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My 2 year anniversary with setiQuest

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sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733

I joined setiQuest two years ago today (April 20th 2010).  It has been a wild ride and I've met a number of wonderful people.  To celebrate my 2 year anniversary I'm going to look back at my setiQuest accomplishments, failures, and hope for the future.


  • I did quite a large amount of trailblazing analysis with the setiQuest data and I wrote a number of blog reports about it. I learned that I really like looking at RFI.
  • The 4 TB setiQuest data archive has been an incredibly valuable resource for my baudline development testing and debugging. The signals in the setiQuest data have been a motivational force for the creation of a number of new baudline features.
  • I was the first to have a SonATA GitHub code push accepted.
  • I created a huge chunk of the setiQuest wiki.
  • I setup the #setiquest IRC logbot.
  • I helped in the GSoC 2011 selection process and co-mentored two students.
  • I recovered a damaged AWS EBS drive of setiQuest data and started a backup plan that would prevent this sort of disaster from happening again.
  • I've been the custodian of the setiQuest data archive since September 2011.
  • I've participated in every weekly community IRC meeting.
  • I used baudline to extract and aid in the creation of ~200 test compamp files used for the SETI Live launch.


  • I had hoped to get the SETI Institute to use my baudline signal analysis software to help in their search. I'm really surprised that this effort wasn't successful. Was baudline not good enough, not useful, NIH, or something else? I'm not sure what or why.
  • I had also hoped my involvement with the setiQuest project would result in some beneficial networking connections that would help my small SigBlips DSP engineering business. I understood from the beginning that the SETI Institute didn't have any money but I had hoped that its influential donors and business partners would see what I was doing and be interested in what I could do for them. This never materialized.


  • "I like analyzing signals" and the data archive is what drew me to setiQuest. I was disappointed when the setiQuest data collection program was canceled. My covert plan is to single-handedly restart the data collection program and return setiQuest to its former glory.  The data must flow. 
Dave Robinson
Dave Robinson's picture
Joined: 2010-04-29
Posts: 196
Well done

I hadn't realized that we had both joined the quest within a few days of each other, I came in on the 29th. I only wish that I could point to as much positive input as you have been able to supply. I have often regretted that my machine wasn't able to run Baudline, and I have had to spend a large part of my time reinventing the facilities  that you have had on tap.

Regarding what you refer to as your failures - I think not, the failures have been on the part of the imagination of the Seti Institute in not recognizing what an asset they had in a Citizen Scientist such as yourself. Their definition of a Citizen Scientist appears to be someone who is happy staring at waterfall plots for hours on end, not someone who know what a Fourier Transform actually represents.

I would like to say, for my own part that your effort has not been in vain, I have enjoyed reading your contributions - long may they continue, however I do have my doubts at the longevity of the Quest, which appears to be dying on its feet.

Best wishes & regards

Dave Robinson

sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733
Thanks Dave, You could run

Thanks Dave,

You could run baudline with a Linux live-CD or via some VM software on Windows.

I understand what you are saying but I can only blame myself for my failures. My demonstrations and presentations were just not persuasive enough. I need to put on my thinking cap and try again. Like I mentioned in the new data collection thread, it is our job to convince the SETI Institute that such endeavors are beneficial and will help its mission.