Category Archives: Uncategorized

LED Strips For Lighting and Effects – What NOT To Get

I have a real cool LED strip that I installed a while back.  Details of that build are here.

My Living Room Arch LED Strip Installation

I just built a work/hobby room up and decided to put some effect lighting in there as well.  I did a little research and of all the LED lights that you can buy in Lowes, Target, Walmart, HomeDepot only the Monster Smart Illuminessence lights line at Walmart seemed to be available quickly and they seemed to possess the ability to be flashed by an Open Source Firmware called Tasmota.

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Ring DoorBell Pro Review – Piece of Fucking Shit

Yep.  My blog.  I can say whatever I want.  The Ring Doorbell platform is a piece of fucking shit.

I had a Ring Doorbell for a couple of years and it would intermittently die, would not connect to a live stream if I got a notification and would die for days only to come back to life mysteriously.

So brilliant guy I am I bought another one to replace it.  A Ring Doorbell Pro.   It is two wires and an app connection yet somehow it took me two hours to install and I’m a geek.

It’s a piece of fucking shit.  When it did finally install after I found an obscure reference in their forum that said to turn off cellular data on the phone while installing it was hit or miss on live view.

I got a hair emotional when I wrote this😃.  I’ve edited to add a fact or two but my review stands mostly as is.

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DIY GPS Puck for Uniden Homepatrol Scanners

Yes Uniden makes a GPS kit for their scanners.  It’s $80.  You can DIY one up for less than half the cost.  And it’s fun to make your own stuff and you’ll learn a thing or two as well.

Here’s what you need.

  • GPS Puck – I used a GlobalSat BR-355S4 $35 approx
  • USB cable – USB A to USB Mini Type B (4pin) $4.50.  You will not walk in a store and find one of these. They are just a little hard to find.  I used a Promaster #3696 cable.
  • Skillz – Mad Skillz

Promaster #3696

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Skewing Satellite Antenna for GOES (and others)

I live in Eastern NC and have a ground station to receive GOES-16 East.  No need to skew or tilt the disk.

However, I wanted to get GOES-17 West which requires some skew of the antenna to properly receive the signal.

 

 

First you need your stats.  Go to dishpointer.com and type in your address and the satellite you wish to track.

Awesome. Scroll to the bottom of the page that gets returned from the search and it will indicate Azimuth, Elevation, and required Skew.

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BEST Swiss Army Knife To CARRY

Oh boy, the age old question for people who carry a Swiss Army Knife………Which one is best?  However the question should be……..Which one is best for me for the conditions I’m going to encounter?

I have LOTS of Swiss Army Knives.  LOTS.  And I try very hard to carry and use them all so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my money.  But invariably you wonder if you could only have one, which one would it be?  I’m going to just get to the point and name the knife I’ve chosen.  Many may cringe.  Some will agree.

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Getting A Great Swiss Army Knife On The Cheap

Do you love Swiss Army Knives?  I love Swiss Army Knives.  I’ve been carrying multi-tools for years.  I’m kind of a fan of the Medium sized knives however they tend to run upwards of $30 or   so and some of them way more than that.  Even though they are worth every penny there is a way so essentially get a “new” knife for just less than $20, even cheaper if you can find an inexpensive source for “Scales”.

Scales are the plastic colored outer housing pieces on your Swiss Army Knife.  They are pretty easily changed as well.

I have kind of figured out that the going rate for an “old” Swiss Army Knife (91mm), unless it is something collectible is about $5.  Go to the antique store.  $5.  All manner of eBay auctions can be won for $5

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

Thanks to TV reporters pretending the storm was a lot worse than it was the entirety of the free world thinks that all of New Bern is destroyed and is now just like the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  I’m not trying to minimize the damage to New Bern as it was substantial but New Bern is a Semi-Large Small Town and everyone doesn’t own a home or business on the River.

Basically the Hurricane created HARD days all of Thursday and Friday with some wind and rain on Saturday but no so bad that you couldn’t perform your recovery actions.

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Hurricane Flo – Part Deux

As Barry Manilow said……….”Looks like we made it”.  The hurricane is over but the aftermath lingers on.   This is me at 2AM.  What a fella won’t do for coffee.  When times are hard having your favorite beverage helps tremendously.  I can’t stress enough what a morale booster it is.

Day 3 of no power begins.  I have a full generator tank and 10 gallons of gas left. I also have 1 inverter generator with about half a tank and THREE more waiting that says I can keep the fridge on a few more days.

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Hurricane Florence

Today is the day we find out if I’m as prepared as I think I am.   While it no longer seems to be a direct hit it does seem like we are JUST outside the hurricane force wind zone and will be in the Northeast Quadrant of the storm where the heavy rains are.  Some forecasts show 20-40 inches of rain in this area which will cause massive flooding.  I fully anticipate our neighborhood will get cut off.

I’m an RTL-SDR geek and in a pinch that means when the NOAA satellites fly by I can download the Automatic Picture Transmission signal (APT) directly from the satellite and receive real time telemetry.   That’s pretty cool I think.  Here’s one from Sep 12th in the late afternoon.

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