As someone who works in audio, I appreciate a good quality set of headphones. I am, by no means, an audiophile – I’m an engineer. I want my products to operate within tolerances that are suitable for their purpose – I’m not up for cryogenically freezing my cables or painting my CDs with green pen, or indeed any other magical tweaks to get marginal gains, at best.
But I do want something that will serve me well, and be comfortable doing so.
As a long time user of Realtimetrains.co.uk (which is where you should go for all your real time train tracking needs in the UK), and someone with an appreciation of Open Rail Data (having used it myself), I jumped at the chance of helping their development. They’ve put out an appeal to record GPS tracks of train services that you travel on with the link to the service on the application.
A lot of the work behind the scenes performed by a small team involves maintaining data relating to train positioning and comparing this with the signalling system outputs we use. This is an entirely manual task involving one of us going out with a radio controlled watch and monitoring the passage of trains through stations and junctions. An area of recent interest for us has been attempting to compute this automatically using other known bits of information.
In order to validate this effort, we either have to do the manual task with a watch or collect a large dataset of GPS traces to compare against our dataset. The more data we have will allow us to improve the end product.
Which is awesome. I wanted to contribute. I found a suitable app for Android called GPSlogger which seemed to fit the bill. It has quite a few settings, so I thought I’d write a quick guide on what I’ve used to successfully generate a working track for a service.
I was at one time, a BT customer. They had the best deal for FTTC broadband in my area, so it made sense to go with them. One of the things they offered at the time was a Yahoo account – which for some inexplicable reason you were forced to link to any previous account with the same email address.
I created one – with my usual online moniker of naxxfish. What a mistake that turned out to be….
One of the unique challenges of CSR FMis it’s structure, where it is part funded by two separate universities each with a presence in Canterbury (University of Kent and Christ Church University) and their respective student unions (Kent Union and CCCU). Student members could be enrolled at either institution, and as such each institution has it’s own radio studio on campus – each of which has an equal chance of being put on air.
Once again, I got roped into helping out CSRfm and this time KTV in getting their OBs from Keynstock 2014 on air.
There were some not insignficant challenges. Our normal network access at Keynes was effectively cut off due to some changes to configuration. This was quite troublesome, as we had always previously relied on this access to get our signals back to our HQ. The outlook seemed bleak. What we ended up doing instead, though, actually seemed to work out rather better.