Stratux – the ADS-B weather (and traffic) open source project

There is a reddit subgroup discussing the open source project called Stratux.

The project combines open source software with commercially off the shelf (COTS) hardware to deliver in-flight weather (and traffic) to tablets and smart phones being used as Aviation navigation sources. The most popular of the apps is called ForeFlight.

I’ll be writing more about the software side in a separate post highlighting the agile methodology and user centered design strategy.

For now, I just wanted to show off my own Stratux box and the web status page telling me it’s working. It’s powered by a 6Ah battery pack and contained in an inexpensive HDD storage case.

Since I’m sitting in my home office, it won’t pick up any FAA towers but I’ve flown with it and it comes alive at 500′ and is receiving data smartly by 1500′ !

basic Stratux receiver and its web UI

An internet recipe that actually works!

This is one of those surprises – “it actually works”!

Here is the original post I found on Food52. It’s for making fritter balls from various greens.

The recipe they give is incredibly forgiving. I had the leaves and center stalks of a head of celery. I portioned them into a personal sized food processor along with enough olive oil. I chopped them to “minced” and dumped the results into a plastic container. I repeated until I was out of the “green stuff”. On the last “batch” I tossed in the garlic. I also had two small jalapeƱos that were about to get soft. I tossed those in the chopper as well.

All tolled I ended up with about 2-1/2 cups. I tossed it into the refrigerator “for later”. Five days later I decided I had better do something.

I emptied the plastic container into a mixing bowl and added 1/4 of an onion diced. I should have just tossed it in the chopper when I had the chance. I didn’t have any Feta but I had some old dry cheddar so I micro-planed about 1/2 cup. I goofed and used 2 eggs right away. The recipe says to use one and only add the second of your mix is too dry. No problem. I had some cheap Parmesan cheese (the sad shaker stuff) so I added able 1/4 cup along with 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs. I also added some cumin.

I mixed it and let it set for about 10 minutes to swell up. It was a little moist but usable.

You will notice I never pre-cooked anything.

I took a 10″ cast iron pan and heated about 1/2″ of canola oil.

Since my mix was a little moist, I used two spoons to scoop and kind-of form the balls.

They cooked up in about three minutes with one turn in the middle.

With all the mistakes and shortcuts, I didn’t have high hopes for the results. I was pleasantly surprised. I served them with some homemade marinara sauce. Delicious!

Frozen Fruit Drinks

freeze left over fruit salad
freeze left over fruit salad

Summer time is a great time to get together with friends and to enjoy fresh foods. At the end of every gathering there is the inevitable abundance of left overs. If it includes fruit salad try freezing it rather than trying to gorge before it spoils.

Enjoy a tall seltzer with frozen fruit in place of ice. Use a mini muffin tray to freeze left over fruit salad in beverage sized portions!

These frozen fruity poppers are great in sangria too!

Mission McCoy Dining Hutch & Standing Desk

The past 10 weeks have been one of creative design, problem solving, and craftsmanship (not to mention about 250+ hours of labor).

The Mission McCoy style Dining Hutch with Standing Desk is finished. In a few days, the photography and video will be complete and posted. Shortly after, the piece will be delivered to the customer.

furniture under wraps
furniture under wraps

Hand sander companion to your palm sander

If you use your palm sander long enough, you will need to replace the hook&loop pad. Don’t throw the old one away. Make a hand sander!

hand sander using hook&loop disks

hand sander using hook&loop disks

Replace the old pad as instructed. Next, find a can close in size to the mounting side of the hook&loop pad. If you don’t have a suitable can, you could cut a circle from some scrap 2×4. Now simply screw the pad to the can or wood block.

You now have a convenient hand sander that uses the same hook&loop sanding disks as you Palm sander!

What’s It #22 – an inertia ring

My computer failed me … well, actually it is not the computer but the Windows 10 evaluation preview.

I won’t have access to my photos for a week or more. In the mean time, here is a textual description.

Inertia Ring – a weighted ring, mounted to a spinning shaft to deal with engine combustion pulses at low at RPM – most often at starter speeds. It is just a “hunk of metal”, albeit a precisely balanced hunk of metal.

An inertia ring should not be confused with a harmonic balancer which is designed to address harmonic pulse frequencies at high[er] RPMs.