Friday, October 28, 2011

Android, iPhone, freedom?

My Spint contract expired last week.  I am debating options for the next phone.  My brother-in-law is graciously offering for my wife and I to join in their family share plan with unlimited data and txt, while still costing less than our current no data plan.  I am considering Android and iPhone options and weighing the benifits and cost for each.  Does anyone have any advice?  Remember, the Sprint plan is already chosen.  I just want phone advice.  Thanks!

Friday, September 9, 2011

South Beach

Melissa and I started South Beach diet on July 11. Even though we were traveling through part of the first 2 weeks (known as phase 1), I lost 14 lbs in 14 days! During the phase 2 we have been on since, I have lost another 11 lbs (maybe a little more.. it's been a week since I weighed in).
What have I learned?
Despite limiting calories in the past, and trying to eat whole grains and fresh foods... Carbs and sugar are the reason I was fat. South beach has really made me feel like a new man.
If you want to loose weight... Esspecially gut and spare tire... Cut the carbs, eat your veggies, and drink lots of water. Sounds simple... But you have to also realize that Corn, Potatoes, Carrots, and some other starchy vegitables are actually more bad than veggie. Unfortunately for me... Those were the only veggies I used to eat.
My highest weight at the beginning of 2006 was 267lbs! I am now down to 215lbs. I feel so much better and have to much more energy even with the low carb diet.

I would reccomend that everyone at least read the book for the south beach diet, as I think everyone can take something away even if you do not choose to go strictly on the diet.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Solar Power -
I now have 2 batteries, and am still running a 12V system to keep it simple.
I have 3 sets of 45 Watt Panels connected to the Charge controller (MPPT), running 3 sets of series parallel panels. (Utilizing the HV input.) It works great. I'm still only using Solar for about 1/2 of my home lighting, and charging batteries, phones, laptops, etc. By batteries hit full every day, so I need to move more things over to that system to better utilize it.
I also purchased a backup generator for when the power is out. This happened several times this Summer, and the sump pump runs the battery down pretty quick.

HAM Radio -
I have my antenna mast. Still shopping for my first radio and a base antenna. I joined ARRL. :)

Family tree -
Worked a lot on this, and have made it far. My pro membership is set to not renew in a week, and I'll take a break until at least winter time on this. It's been fun and informative to work on this. I'll have to make a whole new blog to put up info on interesting people I've discovered in my tree. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Solar Power Update

"I can't do it captain. I haven' t got enough power!"
Well I don't have any Di-lithium crystals... But. I do have 4 Harbor Freight Solar panel kits.
I also have my MPPT500HV charge controller on the way. :)
BZ Products Manual for the new charge controller

I have a total of 180 Watts of panels. The panels are going to be connected in parrelel / Series, giving a total array voltage output of up to 75 volts. I am going to keep an eye on the voltage, and I may end up doing 4 in series instead of 3 if the V stays below 75 at all times. (Don't want to overload the controller...) So... This should reduce the loss on the power line by a factor of 3 - 4, and the MPPT should save me about another 12% Efficiency. Not to mention that I will be running a 180 Watt System instead of my 13 Watt.

With this update, I plan on doing all my laptop charging, exterior lights, and possibly work to make some sort of solar powered geothermal cooling system... Down the road. Stay tuned for more mad ideas from The Green Bandit!

Of note - I also want more batteries to store the charge... and am thinking of running my primary power storage at 24Volts with a smaller system setup for 12V power distribution to lower power devices. (I want to try to use 24V UPS units as inverters for the system.)

Anyways... Lots of options. So little time / money. ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

HAM Radio Liscence

My (now ex) co-worker Josh Trumpie got me interested in amateur radio. After some time and consideration, I decided to study for the certification test and take it.

I was able to pass the test, and I now have received my "Technician Class" Amateur Radio License from the FCC. My call sign is KD8NNZ.

Now I just need some radio equipment so that I can start to practice using it.

Family Tree Updated

I have worked for several weeks inputting information in for my family tree.

I'm not sure if this link works for everyone yet, but you can try it.