Stop Crimping RJ-45s

IMG_20141212_183254355I am on a quest to convince people, especially controls and automation people, to stop crimping RJ-45 ends on Ethernet cables. Everyone else in the world terminates Ethernet to a punchdown block jack and then uses a pre-tested, pre-molded patch cable to connect to the device. The reason to avoid crimping on the RJ-45’s is that it is difficult to reliably crimp the ends on correctly, especially if you have to use an electrician who would rather be bending 3″ rigid conduit and is trying to use the Mickey Mouse crimp tool he bought at the dollar store.

It’s easy if you already have a 19″ rack, but what do you do inside a panel? Several options: Continue reading

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The Two Wolves Inside Me

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy,
peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

two-wolvesThe grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

(credit to firstpeople.us)

Here is the same story, but it is called “Grandfather Tells”
which is also known as “The Wolves Within”

Continue reading

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Review of the YHS-302A Process Calibrator Meter With Multimeter

IMG_20141204_220320471For about 1/4 the cost of a Fluke, I decided to take a risk and buy a Chinese process meter.  This company makes a clone of the 787, but I opted for the YHS-302A model (which now seems to be the YHS 7011) because it seemed to have more bells and whistles.

Things I like:

  • price
  • came with alligator clips, probes, battery charger, and temperature sensor
  • ability to supply 24VDC from top connector
  • durable and solid feel
  • ability to measure frequency, capacitance, temperature, and diodes all from one meter
  • ability to source a current/voltage/frequency while measuring anything else simultaneously
  • came with a big carry case with room for extra leads and adapters

Continue reading

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The State, Defined by Murray Rothbard

Screenshot from 2014-12-01 19:44:51I came across this gem from Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion:

Now what is the state, anyway? Forget all the romanticizing nonsense about social contract theories , the consent of the people, whatever . What is this institution? Here’s Murray Rothbard:

The State is a group of people who have managed to acquire a virtual monopoly of the use of violence throughout a given territorial area. In particular, it has acquired a monopoly of aggressive violence, for States generally recognize the right of individuals to use violence (though not against States, of course ) in self -defense. The State then uses this monopoly to wield power over the inhabitants of the area and to enjoy the material fruits of that power. The State, then, is the only organization in society that regularly and openly obtains its monetary revenues by the use of aggressive violence; all other individuals and organizations (except if delegated that right by the State) can obtain wealth only by peaceful production and by voluntary exchange of their respective products. This use of violence to obtain its revenue (called “taxation”) is the keystone of State power. Upon this base the State erects a further structure of power over the individuals in its territory, regulating them, penalizing critics, subsidizing favorites, etc. The State also takes care to arrogate to itself the compulsory monopoly of various critical services needed by society, thus keeping the people in dependence upon the State for key services, keeping control of the vital command posts in society and also fostering among the public the myth that only the State can supply these goods and services. Thus the State is careful to monopolize police and judicial service, the ownership of roads and streets, the supply of money, and the postal service, and effectively to monopolize or control education, public utilities, transportation, and radio and television.

That single paragraph does more than a lifetime of social studies classes to clarify the true nature of the state and its activities. There’s your great vehicle for progress, stripped to its essentials.

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Family Pictures – 2014

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Data Type Comparison Chart

When I switch between different systems, I get confused about what size a certain data type represents , so I made this chart:

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Add Virtual Network Interface to Ethernet Card

Want your single physical network adapter to have multiple addresses?  In Linux, it is very easy to add new addresses to your existing card, just use the ifconfig command:

$ sudo ifconfig eth1:0 192.168.100.252

(eth1 is the physical adapter, 0 is the first virtual adaptor)

Idea from http://linuxconfig.org/configuring-virtual-network-interfaces-in-linux

 

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Wire Theft Detection System

Here is a pretty neat little project I just finished up that will detect if wire is stolen, and then send out email and text messages alerting a team of people of the event.  It is in a remote area, so we used a cellular-based data modem to provide access to the Internet.  The 2 videos below show the main components set up on my desk as I was getting it configured and programmed.

 

 

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Gray Card for Photography

Create your own gray card by using photo editing software:

  • fill with black
  • adjust opacity to 50%

gray_card

(or just print this png)

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Razor Dune Buggy w/ 500w motor, 36v battery

Our Razor Dune Buggy is finished now.  Here is a quick video showing it off with the new parts:

List of changed components from the original configuration:

Here is a list of parts I ordered from ElectricScooterParts.com: Continue reading

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