Smart Phone Friendly

January 3rd, 2011 | Posted by tonyscha in Technology - (0 Comments)

akschaefer.com is now Smart Phone Friendly! Thanks wptouch

Enjoy

So back when the whole TV transition was just starting and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I bought an antenna that I thought would cover my needs. Its an Antenna Direct DB2 antenna. Its a nice Multi-directional UHF antenna and at the time it worked great because there wasn’t any VHF stations. However after the final transition, two of the major stations switched back to VHF to the channels 7 and 9. So when the world cup started on TV, I decided I needed ABC which was on channel 9. So I researched what I needed to do, and obviously I needed a VHF antenna, but I didn’t want to get rid of my current DB2 antenna. In basic I needed a simple half dipole antenna to add to my UHF antenna at the center.

Since I wanted channel 7 and 9, I found out which freq the channels broadcast in.
VHF HIGH 07 174-180 Mhz
VHF HIGH 09 186-192 Mhz

Found the calculations to get length of wire for frequency from this website here.

Formula: Length of wire = 468/frequency
Example: Length of wire = 468/180.000 Mhz (upper range of channel 7)
Length of wire = 2.6ft feet or approx 30″

I think the exact length was about 30.5″

The material I used for the antenna was some aluminum wire rod I picked up at Menards. I forgot to get the exact size but it was slightly larger then the original wire. I flattened the ends with a hammer and drilled a hole so I could mount it to the balun.

Here is the finished product. I would like to mention it picks up channel 7 and channel 9 now!!! So I would say this has been successful.

Here is the finished product.

Here is the back side and how it mounts to the balun.

Maybe after the two antenna projects I have done, maybe I should take an Electromagnetic fields Class from school…

I would like to note this may be unsafe to modify your antenna! NO guaranteed results!

I use tomato on one of my routers at home. Its a hacked firmware for select linksys routers. So far it has treated me really well. I have my bandwidth monitor enabled, which keeps track of downloads/uploads in gigabytes. You can backup the logs. That is where I am running into issues.

When saving through cifs on Windows 7 (I am assuming Windows Vista is very similar), I had to do several special things to get it to work properly.

1) First issue I had, is mounting the cifs, you need to use the IP of the machine not the hostname. Since it does require the IP, I made my desktop machine ip static.

2) Now you have to share a directory to be able to save the files too. I have mine saved to a dropbox folder as an extra backup. When mounting the cifs you need a user account on the machine and it must have a password. Make sure that user has access to the shared folder. To share a folder you can just right click go to properties->sharing

3) Another issue I had was, the folder had to be in the root of the filesystem for it to work. I am unsure why, but just from looking on google about cifs and tomato that was a suggestion. Since I wanted my logs saved in a different location this didn’t work for me. So I found out if you make a simlink in the root of your harddrive to the directory where it will be saved it will work.

I created a simlik with the command below (With windows 7 you have to run the command as an administrator, right click on command prompt and so a run as).

C:\mklink /D C:\tomato “C:\Users\tonyscha\My Dropbox\tomato”

Now my tomato bandwidth logs are saved hourly!

Enjoy

Old – Aluminum Case Mod

March 14th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in Personal | Technology - (0 Comments)

Here was my other case mod I did back in the day. This was from 2005 I believe. I will add my comments I originally had 😛

The place i bought the case from
http://dealsonic.com/skmssialatxm.html <—- Dead Link

The manufacture website http://www.skyhawkusa.com <—– Dead Link

This is the case after i took it apart, and kind of put it back together so i
could get a picture


This is the only plastic pieces on this case are the two on the left, and they are covered up.



I wanted to mount an 120 mm fan like I ordered, this will have to change, maybe a 92mm fan because 120mm will not fit.

I am going to mount a 120 mm fan on the front though. This will require a lot of cutting and gluing of some sort, more to come on this when i get around to it.


The front piece are even aluminum

And at last, the slide out motherboard tray.

I am going to put a blow hole on the top.

This is a picture of the back were i am going to make the fan part of the case.
Going to cut the inside part, and leave the outside lip.


This is how the fan will sit in the back

Drawing is fun… The front of the case needs some cutting to make a 120 mm fan fit. I dont have to cut the front plastic piece because the fan will be on the back side, but to get maximum air flow i will cut it.

Just showing how the front fan will be, but it will be on the back side.

BLURRRRRRRRY opps, well i see pets in pictures so I took a picture of my fish, and my new XP-90 that has an Panasonic Pofolio fan.

and at last the cheap filter and grill guard for the top blowhole.

ANOTHER UPDATE Dremel time !! Here is my front mounted fan after i cut the front


The fan on the back was tough to fit, i need to cut the frame as i said before. Here you can see it sitting in the frame on the left side.

I cut the 3.5inch frame that holds the Hard Drives and the Floppy. I needed the room so the fan could blow some air. I was going to some how remount it but I decided that it doesn’t need it.

Here i jimmy rigged a power supply and hooked up the fans to kind of see what it will look like after it all set to go


This left to do

1) Cut blow hole on top of case, i was practicing with Dremel on the insides first.
2) Get some money and order the rest of the computer components HEHE 😀

Here is a picture of all three of the fans mounted

The top one with its grill guard, i wasnt sure how it would look, but doesn’t look to bad.

Here is how i marked it off on the inside of the top of the case…. if that make any sense. Pretty much looked at different sizes of power supplies and looked at the depths on them, i didnt look to hard, but the biggest i seen was 180mm. So i made the fan 180mm from the back of the case, then just centered it from side to side. I checked with an extra cd-rom and i wont be able to put it on the top bay but thats ok, i was thinking about putting a fan controller there.

This picture you can see i mounted a fan on the bottom of the case to blow air up.


My new Desktop

March 11th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in Personal | Technology - (0 Comments)

I built a new computer over the last week or so. I was looking for something to replace an old used desktop I bought for $20 dollars about 2 years ago. It specs are
Gateway, Intel P4 2.2ghz, 1 Gig of mem, 120 Gb HD, Stock Power Supply with Dead Fan, 120 MM fan keep the PS cool and a x800 ATI video card. The computer was getting very sluggish but severed its purpose.

I was in the market for a $500 dollar Desktop / Minor gaming PC. After a little research, I came up with the following setup.

Motherboard – BIOSTAR A785G3 ~$60
OCZ Platinum 2GB DDR3 1333 ~$50 ( after rebate)
AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz ~$75
WD 1TB ~$75 (bought it from dell)
Antec Case/ 500Watt PS ~$100 ( on sale)
DVD-Rom ~$20
ATI Radeon HD 4850 ~$110
Windows 7 from School MSDNAA = Free!!
Total ~$490

It was fun to go ahead and build another computer, been a while since I had the chance. If I wanted to make this a more dedicated gaming pc, I could of bought a smaller hard drive and cheaper case / power supply, and spent a little more money on the graphics card. The CPU does well for the price point. It was hard to decide on where to save and where to spend more money with this kind of price range.

My Own QR Code

March 10th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in Personal | Technology - (0 Comments)

Check out http://www.qrstuff.com to make your own.

Boxee Review Part 2

February 20th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in Technology - (2 Comments)

Its been over a year since I wrote a review about Boxee here is the link. I originally only wanted to use boxee for Hulu, and kind of gave it up over the summer since I started using the Hulu Desktop App. However I signed up for Netflix and MediaPortal has a plugin, but its not the best interface, so I thought I would try boxee out again. They just released a new beta several days ago, Perfect! I am very surprised on how much it have evolved over a year.

At this current time, I would save boxee is the best media center app I have ever used, even if it doesn’t included a TV backend ( unfortunately that isn’t boxees goal). Overall it does a great job playing media back, but I would say the apps really stick out here and they are the deal breaker. I am going to post screenshots and talk about them throughout this post.

Homescreen

My Photos

My Music

My Movies – Sorry I did have any

TV Show Library ( Online from ABC,NBC,HULU,SyFY, etc.)

My TV Shows will show any files TV shows you have locally or ones you have queued up to watch.

File Browser

My Apps – There are some very handy apps here.

My App Library – I recognized what most of the first 20-30 apps where, once you started looking at the full list there are alot of hand crafted ones toward the bottom.

Netflix has a great interface and it works great too.

Pandora – at your remote fingertips.

Last.fm – List to your favorite music

Youtube – Search for that funny video or just browse.

Twixiee – Twitter for Boxee

Clicker – Clicker is an odd application. I am not sure if 100% understand it, but it seemed like an extension to the TV show Library. There was more TV shows available on Clicker that were not available on TV shows Library, I recommend checking it out!

Quick Menu – when you back out several times will come to the quick menu, a few settings on top, the main row, and your shortcut row.

The feed page, from your social boxee feed.

Settings – Typical Settings page

Credits – Give credit where credit is due, and boxee gets the credits here!

Well when you finally put down your remote and are done with Boxee here is the exit box. You can exit, logout, or suspend the PC.

Overall boxee has greatly improved from a year ago. Its a high sophisticated media player that works well at the 10 foot interface. This makes me interested in the Boxee Box. I will continue using boxee for netflix for the time being, and who knows, I might be able to write another review in another year.

Boxee is available for Windows (7,Vista,XP) Mac, Ubuntu, and AppleTV. I am testing boxee on Vista and XP. There is also a ipod touch/iphone Boxee Remote.

Photo Gallery

MediaPortal Guide in the works

February 11th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in Technology - (0 Comments)

I am working on putting together a guide to using MediaPortal.

http://akschaefer.com/wordpress/mediacenter/mediaportal/

2DoList

January 7th, 2010 | Posted by tonyscha in c# | Programming - (0 Comments)

I searched the internet for a simple to do list. There was alot of online ones, which are great but I was looking for an application I could run locally, and would minimize to the system tray. I coded one up in C#, I can post the code if anyone is actually interested. Anyway its small simple app, enjoy.

2DoList

DIY 4-Bay UHF Antenna

December 28th, 2009 | Posted by tonyscha in Personal | Technology - (0 Comments)

I decided to try and make a TV antenna from many different online resources I have read. The Antenna I made was a 4-Bay bow-tie antenna. You will see this called a coat hanger antenna also, because you can make the whisk out of coat hangers easily. I first read about this antenna from this website, but I am sure its been on the internet long before this. My goal was to get some vhf channels in ( channel 7,9 and 12) , and since this antenna is mostly UHF, I found some modified designs by mclapp that help produce a small gain in the VHF-HI range.

http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/4baystuff/4%20bay%209%201-2%20element%20layout.pdf

http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/4baystuff/4%20bay%209%20inch%20phase%20line.pdf

Unfortunately the antenna didn’t work as well as I was hoping it would. The antenna worked for 12,51 (2-1), and 20 in my area, even though there is channel 48 and 28 which it was missing. My guess is I did something wrong.

The antenna was fairly cheap to build from all store bought parts. It was under 9 dollars from my local Menards.
Wire ( I used 14 gauge galvanized steel)
#6 wood screws
#6 washers
Board from the scrap bin ( 15 cents !!! )
Balun – Converts it over to coaxial cable.

If anyone has any suggestions on why it doesnt work as well as my DB2, let me know :)

I would like to note: I am not an antenna expert, just a beginner. Just going off what I have read online for information.