This took many months but since I have a job and an adult life this was a nights and weekends kind of project given the additional limitations of dealing with college kid sleep schedules and the general availability of everyone involved. This article outlines the equipment I used and the steps taken to achieve that goal.
Being an obsessive nerd, I spent weeks researching every aspect of the new project, from large screen HDTVs to receivers to speakers to the wire that connects it all. I was in my element, and since Lauren had agreed to a complete makeover for the room, I had all sorts of leeway with the design. (more…)
If you asked the homeowner about the stick, they would usually just reply with either, “Oh that? That’s just my old walking stick.”, or simply, “That’s my Shillelagh.” Both statements belie the simple truth, however, and that truth is that these sticks are first and foremost weapons. To be accurate, the original Shillelagh Sticks were shorter and more like clubs or cudgels, but when England outlawed them, the Irish lengthened them so that they could also be used as walking sticks, thus subverting the oppressive English law while allowing the weapons to be retained. Knowing this, I had to have one. Getting a real one, though, would prove a little more complicated than I’d anticipated. (more…)
One night while watching television, Lauren was lying on the long couch perpendicular to the TV while I sat on the love seat. Cozy sat on the floor near me and Daisy had mashed herself in the space between Lauren’s couch and the coffee table. The dogs loved to be in this space that seemed too small for them which we figured had something to do with their den instinct. Regardless of why they liked those spots, they were always there making it difficult for people to get off and on the couch. Lauren, eight months pregnant with Meghan, had an even tougher time when the dogs chose to lie there, which was all the damn time.
For reasons that escape me now, I decided to sit on the coffee table so I could get closer to Lauren. Maybe we were talking, or maybe I felt the need to give her some smooches. Whatever the reason, it was overshadowed by the events that were about to unfold. (more…)
Working at a local Internet Service Provider when local ISPs could still thrive, I was learning the ins and outs of Internet network devices, and in order to manage and maintain the ISPs network, I had a scorching 128k ISDN connection to my home. You have to remember that everyone else was still using modems, and they were slow. The modems at the time were mostly 28.8k models, with 56.6k being the absolute cutting edge. DSL and cable Internet feeds were still in their infancy so having a dedicated 128k connection to my house was a very big deal at the time. No one out-nerds me! (more…)
In a nutshell, the encoder assembly sometimes works its way loose on these radios and needs to be tightened. It’s a pretty simple thing to fix, so why pay Kenwood to fix it when you can do it yourself? After posting my experience on eHam and Reddit and getting a few emails from people asking how I fixed it, I decided to write this article in hopes that it might help others out.
First, let me set the stage. The first thing you need to know is that I am an idiot. Now, I’m not your typical idiot who is blessed with something as simple as a low IQ. No, I am a special type of idiot: one in which my measured intelligence is in the top two percent of those measured, but whose propensity towards doing stupid things nears infinity. (more…)
The Yellow Box of Power is a very yellow Pelican box (size 1550) loaded up with 36 amp-hours of 12-volt battery capacity that can be charged by way of normal 120V household power or through one or more solar panels. It is mostly self-contained, is completely portable, will charge laptops and phones, run a ham radio station, or just light up a room. It will even float! Actually, it won’t float for long since I cut a bunch of holes in the side, but it’s pretty darn water resistant. Read on to learn how I made it after a quick rant about the term solar generator. (more…)