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Stellar garage organization

Posted July 3, 2016 By Landis V

This guy has the best garage organization I have ever seen.  Definitely will be taking some ideas from this page for tool and garage organization.


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Lawn Tractor Sprayer

Posted May 12, 2016 By Landis V

Power connectors – one for tractor, one or two for sprayer (if desired to still use the battery terminal connectors, get two).  http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Anderson-Power-Products/6331G1/ – or similar.  Or, this attached to battery and this extension cord (or similar/cheaper… eBay?) may be simpler, especially if the sprayer already has a quick connect on it, which it does appear to from the picture.

Sprayer –  http://www.orschelnfarmhome.com/OrschelnFarmHome/ctl16754/cp61429/si5182792/cl1/15-gallon-spot-sprayer

Pump appears to be this or similar, looks to be around a 4 amp draw.

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Trying to build a useful home calendar

Posted April 25, 2016 By Landis V

One of the things I’ve been planning/intending to do is build a home calendar that shows all of our events at a glance, and to run it on a tablet or something similar.  We use Google calendars for most of our events, and since the intent is to show us everything that is going on, we’ll need to be able to authorize and authenticate to multiple calendars, pull the events, and display them.

One of the threads that either got me started thinking about this or was one of the first things I ran across when I had the idea was this one on Reddit.  I have a couple of Pi’s, and had generally planned on using one of them (and may yet for a similar design on a TV with a little more functionality), but ended up picking up an RCA Cambio tablet at Wal Mart for around a Benjamin, so I didn’t really need to fiddle around with adding a screen, mounting, network connectivity, etc.

The above thread led me to what I believe will work for the dashboard interface – freeboard.io.  While I have a distant familiarity with JSON and XML, I don’t work with it enough to be particularly good at it, and I’m pretty much completely unfamiliar with the Google APIs and how to call them, so I wanted to note a few links that were helpful as I was working through the process.

Code that actually ended up working to pull the basic info from a public calendar (just grabs “id” now):


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Amana SofSound II Door Latch Replacement

Posted April 19, 2015 By Landis V

I’ve had such a great response to my West Bend slow cooker lid replacement post that when I found a bargain alternative part replacement for my Amana SofSound II dishwasher door latch, I thought I’d share this information as well.

We inherited this dishwasher when we purchased our house a few years ago.  The handle was always a little finicky and was probably broken from the onset, but our toddler seems to have finished it for good so we can no longer manipulate it in any way so that the relays in the handle will switch to allow current to the assembly.  I’m a DIY’er, so I turned to the Internet first using the machine model/manufacturer numbers, ADW350RAB and PADW350RAB0 respectively.  These turned up part numbers such as R0000430 and W10208084, which were pricey at around $100.  Further searching led to the Whirlpool AP4357962 and related, but these were still pretty pricey coming in north of $90 for a few pieces of plastic and a couple of relays.  Finally I ran across the Electrolux 5304442175 Latch Kit on Amazon for less than $27, and decided that was about the best I was going to do.  It worked fabulously!

I should advise that there are some subtle variations between the original part (in pictures below) and the replacement.  Probably the most notable of these is the tiny missing clip from the back of the latch body, shown in picture four.  I don’t think this will ever make much difference, and I’m relatively confident the two large screws (torx T25 if memory serves) will adequately hold it in place, and that the tab wouldn’t do much if they were to fail.

In the pictures below, you can see that the white “legs” on the left of the picture no longer contact the proper locations on the switches (small black rectangles near the spring).  The second picture shows the part number I used (154361203D) that got me closer to real results after removing the failed switch, and the last image shows the broken white plastic crossconnect that used to hold the switch legs parallel.

2015-03-24 20.50.43 2015-03-24 20.51.20 2015-03-24 20.52.03 2015-04-19 18.10.46

Please note, I explicitly disclaim any liability if you undertake such a replacement yourself.  This replacement takes place in immediate proximity to electrical current in an appliance that uses water, substitutes a factory part for one that does not appear to be specifically designed for the appliance, and has been performed and described by an individual who is decidedly not an expert in home appliance repair.  If you are not confident in your ability to safely perform such a replacement, please contact a competent appliance repair person.

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Pogo Mobiles, SiliconDust HDHomeRun, and cabling

Posted January 10, 2015 By Landis V

Last night I finally got around to doing a little bit with the Pogo Mobile units I had installed Debian on.  Not much so far, just got dnsmasq loaded on the unit that will become my DHCP and DNS server (replacing the same functionality on my router, so the next time I swap out a router I don’t have to worry about transferring internal DNS or DHCP reservations).

Haven’t done much of anything with the unit that I will be configuring as a CA, but did run across a couple of good reads on how to do a CA “right”.  The OCSP article fills in a piece I’d like to have if I’m going to go to the trouble of setting up my own CA “for real”.

I stopped at Charter yesterday and exchanged one of my digital cable tuners for a CableCard, so I am anxious to get my HDHomeRun set up and start playing with it.  I don’t like the way my CATV cable is organized, and it’s also older RG-59.  Having purchased some RG6, I’m now in the process of centralizing that system, pulling new cable to at least a couple of locations, and will probably use the opportunity to put an ethernet drop in my garage as well.

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A few open tabs

Posted April 3, 2014 By Landis V

Time to close some browser tabs that I’ve finished reading and either found interesting or might want to come back to in the future.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/brilliant-outdoor-ideas A few handy garden and outdoor enjoyment tricks for little money.

http://johnwilsonbach.com/2014/03/24/gubmint-cheese/ Just an interesting read, struck a chord.

http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.php Mr. Malty, starter process I used for my Wyeast 1388 for my BOMM mead (starter recipe came from the BOMM as well).

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/refractometer-correction-325828/ Thread on refractometer calculation adjustments after fermentation has begun.

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99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier

Posted October 18, 2013 By Landis V


Some good things to keep track of, though unfortunately I’ll probably never remember that they are on this list at a time when they would be useful.

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