Attempts at B&W

First attempt a photography and photo editing.  Not really a hobby for me, I just want to create a couple of large format prints from Catonsville for my house.

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Jeep Links / Diagrams

Links I want to keep handy:

For bypassing the ECU:

Starter Wiring (I apologize for not knowing the source!)

Round Headlight Conversion (yeah, yeah, I’m terrible)

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New Project 1987 Jeep Wrangler (YJ)

New project vehicle, body and frame are in great shape from the prior owner’s restoration. Looks like it was a fuel injected 4-cylinder swapped to a 1983 6-cylinder carb motor as best I can tell. It isn’t currently running (no spark), but I brought it assuming it would need a motor and hoping it doesn’t. Prior owner (body shop owner) says it was running before he took it off the road for a few years for the restoration, but I’m suspicious about that claim.

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Life Hack: Lost Credit Cards

This isn’t about financial management, just organization for when you lose your wallet. I carry a pretty minimal wallet; a little cash for tipping, 2 credit cards for personal and business expenses, driver’s licenses and medical insurance card.

Recently I lost my wallet, ugh! What now?

  • Locking and replacing the credit cards took all of 5 minutes on the bank web sites, new cards to arrive in 2 days
  • Print a new insurance card from the company’s web site
  • Driver’s licence could have been done online, but my picture was too old so I standing in line at Motor Vehicles

The biggest nuisance was one I realized could have been entirely avoided! Tracking down all of the recurring charges that drew from the lost credit cards and pointing them to a different one before charges started getting declined.

Finding the monthly charges wasn’t too terrible, just skim through the last month’s credit card statements, find the charges, log on to each vendor website and setup a new card. Cell phone, internet, car insurance, utilities and any other monthly subscriptions. The bigger head ache was trying to figure out those non-monthly charges. I think I got them all, we’ll see over the next year!

The solution? Get a credit card and dedicate it to those recurring charges…and then never carry it with you. If you can, set it up for automatic payment and put it away. Now if you happen to lose your wallet (again) it’s still a pain, but what I found to be the worst part is now a non-issue.

If I’m stating the obvious you can hate me in the comments, but I wanted to share what was a forehead slapping moment for me.

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Pool Closing Instructions

Pool Filter System
This is for my old Sylvan pool yours likely differs.

  1. Balance and 2x Shock Pool (and Algaecide if it isn’t in the shock)
  2. Lower water below skimmer and inlets
  3. Pressurize with compressor at pump (25psi).  1/4″ compressor fitting into pump drain opening.
  4. Close valve on suction side
  5. Clear pressure side (after pump side)
    1. Cap shallow end inlet (doesn’t really match which)
    2. Once one deep end  inlet blows only air uncap the shallow end and cap the deepend
    3. Once shallow end  inlet only blows air detach compressor and cap it.
    4. Now the pressure side is capped shut
    5. To clear the inlet it helps to cover the inlet with the cap for a few seconds to let pressure build and remove to blow out water.  Repeat until only air comes out.
  6. Clear deep end suction side
    1. Set the suction side valve to close the deep end
    2. Attach compressor
    3. Once skimmer blows air in deep end cap it
    4. When main drain bubbles turn valve to shallow end
    5. Deep end main drain is air locked
  7. Clear shallow end suction side (before pump)
    1. Once skimmer blows air cap it
    2. When main drain bubbles turn valve to shallow end and detach compressor at the same time
    3. Deep end main drain is air locked
    4. Close suction side valve and open filter side valve
  8. Cover pool
  9. Drain pump
    1. Remove compressor fitting and remaining drain plug
    2. Store plugs in pump basket
  10. Drain and clean filter
    1. Remove DE filter panels and clean
    2. Clean DE left in bottom
    3. Store regulator in a place it won’t freeze
    4. Leave relief vale open
  11. Drain heater (leave connections loose)
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FPV250 Racer

This is my son and my first build.  The end goal is an FPV Racer, but we’re getting there incrementally.  The video components will come later (Santa?).

Continue reading

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Multirotor Reference Links

Great intro to Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries:

Loads of great info on all aspects:


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Hubsan X4 H107L Quadcopter

My son and I had been looking at quadcopters for a while and decided it was time to pull the trigger.  The idea was to confirm our interest before spending too much cash and time building a more sophisticated one.

HubsanX107LWe opted for the Hubsan X4 with the HD video camera for recording flights.  It is a great little quad that can be flown indoors as well as performs very well outdoors.  The video from this little guy is surprisingly good.

This video is from one of the first flights so the piloting is pretty weak.

Don’t let the size fool you these little guys can really go.  In fact the one from the above video has since sailed away.  When a multirotor gets further away you can no longer tell it’s orientation from the LEDs and propeller colors.  When this happens you send it forward to see which way it heads to get orientation and then turn it toward you.  You repeat this process adjusting the heading to get it flying back.

In the case of my fly away I was trying to bring it back, but due to inexperienced piloting it kept getting further away.  Add to that as the copter gets higher the wind picks up pushing the light copter around making it even more difficult to get reoriented.  The X4 became smaller and smaller until it was gone.  The search and rescue mission was a failure so I had to tell my son I lost the copter before he even had a chance to fly it outside.  Amazon Prime 2-day shipping on a new one helped me save face.  Glad we started with a $65 multirotor and not a $400+ one!

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Using End/Home key for SUSE Linux with PuTTY

Using the default PuTTY session configuration the [Home] and [End] keys don’t work under SUSE.  Not sure why the keys work differently on SUSE linux with PuTTY then other distributions, but it does.  Anyway the solution is a simple setting.

The Terminal-type string needs to be changed from xterm to linux.  Be sure to save your session and you should be all set!


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WD My Book Live Duo – Readonly Public Share

The Western Digital MyBook Live Duo is a nice cheap NAS for home use.  Can be set to RAID1 for redundancy.  The first nuisance I ran into was for making public shares read-only to the world and write-able to specific users.  In my case I have a Music share that contains the family music library.  I want this to be readable to everyone on the network, but only writable by me to make sure the kids don’t mess up the library.  One option was to make it a private share and give all of the users read-only access, but then everyone needs an ID and password just to access the public read-only stuff.

The solution is some easy samba tweaks.

  • Create the public share, Eg. Movies
  • Turn on SSH access (instructions)
  • Connect with PuTTY (or other SSH client)
  • Edit /etc/samba/overall_share
  • At the top of the file add:
guest account = nobody
  • In the section for your share:
    • Change
writeable = no
    • Add
write list = {user name who can write to it}
  • At the command line add the samba “nobody” user
smbpasswd -an nobody
  • Reload samba
/etc/init.d/samba force-reload

So if you just go the share it will open read-only.  If you authenticate 1st, but going to a private share and then to the this one, you should have read/write access.  Also remember if do make any changes to that share in the Web UI then these changes to overall_share will be over written.

The samba setting where stolen from here.

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