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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Jackery Portable Power Station

I’ve stumbled across some tech that I can’t live without.  In a world of consumer goods with USB rechargeable batteries and in that same world when we are constantly on the go it’s tough to keep up with charging phones, and cameras, and tablets, and radios.

Also, I like to camp and my camper doesn’t have any USB charging outlets.  If you tent camp or do boondock camping then wouldn’t it be nice to have portable power to get you through a night or two?  A light to read by? Or power for your phone or GPS?  Do you work in the field and need to recharge batteries such a camera batteries.  I work on airport Visual Landing Aids which require precise glide slopes and I can’t tell you how many times that the surveyors have shown up and left because their batteries were dead and they had to go back and charge them.

If the power goes out at home your generator might not supply a clean sine wave which means your sensitive electronic devices could get damaged.  Clean power can be supplied from an Inverter, Inverter generator, or Inverter power station.

Or, how about this?  There isn’t an available USB port for charging because you have too much other stuff plugged in.  Perfect for a stop gap measure.

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1908 Saint Gaudens $20 Gold Piece and God

Hey, it’s my blog.  Everything doesn’t have to be technical if I don’t want it to be.   I was with my gf’s family over Christmas and somehow or another Roosevelt came up.  I snuck in my favorite Roosevelt story which dealt with the 1908 $20 Gold Saint Gaudens coins.

Roosevelt was deeply involved in the US Mint and felt that our US coinage should be more spectacular.  In 1905 he commissioned Augustus Saint Gaudens to design new gold coinage ($2, $5, $10, $20).

Roosevelt also felt like that the phrase “In God We Trust” was inappropriate as the coins could be used in criminal activities and he didn’t want them bearing the name of God on them.  So in 1908 the $20 coin was struck with no In God We Trust motto. While his heart was in the right place the public outcry was quite the opposite and sufficient pressure was placed to return the motto in late 1908.

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Camera Tethering For Better Photography

This is a subject that I have blogged about before.  Camera Tethering.   It allows you to have a Live Preview of your shot (depending on camera and software support) and gives you instant feedback of your shot.  Professionals use tethering for certain types of shooting.  If the pros use it then by golly us hobbyist should use it too.

What is it useful for?  I personally use it to photograph collectibles or for taking pictures of items  that I place for sale on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or Letgo.  How many times have you seen AWFUL photos in local classified ads?  It’s like a disease.

With the advent of great cameras on cell phones we have forgotten about our stand alone cameras and what a tremendous job they can do with professional results.  It doesn’t take much to get started:

  • A camera that supports tethering
  • A cable to run from camera to computer
  • Software for tethering

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Lonesome Lady

On July 28th 1945 a B-24 named Lonesome Lady took of from Yontan airfield in Okinawa to attack ships at anchor at Kure Harbor. The aircraft was shot and subsequently crashed in a small field just outside of Iwakuni Japan. The village the actual crash occurred in is called Ikachi. A local resident, Mr. Keiichi Muranaka raised funds to place a monument at the site of the crash. I find it unique that in a small field in Japan a monument to a crashed B-24 exists.

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The crew members all bailed out of the aircraft and with the exception of the pilot and the tail gunner were all captured and taken to Hiroshima where they died in the Atomic Bombing. The pilot was taken to Tokyo and questioned and the tail gunner was taken to Kure. In 1999 a monument was placed in Hiroshima for American POW’s killed during the Atomic Bombing.

The Lonesome Lady Monument is located just off Road 70 near Ikachi Japan.


Below is a Google Earth KMZ file which can be downloaded which will get you exactly to the site which is darn near impossible to find without assistance. You can download the waypoint into your GPS or simply print off turn by turn directions in Google Maps.

Lonesome Lady

So get off the base in Iwakuni and go out and find the Lonesome Lady Monument. It’s not something you’d expect to find in rural Japan.

Marathon Watch Stainless Steel WW194003SS

I’m a lover of the Military Field Watch style and probably more accurate to say that I’m a lover of the military watch in general.  Lots of watch companies will claim “Official Watch of the US Navy SEALS” or “Official Watch of the US Military” or whatever.

The simple fact of the matter is that military members can wear any watch they want as long as it is tasteful and there are probably only a handful of jobs these days where the military will issue you a watch.

The only watch company that is on the US Government Qualified Products Database that qualifies to a Military Specification (Mil-Spec) which is Mil-PRF-46374 is the Marathon Watch Company.  Every link on the picture below goes to Marathon Watch Co.

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Bye Bye Olight

One of my favorite companies was a Flashlight retailer called Olight. #olight #olightworld
As is everyone else they are doing a Black Friday sale. They suspended ordering for a few days in anticipation however allowed members of their loyalty program to purchase during this period.
So I’ve bought a metric ton of lights in the past few months and I figure I’m golden. I log in and I’m lowest tier with not many points. Then I learn it isn’t enough to order lights and get points from them you have to be logged in to do it.
The program was just started so its not like I was buying lights and not meeting the requirements of the program. They backdated all the points to April 2019. If I knew an account would get you points I’d have used it.

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MultiBand 6 – What is it?

Casio has a line of wristwatches that utilizes something called Multiband 6.  What that is is a radio receiver which allows the watch to receive a signal from WWVB in Fort Collins Colorado which keeps the watch synchronized with their atomic oscillators.  There are also transmitters in the UK, Germany, China, and Japan which provide the same service.  If you have a Multiband 6 watch and travel it should sync with the perfect time most anywhere.  The actual definition of Multiband 6 is that is the number of transmitters that the watch can receive from.  There are six such transmitters.

60 kHz Transmitters (click pics to enlarge)

The station WWVB is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which maintains the time and frequency standards and makes them available to the American public.   The signal is broadcast on a frequency of 60kHz with a 70kW signal.

NIST was on the chopping block about a year ago by our esteemed government who decided to shut it down.  Then at the last minute it got a reprieve.  While losing the ability to sync a Casio G-Shock may not be catastrophic there are many time sensitive computer and clock devices that even the US government and scientific fields NEED.  Shutting down would have been problematic.  This web page gives a list of manufacturers and what services they use WWVB for.  Much of it is academia and scientific research and GPS usage. Shut down NIST and GPS’s might act weird.

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Bertucci Watches

Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Casio, Timex, Citizen and on, and on, and on.  Some watch brands we know.  Some we have never heard of.   I recently became interested in Horology, which is the study of the measurement of time.

I AM NOT A WATCH SNOB.   I do own a nice Omega Speedmaster though.  For many, many years I stopped wearing a watch because our phones have taken over the duties of other devices and of course, the measurement of time being one of those duties.  Darn phones have taken over the role of stand alone cameras as well.  (I still like stand alone cameras as well).  Call me old school.

Anyway as I began studying Horology it became apparent that the modern wrist watch evolved from World Wars I and II.  My personal preference in watches revolve around those military style watches sometimes referred to as “Field Watches”.   While I don’t get out as much as I like, I love to camp and hike and I’m a gear junkie.  Knowing what time it is while hiking is VITAL. I not only want, but NEED a Field Watch.

So I began digging into military field watches and keep running into these Bertucci Watches.  Never heard of them before.  I hit the watch forums on the internet and while there isn’t much chatter about Bertucci most of what I read is positive.

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Military Field Watches

The modern wrist watch gained popularity in World War I and World War II.  Previous to the wars it was considered most un-manly to wear a wrist watch.  It took the rigors of combat to convince men that having both hands free while being shot at or while trying to fly an aircraft in combat was a worthwhile endeavor.

The GG-W-113 watch and subsequently the Mil-W-46374 watches found considerable favor with military personnel during WW2.  Essentially a quick glance at a very legible time piece was all you needed.   The watch also needed to withstand pressures, moisture, shock, vibration and not be reflective to give up your position.   (The picture below was snipped off the internet).

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