Sustainable SW Blogs

Broadening my horizons...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 2:41pm

Field Lab internet making a 1,100-kilometer round trip from space. and getting bumped out 500 meters from the router.98,104,73,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Monday moonlight...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 5:09pm
Two views of the lunar eclipse last night using 2 Wyze Cameras - one looking north and one looking south. Time lapse on each camera programmed to shoot 4 frames per minute over 8 hours. 97,103,67,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

moral dilemma

The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/15 - 2:48pm


"God helps those who help themselves".  This passage is often represented as scripture - but in fact is not found anywhere in the Bible.  However, God will help those who take the first step of accepting Christ.  But asking for God's help is tricky business and how the help arrives is not always evident nor what may appear to be in a timely manner.

Recently a 66-year-old woman bought property right across the road from me.  I had notice someone "camping" on the 5 acre tract for 2 days so I contacted a local realtor to ask if someone had purchased the property.  I was told that "a very nice lady who used to live in Alpine bought it".  With that information, I went over to meet her and introduce myself.  There were numerous "red flags" popping up within minutes of talking to her.  She shared a lot of conflicting information about where she came from and told me she was planning on living there full time in a tent with no electricity.  I told her that was virtually impossible and at the very least she will need some kind of structure, some solar, and phone service in case of emergencies.  I also told her the vehicle she was driving was not at all appropriate for this area - a small black Hyundai sedan with highway tires and very low clearance.  It appeared to me that she has been living out of her car for some time.  She insisted she knew what she was doing and would be perfectly fine.

Over the course of a week, she spent the days just sitting in her black car with the doors open in 100+ degree daytime temperatures.  I don't think she even ran the engine to run the air conditioner (if it even worked).  She finally assembled a small tent on the third day but from what I could tell from that far away, I think she only used it to sleep in at night.  She didn't even have the ability to construct some shade over her vehicle with a dark grey tarp that she had.  A Brewster County Sheriff's Office deputy checked on her 3 times to try to convince her this was not a good idea.  He couldn't do anything else because she was on her own property.

So how can I help someone when they show absolutely no common sense for such a dire situation?   I'm talking none-zero-zilch.  I thought about this a lot.  Really the only thing I could have done for her was show her how to erect some shade over her car - but all she had was the dark grey tarp which would have been useless in providing any cooling.  Really - anything I could have done for this poor woman would have only enabled a hopeless situation.  That being said: after watching her spend her days just sitting in the black car with the doors open and wondering each morning if she was even still alive, I took her two gallons of chilled water late in the afternoon on her 5th day.  When I gave it to her, I bluntly said, "You have no business being out here.  You need to leave.  You are going to f*cking die out here because if you think it's hot now - just wait till it's over 110°!"   She just brushed it off and still insisted she was fine and asked me if I was going to town anytime soon.  I just walked away without answering her.  The next day she suffered through yet another day just sitting in her car (it got up to 103°).  

The following morning just as I was about to call Adult Protective Services, I saw her drive away.  APS investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults who are elderly or have disabilities and who live in the community.  Any adult who has a disability or is age 65 or older that is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation may be eligible to receive services - such as short-term shelter, home repairs, food, transportation, managing money, medical care, home healthcare services, and mental health services.  (I'm not sure if this woman is just naive, incredibly stupid, or has some mental health issues.)  Two days later, she was still gone but her tent had completely collapsed and there was a huge thunderstorm heading this way.  I was just going let it be as it was but decided to send a message to the realtor she bought the property from.  Not knowing if this women was ever coming back for the stuff she left on the property, I told the realtor if she was in contact with the women to tell her that I am going to go collect her tent and her belongings and bring them back to my place for safe keeping in case the storm hits and that she can stop by and collect the items when she comes back.  

So the storm ended up petering out and we just got a sprinkle.  Early that evening, two deputies showed up at my place and the woman was back at her property.  She had gotten the message I sent to the realtor and asked the deputy to come get her stuff from me.  The deputies both agreed with my assessment of her situation but at this point there was still nothing they could do about it.  He also told me that the women said she wanted nothing more to do with me (not a thank you for saving her stuff from the storm).  It should be noted that had the storm hit, most likely neither the woman nor the deputies would have even been able to make it out my road that evening.

The deputies left and a little while later the woman drove off and didn't return until sometime later that night.  So now we are up to yesterday.  She spent the entire day just sitting in her black car yet again (got up to 102°) - without bothering to put her tent back up.  This morning she drove off after putting up a no trespassing sign next to her pile of a tent and whatever else she left there.  I have no idea what her plans are at this point.  Perhaps she got the message?   I guess I will try calling APS if she returns.  How her help arrives certainly may not be immediately evident to her, but hopefully it will be timely enough to save her life.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Thanks, Elon

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/05/14 - 4:36pm
(Skip ahead to the 13 minute mark for the launch.)SpaceX's 13th launch of Starlink satellites this year...bringing the total number of satellites so far for 2022 to 656.  Due to a geomagnetic storm that occurred on February 4 (a day after the 3rd launch of the year), 38 of the 49 satellites from that mission failed and ultimately burned up in the earth's atmosphere.  As of May 2022, the Starlink internet satellite constellation consists of over 2,200 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.  Today was a new record for SpaceX in that they successfully launched 2 Starlink missions within 24 hours.  Yesterday's launch happened from their west coast facility and was the 5th mission for that particular Falcon 9 booster.  Today's group of satellites rode into space from Florida on a brand-new Falcon 9 and marked the 111th successful recovery of a first stage booster by SpaceX.  Note: It takes about 6 weeks after launch for Starlink satellites to reach operational orbit.  93,102,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

remote power

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/05/13 - 4:54pm



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mango predator...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/05/12 - 5:26pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

the long view

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/05/11 - 5:13pm


Test with the new gear to remotely power the Wyze Cam V3 was a success.  Now that I know it works for sure, I'm going to permanently install it out at the end of the driveway.  Next up, I am going to replace my wanky indoor wifi extender with a better model that is rated for outdoor use.  88,101,71,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

six days of a mango...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/10 - 4:36pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pigs in love...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/09 - 4:48pm


I would say the javelinas are getting a little too comfortable being around me...99,104,59,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/08 - 3:09pm

Psalms 111 & 112 is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Identified Flying Object

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/05/07 - 4:31pm


The neighbor that I did some work for on his vacation getaway out here lives full time in Houston.  He got this alert on his cell phone this morning from the Wyze Cam V3 that I installed.  98,103,56,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/05/06 - 5:41pm


Plant growing time lapse coming Monday...93,98,54,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

I spoke too soon...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2022/05/05 - 4:48pm
Every now and then, someone actually comes through with a helpful suggestion in the comments.  Thanks to MountainManMike's assistance in the comments yesterday, my weather station if alive again on Weather Underground.   88,94,63,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

no weather sharing online...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/05/04 - 3:37pm


Couldn't find the wifi console that came with my weather station so I can't connect it with Weather Underground - but at least I found the parts I needed to view the data through my local area network.  85,92,68,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

long overdue project...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2022/05/03 - 5:38pm


Trying to get my old weather station functioning and back online with Weather Underground.86,95,57,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Mango Monday

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/05/02 - 5:56pm



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The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/05/01 - 10:28am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Power bank test - fail

The Field Lab - Sat, 2022/04/30 - 3:17pm


So I'm returning the little solar charged power bank for a full refund.  I started the test yesterday morning after fully charging the power bank for 8 hours with a 5V adapter plugged into AC power.  It barely got any charge off its little panel during the day while the camera was running and only just managed to continue powering the camera overnight.  All in all, it lasted 27 hours.  For the next test, I ordered a 30 watt panel and a 12 V / 10 Ah SLA battery.  If my math is right, this "should" work with some power to spare.  I already have one of these cheap PWM charge controllers to hook the system together.  It is perfect for this application since it already has a 5V USB outlet to power the camera off a 12 volt system.   87,91,56,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

two more mouths to feed...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2022/04/29 - 4:00pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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