PS Vita and Steam Remote Play with Moonlight

Back in April 2018. Shortly after Sony’s announcement that they were abandoning the PS Vita handheld. I paid $80 for my used psvita. Brand new sells for $250-300, but used models with low enough firmware for modding were being sold for $350 or more !! The psvita that I purchased was cheaper because it had the latest firmware installed and was incompatible with the current exploits for modding. Ignoring that for now, my psvita handheld turned out to be an amazing portable. Allowing me to remote play my ps4 from anywhere, lag free.  WOW!

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EMF Reader – Assembly Notes for Wire Clips

This is to help out folks making my DIY kit.  I took some photos while assembling my latest batch of EMF Readers.  Routing the wires can be tricky.  My method uses spare 22 gauge solid core wire, a soldering iron, and hot glue.  Makes the wires stay put.

Click the infographic for a larger version.

EMF Assembly Notes - Wire Clips

Antenna TV Research 2018

I created the Platteville HDTV Antenna and Streaming page to be dedicated to both streaming tv and local antenna tv solutions. For Platteville WI area residents, you can replace costly CenturyLink/DirectTV/Dish with a lighter package of live streaming cable channels and Madison broadcast channels.

CenturyLink no longer allows Platteville residents to sign up for PrismTV. Pushing new customers to DirectTV. CenturyLink will sell DirectTV to you as a “bundle discount”, but it is actually the same price as unbundled if you were to purchase seperate. The cheapest plan from DirectTV costs $70, on top of what you already pay to CenturyLink for internet. New subscribers to DirectTV are signed up at a 50% discount for the first 12 months, afterwhich your bills double and they equipment rental fee you to death. When I cancelled DirectTV after the third year, my bill was around $160 per month. That is a LOT to pay for local TV channels and a few dozen cable channels!!

What is the better way?

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Ammo Counter Mk3 – Collaboration with AmmoCounter.com

I have partnered with Nathaniel of AmmoCounter.com to develop the ultimate ammo counter solution.  The circuit is a derivative of my MK3 design.  I am calling it MK3 SMD.  The new circuit is exactly as tiny as my MK3, but has modifications to allow the outsourcing of manufacturing.    In addition, with Nathan’s feedback I was able to put the finishing touches on some never before seen software features.  This is so awesome!

Here is an official announcement from AmmoCounter.com  Nathan will be selling the MK3 SMD with my firmware, along with some fantastic accessories this year.  Check it out ~!

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Network Connections in Windows 10

Windows 10 can be great, but a lot of things have been dumb since Windows 8. Like how they hide access to Network Connections. The window that on WinXP and Win7, was used for all things network related. All it’s functionality is still there, you just have to find it.

There are several ways to get to the now buried window, but with this method you can reach in two clicks.

  1. Right click the Start Menu and select Network Connections. Done? Ha, no. Welcome to the Network Status setting window. Hardly.
  2. Now click “Change adapter options”.  You made it~! This is the “real” Network Connections window.

For the uninitiated, this window shows the network status better than the previous Win10 Network Status window. Right click your adapter and select status to gander at all the info.

Windows 10 Settings

TCL Roku 4k

The TCL Roku 4k is back on top as my recommended Smart TV for using an antenna. You can purchase this brand in various sizes (28 – 65 inches) from amazon, walmart, and target. Bestbuy has their own brand, Insignia Roku 4k.

The 4k model has faster hardware than the 1080p model. Even if you don’t use 4k, you will benefit from the better picture and faster menu navigation.

Features:
– HD Antenna Tuner – See my other antenna guides for more info on what Antennas work in the low signals areas (like where I live).
– Roku Apps – Roku has been a part of streaming tv since the beginning, as such, it has amassed a huge following from the major streaming networks.
– Pause and Rewind Live TV – Just plug in a USB flash drive to activate.
– 14 day TV Guide – *NEW feature* displays all your local TV listings.
– Smartphone remote control – Lose your remote? No problem, just open the phone app. You can also use your phone’s headphone jack for private listening of what is on the TV.
– Global search – You can search for a show across all your apps, including local antenna tv listings)

Between the ability to pause live tv from the antenna and the Hulu app, my need for a DVR is gone.

2018 Comparison of Verizon MVNOs

I live in an area with ZERO att/tmobile coverage. Sprint coverage is sparse. Leaving Verizon and US Cellular as the only towers with consistent coverage.

I am a user of Straight Talk. I chose them for their pricing at the time of $45 for unlimited calls and texts with 5GB of high speed data, unlimited low speed data.  The coverage was through Verizon and hit 95% of the places I travel.  Really good.

In the years since I switched to Straight Talk, they have increased that 5GB data allotment to 6GB, then 8Gb, and now 10GB.  What a deal~!

MVNOs like Straight Talk are able to offer lower prices than larger cell companies because they buy their data in bulk contracts from the same companies they compete with.  MVNOs then make themselves cheaper by doing away with niceties like customer service (Straight Talk is a Walmart owned company).  Perfect for folks that can solve their own technical issues.  You can buy a phone from the MVNO company, or bring your own Verizon compatible phone.  Is really a sweet setup that MVNOs have scored.

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Idea: Answering Tricky questions with Amazon Mechanical Turk

I know that the Echo gets the bulk of its responses from Alexa, but I think amazon is missing an opportunity with their own mturk service.

Each time Echo responds with “sorry”, the transcript of that command is already flagged for staff review. If enough people ask for anything, the appropriate response will eventually be available for Echo. However, what if Amazon could create new responses to tricky questions in less than a day?

Using Amazon’s own Mechanical Turk service, Amazon can reduce the threshold for human review. Overall decreasing the turnaround for creating better responses from weeks down to hours or even minutes!

For the uninitiated, Mechanical Turk is a service from Amazon where you can complete simple tasks in exchange for a tiny payment. The idea is to use this service for tasks that are easy for humans but hard for computers. Currently, the mturk service looks to be mostly used for transcription and image recognition services.

Volume Control for a Android Head Unit

I gave myself a birthday gift earlier this year.  Upgrading my truck’s cd/tape deck with something more modern.   I installed an Android Head Unit.  For less than $200 and a weekend of work, I gave my 2005 truck modern features such as bluetooth, reverse camera, gps navigation, and mpg gauges.

I have had the android head unit installed a few month now and am still really impressed.  The head unit’s speaker amplifier is a huge upgrade from what I had for sound quality before.  The radio receives stations for longer distances.  I use the bluetooth and reverse camera features daily.  The mpg gauge is done through the Torque app that was preinstalled, and it also has a nice feature of calculating fuel miles remaining.  Cool.

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Mark 3 Ammo Counter

Nerf, Paintball, Prop Weapons. This is the ammo counter you want~!

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The Ammo Counter MK3 is a remix of my previous ammo counter design and is now completely reprogrammable by you with no additional tools! There are 10 clip slots in memory, you can easily switch magazine sizes with a single button press. In addition, each clip slot can be reprogrammed by you for any starting value up to 99. Each slot will remember your selected fire mode, semi-auto, full-auto, and count up.

Video tutorial: Coming Soon!

Features:
* Smallest Ammo Counter Circuit!
* Selectable Clip Sizes
* Programmable Clip Sizes (Default: 35, 25, 22, 18, 15, 12, 10, 6, 32, 99)
* Programmable Fire Types (Semi-Auto, Full-Auto, and Count Up Semi-Auto)
* Light Break Sensor Ready