Raspberry Pi Home Automation
Custom Discovery Roof Rack
August, 2012 - Sierra Backpacking
July 22nd, 2012 - Hiking in Santa Barbara
July 15th, 2012 - Valley of Fire
May 5th, 2012 - Afton Canyon
April 28th, 2012 - Devils Playground
Convict Creek Trail
January 2012 - Mustangs
January 3rd, 2012 - Heart Lake
August 7th, 2011 - Kelso Dunes
August 5th, 2011 - Lundy Canyon Hike
August 2011, Mammoth Archery
Birds in the garden
June 4th, 2011 - San Gorgonio
May 29th, 2011 - Sequoia National Forest
April 23rd, 2011 - Living Desert
April 2nd, 2011 - Death Valley
March 8th, 2011 - Mountain Palm Springs
February 13th, 2011 - Iron Smelt
November 13th, 2010 - Mojave
October, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Duck Lake Trail Backpacking
Iron bloom forging
August 28th, 2010 - Mt. San Jacinto
OSM Import: US Designated Wilderness
July 25th, 2010 - Mojave Mustangs
July 17th, 2010 - Mojave Exploration
Bloomery furnace iron smelting
Open Street Map: Mojave Project
June 13th, 2010 - Mojave
June 6th, 2010 - El Cajon Trails
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
March 28th, 2010 - Salton Sea
March 21st, 2010 - South Main Divide
March 13th, 2010 - Anza Borrego Wildflowers
March 7th, 2010 - CSULB Japanese Garden
February 2010 - Mammoth
Dakota and Asha Celebrate Christmas, 2009
November 21st, 2009 - Mojave Road
November 14th, 2009 - Anza Borrego
Exploring The East Mojave: The Afton Canyon Area
Broken flex plate
Remote Image Serving
Astro/night photography in Inyo National Forest
Wild Mustang Sightings
September 26th, 2009 - Night Photography In Frazier Park
August 15th, 2009 - Catalina dive trip
January 24th, 2009 - Mojave Exploration
July 2008 Mammoth Vacation
President Barack Obama!
April 12th, 2008 - Wildflowers and Landmarks
My Grandfather's Alfa Romeo Spider
March 8th, 2008 - Carrizo Plain
Bridge To Nowhere
October 20th, 2007 - Big Bear Camping
October 22nd, 2007 - Fire
Scottish Highlands, Aug 7th, 2006
Scottish Highlands, Aug 6th, 2006
August 5th, 2007 - Duck Lake Trail
May 26th, 2007 - Kelso Dunes
Culloden Battlefield, Aug 5th, 2006
May 20th, 2006 - Irwindale Renaissance Faire
Edinburgh, Aug 4th, 2006
The Clifs of Moher, Aug 3rd, 2006
The Burren, Aug 2nd, 2006
Bunratty Castle, Aug 1st, 2006
May 5th, 2007 - Mojave
Truck Audio/Data Network
2007 - Master Bath Remodel
The Ring of Kerry, Jul 31st, 2006
Victory in 2006!
Blarney and Killarney, Jul 30th, 2006
Dublin and Cork, Jul 29th, 2006
Dublin, Jul 27th & 28th, 2006
What Can I Do?
April 30th, 2006 - Anza Borrego
New desktop: Intel 805 D
Jan 7th and 14th, 2006 - Hiking
Whiting Ranch Hiking
Digital Photography with Linux
September 5th, 2005 - Living Desert
August 19th, 2005 - Mammoth
Hiking and Photography
July 30th, 2005 - Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Death, Fright and Photography
May 14th, 2005 - Red Rock
April 2nd, 2005 - Death Valley
Count Every Vote Act of 2005
Linear Logic ScanGuage
November 6, 2004 - Mojave
Super Tuesday, 2004
Canon A80 Camera
Jul 25, 2004 - Death Valley
May 4th, 2004
Landscaping - My Front Slope
Stump Pullin' Yeeee Haw!
Feb 22nd, 2004
Feb 16th, 2004
PostgreSQL Logfile Analysis
Mountains? Desert? Jan 30th, 2004
Jan 28th, 2004
Ceiling Cargo Basket
Front Bumper Version 2
Land Rover Valve Jobs
The Matrix: Revolutions
Greg Davis CDL Linkage
Mom's Turkey Gravy
Julian Pie Company
The KB1DIG 2-meter Halo Antenna
Gardening is hard!
Aug 13th, 2003
SQL and Perl
Jul 9th, 2003
Jun 17th, 2003
Some People's Comments
Dakota is a silly dog
The Matrix: Reloaded
Chris' Stage Bottle Harness
April 23rd, 2003
DVD Burning Under Linux
My Satellite Phone
My Near-Death Experience
Laser Cannon Revival
Front Bumper, Version 2
KPC 3 Plus and HTX-252
Moving, moving moving...
New new house
In Truck Dr. Pepper
My Favorite Toilet
Late Thoughts: Dr. Pepper Cooler
265/75-R16 Tires on a DII
George W. Bush
Horses Sep 14 2002
Sawdust Bellydancing 2002
August 17th Yukon Dives
My Custom Front Bumper
Bracketless, Renamable Links
Jul 28 2002 Day Trip
Jedi Group, my T1 and money
A Bumperless Discovery!
My Custom Rear Bumper
Vanessa's 24th Birthday
Jun 30th Dive to Long Beach Canyon
PHP/PostgreSQL String Quoting
Tonsillectomy, Uvulaectomy and Turbinite Reduction
240 Watt CO2 Laser Cannon
The Tulsa Rib Company
The quality of hard disks these days
Email notification of articles
Email notification of comments
erikburrows.com source code
Renisance Faire Jun 9, 2002
Computers hate me, and it is mutual.
Star Wars Sucks!
Horses, Jun 1, 2002
Land Rover Mileage
Insomnia, Robin goes evil.
100 Watt Diode Laser Test Firing 1
2001: A Space Odyssey
TDI Deco Class
Horses, Apr 30, 2002
My Truck Batteries
The Zope Bible
100 Watt Diode Laser
The New www.erikburrows.com
Hunter the Kitty
Matts Desert Pics
|My Satellite Phone -   2003/02/18||Viewed 363 times this month, last update: 2005/05/06|
||I just got my shiny new Globalstar satellite phone. It's the size and weight of a brick, but I think the geek factor more than makes up for it. It's not as expensive as I thought it would be, especially since I got my employer to pay the start-up fee.|
It's a roaming tri-mode phone, so it can talk to other satellite service providers when outside of the contenental US, and any analog or digital cell service provider. Damn I'm geeky!
Update 2003/02/18: Yes! I connected to the internet! Now, with two cables, my laptop and the phone, I can do work from Antarctica! It was really hard too. Terribly complicated. Eg. pppd /dev/ttyUSB0 38400 defaultroute.
||Vanessa took this picture of me when we went out to the Mojave for my 25th birthday. This is my first real use of my satellite phone. My Mom called me to ask what my favorite veteranerian hostpital is, beacuse her dog got bit by a racoon. The twist? I'm in the very center of the dry lake north of ludlow, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Update 2005/04/27: I had to give back my phone when I left Kwikmed over a year ago, and I've missed it. Especially when contemplating the long walk back from Saline Valley, when we were very low on gas. So, today I ordered a new phone, another globalstar GSP-1600 from Satellite Discount Store, and a car-kit from a seller on eBay.
When they both come in, and I install the car-kit, I'll have a satellite car phone, complete with privacy handset, just like back in the 80's, except my range is a wee bit greater.
I'll also now be able to sit back and do billable work while Vanessa drives us out to Mammoth or Vegas!
I also have plans to allow Xastir to occasionally report my position via satellite when outside radio APRS coverage.
Update 2005/05/02: Finally! The car kit and phone arrived, and I've installed the car kit onto the center console of my truck. I ordered the privacy handset, but may or may not use it. The speakerphone works remarkably well! I also love having another antenna on my truck that is hard for even ubergeeks to identify! I was initially very upset that it didn't work right away, but it turns out one of the cables from the cradle to the antenna has a break in it. The center conductor doesn't conduct at all in fact. However, the little 3 foot micro cable lets me put the antenna on the dashboard for testing. I already ordered a replacement cable, because the broken one was too short for my big ol' truck anyway. LMR-195 coax with SMA connectors, in case you wondered. Very hard to track down, but HRO in Anaheim ordered the cable for me.
||The car kit components, I didn't even know I was buying one still in the original packaging!
||My Truck with the goofy looking antenna. I thought about painting it, even got the plastic paint, but why hide my wierdness?
||And the phone in it's cradle, in a comfortable spot on my center console.
Update 2005/05/06: When a product or system is engineered so well that it's practically flawless, we geeks have a saying for it: "It just works". I've always liked the design and function of the Globalstar GSP-1600 phone, but today the rightness of it's design is truly evident.
Today was testing the phone's data capability with my laptop. I connected my Toshiba Satellite laptop to the Globalstar car kit with a USB to serial adapter cable. Linux, as always just figured out what it was, and assigned it as /dev/ttyUSB0. I opened up a terminal, became root, and typed "pppd /dev/ttyUSB0 38400 defaultroute". The PPP (point-to-point protocol) daemon (program) sent it's handshake signal out ovet the serial line, and the phone automatically switched to data mode, and dialed into Globalstar's internal ISP. When the setup was done, my terminal displayed to me my IP address. I took a picture with my camera, as I would if I were out on a trip, documenting my journey, and uploaded the picture to my laptop using gphoto2, and resized it to 640x480 using ImageMagick's "mogrify" program (mogrify -geometry 640x480 filename). I used ssh to copy the resized image up to my Linux server at home, then to log into my server, and start up Pine. Using pine I sent an email to myself with the image as an attachment, as I would if I were sending a "wish you were here" to Vanessa. While I was typing in my IMAP password to Pine, the phone lost reception, and disconnected. No problem, pppd restarted the connection, and not one character was lost.
When I was done sending the email, I started up Xastir, and connected to an Internet APRS server, with a filter to limit the bandwidth by filtering out stations too far away from me. Now, even without a radio I can see all the nearby stations, even ones I couldn't hear with a radio, due to mountains or other obstructions. I sent out a position, read some weather stations, and closed up shop.
As a geek, one of the highest levels of satisfaction I can achieve is when I am able to use technology to to amazing things, like communicate by diverse means, and in expressive ways even when I'm a hundred miles from another soul, let alone a phone.
mom (2003-03-12): I wish I could have been in that beautiful desert instead of heading for the emergency room! How very (!!!) nice that you had the capability to answer when I need you to!
And what a wonderful start for a 26th year. Happy Birthday, dear!
Matt Bell (2005-05-02): Wow, that IS a wierd looking antenna..
Erik (2005-05-02): Heh, yeah. I like it.
jack (2006-07-28): wow, a satellite phone that is awesome. i am so fed up with cell phones these days. they are all being made to be smaller and smaller yet more and more delicate. they also seem to keep getting worse voice quality. All of the new technology that comes out is for video/mp3/internet on their cell phone. Who the hell would want to do any of those things on a cell phone? . i am truly jealous of your big clunky satellite phone that works anywhere. I wish i could afford it.
Erik (2006-08-16): Well, nothing is perfect. The globalstar phone is very finiky about reception in satellite mode. Often you need an almost wide-open sky for it to work. The tripple-mode operation though is very nice, so you've got two chances in getting cellular reception, and satellite backup.
Solomon Lim (2006-10-07): how much does it cost you to make a 20 minutes call?
Erik (2006-10-08): Solomon, my provider, GMPCS has several price plans, like cell providers. My plan is $50/month, which comes with 50 free minutes per month, and $0.75/min over 50.
Darren J (2007-03-29): Hey, I am purchasing a GSP 1600 in a few days. I was curious if I will need a Serial to USB Connector to hook up my Toshiba A100 Laptop. I will be on Baffin Island for a month. PLease email ANY info about this to me at
Erik (2007-04-07): Darren, if your laptop does not have a DB-9 serial port on it, then yes, you'll need a Serial-USB converter.