Thursday, March 8, 2018


Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I'd post more, but I've been struggling to get my new furniture assembled. The instructions are a bit confusing.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wyze Cam v2 - Update

A couple of updates on my Wyze Cam v2 order...

1. Wyze experienced a manufacturing problem and had to delay lots of shipments. They sent a very nice note with a lot of detail explaining the issue and the actions they were taking. They included a link to easily cancel your order if that's what you wanted to do. If you were willing to wait, they said they would include a 5 foot long USB extension cable. I thought it was a great job of recovering from a problem.

2. An anonymous commentor pointed out that the cameras are sending data to services besides AWS. I was planning on placing this in my garage pointing outside, so I'm not super concerned, but I will be curious to follow Wyze's response and actions to address the concerns.

Friday, March 2, 2018

TYT MD-2017: VA3XPR Review

Check out the VA3XPR review - especially helpful are first two sections (The Good and The Bad) - which concludes:
"The MD-2017 is a great low-cost option for anyone looking for a rugged dual band DMR radio. It is sure to come in very handy for users that live in or travel to areas where there are both VHF and UHF DMR repeaters. At a $159 USD price point for the non-GPS version, users really cannot go wrong with this radio, as it is feature packed, durable, and performs well. While the radio has some usability issues, they are unlikely to adversely impact the functionality of the radio for most users.

Overall, we feel that the MD-2017 is a great value priced dual band DMR radio that is likely to please the most demanding ham radio or light commercial user who needs a dual band DMR radio that can withstand the elements."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Yaesu FT-818: More of the Same

Larry (W2LJ) offers some thoughts on the FT-818 and its incremental change from the FT-817.

My father-in-law loaned me his FT-817 when I first got started. I loved that it was a do anything radio. It's probably why I ended up a VX-3R and the IC-7000. I am a little surprised it was such a small set of changes.

ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Tech

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Alexa in my Car: Roav VIVA

Now I can get Alexa in my car... the Roav VIVA is an Alexa-enabled device that plugs into the 12 volt accesssory socket in your car. It has two USB charging ports. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth to get internet access to enable Alexa.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Creating More Work

I enjoy my smart home things and keep adding to the list. I'm not sure they save me time, but I love the convenience of them - especially the voice control for muting the TV while my hands are wet from washing dishes or telling the HVAC unit to turn the air on while I'm in the middle of working out.

The only downside is I keep coming up with new problems to solve - some of which didn't exist prior to buying all these smart devices. For example, I don't have a good place for my Eufy Genie (Amazon Echo Dot clone) in my bathroom. I don't have a spot to put it and we don't have enough plugs to power it.

The solution... $40 to get this outlet shelf and an outlet with USB ports.

Nokia 8110

Nokia had some classic phones. They brought back the 3310 and now they are bringing back the 8110 - famous for its appearance in The Matrix.

Via The Verge

Monday, February 26, 2018

BTECH AMP-25 Series Amplifiers - Miklor Reivew

Miklor reviews the BTECH AMP-25 and concludes:

I was glad to see someone finally develop what is a full featured mobile amplifier capable of DMR as well as all other modes that is small enough to mount in the car, boat, and on top of your computer. This amplifier is Part 90 certified and definitely worth considering.
BTECH AMP-V25 Amplifier for VHF (136-174MHz)
BTECH AMP-U25 Amplifier for UHF (400-480MHz)