• Category Archives Life in the USA
  • Drone testing in the park

    We went drone testing in the park behind our house with Terry the other week.

    To know why I am excited about this picture (other than Terry is wearing his slippers) you need to know that this park is the sister location to Gary’s place. It is a black hole of signal. There is no wifi from my house down there and no cell phone coverage. So if we want to take an upload a video or photo of the drone session. Forget it….
    That is, till my buddy Dan showed up with a waterproof outdoor wifi access point.
    We stuck it on the roof of my patio and we now have pretty good wifi coverage from the park, so we can upload photos and videos with ease.

    My names thebaldgeek and I’m excited.

    (Thanks a ton Dan, for your gear, expertise, patience and visit).



  • Back but busy

    We are back from our 8 day church retreat. It was a good time away, Freddy and I managed to ballance it with social time, quiet time and together time. All in all, very profitable for the mind, body and spirit.

    We are still busy at work with the Inductive Automation Exam. Going to be at it for a few more weeks. The stress of getting it done is overflowing into home life, so we have not been, nor will we, be blogging much till we get it out of the way I suspect.
    I want to tinker with a few things, but lack the energy and mental focus till we are done with it.

    For personal reasons our year starts and ends at different times, so for the most part, we are looking into a new year from here.
    Goals for the coming year.
    I want to get two robots sorted this year, it’s been too long for them sitting in the garage. More will be said when we get to them.
    I have a double deck fridge in the lounge room that Freddy and I want to get running under Opto control, the idea is to see if the smaller (but dual temperature range) fridge can take the contents of the wine fridge in the garage, then we can sell that one and make some more storage space.
    Want to get the solar batteries and inverter moved from the back patio to the Drone Room and running the computer gear.
    Lastly, I want to get the doors sorted out on the Smart Car (aka, make them lighter).

    In among all this we hope to plan a road trip to Canada.

    So that’s the plans for this year. I’m sure, without a doubt, that there will be many things that will spoil these plans, hopes and dreams, but eh, gotta start somewhere.



  • New Solar Panel

    When Dan was here, I took him to my happy place… The electronics recycle store… He loved it and saw why I love it…..

    As we were walking in there was this solar panel at the front door. A one off.

    Ok, lousy photo….

    Anyway, we went there in the Smart Car, aint no way we were going to fit it in for the trip home, so it took me a few days to get a guy from work in his truck to come get it and then take it to my place.
    The fun part of the panel is that it is marked ‘CandianSolar.com’ And cause I was with Dan, the joke was, I had to buy it. (Dan is Canadian)
    If you remember a zillion blogs ago, I had some issues with some made in China solar panels; http://thebaldgeek.net/index.php/2015/09/03/solar-panel-efficiency/
    Bottom line, they only can give their rated output if they are in a fridge with the sun shining.
    The big 75 buck question is, would the Canadiansolar be the same?
    Dragged it up on the roof, hooked it into the system…..AAAAAANNNNNNDDDDDDD…..
    Nothing.
    Got volts, but no output.

    It sat there for a few days, busy doing other things and I did not want to find out that I had been a) ripped off or b) I had done something wrong in hooking it up.
    It finally got the better of me, I had to know.. So.. Drag out the big extension ladder, up I go with multi-meter. Turns out, I’m an idiot.
    I went to a lot of trouble to make sure I had a 24 volt battery and solar system.
    So that means all the solar panels I have are 30 to 32 volt panels, that way they can charge a 24 volt battery bank to full voltage.
    The voltage of the ‘new’ panel?
    Yeah, 24v DC.
    That’s why it showed volts, but no power, the other panels were doing all the work and my battery bank was not dead flat.
    I think its a case of ‘cheap-solar-panel-excities’.

    So, what else is in my hand in the photo?
    A topic for another blog another day…..



  • Busy.

    Once again, you can tell when I get busy, the blog goes quiet….
    I even have some general tech news items on the backburner I want to rant about and have not had time to yell about.

    Anyway, thought I would attempt to blog about what I have been doing, and rather than a massive messy mega blog, I will try and break them down a little and try and explain why they have been keeping me distracted.

    Overview.
    * Nothing to be alarmed about, but I finally went to the Dr’s and gave some blood to get a ‘panel’ done. (I had no idea what my cholesterol was for example why I did this)…. Mostly it was done because we had a really nice solid conversation about it while in a raft drifting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and I told the folks I would do it…. But it took an annoyingly large slice of time to get this done.
    * As mentioned in this blog, I went to see Amy.
    * Dan dropped by for a few days.
    * My network was out of control, but thanks to Dan (and Gary) its getting better – this has soaked up a LARGE part of my time, but there is an end in sight.
    * Cleaning up the lounge room. This is a work in progress, but we are getting there.
    * New solar panel. We bought a cheap panel and wanted to add it to the system. We had a glitch and it took me a moment to figure out what happen. (Spoiler, I am an idiot and did not think when I read the label).
    * Beyond busy at work doing an online training course and focusing on passing the exam for the course.
    * Tweaking my diet for mental and physical health – aka, trying to take the time to ‘fix’ me.

    So, let’s see if I can break a few of those high points out……