna is described at http://chameleonantenna.com/CHA%20P-LOOP%202.0/CHA%20P-LOOP%202.0.html.
This analysis does not consider the proprietary Power Compensator option for lack of sufficient information.
The loop itself appears to be LMR400 coax or similar (nominally 8.0mm outer conductor diameter) in a rough circle of 34″ (0.863m) diameter.
Little information is given of the internals, but the promotional material gives a VSWR curve for a matched antenna at 7.15MHz. To their credit, they give the height above ground and ground type for their tests, though elevation above ground was between 1/2 diameter to a full diameter of the P-LOOP 2.0 is a little vague.
Basic loop (34″)
The VSWR=3 bandwidth scaled from the graph is 27.0kHz. The shape of the curve near minimum suggests that were the scan points sufficiently close, the minimum VSWR would be very close to 1.0 and it is taken as 1.0.
If we assume for a moment that the VSWR measurement was captured at a substantial height above ground, its behaviour approaches that of the antenna in free space. Taking the assumption that the published curve is similar to the antenna in free space, we can estimate the gain and efficiency based on earlier assumptions. Continue reading CHA P-Loop 2.0 small transmitting loop