Showing posts from 2012

Davis Vantage Pro 2 Envoy, Vantage VUE, and USB Weatherlink Unboxing - Part 2

This is the second part of the article about selecting, unboxing, and reviewing a Davis USB data logger (6510USB) and Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy (6316) (Part one of the review is here).
Vantage Vue Wireless ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite) - 6357Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy - 6316 USB data logger with WeatherLink software - 6510USBIn this part of the review we look at items 2 and 3 of the system  Both of these units can work with other sensors, but the ISS wireless sensors met my needs. It also allows me to move the sensor assembly around as I find the perfect location for it.

Very happy with the design of the USB logger and the USB extension cable quality. Truth be told I wish I could have bought just the USB datalogger. I really only needed the logger.
The software did get loaded up on Windows 7 (supports back to Windows 2000) for some quick diagnostics. I will say the software was easy to configure and I was getting weather measurements as quick as I could install it (about 15 minutes).In …

Davis Vantage Pro 2 Envoy, Vantage VUE, and USB Weatherlink Unboxing

I decided to take the plunge and buy a Davis Vantage VUE weather station for my house. I wanted a quality unit that I wouldn't have to mess around with that reported reliable results. I also didn't want to pay a fortune for what is really a hobby. I planned this to be the perfect compliment to the McHenry Illinois radar weather that shows on my family website.

After talking with application specialist at Davis Instruments I came to the conclusion that to meet my needs I needed: Vantage Vue Wireless ISS (Integrated Sensor Suite) -6357Vantage Pro2 Weather Envoy - 6316 USB data logger with WeatherLink software - 6510USBFor me this made sense, since I wanted: To measure a variety of outside parametersPublish frequent measurements to the web (always available anywhere from my smartphone) and measure long term weather trendsConvenience of wireless transmission from the sensors to my computerClean installation. I didn't want or need the traditional LCD console (plenty of computers, …

How to Fix Leaking Moen High Arc Kitchen Faucet -DIY

Our Moen high arc kitchen faucet started to leak around the base of the high spout. We had the Moen Monticello 7700 series single handle faucet for 8 years and it still looked great, it just developed a leak around the base of the spout. Looking at the Moen Monticello 7700 series faucet instruction manual this kitchen faucet has a lifetime guarantee for homeowners and there is an o-ring (#25 in the parts diagram) that is likely the source of the leak. Use the exploded diagram on page 2 of the manual to get the part numbers in the rest of the article.
The high arc faucet would leak around the base for several hours after being shut off. It came from the water that was in the spout assembly after shutting the faucet off.
I called the 800 number at 1-800-289-6636 and requested an o-ring kit for the faucet (think ours is model 7730). They sent it out no charge in about 10 days. It included the o-ring that was leaking, the plastic bushing that keeps the faucet steady, and a packet of silicon…

Using BackUpPC and Rsync to Backup Macbook Pro Mountain Lion OS

My daughter got a MacBook Pro for college. She studying journalism and photography at Drake University and a Apple computer was heavily suggested for the magazine curriculum. So we dutifully went out and got a cool MacBook Pro. A big change for us since all of our machines are currently run Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux.

When she came home over Thanksgiving break, I decided to set up backuppc to also back up her local files when she was at home. Using backuppc it's nicely transparent to everyone involved. For me it's one central server that backs up all of our PC's and just one place I need to manage storage (I just added a 3TB drive to the mirror array). Should be pretty simple, since it's all linux underneath.

Essentially the process was:
Exchange public SSH keys between the two machines (MacBookPro and backuppc server) and enabled SSH on the MacBook. Took me almost as much time to figure how to fire up a terminal session.…

Avast Antivirus Blocking BackupPC Rsync connections on Windows XP

BackupPC giving error all of a sudden.
full backup started for directory cDrive (baseline backup #0)
Read EOF: Connection reset by peer
Tried again: got 0 bytes
Error connecting to rsync daemon at unexpected response
Got fatal error during xfer (unexpected response)
Backup aborted (unexpected response)
Not saving this as a partial backup since it has fewer files than the prior one (got 0 and 0 files versus 0)Turns out the problem seems to be an update of Avast antivirus has now decided to (quietly) block connections on port 873 on my Windows XP machine. If I disable antivirus protection the backup happens wonderfully. Of course then the machine isn't protected by my anti-virus.

After digging into it deeper it seems that the offending Avast tool is the "behavior shield". By going into the Behavior Shield>Expert Settings>Trusted Processes>Browse>Add and adding rsync.exe and cygrunsrv.exe. Now Avast no longer seems to silently block a process I want…

Upgrading My 1TB Linux Mirror Raid to 2TB, using Mdadm and Parted

A few months ago in another blog post I had a 1TB drive fail in my Ubuntu 12.10 linux mirror array ( I decided to replace it with a 2TB drive to have room for further expansion. Using unequal drive sizes allows me to stagger my drive replacements

I just ran out of disk space on the 1 TB partition, so I purchased a new 3TB drive. I really on need 2TB, but the Seagate 3TB drive was just to good of a price to pass up from Amazon. This is the second part of the story about adding a 3TB drive to my existing mirror and the challenges that I ran into.

The whole process is just a few (11) steps
1. I checked the array to make sure everything was fine before starting.sudo mdadm --detail /dev/md0/dev/md0:
        Version : 0.90
  Creation Time : Fri Mar 11 22:53:54 2011
     Raid Level : raid1
     Array Size : 976759936 (931.51 GiB 1000.20 GB)
  Used Dev Size : 976759936 (931.51 GiB 1000.20 GB)
   Raid Devices : 2
  Total Devic…

ComEd Residential Real Time Pricing (RRTP) Program Review

This blog is about my experience with Illinois ComEd's (Commonwealth Edison) Residential Real Time Pricing (RRTP) electrical rate program installation process.  According to ComEd's FAQ page, "The majority of RRTP participants who participated in ComEd RRTP for all 12 months in 2010 experienced electricity savings ranging from 5% to 16% on their annual electricity bill, as compared with what they would have paid with ComEd's fixed-price rate." My friend Steve had also had an electric energy audit done and the auditor highly recommended the program.

The Signup - day zero: I went to the ComEd website and signed up for the real time pricing program and the air conditioner cycling program on August 26th 2012. There is no charge to participate in either program. The premise is by charging you based on real time fluctuating electric rates and  allowing the utility some control over your air conditioner usage - you can help them to lower the cost of delivering electric…