Brian B Donaldson Photography

My Media Page

Below are links to articles I have written.

2 Prints For The Price Of 1 - With the increased popularity of cell phone cameras and point-n-shoot (PNS) cameras, making prints for photo albums are also becoming very popular. Stores like Walgreen, CostCo, Target, Walmart, etc... have printing services. However, most of these printing service use standard print formats like 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10. Not always do the images taken on cell phones or PNS cameras fit in those formats. However, a 4x3 format will fit nicely on a 4x6 sheet if there are two images side-by-side. With this in mind, why not just make two prints for the price of one.

Moving Images From Your PC Back To Camera Roll - iPhone 3gs - I work at a photo center which provides HP kiosks to print images. Many customers come to the photo center with iPhones and connect them to the kiosk. Only images in Camera Roll appear. Other images found in other folders on their iPhone do not appear. This makes my customer very upset at the limitations of the iPhone. In this case they have two options: get a new smart phone not made by Apple or transfer the photos to Camera Roll. This dcoument will walk you through step by step to get your images back into Camera Roll. It has been tested and worked on my iPhone 3gs. However, please use at your own risk.

Focal Lengths and APS-C Sensors - This paper is on how to make a non-destructive modification to your DSLR lenses when used on non-full frame cameras. The particular system discussed is the Canon DSLR, but could be used on any system DSLR. Does not work on P-S type digital cameras.

I Followed the Music - One of my favorite lines in August Rush came to mind when I sat and listened to Ali and Tom. Just the sound of the music which filled the chapel that evening brought to mind the question asked by Robin Williams character, do you know what music is? The answer? "God's little reminder that there's something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars."

Afghanistan Images - Here you will find a collection of images I have taken. This is a small sampling of images that I think on their own tell a story. If you wish to download the image, just right click and save as. These are low resolution and if you want a high resolution, or even a desktop image, email me. All that I ask is I be given credit (remember these are all copyrighted) for the images and you cannot make any profit off of the image. Nor can you alter the image in anyway, shape, or form. Please do not add or take away from the image. Thanks.

He was just standing there! - So the image I captured this day, of a lone soldier looking over the land of his fore fathers, was a quick and lucky shot. I am reminded of the great Joe Rosenthal when he captured the second flag raising on Iwo Jima, and how it was a chance shot. I cant even compare my image to Mr. Rosenthals, but I can say this image of a lonely soldier was a once in a life time moment. After all, he was just standing there.

Review: Zeikos ZE:CBG50 Professional Powre Grip for Canon 20D/30D/40D/50D - A review on the Zeikos Power Grip.

Eastern Afghanistan, A tour - A short tour of Eastern Afghanistan. From Bagram Aif Field just north of Kabul to Combat Outpost Rocco. Named after Maj. Rocco Barnes who was tragically killed when his MRAT rolled off a cliff after the road gave out from under this poorly designed vehicle.

SL-1 - 50 Years Later - This article is about the Stationary Low-power Reactor Number 1, or SL-1. This reactor is the only nuclear reactor to go supercritical and kill two soldiers and a salior. My article release date will be 50 years to the day of the accident. Included will be images of the site when I was there in 2008. When reading this article please remember in your thoughts and prayers these three brave pioneers who died, the only deaths in the United States due to the results of a supercritical reaction at a working nuclear reactor.

Situation Normal - All BAF'd Up - This is a tongue-n-cheek humor article about Bagram Air Field. The event really happened and other facts are true, however, I took the liberty to try and poke fun at the absurdity that is BAF.

Civilian Cargo Plane Crashes at Bagram Airfield - On March 1st, 2010, an Airbus A300 Jet Cargo plane flown by ACT and carrying DHL cargo, crash landed at Bagram Airfield. There were no reported injuries.

Promotion of COL James Carpenter - COL James Carpenter, United States Army, Director of CJ6, Combined Joint Task Force 82 (CJTF 82) was promoted to his present rank on March 1, 2010. Presided by MG Curtis Scaparrotti and BG C. K. K. Chinn.

In a dark and quiet room... - "Before I left you there, in that dark and quiet room, I turned to you one more time. I placed my hand on your soft shoulder, giving you a gentle shake, to wake you, but you did not move. I leaned over and gently kissed your forehead." A short story about the lose of a child.

When Your Nikon Fails - Sover Wong To The Resuce - Sover Wong is a competent Nikon technician who understands and grasps the knowledge of Nikon F2 series cameras better than anyone I have ever met. He is thorough in his work and his communications about what he is doing along with photos keeps you, the owner, in the loop. Sover will not perform any work that does not need to be done and will contact you before proceeding.


Some other papers I've written on Satellite Communications.

First, a little about me and my background in Satellite Communications. I first started "chasing" satellites as a young Amateur Radio Operator. My call is KF6BL if you are interested. I was also a Communications Cheif in the United States Marine Corps. When I retired I went to work for Hughes Network Systems (HNS), then ViaSat, Inc. and finally Telecommunications Systems (TCS) and DRS Technologies. I have workded for some extremely brilliant engineers in HNS and ViaSat who taught me a great deal about Satellite Communicaitons. But brilliant engineers like to write for other brilliant engineers. I decided that I wanted to write for us common folks who what to truely understand what is going on in space. So, with that, I present to you these documents writen for the ease of reading. One can always dig deeper into the subject just by doing a little more research on the internet. Please enjoy, and many thanks.

SaudiSat 1C (SO-50): How to program the BaoFeng UV-5R() series radio for working SO-50 - When I received my radio, I was excited to be able to work the FM repeater satellites. My excitement was dashed when I found out that there is only one satellite left: SO-50. So I went about looking for detailed instructions on how to program the radio for SO-50. All I found was programming instructions on programming for repeaters. Although it is the same concept, I needed the details that were pertinent to SO-50. So, here are the results. Enjoy!

The .pdf file (click on title) contains more informaiton and screen shots. If you understand the menus on the Baofeng, just follow these steps.

How to program the Baofeng UV-5R() for SO-50 Operation

Set Freq A to 436.800
Set Freq B to 145.850

Menu 13 - Set TCTCSS to 67.0 Hz

Change to Freq A
Press A/B button until the arrow is on A

Menu 7 - Set TDR to ON

Menu 34 - Set TDR-AB to B

Menu 0 - Set SQL to 0 (open)


Work the bird

Note: There might be a bug in some of the firmware versions. Please see the PDF file for a workaround.

Uplink, Translation, Downlink – How it all works - Satellites are big repeaters in space. All they do if fall around the earth at a speed that will keep them in the same geographical location in their orbit. They were designed to receive signals from a point on the earth and send it back to another (or the same) point on earth. Or even satellite to satellite. They do not wonder the heavens freely however, they are controlled by stations location in the footprint they service.This paper discusses how the satellite receives and then transmits carriers. This document goes hand-in-hand with" Low Noise Blocks: Why So Many?".

Low Noise Blocks: Why So Many? - Recently I was asked why there are three Low Noise Blocks (LNB) in the box with the Block Up Converter. I explained that each LNB is numbered to represent each of the three International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regions. I received that 1000 yard stare telling me I had better explain. This paper is not too technical but does contain some simple math. It explains why different LNBs are used around the world when receiving satellite signals.

A Simplistic Approach to Trouble Shooting Satellie Systems - Many times technicians are sent out to perform maintenance on Satellite Systems without any knowledge of what is really wrong. There are many different ways to perform a simple task of finding and solving a problem. I will present what I feel are the most logical and proven methods of trouble shooting that I have learned during my career working with satellite equipment.

Solar - Satellite Interference - Twice a year due the inclination of the earth and its orbital position with the sun causes our local star to appear to cross the equator. For 2010, this happened on March 20th at 5:32 pm and September 23rd at 3:09 am (both time UTC). Twice a year the sun appears to move from one hemisphere and then back to the other. Twice a year during this crossing of the equator the sun travels along the portion of the sky where communication satellites are observed from one’s own latitude. And twice a year, the sun causes interference to one’s reception of those satellite signals.Key words: Solar Conjunction, Solar Outage, Sun Interference.

Solar - Satellite Stand-alone Calculator - [right click to download] Here is a link to a stand-alone calculator in HTML format. This calculator is programmed for Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. However, the HTML code is simple enough to modify for your area and your satellites. The code is an old excel spreadsheet that was modified for web use. It can be found all over the web, but I modified it so one does not need the web. It will work with Firefox or IE8. Have not tested it with any other browser. Note: it seems that on most PCs the results of the calculator is off by one hour if the time zone is set for xx:30. Ensure your PC time is set for either GMT or whole-hour time, i.e. xx:00.

The Truth about Internet Service in the Middle East - Internet Service in the United States, Europe, and most of the developed world has evolved to a well
defined operation. But in third world countries, it is still a mystery and the infrastructure does not exist to support many users. That is why satellite is still the primary means of accessing the internet in these areas, to include rural parts of the developed nations. What I hope to accomplish here is to educate the reader in the truth about satellite internet service in areas that do not have reliable infrastructure for internet, mainly in Afghanistan. However, this paper may apply anywhere in the Middle East as most satellites in this region will service these countries. A lot of soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines are heading here, or are already here in remote areas. They are my target audience of this paper.

Understanding Polarization - This is a technical paper I wrote to support newly trained Satellite Operators. It helps in understanding how signals are received from orbiting satellites. Not too technical but I think if you are someone who wanted to learn a little about Satellite Communications, this is a good start.

Understanding Standard Off-Set vs. Inverted Dishes - This is technical paper I wrote to support newly trained Satellite Operators. It is a paper that shows the difference between a standard off-set satellite dish and an inverted off-set Satellite dish. Technical in nature, but easy to understand. Complete with illustrations to help you understand. A good read even if you know nothing about satellite dishes.

Az-El Calculator - Here is an Excel spreadsheet Azimuth and Elevation Calculator complete with instructions. It will calculate azimuth, elvation, and polarization for standard off-set and inverted off-set antennas. It will also calculate for single satellite or mulitiple satellites. Pass it around if you would like, just give me credit. - Update: There was an error in the calculations. If you downloaded the package prior to 2/27/10, then you should discard and download this version. Thanks.


Kaboom! Bias That Amplifier - "A Pictorial Guide to Biasing Carvin (and other) Amplifiers" - This is a book I was writting but never finished the project and I plan on finishing it one day. This book is a book on how to bias guitar tube amplifiers. It was specific for Carvin Amplifiers. The information in the book however, can be generic to any tube amplifier that is fixed-biased. Some more good reading as are most of my technical articles.


iPhone Ringtones:

I used to have an Apple iPhone 3Gs. The ringtones that came with it were somewhat unsatisfying. So I developed some of my own. I did not get permission to use the tunes I selected so I may get in trouble. I do hope the original owners will not ask me to take them off, simply because they represent music from Korea and China.

Right click, then "save as"! Enjoy!

100a.m4r - From the TV show Dae Jang Guem - This is the music played whenever a feast or food preperation was underway. A wonderful tune. 199kB

chunhyang.m4r - This is first 30 seconds or so of the opening Pasnori from the movie Chunhyang. Also refered to as The Song of Chunhyang, or Chunhyangga. 237kB

korean.m4r - The ending music from the moive Chunhyang. Very traditional Korean music. I love this stuff and it makes me want to dance. 229kB

onara 1a.m4r - From the TV show Dae Jang Guem. This is the song one would always hear whenever young Jang Guem was on screen. Very happy tune. Sung in old Korean, or so they say. 216kB

korean msg.m4r - A short version of the traditional Korean music above. I use this for my SMS alert.

pansori msg.m4r - One phrase from the chunhyang ringtone. Translate to "Love, love, love, my love."

red lantern msg.m4r - From the wonderful Chinese film, Raise The Red Lantern. Just a small sample for SMS messages.



 All images and text 2009-2015 Brian B Donaldson. All rights reserved.