Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend - Roasting Hot Dogs

It is a crisp Spring day in southern Indiana and a good time to get a small fire going in the fire pit. Once it was hot it was time to roast some hot dogs.

At the end of day, we had a small fire to sit around.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Antenna Modification for Syma X5C Controller

In an attempt to increase the range of the RF controller for the Syma X5C quadcopter controller I removed the 28 mm antenna with a Linksys WRT54 WiFi router one.

The new antenna works but I did not do a range test with the old antenna so I am not sure if it is about the same, better or worse than the new antenna. I did not modify the antenna in the quadcopter.

The router is 802.11b model so it could not be used securely anymore as a wireless router since it used only WEP. I could not flash upgrade it so I removed one of it's antennas.

The top of the antenna is threaded so it can be removed when storing the controller. In order to get it to fit in the snugly in the casing, the bottom section of threading needed to be wrapped in electrical tape to expand the diameter of the connector.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Frilly White-Purple Iris

Pictures of some frilly white-purple irises blooming Clark County, Indiana USA. Images taken in May 2015.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Louisville Free Public Library How-To Festival

I have always wanted to attend an event our local public library holds each year called the How-To Festival. In the past a schedule conflict has occurred and I have not been able to attend. This year I was able to visit for part of the day. It is a great community event. Their web site can be found here:

The presentations I got to attend were How to grow and appreciate heirloom tomatoes by Terry Gibson. He shared with an audience of about 30 people his expertise in growing tomatoes. From the questions from the audience he must have presented before because they were referring to tomatoes mentioned in an earlier talk. He mixed experiences and advice growing tomatoes with some humor. When asked what to do about animals such as deer or rabbits eating plants how garden. He said something to the effect in believing they are all God's creatures so we should send them back to God. It was joke of course. He talked about various scented repellents to ward off these types of animals.

I next attended the Maker's mobile lab to hear Mark Lorence talk about How to use a 3D printer. He talked about his experiences and those of associates to make artistic objects or machine parts. The printer was there with examples of items it had created. It was not running during the time I was there. He also showed us the 40 W laser cutters and examples of they they could do. They were used to etch words or logos into objects and to cut cardboard to make 3D shapes. The example we were shown was of a bust of Benjamin Franklin.

The last presentation I watched was How to get started with quad copters/drones and photography: flying demonstration. Al Wollerton was the presenter and he had a number of quad copters to show. The demonstration of the Phantom quad copter was impressive. The Phantom sells for over $300 and can be found on

He was flying a smaller quadcopter as well that reminded me of the Syma X5C I fly but it looked more aerodynamic. It could to the 360 degree loops as well.

Picture of a friend (Benjamin Franklin) of American libraries displayed at the Louisville Free Public Library on May 2015.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cereus Night Blooming Cactus

My smaller Cereus cactus bloomed the other night. I was hoping to put a webcam attached to a Raspberry Pi computer to time lapse photograph it opening and closing during the night. The night the bloom opened I only got the camera set up late in the morning so the bloom pod had already mostly closed.

I did capture a small about of video of it for several hours which I need to figure out how to edit and put on YouTube.

Interesting enough it looks like sells seeds for a blue variety of this cactus.

See my previous posts about this cactus here: