Salida, CO – May 2019

We took a trip to Salida, CO for the weekend. It ended up being a bit cold, but the incoming cold front made for some gorgeous sky and mountain shots.

Stream video files over WiFi to Oculus Go when traveling

Due to the meager storage capacity of the Oculus Go, being able to stream video files over WiFi using a portable device is a real game-changer when traveling away from home. Historically, my portable streaming device of choice was the RAVPower RP-WD04. However, I found streaming the generally larger VR files to be problematic using this device. Fortunately, RAVPower has a new version, the RP-WD09, which handles them nicely. I’ll refer to the device simply as the FileHub. (Make sure you don’t get the RP-WD07 as some significant improvements were made and it looks nearly identical to the RP-WD09.) Read more

Window-mount a Yi Home 2 Camera

Having owned the original Yi Home Camera, I had high expectations when I ordered the Yi Home 2 Camera. It’s version 2…it HAD to be better, right? I was really looking forward to the wider 130-degree lens. However, once I got it, I was very disappointed that Yi changed the base and the Home 2 camera can’t be freely rotated like the original. This made window-mounting the Home 2 much more problematic. Argh! Read more

Shutdown Windows computer and Synology NAS using WinNut

Previously, my Windows PC happily send a command to my Synology NAS to shutdown when the UPS (connected to my PC) was running low on battery power. (See my post, “Shutdown Windows computer and Synology NAS using CyberPower UPS“) Things came to a grinding halt when DSM 6 was released and eliminated remote access by the root user…probably a good thing security-wise, of course.

After much research, I discovered the Network UPS Tools (NUT) project. Included in its goals is uniform control and management of UPSs and it seems manufacturers, including Synology, have embraced the “standard”. It’s a server-client model where you connect the UPS to the Synology NAS, the server (aka master), and run a monitoring program on your PC, the client (aka slave), to shut it down when the UPS battery power gets low.

Setup on the NAS side, is as easy as checking a couple option boxes. It’s not so straight forward on the client side of things. I found at least three different Windows client applications, all with less than clear configuration instructions. I settled on WinNUT, but lost patience trying to figure out how to configure the new version and opted for the older one which still seems to work under Windows 10. Read more

LED Lights tripping my circuit breaker!

I recently moved into a brand new home. After a few weeks, the circuit breaker in my office would trip every week or so, but recently it began to happen every night. I figured all my office equipment was using too much power and I need to have an additional circuit installed. It seemed odd, however, that it only happened at night when power usage was at its lowest. Another thought was that maybe a device was shorting, so I tried to narrow it down by unplugging every nonessential device. Still, the breaker would trip.

My office is on the same circuit as the outside lights, but it never dawned on me they could be the culprits. I had replaced the two porch lights with some motion sensor LED flood lights, and bulbs in the two sconces with night sensor LEDs. I also installed a Ring doorbell which has IR LEDs. Surely, these low-power LEDs couldn’t be causing the problem, right? Well, apparently, the answer is yes they can.

I didn’t know this, but I’ve learned that when LED lights are turned on, there is a short but large electrical surge (called the inrush current) and, according to this article, can be 253 times the LED’s rated current! My theory is that when some combination of the motion floodlights and Ring doorbell simultaneously sensed motion, it would trip my breaker. It sort of makes sense. As more and more people moved into the neighborhood, night activity like car headlights, roaming cats, etc. would increase. To test this, I replaced the floodlights with regular LED bulbs and the breaker has not tripped once in the last several days.

I suppose I could try a different brand of motion floodlights, but I think I’m going to just install a solar powered one and avoid the problem all together.

The new Nikon Z7/Z6 stops the ship from sinking and that’s what is really important

Did the new Nikon mirrorless Z7/Z6 cameras leapfrog the competition? Do they crush the competition feature for feature? Did they hit it out of the ballpark?

Nope. And they didn’t have to. The thing that all the major reviewers miss is that this stops the ship from sinking. Many former Nikon shooters have already jumped ship onto the USS Sony or USS Fuji and many, like me, were strongly considering the move. I am no longer scared of investing in something new or, perhaps more importantly, how I’m going to sell all of my Nikon gear to switch to a new system, how I’m going to tolerate an unfamiliar menu system, subpar egonomics, etc. Nikon did it right and made it a priority to have solid backwards compatibility with F mount lens. Well done.

What is interesting is, if you asked me a week ago, if I was ready to jump if Nikon released a solid mirrorless camera, I would have said, “HELL YEAH.” However, today I sit without a confirmation for a pre-order in my inbox.

I feel good about my D500 and D750. They still take awesome pictures. Would it be cool to have an EVF, silent shooting, more resolution? Of course. However, I feel like I have time now. There is no longer a feeling of urgency to get started with a new system. Let others be the guinea pigs. Let the firmware mature. Perhaps, I even need to wait for the Z7 II.

Thank you Nikon for restoring my trust in your brand and vision.

PS I’m SO glad I didn’t buy a D850 :-)

Salida , CO – Aug 2018

We took at late-starting day trip to Salida, CO. I was pretty sure we would not make the full 2-1/2 hour drive, but figured we’d see some pretty scenery before turning back. Well, an hour out from the city, there was no way I was going to turn back! Happy we toughed it out. Cute city. Good food (OMG the sweet corn brown-butter sea salt ice cream with toasted marshmallow topping was to DIE FOR!) There were a couple weddings going on and one of the couples rode a raft down the river! Anyways, here are some shots from my Nikon.