Archive for January, 2015
We like upcycling. When it includes old satellite dishes, we love it!
Using a couple of old C-band mesh antennas to make an alien spacecraft in your backyard is brilliant and worth sharing.
The idea for this project had been milling around in my brain for awhile… I had visualized taking two satellite dishes, preferably 2 of the fiberglass type and slap them together like 2 pie plates to form a traditional saucer shape. The first task I had was to find suitable dishes to salvage for the project. I drove around whenever I had time to watch out for candidates, and I watched Craigslist and other sources of ads on the Internet. I live just outside the city limits, and had plenty of countryside to travel around. I also kept my mind open to the possibility of using the metal mesh dishes as well, thereby doubling my chances of finding what I needed.
Eventually, I placed an ad on Craigslist asking for a dish, and voila! I got a bite! It turned out to be a mesh dish in the city but just a few minutes away. I went over on a Sunday afternoon and it took an hour and some elbow grease to dismantle the dish and load it into the back of my pickup. I should mention that even if I couldn’t use the mesh dish, I could always take it to the recycling center and get some cash out of it! Ironically, I found a fiberglass dish about a mile from home, and after a couple of tries, I finally met the home owner, who said his wife had been asking and asking and asking him to remove the dish. Sounded like I arrived just in time! This one took about TWO hours to take off the mount and take it down to 2 halves and strap them down to my utility trailer. Note: It helps if you have some assistance to dismantle these things, they are HEAVY as all get out! After bringing them home and laying them out in the back yard, I pondered what to do about the situation, as time was marching on and I was tired of looking for dishes.
Get out there and make your own!
Good news: Google Fiber may get access to utility rights-of-way under Title II of the Telecom Act.
Here’s the news, via The Wall Street Journal…
In a rare public comment by Google on net neutrality, the Internet giant this week said it sees a silver lining in the potential to be regulated like a telecom company.
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed treating broadband Internet providers like Google Fiber as telecommunications services under Title II, which President Barack Obama supported in November to complaints from the telecom and cable industries.
Title II would expose Google Fiber to new regulations usually targeted at communications utilities and monopolies. Rates and service quality would be regulated by the government and Google Fiber may have to ask permission to stop providing some services, according to Tom Cohen, a communications lawyer at Kelley Drye & Warren.
But in a letter Tuesday to the FCC, Google’s director of communications law Austin Schlick highlighted a potential positive for the company if Title II kicks in. As a regulated telecom service, Google Fiber would get access to utility poles and other essential infrastructure owned by utilities. The FCC should make sure this happens because it would promote competition and spur more investment and deployment of broadband internet service, Schlick argued.
Broadband competition just got a little more interesting.