Banshee sailboat rudder & tiller rigging

This is my new (to me) Banshee sailing dinghy. She is 13 feet overall, and cat rigged, which means she only has a single sail behind the main mast, with no head sail. This rudder and tiller doesn’t look exactly like that shown in photos online of other Banshee boats, so it may be a later retrofit.

This is how I rigged up the rudder and tiller. All of the attachment points were already there when I got the boat, but I added two bungee cords and an up-haul line. I have no idea if this is the “official” method, but it seems to work for me.

First, I wrapped a 24″ bungee around the tiller and secured it to this forward eye strap with a chain link and then attached it to these pre-existing eye straps on the inside of the transom. This gives an automatic “return to center” action for the rudder.

I used a 42″ yellow bungee cord wrapped in the middle around an existing bolt
in the front of the rudder to pull and keep the rudder down, while at the
same time, allowing it to rotate backwards if ran aground.

I attach the ends to this front eye strap when under way, or can move them
to this rear eye strap to make the rudder easier to lift.

I used a 1/8″ line tied to an existing hole in the back and of the rudder and routed around the tiller to a bottom mounted jam cleat to raise the rudder. It’s certainly possible that this jam cleat is really intended for a down-haul line, and not an up-haul line, as it’s on the bottom of the tiller.

So, that’s what I’ve done, it works for me, but feel free to leave a comment if I’ve completely messed things up.

Philips Norelco QT4085 beard trimmer disassembly and battery replacement

My trusty (yet old) beard trimmer has needed to be plugged in to use for a long while now, but the batteries finally degraded so much (I suspect they were a direct short) that even plugging it into its charger failed to make it work. So, I took it apart and replaced the batteries. (They needed it, I believe they were from 2001.)

This video distills what I learned (the hard way) about the proper order of operations for disassembling this model to get to the battery to replace it.

NES Classic 500 in one game console controller pinout

I had to repair the cable on one of those “500 in one classic game consoles” that look like a mini Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) but don’t actually say the “Nintendo” trademark on them anywhere.
An example can be found on Amazon here:
https://amzn.to/2JBgzSS

The order of the wires inside the controller on the PCB (NES01-JOYV1.1) is (from left to right): orange, yellow, blue, brown, white

The pinout for the wire colors at the end of the cable is as follows:

Orlando OTA Channels – 2018

A list of the digital over the air (OTA) channels I can pick up from the west side of Orlando.

  • 2_1 – WESH-DT (NBC)
    • 2_2 – Me TV
  • 18_1 – WKCF-DT (CW)
    • 18_2 – Justice
    • 18_3 – estrell
  • 35_1 – WOFL-DT (FOX)
    • 35_2 – Light
  • 24_1 – WUCF-DT (PBS)
    • 24_2 – Create
    • 24_3 – Kids
    • 24_4 – NHK
    • 24_5 – World
  • 45_1 – WTGL-DT (IND?)
  • 6_1 – WKMD-DT (CBS)
    • 6_2 – Cozi TV
    • 6_3 – Decades
  • 27_1 – WRDQ-DT (IND?)
    • 27_2 – Antenna
    • 27_4 – GRIT TV
  • 31_2 – WTMO-SD (Telemundo)
  • 68_1 – WEFS-HD (  far away station?)
    • 68_2 WEFS-CL
    • 68_3 WEFS-NS
    • 68_4 WEFS-FL
  • 15_1 – WDSC-HD (far away station?)
    • 15_2 – WDSC-ED
    • 15_3 – WDSC-WV
  • 9_1 – WFTV-HD ( ABC )
    • 9_2 – Laff
    • 9_3 – Escape
  • 55_1 – WACX-D1 (REL IND?)
    • 55_2 – D2
    • 55_3 – D3
    • 55_4 – D4
    • 55_5 – D5
    • 55_6 – D6
    • 55_7 – D7
    • 55_8 – D8
    • 55_9 – D9
    • 55_10 – D10
    • 55_11 – D11
  • 65_1 – WRBW-DT ( My TV)
    • 65_2 – Movies!
    • 65_3 – H&I
    • 65_4 – BUZZR
  • 52_1 – TBN HD
    • 52_2 – HILLSNG
    • 52_3 – COMBO
    • 52_4 – Enlace
    • 52_5 – Salsa

Degregation of EGO 7.5 AH lawnmower batteries over time

I purchased a 21″ Self Propelled EGO lawnmower in April of 2017, and although the mower’s manufacture date code was listed as Sep 2016, the 7.5 AH battery (Original Battery) that HD gave me (shipped separately and lost for a week) had a date code of Dec 2014.

I just (July 2018) purchased a second brand new 7.5 AH battery that has a manufactured date code of May 2018 so that I can mow twice as long, and be charging one battery while mowing with the other.

To monitor the performance and lifespan of these (relatively expensive) batteries, I have been periodically testing their capacity by draining them to the same level (when the red light on the mower comes on) and then measuring how many watt/hrs it takes to fully recharge them using a Kill-a-watt meter. In this way, I can compare the original battery (both last year and now) to my new battery.

Here is my data:
Original Battery Aug 2017:  380 watt/hr to recharge
Original Battery July 2018:  330 watt/hr to recharge
New Battery, July 2018: 410 watt/hr to recharge.

I didn’t start keeping track of how much power it took to recharge the original battery until August of 2017, so I don’t know if it was at the 410 level when I originally received it or not. It’s calendar age from the date of manufacture was 2+ years old when I received it in April of 2017, and I estimate it probably lost 7% of its capacity before I started the measurements.

Conclusions:
The original battery has lost approximately 13% of it’s capacity over the last year from the point I started keeping track.
(380-330= 50 / 380 = 0.1315 )

Right now, my brand new battery is 19-20% “better” than my original battery (which is 3+ years old and has been in active use for 15 months).
(410 – 330 = 80 / 410 = 0.1951)

Said another way, my original battery still has 80% of the capacity of a “new” battery after 15 months of use and several years of storage before I purchased it.  (330 / 410 = 0.8048 )

Just for fun, here are two graphs of the data points I have for my original battery over time. The first one shows how the degradation appears to be mostly linear (at least over the last year) but looks scary, because OpenOffice cheated and auto-scaled the vertical axis to only include the data points.

 

This second graph represents the total capacity “under the line” is a better visual representation of reality, as only 13% of the original capacity was lost over this time period (20% when compared to a brand new battery, so the other 7% was likely lost in the years of storage before I received the original battery).

 

 

 

UK Denford Micromill 2000 (February 2002 dispatch date) interior photos

Steve is working on a UK (240 volt) Denford Micromill 2000 (February 2002 dispatch date). When referring to my four part series( 1, 2, 3, 4) about how I got mine working under CNC control, he sent me some photos of the inside of his unit which I am posting here with his permission just in case they can help others working with one of these units.

 

 

Disassembly and reassembly of my workbench

When I built a workbench out of plywood and 2×4’s  I designed it to unscrew so that I could move it out of the rental and into our next home.  It took a few hours and a lot of unscrewing, but I was able to transport it to the new house in a single load.

 

Re-assembly was much faster than the initial build as most of the screw holes lined up perfectly, although I did swap the position of two of the plywood side sheathing pieces based upon where it was going to be put up against a wall. I also chopped off the upper shelf overhang on the left side, and chopped a few inches off the height of the top shelf to accommodate the lower ceilings.

 
You can watch the video of the re-assembly process here:

Updating XML Google Maps plugin for newer versions of PHP

If you are using the XML Google Maps wordpress plugin (version 1.14.1 by Patrick Matusz), it has not been updated for a while, and won’t work quite right with newer versions of PHP.

If you are getting the following error message twice at the top of every page in your wordpress blog:
Warning: mysql_get_server_info(): No such file or directory in … on line 10

Change line 10 from:

 

if ( version_compare(mysql_get_server_info(), ‘4.1.0’, ‘>=’) ) {
to:
if ( version_compare($mysqli->server_info, ‘4.1.0’, ‘>=’) ) {

And that will make things work without the error messages.

Time to upgrade to LED Lights

LED lights are much more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, slightly more efficient than compact florescent (with much less mercury!), and have recently really dropped in price.

I just purchased a six pack of 11 watt LED bulbs designed to replace 65 watt flood lights for $27. When lit, together they use 66 watts. (And light up the kitchen better!)

Compared to the 390 watts used by the incandescent bulbs they replaced, this is a savings of 324 watts.   If they are lit for three hours a day the savings is substantial; 972 watt hours, or almost one kWh!  If we pretend the average cost of electricity is 0.10 a kWh (it’s actually closer to 0.117 for me) this works out to paying for the light bulbs in energy savings in less than a year (270 days!).   As long as the bulbs last for at least 810 hours, they have paid for themselves. (The rated life on the package claims 25,000 hours)

If we conservatively pretend the bulbs will only last 10,000 hours (9 years at 3 hours a day), they will continue to save  324 watts x 9190 hours after they have paid for themselves. This works out to 2,977 kWh, or $297 worth of electricity.  Not a bad return on investment for $27 of sunk costs.

In summary, it’s time to replace any incandescent bulbs you have with LED’s. (You may as well wait for the CF bulbs to burn out before you replace them.)