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Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 09-13-2019 Surge Protected HVAC View Webcam for 09-13-2019 NO COMMENTS
After what I assume was an electrical storm shorted my blower motor in my HVAC, I decided it was time to add some surge protection for the most expensive electronic device in my house. The Intermatic AG3000 fit the bill for $50, and is a much cheaper option compared to replacing a blower motor. After my virtual electrician blessed my modifications, I flipped the breaker and basked in the confident surge protected glow of the AG3000. I'm hoping the AC compressor is more resilient to power spikes due to it's much simpler (and logic board-less) design and can survive without one, but only the next storm will truly tell.
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Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 09-10-2019 Solar Panel Glory View Webcam for 09-10-2019 NO COMMENTS
Bing Birdseye has finally caught up with my solar panel installation, eliminating my need to borrow Steve's drone for some updated photos. I can now gaze on their 3.14 kWh capacity glory whenever I feel like it without the need for ladders or drones.
No Comments Entered for 09-10-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 03-06-2019 Upgrade to 1440p Security DVR View Webcam for 03-06-2019 NO COMMENTS
With my trusty Samsung SDR-B74301N starting to show it's age with *only* 1080p video, I decided to jump on a deal for the Annke DT81DP. While not quite 4K, it uses the same analog video cables I already ran and has a significant resolution bump. It also uses the new H.265 HEVC video format that significantly reduces video size. The trade-off being the yuvj pixel format it uses is not yet widely supported, so I have to convert to yuv with ffmpeg before I can do anything with it. The 8 kHz, 64 kb/s audio is also apparently too low quality for Windows to recognize, so if anyone else has trouble playing downloaded the video I'm including the command to convert it below: ffmpeg -i %1 -c:v copy -c:a aac -ar 48000 -b:a 176k -ac 2 -pix_fmt yuv420p -f mp4 %2 Today was also the coldest day of the year so far, and the handy HDD temp monitor reported 28C. I'm curious to see what it will read in July
No Comments Entered for 03-06-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-24-2019 All Xboxes Wired View Webcam for 02-24-2019 NO COMMENTS
My last wireless Xbox has itched at me long enough to warrant a 6th network switch. With my exterior walls insulated and not easily accommodating a network wire, I was forced to use a plastic wire hiding tray which looks at least presentable and finally delivers reliable gigabit Ethernet. Having run out of devices that accept wired Ethernet, my latest topology map should last me for some time.
No Comments Entered for 02-24-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-20-2019 WRT32X DLNA Server Success View Webcam for 02-20-2019 NO COMMENTS
While my Linksys WRT32XB is amazing at network routing, it's lack of a media sharing server has been a sore spot. Today I discovered that will no longer be the case, as a whole new world of SSH configuration was made known to me. After following this article, I discovered I only needed three lines total to enable a DLNA server on my router:

ssh root@192.168.0.1
root@ATOMIC: opkg update
root@ATOMIC: opkg install minidlna

you'll need to configure where it should look for media with the following command:

root@ATOMIC: vim /tmp/minidlna.conf

A note that may hopefully help any fellow WRT32XB DLNA server hopefuls is to force a rescan after it's installed. You can do this by running "ps" and finding the process id that minidlna is running under, then type "kill ###" where ### is the process id. After that you can force the rescan with this:

root@ATOMIC: kill 12924
root@ATOMIC: /usr/bin/minidlna -R -f /tmp/minidlna.conf

It's important you include the -f so it knows the config file to use when it rescans. You can see from my minidlna log where it initially found 0 files, and when it actually found them on the forced rescan. If you see "finished (0 files)!" try the rescan line above.
No Comments Entered for 02-20-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 02-17-2019 Xbox Launch Team Collection View Webcam for 02-17-2019 NO COMMENTS
After spotting Xbox 360 Launch Team Xboxes on eBay for over $1k, then spotting Xbox One Launch Team Xboxes on eBay for under $300, I decided I could fool myself into believing I was making an investment and bought two. While one has a stained controller, and the other has some rough plastic wear, I'm encouraged by my neighbor who says he can polish the plastic smooth and hopefully bring it back to pristine. In reality it's purely fanboy motivated, but I also pretend I'm making a long term investment.
No Comments Entered for 02-17-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 01-11-2019 Wired Network Expansion View Webcam for 01-11-2019 NO COMMENTS
It was only a matter of time before I decided to torture myself with another trip to the attic, this time to give my projector network cable some company. My WRT32X sends sufficient signal to cover all wireless Xboxes, but two of them are next to interior walls and were begging for network drops. After an hour of cursing and leg cramps, I now have only one remaining Xbox that still relies on wireless signal (the one on an exterior wall). My new attic switch is hopefully the last thing I install in that cursed area of my house. Oh hey, it's time for an updated network topology.
No Comments Entered for 01-11-2019

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 11-14-2018 Xbox Update x4 View Webcam for 11-14-2018 NO COMMENTS
Today my Xbox(s) gain mouse/keyboard support, so I thought it was appropriate to catch them all updating together. Total update was less than 500MB, so whatever magic they have now wasn't very heavy.
No Comments Entered for 11-14-2018

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 11-07-2018 Upgrade to GLAS View Webcam for 11-07-2018 NO COMMENTS
Not satisfied with my NEST thermostats perfect operational record, I decided it was time to complicate my life with a less popular, less supported but much better looking smart thermostat. Enter the GLAS. I knew it was Windows 10 IOT based, but you couldn't really tell until it prompted me for my Microsoft login and then of course the Cortana integration also gave it away. It reported as "Windows Phone" to my router, so clearly the remains of that ecosystem have found a new home in this thermostat. My Microsoft fanboy satisfied, I quickly learned how limited it is compared to the NEST, save for the awesome touchscreen and air quality monitoring. Since I'm not a thermostat power user it suits my needs, but definitely a step down in terms of features from the NEST. Hopefully that's rectified by future software updates because it looks amazing.
No Comments Entered for 11-07-2018

Rating: 3 - Link to this Article 10-22-2018 Wired Network Goes Pure CAT6 View Webcam for 10-22-2018 NO COMMENTS
Tired of wireless connection drops with my solar controller, and still trying to figure out a solution for my security camera DVR when the power is out, I decided it was time to make a proper networking solution. I routed all the outside wires that run upstairs and to my office into the garage, and ran wires from the solar controller and security camera DVR. I then ran an extension cord from the security camera DVR UPS to power the new switch that all 4 cables now plug into. Now I'm 100% proper CAT6 cabled to all my wired devices, with no more powerline adapters. I was so excited I immediately drew a network topology.
No Comments Entered for 10-22-2018

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