Monthly Archives: August 2020

Over The Air Television Antennas

Mohu 60 Antenna

I am a cord cutter.  In fact, since returning to the US in 2015 I never once bought cable.

Having previously lived in Japan I used the Armed Forces Network (AFN) satellite and had Netflix and Hulu.

So when I came back I stuck an antenna (Mohu 60) in the attic and got internet in the house and called it good.  After much fumbling around pointing the antenna and purchasing a high gain preamplifier  I was able to get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS at my location.

When I go camping I watch Over The Air (OTA) television too. Usually internet connections are not that reliable at the campground and I don’t want to use all my hotspot data on Netflix or whatever.  I’m perfectly content to watch broadcast TV when I’m just sitting around between adventures or if it is raining or something.  Besides, I’m a MeTV mark.  I love watching all those old shows from my youth.

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Over The Air Television

Some time back I did the math and decided that full blown cable or satellite TV just wasn’t worth it. High speed internet, Hulu, Netflix, and Sling are still way cheaper per year than cable TV. Also if there is that one or two shows that you can’t live without in this day and age you can buy them on Amazon Prime or Apple TV and it is still cheaper than a year of cable TV.

Of course now that broadcast, over the air television is transmitted in digital you can improve your content simply by sticking an antenna up. I’ve run the gamut of indoor amplified antennas and suffice to say I’m in a poor region for broadcast TV. I can typically get 7 or so channels at my home, 6 of which are mostly worthless. So I opted to get a Mohu Sky 60 Antenna to stick in my attic.

Right away I got a slew of channels including the two major players I needed. Fox and CBS (FOOTBALL!)

Although they claim the Mohu Sky 60 is omni-directional it is very much a directional antenna. and unfortunately for me positioning it to get great reception on CBS screws up Fox. Still I’m convinced there is a magic location that will pull it all in with ease. I know it is there, because I’ve found it several times however when I mount the antenna the magic spot loses its magic. The Mohu Sky 60 also comes with a preamplifier WHICH IS WORTHLESS. The antenna performs better in every respect without it (in my application).

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Adventure Lights – Tactical Lights

Adventure Lights Guardian LED

Once upon a time I was introduced to Adventure Lights the hard way.  I had just come out of Iraq and I don’t think I even got home when they told me to fly to our HeadQuarters in Lakehurst New Jersey and pick up an assault pack of Adventure Lights that our Engineers were testing for use in Helicopter Landing Zones and VTOL Pads.  I was then to proceed to the Philippines with them. This was sometime in late 2006 or early 2007.

They weren’t authorized for fleet use at that time.  However, the 1st Marine Air Wing was tasked with a humanitarian mission in Bicol Province in the Philippines.  Three typhoons hit back to back to back which caused a mudslide which destroyed an entire village.  A field hospital was set up and a farmers field was utilized for helicopter landings.   Because it was supposed to be multinational the Marines requested the Adventure Lights (VIPIR model) to make a NATO “Y” marking for the landing zone.

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DJI Osmo Action Camera

DJI Osmo Action Camera

Just was in the big city and picked up a DJI Osmo Action camera at BestBuy.  Even though they have been released for a while there seems to be a lag time between ordering and receiving at least on most of the sites I’ve seen.  This may be because there was a large price drop recently which is probably an indicator that a newer camera is coming out soon or this camera is End Of Life.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS BEFORE REALLY USING THE CAMERA

  1. The camera must be activated online prior to use.  I find this very bizarre and somewhat annoying.  If you read forums or reviews for the DJI Osmo Action they are full of “I can’t activate my camera and therefore I can’t use it” posts.  A bit scary.  All I can say to those people is that they obviously can’t follow instructions.  I activated mine on the first go around.
  2. Firmware updates:  DJI seems to be actively fixing all the quirks via firmware updates and the most recent update is from June 2020.  Their competitor, GoPro, seldom releases firmware upgrades which is a frustration in that community.
  3. Having a front screen is awesome and seems to be the new standard for action/vlog cameras.
  4. The camera is WELL BUILT.  Feels more robust than my GoPro Hero Series.  And it seems to be a bit more compact.
  5. There is no external microphone jack.  To be fair there isn’t one on the GoPro Hero 8 Black either.  Adapters must be used on both cameras.
  6. Screen layout and navigation seems to be more intuitive.
  7. There is no GPS on the DJI Osmo Action.  That is a bummer.  The ability to overlay GPS tracks and have speedometers visible is cool, however in my opinion once you’ve done it  and then shown it to people everybody will say “that’s cool” and then it really isn’t that cool anymore.   It also ties you to software and apps and to be honest I just want GOOD QUALITY video and I’ll just dump it in software like iMovie.  I don’t even want an app to control the camera.

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Fixing Household Appliances – Revisited

One of my neighbors sat out a washing machine that looked pretty doggone viable for the Friday “Big Trash” city pickup.   I got a hold of him and asked what was wrong with it and if he minded if I took it.   Before I get into this story I did tell him that if it was a simple fix I’d give it back to him and after I fixed it I did indeed offer it back to him.  He declined, and stated he had already replaced it and of course he had set it out to dispose of.

I just don’t want anyone to think I would take advantage of a neighbor.

Anyway it was a General Electric WDSR2080D5WW.  The serial number indicates that it was made in September of 2005.

GE Washing Machine

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Akaso EK7000 Pro Action Camera Mini Review

Akaso EK7000 Pro

Let’s face it.  GoPro’s are expensive.  And your phone already has a pretty good video camera on it.  Somewhere in between those two items is a niche that an INEXPENSIVE action camera can fill.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to mount my phone on my bike or carry it when I run or  when I’m otherwise pounding around.

I have a GoPro Hero 8 Black which is a $300 camera (now) and it doesn’t have a removable lens cover on it.  The thought of it catching a rock while I’m riding my bike does not appeal to me.  And yes, while they have protective cases, the minute you stuff your camera in there you lose the ability to change the battery quickly.  I take nearly 2 hour bike rides and it requires a battery change.

The battery change has to be done carefully with sweaty hands, and then it hit me………WHY NOT A CAMERA CHANGE?  Or just ride with a cheaper camera.  So I stumbled across an Akaso EK7000 Pro which I got for just over $60.  Wow!  That’s a bargain.  It claims to shoot in 4K but the camera sensor actually isn’t capable of that.  They use interpolation to get 4K.  Translation:  It ain’t 4K.

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