Thursday, September 29, 2022

coming up...

new mount / new view

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

It's been awhile...

Thought I would take the rover out for a spin to check the rough road and job site. I haven't been out there since I had it dozed last December. 79,85,53,0,B

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

One mile wifi range...

Mounted the wifi booster much higher and got a lot better range. I used a 32' long aluminum awning roller tube from an RV as the mast for the antenna. Those things are a dime a dozen because folks often don't bother repairing them after they've left their awning unfurled until the wind has come along and torn the whole thing up. The combination of an external antenna on the wyze cam v3 and my wifi booster mounted really high made a huge difference in the wifi range of the camera. 81,86,59,0,B

Monday, September 26, 2022

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Salvation of the righteous...

Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.  

Saturday, September 24, 2022

yet another Starlink launch...

They just keep going...and going.  Today marks 143 successful 
recoveries of an orbital class rocket by SpaceX 
and the 43rd launch of 2022 with 1353 satellites put in orbit this year.  

Friday, September 23, 2022

Thursday, September 22, 2022

external antenna test

Wired in a new external antenna for the Wyze Cam V3 and tripled the Wi-Fi range - from 250 meters to 685 meters. Finally lost signal when my greenhouse was blocking my wi-fi extender at the hut. I will do another test line of sight to see how much further I can get out of it. 87,90,65,0,B

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


New shifter mechanism went in like a charm and solved the problem.  This YouTube video was a big help.  Total repair time was 1 1/2 hours.  (One hour to get the broken part out and a half hour to put the new one in.)  90,95,66,0,B

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Added an external antenna to the Wyze Cam V3 that I use on the rover.  This should give it a little better Wi-Fi range.  Thanks to yet another YouTube turtorial... 90,96,66,0,B

Monday, September 19, 2022

The last adult...

This female (with 2 day old babies) is the last of the 7 javelinas that had been coming in over the years.  She just came in with them last night.  The last adult male has been gone now for about 3 weeks.  Javier disappeared about 6 months ago.  I don't hold out much hope for these new arrivals since this female had 2 previous litters and each time they only lived about a week.   91,95,68,0,B

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Know the Lord...

Jeremiah 31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  

Saturday, September 17, 2022

new camera antenna coming...

Just figured out a convoluted way to add the Wi-Fi camera view to the HUD (heads up display) in mission planner. Getting ready to upgrade the Wyze Cam V3 with an external antenna and a new long range radio system for telemetry and RC control - so I figured I would do a quick test to see what the current range is with the stock systems I have been using. I don't expect to get a whole lot more range out of the Wi-Fi camera, but an external antenna should certainly help. I will fully attend to that issue later when I can afford the parts for a good long range FPV system. (Note: Not sure why there was such a compass variance once the rover started heading east - just another mystery to solve.) 90,98,65,0,B

Friday, September 16, 2022

...and another...

Along with my bad shifter...also been noticing my truck sounding a bit more clunky on the bumpy road.  Figured as long as I was ordering parts, I should take a good look at my suspension.  Had my front end worked on just a couple of years ago and already the sway bar link bushings are gone.  89,97,62,0,B

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Another truck issue...

Having a shifter issue with my Toyota Tundra. It began a couple of months ago, when I started noticing that when I would shift out of park - the lever would hit the windshield wiper lever and turn in on. Then two days ago, it wasn't going into park very easily. Found some YouTube videos that said that these issues are definitely a sign that the shifting mechanism is broken. Removed the shrouds around the steering column and sure enough the part was broken in the two spots where it usually happens - especially with Toyota trucks. Found another video that went over how simple it is to replace the mechanism (about 1 hour) so I am going to give it a shot. Found the replacement part on Amazon and also ordered some T20 and T30 torx bits for the bolts that have to be removed. I can still drive the truck, but I am going to keep that to a minimum until I attempt the repair when the parts arrive next week. 91,95,62,0,B

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

there and back...

Attempted this mission over a month ago and failed. Tried it again with dual GPS units in blended mode and some offsets on the X and Y axis to give the rover more accurate "situational awareness". Made it there and back even though I had to wing it setting up the waypoints at the turnaround. Mission planner is using a Google Map image from 2017 so I wasn't sure if the rover would be able to get around that spot. Distance traveled was 2,700 meters. Mission in real time was 46 minutes. 84,93,68,0,B

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

10.3 kilometers...

Ran another battery duration mission but it looked pretty much like the 8K mission so I'm just showing a couple of passes. Since I had some power left when I ended the 8K mission, this time I ran the rover continuously until the low battery warning shut it down. Made it 10,321.27 meters (just over 10 kilometers!) on a new 2s lipo. Mission time was 3 hours and 24 minutes. Uploaded this video in HD 4K. 84,96,65,0,B

Monday, September 12, 2022

8 kilometers...

Running a test with a new 5200 mAh 2S Lipo. The battery I have been using for all the previous tests was a 2000 mAh NiMH. Set up an easy mission for the rover so I could let it run without worrying about traffic or a crash. 24 loops around the airfield with pauses at each corner - the distance of each loop was approximately 300 meters. Total distance was 8087.05 meters. Run time was 3 hours and 21 minutes. Still had a good bit of battery capacity left at the end of this test. 89,95,64,0,B

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Saturday, September 10, 2022

new lipo battery test...

...and wired in a kill switch.

Friday, September 9, 2022

coming next week...

New transmitter to work with the long-range telemetry radio.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Back in business...

Truck is good to go again.  
Will Alexa remind me to replace my battery again... in 4 years?

Wednesday, September 7, 2022


Road is good to go - but... 
I am a bit overdue for a supply run and decided to also do a couple loads of laundry since the coast was clear now.  Got all packed up and - my truck battery was D.E.A.D.  Tried putting a charge on it and still nothing.  Since I never remember when I last replaced a vehicle battery, I've made a habit of writing the install date on it with a Sharpie.  Seems this dead one was put into service on 8/19/17.  Oops.  Five years was really pushing it.  Placed an order for a new battery at AutoZone in Alpine and a friend just happens to be there today and will bring it to me either tonight or tomorrow.  Also getting some new top post battery terminals as the old ones are in pretty bad shape.  87,94,65,0,B

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Going long...

Just ordered today.  Long range transmitter for both telemetry and RC signal.  I also ordered a different RC transmitter to work with this system.  It's actually quite brilliant in that the unit that mounts on the RC transmitter connects with the ground station software on my laptop via Wi-Fi.  This will allow me to view mission progress in real time and control mission parameters via the ground station and manual control if needed via the RC transmitter - all from up to 40 kilometers away.  That extreme distance is advertised for airborne vehicles with direct line of sight so I expect the performance for my land-based rover will be considerably less.  That test will be an upcoming video.   83,89,65,0,C

Monday, September 5, 2022

The Hard Way

A little over 2" of rain this past week has taken its toll on a couple spots on Mailbox Road. Someone who just bought property out here learned about road conditions after a good rainstorm...the hard way. Got her unstuck yesterday. As of today, I can't get through - but upon closer inspection, it looks like I can reasonably fix the bad spots enough to get my truck through them. I am going to work on them by hand tomorrow. Hopefully the road crew will be out to thoroughly fix all the problem spots before I spent too much time slaving away with just a shovel... 85,88,61,0,B

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Reminds me of someone...

Proverbs 6:12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Danny Huynh

I have been thinking about how I might detail the rover - leaning toward post-apocalyptic/steampunk vs space-age/modern.  Saw this on a friend's Facebook feed this morning and I find this guy's work very interesting.  Problem with finding something like this that I really like is to not just copy it - but to be inspired by it and figure out how to incorporate some of the aesthetic in an innovative way.  
77,82,70, .03",B

Friday, September 2, 2022

Waiting game...

It never fails - don't really need to get out but can't get out so I want to get out.  When I will be able to get out again depends on how much more rain falls in the coming days.  I prefer to wait until someone else successfully tries the road, so I repositioned my driveway camera to keep an eye out for the first vehicle to pass by.  Looks OK here but I know from experience that it is probably pretty bad further on.  The Wyze Cam motion detection feature will catch and record the first brave soul to make an attempt.  "Not a drop fell today" but another good chance of a downpour tomorrow afternoon.  (UPDATE:  got more rain from 8PM to midnight!)  If there is no evidence of any other vehicle traffic by Sunday, I will send the drone out to take a peek.  78,90,79, .59",B

Thursday, September 1, 2022

State of the Water Supply

Total rain so far this year is 4.41" - and I have 17,400 gallons on tap as of today.  It has been a while since I was this close to topping off all 20,000 gallons of my storage tanks.  The last time I was full to capacity was 2016 when I got 12.26" of rain over those 12 months.  76,82,70, .23",B