Sunday, November 25, 2018

That Time of the Year

It looks like it's that time of the year again. The weekend after Thanksgiving has "traditionally" been the time when the Christmas decorations go up. In this house, "traditionally" means that it's happened at least one time before. Last year, the tree never even made it to the storage shed after Christmas. It was still in the garage on its way to the shed. At least no one had to slog through the snow to drag it up to the house.

I finally ventured into the box store area after seeing an email from Lowe's that the Black Friday prices were still in place. Maybe sales were slower than expected. There were still more cars in the parking lot than normal. After discovering the cracks in our shop vac last week, it seemed like a new one was needed. They had a stainless steel, Shop-Vac brand for 60% off. That seemed like a decent deal. Of course, once you're there, you find other good deals. So I came back with a couple more things than I was looking for. A set of ball-end allen wrenches since my old set now lives in the Ural. And a light timer to plug the Prius into whenever we go out of town. Not to keep the engine warm but to keep the tiny 12 VDC battery charged. The motorcycle sized battery is used to run the computer and other things such as the door locks.

Earlier in the week, my son used his 3D printer to make a support (red arrow) for the 70cm radio daughterboard in my Raspberry Pi hotspot. It is mounted with two screws to the Pi using mounting holes that I'm not using with this case. The radio daughterboard is screwed into the plastic support (yellow arrow). Now it provides a really solid foundation for the antenna which screws onto the board on the SMA connector right next to the daughterboard mounting screw. The four 24 awg wires near the top of the picture go to the OLED display mounted to the top of the case. Before, the only support for the daughterboard was a small connector on the corner of the daughterboard at the same location as the OLED display wires. If you picked up the hotspot by the antenna, the daughterboard occasionally becomes partly unplugged. An easy way for things to fail due to fatigue. Thank you for making the part!

It was a chilly 6°F at 7:30am. The Ural started up on the first compression after sitting outside for five hours. And someone believes that the tree is done enough.


  1. Kyle and his manufacturing skills, quite handy to have around eh?

    1. Those 3D printers are pretty cool. It's amazing the things they can print these days...

  2. The tree is all the way up with lights, but no decorations. Bridget got sick. Bridget is still feeling miserable getting ready for a long plane ride. It will still be here Dec 7.