C=64 Demoscene alive & kicking

| December 15th, 2008

We still love the C64, right? RIGHT?! Well, I love mine, even tho its not running as often as I wish, its been a big part of my life, and who I turned out to be. I blame the tweaker in me on the C64..

I got this link from my old C64 bud Frank today, and oh my god did it blow me away. Without further blabber, have a look for yourself..
Booze Design kicking the limits!

Edge of Disgrace Part#1

Edge of Disgrace Part#2

Or download it and enjoy if on your C64.

More info here, here & here ..

Mad props to Booze Design for keeping my one true love alive.. *sniff*

Ive spent some time doing research on the various aspects of this project. Read alot, asked around, pondered, and pondered some more.. What I do know without a shadow of a doubt, is that there are many unknowns, and quiet a few of those will remain such until they are tried out it seems.

Granted, it would have been a helluva lot easier if I had those deep pockets I briefly mentioned being absent in Part#1. So, Im left with trying to find those clever solutions to the issues at hand instead.
As a geek, that IS alot more fun, even tho it will take me longer to complete..

Let me try to draw you a picture and explain.. (up is north if there was any doubt)

(Like my drawing? Im good aint I? Riiight…)

Ok, what you see above is the farm I live at, the blue dots(#1-3) are where there is currently a sat-dish in place. #1 & #2 are 65cm dishes with the so called ‘Europe’ LNB setup; 1W, 5E, 13E & 19.2E. #3 is a old motorized analogue dish that will be replaced with either a ‘Nordic'(1W & 5E) or a ‘Europe’ dish as in #1& #2.

#4 is where we are currently planning to setup BigBen, ok, the name is not set in stone, Im open for suggestions.. The wall on that silo is around 5meters wide, we’ll either do so some serious steel hookup & bang it to the wall(2meter+ over ground), or place it on the ground with a concrete ‘flooring’. In this position it will be somewhat hidden from the recreational areas we use.

The alternative is to place it next to the garage south-west of mark #4. Not the best alternative for the following reasons;
– More digging, need to get the cable safetly underground between the silo(#4) & garage.
– Longer cable stretch(15-20meter)
– Visible from garden south of #3

Ive not done a precise measure of length, but its about 150meter from position #1 to the wall facing west on the silo(straight line). Adding about 20 meters going through cellar(#2) & loft in the barn is atleast a given, might even be more..
The red solid line between #1 & #2 is where we dug down a tube this summer for Cat5e, it has plenty of room for several cables.

If Im gonna do a straight shooter with the cables that means we’ll have 1 stretch going from #4 to #1(~170m), 2x from #4 to #2(~70m), and the last one from #4 to #3(~70m).

Fair enough? Well, somewhat..

In comes one of the big “unknowns”; How much signal & power loss will the longest cable suffer? After consulting people with the know-how, the results are not conclusive.
The signal loss could be within an acceptable %, if not I can put an amplifier at the middle(#2), but this will not help with the potential power drain. That is, the power the tuner/receiver sends to the LNB to switch between vertical & horizontal.
‘Bobben1’ at a .no board suggested I could overcome this with attaching a “power-supply” to one of the outputs on the LNB, granted a variable supply.

My question is this, could I instead use a multiswitch(at #2) using 2 of the outputs, and gain 4 outputs? With a Spaun SMS 341 F for instance?
This would overcome the need to switch between v/h..
With this solution(?) I wont loose 1 output, but instead gain 2.

This is important, not only for the loss of a output, but also since I have one MythTV box in service, and plan to setup a slave backend on location #2. The important bit is this; the tuners I currently use are SkyStar2 which only support DiSEqC 1.0, and that will fail miserably on a Multiswitch..
EDIT: Reading up on this, and I was wrong, there are several Multiswitches that can accomodate this need. For instance a EMP-Centauri E.143-AP, and hook one output to a 4/1 DiSEqC (with 1W & 5E fi), or directly to one of the SkyStar tuners.

The other tuners (DM500, DM7020 and soon DM600 on #3?) got no issues with DiSEqC 1.1/1.2.

Moving further, the existing ‘Europe’ dishes(#1 & #2) got 4/1 DiSEqC’s, either;

– Drop 13 or 19.2E input and screw on 28.2E

– Get a 8/1 DiSEqC to replace the 4/1 and keep all sat positions

On position #4 depending on what LNB setup we choose, either go for one of the above solutions, or if a ‘Nordic’ LNB setup is chosen, just use a 4/1 DiSEqC.. Pheew, easy!

The MythTV backend slave will be a dedicated 28.2E box with 1 DVB-S tuner to start off, replaced with a DVB-S2 tuner like the Net-UP when it becomes available. The Gbit link between houses #1 & #2 got more than enough bandwith to spare, so the slave(#2) will utilize the Raid array on the backend master thats living in house #1.

So to recap, I know more about potential show-stoppers on the technical side of the project. I still need to get more hands on experiences from people in the know.

Thanx to all the people thats taken time to respond to my questions & the suggestions you’ve given. Much appreciated! I do hope you keep it up.

Till next chapter..

Im a geek, and my fields of interrest range wide & deep. Ive had fasinations for many things over the years, some have stuck, others have faded. Faded for many reasons, some of them for financial reasons, lets face it, unless you have a deep pocket you cannot get all your heart desires. Such is life, no complaints tho, the feeling of finally getting something you have saved up for is just too grand for me to ever want to swap it for the “of I’ll just buy it, even tho I dont need it..”

Ever since I saw my first BUD, Ive been fasinated with what could be possible to bring home from the sky above. The first BUD I saw can barely be defined as a BUD, its was “merely” a 2meter dish, but since I was a youngster that was huuuuuge!

Ive dreamt of owning a BUD ever since then, but due to both finanical reasons and, well, living in city areas this has been impossible. The prices on a dish over 2meters is just mindblowing, its an easy 2 month salary..

I like to check out the used market, on all kinds of things really, be it music, instruments, movies, furniture, cars, computer hw.. anything goes, not that I buy that much, I just like to window shop.

Last week I was browsing around a .no market place; finn.no, and lo and behold, someone was selling a BUD, for the price of a regular 70cm dish! I sent him an email asking for details and if the price were right or if there was a zero missing there at the end. Price was right, so today I confirmed the purchase.

This will be my winter project(well, one of them anyway), it wont be setup before the winter is gone, but atleast the “biggest” investment is done. It will get a round of sanding & paint to “fit” into its surroundings.
Mark’s suggestion wont happen this time around, even tho I’d love to do it. 😉

The dream of a BUD is about to be realized, so is the urge to lock on to Astra2D on 28.2E, finally some quality tv!

I will document the process of transport, digging, setup etcetc in detail, for now, feast your eyes at my first BUD;


I dont have the brand/name for it, but its a 4.8meter steel dish, complete with ground mounting & feedhorn. Whats missing of HW is a C120 LNB and cabling, I need some high quality coax for this setup since it will be placed about 120meter from the house. Gotta try and “hide” it away as best I can. (yep, some people dont see the beauty of such a dish.. go figure)

Invacom or Inverto ?

Ive had great experience with ‘regular’ Invacom Universal LNB’s, but I will see what prices the .no outlets can give me.

I welcome any feedback & experiences you might have with a BUD, would like to avoid the most obvious mistakes.

Till next chapter…

Even tho I love Lighty, it has a few known short-comings, mem leak when under heavy load in a reverse proxy setup is one of them. Old reported bug that dont seem to be fixed any time soon.. Might very well be due to the fact that they are now in the process of doing a total rewrite for the 2.0 release, or that not many use it in such a setup?

In any case, till this is resolved Ive had to look into alternatives for the task. I heard alot of good from my friends in Russia about Nginx, but at the time the documentation where pretty much solely in Russian.
This has improved(Nginx Unofficial Wiki) alot over the last year, so last night it was again time to dust off the VE I had setup months ago and give it another go.

After a few curse & spit rounds with rewrite rules & deciding to redo the conf layouts, I had a working setup, only SSL was acting up. This morning I saw what I had done, or what I didnt do I should say. Since I redid the entire conf setup I had missed out the include of the proxy.conf in the SSL server settings. *sigh*

I will be adding Varnish to the pie later, more on that when time permits.
Check the wiki for info on the above, will add to it later tonight.

The setup & configuration of Nginx were really nice, it hogs so little mem & cpu time its almost like its not even running… Really! I still have Lighty & Apache on the backends tho, but many of them might very well be replaced with Nginx..

ура товарищей !

MythTV @revision3

| September 1st, 2008

Systm, the DYI show on Revision3 covered MythTV last week. For those looking to refurbish some older hardware into a superb PVR/Multimedia PC, have look, you might very well get some inspiration..