Sustainable SW Blogs

Outside my comfort zone...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/05/27 - 2:36pm


hmmm...what are these for?98,102,65,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

just a little smaller...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/05/26 - 4:47pm


One more test with the Wyze Cam V3 remote setup.  I found that the 20-watt panel I used in the last test had the 12 volt 5 amp hour battery fully charged within 2 hours as soon as the sun was up so I checked out how a 10 watt panel works today.  Fully charged in 4 hours (which sounds about right) so that works for me.  Going to install the new gear for my neighbor's camera tomorrow - and put away that extension cord.  99,102,57,0,B  

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

State of the water supply...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/05/25 - 4:55pm


Been a pretty lean year so far rain-wise.  Less than a half inch since the beginning of 2022.  Checked my tanks this morning and I have 7,900 gallons on tap.  Tank prices have really gone through the roof since then.  When I bought mine 14 years ago, a 3,000 gallon tank from this company was $975 including shipping.  87,91,56,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Farewell BBT

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/24 - 3:39pm


The cord is finally cut to my old landline.  After 4 months of back and forth with BBT, every cell phone provider, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, and the FCC - not a single person could explain to me why my landline number from Big Bend Telephone cannot be ported out while the FCC rules on the matter are quite clear.  My old phone number is officially history now.  BBT served me well over the years, but they just cannot compete with my new service providers.  I am quite happy with Starlink broadband internet and my smart phone with Mint Mobile.  Funny thing is...the blue conduit sticking out of the ground with a plug in it was installed with my phone line 14 years ago for a "future fiber optic upgrade".  BBT has finally gotten around to installing fiber in some areas (not mine), but the new service is still dismally slower and more expensive than Starlink.  88,93,60,0,B   

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

a little rain...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/23 - 4:40pm

Got a little rain this morning in a heavy (but very brief) storm.  For a while it was looking promising as the rate was over 1/2"/hr.  The only problem is the storm only lasted about 10 minutes.  Forecast by early afternoon today called for another storm around 5PM with up to an inch more rain so I put stuff away and prepped my creek tank gear for some pumping.  Nothing as of 6:30 PM and the forecast is now down to less than a tenth of an inch - if any.  Still a slight chance of something later tonight...fingers crossed.  78,86,66, .14",B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

word of the day...mammon

The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/22 - 3:32pm

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

watch this...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/05/21 - 2:02pm


Just got this pocket watch sent to me for repair (probable broken mainspring). I was contacted by an old high school buddy whose son inherited the watch. It was given to him this past Easter by his Great Uncle, who said it belonged to his Great Grandfather, a man named Henry Goode Claiborne. The Illinois Watch Company "Bunn Special" is a highly collectable railroad pocket watch. This one is a stem wind / lever set movement - which is set by opening the front crystal and bezel and pulling out the setting-lever. Once the lever is pulled out, the crown can be turned to set the time. The lever is then pushed back in and the crystal and bezel are closed over the dial again. This method of time setting on pocket watches was preferred by American and Canadian railroads, as lever setting watches make accidental time changes impossible. After 1908, lever setting was generally required for new watches entering service on American railroads. The serial number indicates that this watch was manufactured in 1902. 93,100,58,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

All carriers delivery day...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/05/20 - 3:19pm


Bi-fold closet door via Fed Ex / shelves, solar panel, battery, charge controller via UPS / pocket watch via USPS.  The door and shelves came from Home Depot for a small closet job I am doing locally and cost $120 including free shipping to my door.  I priced them at McCoys and not including my travel time and gas for the 130 mile round trip, they would have cost me $175.  The pocket watch is a repair job I am going to attempt (broken mainspring) for the son of an old high school buddy of mine.  90,96,63,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Smaller is better?

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/05/19 - 4:12pm

Another Wyze Cam V3 remote power test coming up - parts arriving tomorrow.  Going to install this system for the neighbor up the hill that I did work for.  Fairly confident now that I can get away with half the amp hour battery capacity and a slightly smaller solar panel to keep his Wyze Cam chugging along 24-7 without having to be plugged into a long extension cord.  98,104,58,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Dust Storm

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 3:29pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Broadening my horizons...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 2:41pm

Field Lab internet making a 1,100-kilometer round trip from space. and getting bumped out 500 meters from the router.98,104,73,0,G
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Monday moonlight...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 5:09pm
Two views of the lunar eclipse last night using 2 Wyze Cameras - one looking north and one looking south. Time lapse on each camera programmed to shoot 4 frames per minute over 8 hours. 97,103,67,0,B
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moral dilemma

The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/15 - 2:48pm


"God helps those who help themselves".  This passage is often represented as scripture - but in fact is not found anywhere in the Bible.  However, God will help those who take the first step of accepting Christ.  But asking for God's help is tricky business and how the help arrives is not always evident nor what may appear to be in a timely manner.

Recently a 66-year-old woman bought property right across the road from me.  I had notice someone "camping" on the 5 acre tract for 2 days so I contacted a local realtor to ask if someone had purchased the property.  I was told that "a very nice lady who used to live in Alpine bought it".  With that information, I went over to meet her and introduce myself.  There were numerous "red flags" popping up within minutes of talking to her.  She shared a lot of conflicting information about where she came from and told me she was planning on living there full time in a tent with no electricity.  I told her that was virtually impossible and at the very least she will need some kind of structure, some solar, and phone service in case of emergencies.  I also told her the vehicle she was driving was not at all appropriate for this area - a small black Hyundai sedan with highway tires and very low clearance.  It appeared to me that she has been living out of her car for some time.  She insisted she knew what she was doing and would be perfectly fine.

Over the course of a week, she spent the days just sitting in her black car with the doors open in 100+ degree daytime temperatures.  I don't think she even ran the engine to run the air conditioner (if it even worked).  She finally assembled a small tent on the third day but from what I could tell from that far away, I think she only used it to sleep in at night.  She didn't even have the ability to construct some shade over her vehicle with a dark grey tarp that she had.  A Brewster County Sheriff's Office deputy checked on her 3 times to try to convince her this was not a good idea.  He couldn't do anything else because she was on her own property.

So how can I help someone when they show absolutely no common sense for such a dire situation?   I'm talking none-zero-zilch.  I thought about this a lot.  Really the only thing I could have done for her was show her how to erect some shade over her car - but all she had was the dark grey tarp which would have been useless in providing any cooling.  Really - anything I could have done for this poor woman would have only enabled a hopeless situation.  That being said: after watching her spend her days just sitting in the black car with the doors open and wondering each morning if she was even still alive, I took her two gallons of chilled water late in the afternoon on her 5th day.  When I gave it to her, I bluntly said, "You have no business being out here.  You need to leave.  You are going to f*cking die out here because if you think it's hot now - just wait till it's over 110°!"   She just brushed it off and still insisted she was fine and asked me if I was going to town anytime soon.  I just walked away without answering her.  The next day she suffered through yet another day just sitting in her car (it got up to 103°).  

The following morning just as I was about to call Adult Protective Services, I saw her drive away.  APS investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who are elderly or have disabilities and who live in the community.  Any adult who has a disability or is age 65 or older that is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation may be eligible to receive services - such as short-term shelter, home repairs, food, transportation, managing money, medical care, home healthcare services, and mental health services.  (I'm not sure if this woman is just naive, incredibly stupid, or has some mental health issues.)  Two days later, she was still gone but her tent had completely collapsed and there was a huge thunderstorm heading this way.  I was just going let it be as it was but decided to send a message to the realtor she bought the property from.  Not knowing if this women was ever coming back for the stuff she left on the property, I told the realtor if she was in contact with the women to tell her that I am going to go collect her tent and her belongings and bring them back to my place for safe keeping in case the storm hits and that she can stop by and collect the items when she comes back.  

So the storm ended up petering out and we just got a sprinkle.  Early that evening, two deputies showed up at my place and the woman was back at her property.  She had gotten the message I sent to the realtor and asked the deputy to come get her stuff from me.  The deputies both agreed with my assessment of her situation but at this point there was still nothing they could do about it.  He also told me that the women said she wanted nothing more to do with me (not a thank you for saving her stuff from the storm).  It should be noted that had the storm hit, most likely neither the woman nor the deputies would have even been able to make it out my road that evening.

The deputies left and a little while later the woman drove off and didn't return until sometime later that night.  So now we are up to yesterday.  She spent the entire day just sitting in her black car yet again (got up to 102°) - without bothering to put her tent back up.  This morning she drove off after putting up a no trespassing sign next to her pile of a tent and whatever else she left there.  I have no idea what her plans are at this point.  Perhaps she got the message?   I guess I will try calling APS if she returns.  How her help arrives certainly may not be immediately evident to her, but hopefully it will be timely enough to save her life.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Thanks, Elon

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/05/14 - 4:36pm
(Skip ahead to the 13 minute mark for the launch.)SpaceX's 13th launch of Starlink satellites this year...bringing the total number of satellites so far for 2022 to 656.  Due to a geomagnetic storm that occurred on February 4 (a day after the 3rd launch of the year), 38 of the 49 satellites from that mission failed and ultimately burned up in the earth's atmosphere.  As of May 2022, the Starlink internet satellite constellation consists of over 2,200 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.  Today was a new record for SpaceX in that they successfully launched 2 Starlink missions within 24 hours.  Yesterday's launch happened from their west coast facility and was the 5th mission for that particular Falcon 9 booster.  Today's group of satellites rode into space from Florida on a brand-new Falcon 9 and marked the 111th successful recovery of a first stage booster by SpaceX.  Note: It takes about 6 weeks after launch for Starlink satellites to reach operational orbit.  93,102,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

remote power

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/05/13 - 4:54pm



Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

mango predator...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/05/12 - 5:26pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the long view

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/05/11 - 5:13pm


Test with the new gear to remotely power the Wyze Cam V3 was a success.  Now that I know it works for sure, I'm going to permanently install it out at the end of the driveway.  Next up, I am going to replace my wanky indoor wifi extender with a better model that is rated for outdoor use.  88,101,71,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

six days of a mango...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/10 - 4:36pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pigs in love...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/09 - 4:48pm


I would say the javelinas are getting a little too comfortable being around me...99,104,59,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/08 - 3:09pm

Psalms 111 & 112 is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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