Monday, July 13, 2015

Read Ohio Edison's Net Meter

Having just installed solar panels, Ohio Edison came out and installed a Net Meter at my house. They can be confusing to read, so I called Ohio Edison for the low down on the display codes. They Use Display codes 4, 5, and 40. For a complete explanation of these particular display codes for a Net meter, and how to read a net meter, just go over to Mikes Tech Blog for a complete explanation.

-- Mike

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Here Are My Steampunk Coffee Pour Over Stands

The latest craze in the world of coffee, is the Pour over method. Thanks to the owner of a local coffee shop, Relax Its Just Coffee, mentioned to me that it would be cool to make a pour over stand out of copper, but he didn't know how to solder. Being an Electronics Engineer, I have been soldering practically all my life. I quickly piped up "heck I can solder", so the discussion proceeded, and I built my first coffee pour over stand - Steampunk style out of copper pipe. People like them a lot, so I decided to make a few  and start selling them on Etsy.

Below is a gallery of my Steampunk / Industrial coffee pour over stations on my Etsy store.

-- Mike

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mikes Color Organ using an Arduino

Usually when I tell people about my color organ, I get a stare like "What is that?" A color organ takes the audio spectrum and breaks it up into sections, then it measures the audio level in each section. In my case, I turn on LED strips proportional to the loudness in each section. Think of it as something like a giant graphic equalizer.

I used an Arduino Microprocessor with a SparkFun MSGEQ7 Spectrum Shield to sample the audio, and a Power Driver Shield to drive the 6 different 16 ft. long LED strips.

I plan on taking it to some shows in the area in the near future. Here is a video of my Color Organ in the front window of my house. Music by The La De Les - They are amazing musicians, and wonderful people. Check them out if you get a chance.

UPDATE: Here is an article on my other blog complete with the Arduino source code: Mike's Color Organ

-- Mike

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here is an HDTV antenna that I built

Last summer I finally had time to build my HDTV antenna since my old antenna was damaged by ice the previous winter. In searching the internet for building an HDTV antenna, I found several HDTV antennas that used coat hangers. Since my antenna needed to be outside, using coat hangers would not work due to corrosion.

Since I live between Cleveland and Columbus, both of which are about 70 miles away, my HDTV antenna had to have high gain. I am quite happy with he performance of my HDTV antenna, which I mounted on top of my 30 TV tower.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Finally Finished Building an Electric Guitar!

Well it has been quite a learning experience building my first electric guitar, and I am very pleased with how it turned out. Actually I should say "they" as I built two electric guitars at the same time. Here they are:

The top one I built for myself, and the bottom one I built for my son. It was a great experience building them. I will no doubt be building more electric guitars, as I already have several things that I want to try like a slightly different method to attach the neck to the body, and some other tweaks to the humbucker pickups that I built.

If you are interested in how I built my electric guitar, feel free to check out my website:

-- Mike

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Morse Code dead? Never!

Back in 1967 is when I first got my ham radio license. I was only 14 years old, and it was quite the big deal. Especially when I upgraded to my Advanced class at 16 years of age. Back then, you had to go in front of an FCC official, and it was very scary! But in order to pass, you had to be able to copy (or receive) one solid minute of Morse code at a speed of 13 words per minute without error, which is pretty fast.

I didn't get my Extra class license until much later, but I have always enjoyed using Morse code, or CW, as it is referred to in the ham radio world. Unfortunately, it has been a while for me since I have actually talked to anybody using Morse code.

The other day, I stumbled on to an interesting site, Which is a site for learning Morse code, as well as allowing you to practice online. Being curious, I tried a couple of the tests, and was surprised at my score! I was able to copy Morse code at 28 words per minute! Wow!

But then Mike, don't get too cocky! (yes, I talk to myself) Because my ranking was 235 on words and 769 on call signs. Yeah, there are lots of guys that are way better than me, but that's ok, I'm just glad that I still remember Morse code!

If you want to learn Morse code, is the place to do it.

By the way, I should also mention that if you are interested in getting your ham radio license, you don't need to know Morse code anymore. But just so you know, Morse code is still cool!

-- Mike

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photos of WVMC's Ashland antennas

Here are some photos I took when we upgraded WVMC's Ashland Ohio 91.1 translator. I thought people might find it interesting.

There are two sets of antennas that were installed. The first pair were to replace the original ones that were severely damaged by ice falling off the cell tower. Then a couple months after that, the power divider that splits the signal between the two bays had water get into it.

This time instead of just replacing the power divider, we took the opportunity to put up circularly polarized Shively antennas that were donated to us from WCRF. I re-tuned them to our 91.1 frequency, as well as made my own phasing harness, which eliminated the power divider.

By the way, using circular polarization gives WVMC's signal in the Ashland area better coverage for our listeners at home (as opposed to our listeners in their cars) as well as gives our signal better penetration inside buildings.

OK, enough of the geek stuff, here are the photos: