The (Preliminary and Premature) Green Bank SERENDIP Fundraiser - Help SETI@Home Build a New (non-Arecibo) Receiver!


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Message 1491559 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 0:31:28 UTC

You may remember our last fundraiser, the Green Bank Transport Project, to purchase hard drives for transporting data from the observatory (and which ended up fulfilling another drive requirement on the same day.) Well, just in case you’re wondering what happened with it and why I’m back with another fundraiser, yes, it was very successful and has been put to good use:


  • The Green Bank project has been in development for over a year using the first set of drives, with preliminary observations completed (and published)
  • Dr. Eric Korpela completed his galactic hydrogen survey using the second set of drives for data storage
  • Many of the drives were put to use in a storage array for SETI@Home, saving thousands of dollars annually in offsite storage costs
  • Some of the drives temporarily filled in when SETI@Home servers had several fail in a short time, preventing outages


All in all, an excellent result, but it was just the beginning of getting Green Bank off the ground. This component is the finale, so I am hoping this will be just as successful! We have been chartered by the SETI@Home team to raise funds and purchase...



10 x GTX780ti cards for SETI@Home’s new Green Bank SERENDIP Receiver (And what more appropriate of a fundraiser for the GPU Users group than buying GPUs, no?)

OK, we're going to need a little clarification as to what this is and how it's going to (tremendously) help us and the SETI@Home team achieve the goals of the project, so I've put together a little Q & A in the hopes that this will spur your generosity!

----------------------------------------------

Q: Are you matching funds again?
A: Yes! I am matching all donations up to half of the target amount.

Q: Will this give us plenty more work to do?
A: Yes! This will probably double our effective crunching workload. Thanks to the very welcome recent move to the colocation facility, SETI@Home can handle that now.

Q: What is SERENDIP?
A: SERENDIP is SETI@Home's inseparable sibling project. The SERENDIP receiver at Arecibo is also the SETI@Home receiver that collects all the data we crunch looking for signals. SERENDIP is a "shallow and wide" real-time search of millions of radio channels and SETI@Home is a "narrow and deep" slow and very thorough search of a selected subset of these frequencies.

Q: Why is it so important to get a new receiver at Green Bank?
A: Arecibo, the only source of all the SETI@Home work units for the near fifteen year duration of the project, as large and sensitive and wonderful as it is, has the unfortunate drawback of being only "semi-steerable." As it’s a fixed dish with a somewhat movable receiver mechanism, it can only cover about one third of the sky, and it can't see any of the earth-like planets that the Kepler mission found, which are our highest priority to search, because they are all in high northern latitudes. On the other hand, the Green Bank observatory, the world's largest completely steerable radio telescope, can cover about 90% of the sky... three times as much as Arecibo, and this includes all of the target Kepler systems. So we’ll have at least three times as many star systems to search for signals, and possibly many more than that, plus the targeted search of the best candidates we know!

Q: What does SERENDIP need with video cards?
A: As the GPU Users Group and a lot of other top crunchers are demonstrating daily, GPUs, the processors in video cards, now have far more processing power than computers’ CPUs, so they make a very cost-effective way of analyzing huge amounts of digital signal data in real-time. The SETI@Home team has decided to harness this power for the next SERENDIP by using GPUs. In order to make it worthwhile to build new receivers, we need top-of-the-line video cards to maximize the amount of searching that can be done. The current SERENDIP V searches 128 million channels over 200 MHz; using GPUs for SERENDIP VI should allow 350 million channels over 300 MHz.

Q: Who on the SETI@Home team is working on the new receivers?
A: Dan Werthimer and Jeff Cobb are working on them, set the specs., and indicated the hardware requirements.

Q: Why is the the "Preliminary and Premature" fundraiser?
A: Well, it seems the SETI@Home team are just as enamored of the latest and greatest tech as we are. Initially it had been settled that the receivers would use GTX 780ti cards, but then NVidia went and released the titles of some of the up-and-coming cards... names such as Titan Black and 790, so it was decided to hold off on buying the cards until these new models are released. Of course, regardless of what cards are finally decided on, the funds will still be required, and it doesn't look as though the cost is going to go anywhere but up! Currently as of this writing, we still need about $4,500 (half from you, half from me) which is a little too much for one fundraising weekend. I've been hoping to get that down to under four thousand, but the donations seem to have dried up without a little publicity, thus it’s time to get this thread going and keep it relevant! (Plus I’ve never been one to wait around when there’s fundraising to do!) Once the team decides, then we’ll have an “official” fundraiser weekend with more pinned threads and an announcement on the main page.

Q: Will Arecibo get a new SERENDIP receiver too?
A: Yes. For consistency and ease of development and testing, both receivers have to be exactly the same, so twin receivers are being built for both Green Bank and Arecibo. Of course, the Green Bank one is completely new, whereas Arecibo's will be an upgrade.

Q: When will the Green Bank project start?
A: The team is looking at getting the completed receiver in place and data collection going within a few months (early summer 2014.) It's definitely a matter of "when" and not "if" as all the arrangements have been made with the facility.

Q: I don't have much cash to spare... can I still help?
A: Certainly! The SETI@Home GiveToCal donation portal has a $10 minimum, but GPUUG's minimum is $0.01... yes, one cent. I'm hoping not to get swamped with penny donations of course; please try to keep the minimum to a dollar!

Q: Will I get a green star if I donate through GPUUG?
A: Yes! As long as you donate $10 or more, you should get your star. There will be a delay as the payment transfers from GPUUG to SETI@Home happen at the beginning of each month, so your star should appear in the first week of the following month of your donation. Please let me know if it hasn’t appeared by then.

Q: Can I donate with PayPal?
A: Yes! The GPUUG donation portal accepts PayPal (which is one of the reasons we've been chartered with fundraising by the SETI@Home team, as UC Berkeley's GiveToCal portal does not and never has.)


So, to summarize, here’s what a donation of a few dollars will provide to SETI@Home and you:


  • Three times the sky coverage, and much more than three times the number of star systems to search, compared to Arecibo
  • A targeted search for ETI signals of the most Earth-like planets ever found, courtesy of NASA’s wildly successful Kepler mission
  • Double the work units to do, thus double the signals to search for possible ETI
  • A source of work independent from Arecibo should an unexpected problem (such as the recent earthquake) take it offline


And finally, after much blathering from Mr. Kevvy, we get to the good part…

Q: How do I donate to this fantastic and exciting new project?

A: For U.S. residents, or residents of any other country that doesn’t qualify for U.S. tax exemptions, please donate through GPUUG. If you are a U.S. resident or qualify for U.S. tax exemptions, GPUUG is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit as is UC Berkeley, so your donation is completely tax-deductible.

For Canadians, or residents of any other country that does qualify for tax exemptions for donations to U.S. universities (like me) if you would like your donation to be tax-deductible, please donate through UC Berkeley’s GiveToCal. In the field “Special instructions or designations for this gift:” at the bottom of the form, please enter “GPUUG” in order that your donation be earmarked for this project. Please note as indicated above that PayPal is not accepted there; donate through GPUUG if you wish to use PayPal.

Once your donation is completed, please post the confirmation response here including the confirmation number, so that the donation can be matched and the totals updated (and so you can get a thank-you for your generosity too, of course!)

And of course, ask me in this thread anytime if you have any questions about this campaign.
____________
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Message 1491591 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 1:16:59 UTC
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 2:03:03 UTC

Oh, it helps to know how much is required, doesn't it? :^) It's posted on gpuug.org, but just in case that's overlooked, currently $2,110 raised of $6,600 required, so $4,490 to go. That's $2,245 from you and $2,245 from me to match it.
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Message 1491760 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 8:46:12 UTC

Your order is complete! Your order number is 1330.

$490 so it should be down to $4000 left now, except gpuug.org isn't updating the amount
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Message 1491798 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 11:20:18 UTC - in response to Message 1491760.
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 11:20:34 UTC

Your order is complete! Your order number is 1330.
$490 so it should be down to $4000 left now, except gpuug.org isn't updating the amount


For the second time in as many campaigns you've utterly astounded me with your generosity. Thank you! :^)

Regarding the totals: for some reason it was decided to rename the GPUUG fundraiser entry with a "SETI@Home - " prefix which has caused the totals to go wonky when a donation is made; notice that a second entry with only $490 of $6600 appeared below. I've written to the site admin. and he'll merge the two as has been done the other times. I'm watching the totals and logging all donations so all's well.

And I can't let a contribution so large go unanswered, so;

Thank you for your gift of $490.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $490.00

Your confirmation number is: 130685


There's my bit with the GPUUG special designation, leaving $3,510 left to raise in total, $1,755 from everyone else and the same amount from me.
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Message 1491824 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 13:24:09 UTC

Here's mine:
Your order is complete! Your order number is 1331.

That was for $50.
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Message 1491850 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 14:47:42 UTC - in response to Message 1491824.
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 15:01:20 UTC

Here's mine:
Your order is complete! Your order number is 1331.

That was for $50.



Excellent and thank you!

Well, we won't be needing a fundraising weekend anymore. Fellow GPUUG member, Robert M. Deller, just remembered he hadn't made his annual donation to SETI@Home, so he did so and swung it our way. It's for $1,000 and was placed through GiveToCal, confirmation number: 130686. This was sent to me in a PM. Just astounding! Oh and @MarkJ, he's a fellow Canadian, so it's a tax writeoff... I'm quite moved that you donate as much as you do without any deductions!

So here's my matching donation for Robert and Fred:

Thank you for your gift of $1,050.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $1,050.00

Your confirmation number is: 130689


We're now only $1,460 from completion! That's only $730 in donations left which I will match to reach our goal (and let's hope those goalposts don't move too much!)
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Message 1491856 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 15:17:30 UTC

Ok here is mine:

Dear -= Vyper =-,

Thank you for your gift of $234.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $234.00

Your confirmation number is: 130690

I targeted the donation to the GPUUG Campaign!

Kind regards Vyper
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Message 1491860 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 15:26:02 UTC
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 15:26:21 UTC

Could be a little out topic, but may i sugest give Mr. Kevvy the right to choose the server name of the: SETI@Home Build a New (non-Arecibo) Receiver?

As as a symbolic prize for his nice work in raising the funds.
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Message 1491947 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 17:27:28 UTC - in response to Message 1491856.
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 17:34:04 UTC

Ok here is mine:
Dear -= Vyper =-,
Thank you for your gift of $234.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:
SETI@home - $234.00
Your confirmation number is: 130690
I targeted the donation to the GPUUG Campaign!


Salut and thank you, founder of GPUUG. I never would have done anything like this without this team that you started. :^)

And here is mine in return...

Thank you for your gift of $234.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $234.00

Your confirmation number is: 130694


Could be a little out topic, but may i sugest give Mr. Kevvy the right to choose the server name of the: SETI@Home Build a New (non-Arecibo) Receiver?
As as a symbolic prize for his nice work in raising the funds.


Lol... I am still awaiting the same thing promised from the last fundraiser, so not holding my breath.


OK we are under a thousand left...$992 remaining, so only $496 in contributions left to make!
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Message 1491991 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 18:00:21 UTC - in response to Message 1491947.
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 18:20:23 UTC



OK we are under a thousand left...$992 remaining, so only $496 in contributions left to make!



Oh, I really didn't need to eat this month, anyway.

"You sent a payment of $248.00 USD to GPU Users Group, Inc."

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Message 1492055 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 18:36:30 UTC



In the field “Special instructions or designations for this gift:” at the bottom of the form, please enter “GPUUG”

>> Done ! :)
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Message 1492084 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 18:56:18 UTC

Here's mine, (I'm almost skint so have been putting it off):

Dear Claggy,

Thank you for your gift of $25.00 via Mastercard on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $25.00

Your confirmation number is: 130696

Claggy

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Message 1492100 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 19:10:51 UTC - in response to Message 1491991.
Last modified: 20 Mar 2014, 19:15:02 UTC

Oh, I really didn't need to eat this month, anyway.
"You sent a payment of $248.00 USD to GPU Users Group, Inc."


From the Beverages thread we have going I was starting to suspect that GPUUG didn't think food was important. ;^)
And thank you! Now that is a little better than the ten bucks I was expecting.


@{BDC} Thomas Dupont: Very nice and thank you... another team founder donated. :^)

Here's mine, (I'm almost skint so have been putting it off):


Nah, your timing couldn't have been better. Happy you put it off for this and thank you!

Here's mine to match your three:

Thank you for your gift of $293.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $293.00

Your confirmation number is: 130698



We are down to $406 remaining or $203 from you with my matching... one nice donation could end this!

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Message 1492125 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 19:35:29 UTC

Thank you for your gift of $203.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $203.00

Your confirmation number is: 130700

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Message 1492155 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 19:55:26 UTC - in response to Message 1492125.

Thank you for your gift of $203.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $203.00

Your confirmation number is: 130700


YEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Thank you John!

Ahem... I think I earned an over-the-top there. :^) That was about the most amazing thread less than one day old I've ever seen.


Thank you for your gift of $203.00 via Visa on 03/20/2014.
Your gift will benefit the following area:

SETI@home - $203.00

Your confirmation number is: 130701


And we're done here. I'll ask that the moderators keep it open in case there are any questions or feedback; if it's still open in a few hours I'll request it be closed. I need to archive it as well!
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Message 1492156 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 19:56:14 UTC - in response to Message 1491947.



Salut and thank you, founder of GPUUG. I never would have done anything like this without this team that you started. :^)

And here is mine in return...


Aah hush. I devoted hard work getting devoted people like you!
Thank you for beeing so generous so we can extend our hobby more years to come :)

//Vyper
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Message 1492225 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 21:24:43 UTC

That was fast!!!

Congrats Mr. Keevy and thanks to all who contribute.

Hope this large number of 780Ti´s could help us to finaly hear the ET call!
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Message 1492289 - Posted: 20 Mar 2014, 22:38:11 UTC - in response to Message 1492225.

That was fast!!!


Indeed! Open less than a day and the goal reached... still hasn't sunk in yet.
Now what do I do? :^)

So I'll ask a moderator to unpin and close it now.

Note to moderators in future: The SETI@Home team may change the hardware required, so more funds may be needed and I'll ask that it be unlocked and pinned again.
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--- Margaret Mead

Message boards : Number crunching : The (Preliminary and Premature) Green Bank SERENDIP Fundraiser - Help SETI@Home Build a New (non-Arecibo) Receiver!

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