Category Archives: Blog

Blog

SiliconeDust HDHomerun HDHR5-4US Connect Quatro 4 Channel Tuner Review

HDHomerun Quatro

For years I had a SiliconDust HDHomerun Connect Duo HDHR4-2US.  The HDHomerun devices are network TV Tuners that can turn any device on the network into a television.

In short you can install an antenna, hook it to the HDHomerun, then plug in the ethernet cord to your home router or switch.

Rather than run wires all through the house you can then watch on just about any smart TV device (Firestick, Kodi on Raspberry Pi, or Roku, but only on Apple TV with 3rd party media servers).  Or you can watch on your iPhone, Android, or Tablet.

In short, it is an amazing device that any cord cutter should have.  Yep you can install an antenna directly to your TV without a $100 box in the middle but then that TV is the only place you can see it.  A network tuner really expands your ability to connect. Not only that but I can VPN into my network and watch local TV from ANYWHERE.  It isn’t something I do a lot but every once in a while I might want to see the weather or local news.

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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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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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Fitness and Health and Tech

Once upon a time I weighed in at over 300 lbs.  How much over, I don’t know because your average scale doesn’t go over 300 lbs.  I went to the doctor and he told me I’d never make it to 40.  That may have been the one time in my life that someone said something and it actually made me take serious notice.  He wrote me a prescription for all kind of stuff.  I declined to fill the prescriptions and stated I knew what the problem was.  I was too damn fat.  So he tells me he wants to see me back in 45 days.

It’s at this point I decide to change things.  I was sent TAD to Pax River Maryland when I did my first treadmill exercise.  I didn’t even own any exercise equipment.  I ran the treadmill in boxers and black socks, no shoes. I must have been quite a sight.  I ran a mile and I wished it would have killed me.  By the end of the trip I was running my miles daily and kinda digging it.

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Lensatic Compass and Compass Skills

Cammenga 3H Tritium

Yeah, this is a Tech blog but sometimes you just gotta be old school.  Compasses are pretty old school and in fact the first compass known was about 206 BC!  And they were used for navigation first around 1040 AD.

I use a compass to align satellite dishes.  Radio is my hobby and I track satellites such as Inmarsat or NOAA GOES Weather Satellites for fun.

Every phone has a compass but I find them to be wildly off, at least on the iPhone.  However, if you dabble around on the internet other users will tell you they nail satellites with iPhone compasses all the time.   THIS HAS DEFINITELY NOT BEEN MY EXPERIENCE.  They either posses great skills or are lucky as heck.  Or maybe it is geographical.  I dunno.

But I do know a real compass works just fine and a real compass doesn’t need a battery charge or has a screen that’s hard to see in direct sunlight.

And here is the theme of this blog entry:  MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO USE A COMPASS AND THIS IS AS VALUABLE A SKILL AS SWIMMING, RIDING A BIKE, HUNTING, FISHING, ETC.  IF YOU CAN’T USE A COMPASS YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

Yeah, you’re laughing at me.  But you laughed at me before the Hurricanes, and you laughed at me before COVID 19.  This Country Boy™ can survive.

Let’s learn some more about the humble compass……….

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Best SHTF Gear Ever

Well it happened.  The Shit Hit The Fan.  How’d you make out?

Here is the best gear to help you through the next one.

Casio Rangeman

Best Wristwatch.  I have a LOT of watches.  This is NOT my favorite watch but it is my favorite SHTF watch.  Casio Rangeman GW9400-1.

This watch is a military favorite.  It has a solar battery that lasts forever and has Multi-Band 6 which syncs with Long Wave Radio stations to keep time with the Atomic Clock.

There are 6 locations worldwide, hence the name Multi-Band 6.

This watch is double tough, legible and can take a beating.

 

More gear:

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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – I Feel Fine

This last week or two has been one of the most bizarre in my 57 years however the chaos all seems confined to Social Media and Media in general.  People are still nice, commerce is still chugging along.  If we didn’t own TV’s and computers we’d never know much was up.

In an attempt to get the REAL story I’ve been creeping on the Police Scanner and the State medical communications.  It’s not been very interesting.  Boring in fact.  If there is a coverup, the people with the radios are covering up their coverup.

Anyway, like REM says, “I Feel Fine”.  Not just figuratively but literally as well.  I’m ready for the whole of humanity to let the crazy out.  I have ample food, a gun with bullets, clean water, communication devices, and alternative power. And most importantly it would seem……..toilet paper.

Bring it on!
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Testing Household Appliances To Save Money

Reddy Kilowatt

Remember this goofy guy?  Reddy Kilowatt. He was a fictional spokesman for the Electric companies and he made his first appearance in 1926.

There were Reddy Kilowatt Youth Clubs and they actively promoted against Socialism and Communism. Those of you who are younger and watch the news could think Socialism in the US is a new and exciting thing.  It isn’t.  They were calling for it in the 1920’s just like they are calling for it now.

His job essentially was to make you think the electric companies were the good guys, and don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways they were.

They brought power into our homes and businesses and that’s a tough act to follow.  Now though, the power company would like you to conserve power as much as possible which is an interesting concept because, hey, they sell power.

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Best Tech of 2019?

So here it is, New Years Eve…….I’m up at 1 AM and reading “Best Tech of The Year” articles.  Either one of two things has happened.  Either nothing tremendously wonderful happened in Tech this year or the imagination and writing skills of journalists are now nearly non-existent.

Every list shows the latest cell phones or drones, or gaming device or newest TV offering.  I’m sorry, but that just isn’t that inspiring to me.   I may be a dinosaur but newer is not always better.  Case in point.  Look up the home entertainment category and most lists have some SONOS player.  That’s a networked streaming audio system.

I’ve been using Logitechmediaserver so many years it isn’t funny.  It streams Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Pandora (I dropped my Pandora subscription) and many, many more services.

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