Category Archives: Tech

OTA VHF and UHF TV Antennas Again

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here, that this is the first post since I’ve moved – not too far, still in the same city, just six miles down the road. But it does mean that I now have a chance to talk about TV antenna issues. At the old house, reception was not an issue, I had line of sight to the transmitters on Mount Wilson (in the Los Angeles area), and so a cheap tiny antenna on the chimney would get all of the signals. Now I live in an area where nearby hills obstruct the line of sight to Mount Wilson. Continue reading

Adding Middle Row USB Ports to 2018 Honda Odyssey

I’m really happy with my new 2018 Honda Odyssey EX, but one disappointment is that it didn’t come with the middle row power outlets which the higher models have. I was inspired by this post and decided to add some on my own.

The first part of the plan was to unbolt the center console. The idea wasn’t to remove it completely, but to be able to lift and/or otherwise maneuver it to get the wiring through. Continue reading

Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

New ElliptiGo!

In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!

Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading

Using a Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation

TLDR version, April 1, 2018:

I don’t use my Garmin Edge 810 for navigation very often, so when I do, it seems like I have to re-learn how to do so every time. TLDR version of the steps:

  • Download route as TCX file from Ride with GPS or Strava
  • Connect the Edge 810 to the computer, and copy the TCX file to the /Garmin/New Files/ folder on the device
  • And, most important, go to that route on the Edge 810 and manually turn off Virtual Partner

And now back to the old post….

Although my Garmin Edge 810 is marketed as a bicycle GPS and does a great job recording rides, out of the box it is not the easiest to use as a navigational tool with maps. I don’t need this functionality at home, but when traveling out of town with my bike, I’ve always wanted to find someone else’s ride online, upload it to my Garmin, and then have the Garmin tell me where I need to turn without using a printed route slip. I am traveling this week and was finally successful (or should I say, finally spent the time to figure out what needed to be done) in doing this! Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading

Shipping the Gear (and an iPhone test post)

Today is the day I shipped my bike and gear to the ride start. Why ship everything? Because during my initial planning, I didn’t think through the consequences of chaining this trip after another trip. No use paying double airline baggage fees…

That said, Amtrak Express is the best kept secret for shipping a bike. Of course, you have to use a destination train station which has this as a service. It’s only $49, but best of all, very little disassembly is required – just remove the pedals and the handlebars. Oh, and if you’re tall like me, then you have to lower the seat too, but that’s no big deal. But, best of all, the box is designed so that you roll the bike in from the side, then tape both ends shut! The box measures 70″ x 41″ x 8.5″ – plenty big for most bikes. Even my large touring bike with its superlong wheelbase and with fenders fit within the 70″ length. Continue reading

Wrightwood Cabin OTA TV Reception – Part 2 (VHF)

In my last installment, I talked about how I set up a UHF antenna at my cabin to pick up the Los Angeles area TV stations rebroadcast from the Victor Valley Translator in the high desert.

My cabin is only about 25 miles (as the crow flies) from the Los Angeles area broadcast antennas on the top of Mount Wilson. The bad news is that there are several peaks between there and my cabin. But according to the TV Fool report, Ihad a chance of getting the VHF stations (7, 9.11, and 13), while I would have little chance of picking up the UHF stations. That makes sense because VHF signals can propagate down hillsides, unlike higher frequency UHF signals. Also, trees do a good job of blocking UHF signals, but that’s not much of an issue for VHF signals.

Here’s a detailed map for one of the VHF stations broadcasting from Mount Wilson (top center on the map). My cabin in Wrightwood is indicated by the red pointer in the top right center. Continue reading