Saturday, January 16, 2016

Wires Liars Faith and Doubt

This is really about a empirical person dealing with doubt. Mixed in with this is faith. These terms seem contradictory but they are actually very intertwined. My empirical side says I understand Ohm's laws to be correct. I can test this in a variety of ways and prove, at least to my satisfaction Ohms laws are immutable. In this dimension at any rate. The faith part is my belief that tools I use to deal with Ohm's laws are telling me the the truth. Doubt occurs when you have a conflict in the evidence you perceive so off we go.

This should have been a simple job. I'm going to add an on air digital TV antenna to a boat. I'm familiar with the boat and what's unusual is everyone of these boats I've seen came with the antenna already installed by the factory but not this one. On my first visit I chat with the owner to see what he wants. The laundry list is short starting with he only has a shore cable connection, cable TV gets bleaker every day in marinas as providers switch to digital cable, and hence he wants a TV antenna.

Like most typical first meetings the owner wants to have at least a clue what this will cost, and how long will it take. This is often followed by mentioning the inevitable trip that can't be taken without the work being done, and this trip is always just around the metaphorical corner.

It's time for a little exploratory demolition and I take my screw gun out of its holster and start pulling screws. It's a good day for both the owner and myself. Although the antenna wasn't installed the wiring for it was. Two coax cables run from the upper bridge on the starboard side, go forward to the console, travel over to the port side, and then aft about 10' where they dive downward through a black hole into the abyss below and end up behind the TV in the lower salon.

Good deal the cables are already for us to use. Piece of cake I tell the owner. I'll be back in a few days with the gear and we'll slap it in. Yeah sure. I didn't listen to my own inside voice yelling at me. It's a boat? How many times have they screwed you? Something will go wrong you idiot, and it did.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Signal K Kool Blog

I'd be the first to say keeping up with what's happening with the Signal K project takes real effort. The forum has nearly 170 members with 115 topics. Over 80 people, mostly IT professionals are involved in the project's site. Then there is the software repository for the thousands of volunteered programming man hours. Now add in the various Wiki's, Read Me's, and Google Doc's along with other materials. It's well organized, and moving very quickly towards the impending version one release timed to coincide with Digital Yacht's first production Signal K gateway run.  It's a small mountain of reading material, but you're going to get some help with a new blog, "Signal Kool".

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 in pictures

No boats today, just a smattering of photos I have taken last year. I'm just an okay photographer. Most of my now huge library consists of close ups of my work days, and to be honest none of them are going to win a Pulitzer prize. What I lack in artistic skills I make up for in volume. If you take enough photos some small amount of them actually turn out okay. 

Florida is a open carry camera state and I'm always packing two of them with extra cartridges. My phone, and my small Nikon. I buy a new Nikon most years. they get beat up, or lost, and in the case of the last one, run over by a car. Each one is better than its predecessor. I lust after the big digital SLR zillion megapixel cameras with interchangeable lens. Then I look at the price tag, wince, and remind myself I can't stick one of these in my pocket, and just buy a better small point and shoot.

Here are a few snapshots of things that just caught my eye, along with my musings about the subjects at hand.