Saturday, June 28, 2014

The New Habit burger grill outlet

          Yesterday in Fremont I found new to me anyway - the Habit Burger , what a great little burger joint, the burgers start at $2.95 and taste great - exactly how one would expect a gourmet burger to taste. A large soda with free refills was $1.80 I think. They also had great outdoor seating. Try it out if you ever are near one, you won't be sorry.

WOW did we nail it, on this one 2 weeks ago ?

It's been named the best in the USA !!

Click here for story

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solar panel & roof edge diamond plate

          Well what do you think ? With the stick on diamond plate on the trailer roof edge & the diamond plate hold down brackets - its gotta look better then those ugly as sin squared off & sticking up 10" contractor cargo racks. It really makes it blend together in my humble opinion.

Special Insulated Double AC Door

           This is the special double insulated door I created while I'm testing the AC which is installed in the door way. Since I have not decided on the final AC size , type or location this allows me the option to make additional changes or modifications. In order for the AC to operate the side door just needs to be open approx 6"- 8" max. The blue foam on my cargo trailer door will be covered with another skin in the future. Stay tuned for more.

Diamond Plate Car Wrap & the Solar Panel Brackets

          Here we go with the final parts for the new solar panel brackets and the edge of the roof trip with the Diamond plate car wrap. Not sure it will stick in 75 MPH winds but soon we will know, one thing that is for sure - it will look good. The brackets have received the special 3M VHB tape, but will also be secured with screws into the panel frame and trailer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Is water driven solar heating & cooling possible - under an insulated roof

       Here is the best example of how hot the interior inside side of the roof gets 139 F under the solar panels when the interior is insulated with R19 denum. This heat would normally migrate into your RV or trailer. I would guess the solar panels may even be 150+ deg F sitting in the full sun. The interior temp is a comfy 68 - degrees

          In the early mornings one gets just the opposite effect. The exterior outside temp is around 57 degrees, my interior temp was  62 because I kept the doors wide open & I love cool weather down to 45 deg F is my favorite. This temp drop is due to condensation & radiation of a metal surface of its heat into space.

          Now if only I could figure out how to get some tubing along the attic, collecting the extra heat in the day time for hot water storage latter in the day & during the night collecting cold water storage for some kind of cooling during the day, then one could almost have water driven solar heating and cooling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ordered new Frigidaire FRA054XT7 5, 000 BTU

       I just ordered this unit to replace my current 5,000 Btu window AC unit - so one might say WHY ? Well the answer is simple this unit is 10% more efficient EER 10.7 vs a 9.8 , which means it will use about 50 watts less per hour - or produce 150 Btu less heat from the unit. Also it will use about 200 less watts to start on a generator or inverter 1300 vs maybe 1500+ on the old unit, hence a smaller generator / inverter. Also less heat from the inverter, less heat from the charge controller, maybe everything comes to 600-800 btu heat savings per hour. That's a big deal when it's 100 deg F outside. Every stage in the solar transfer process loses energy & produces heat - in this case I'm really coming out 30% better when all sources are counted. This unit also has a low voltage start, auto restart when the power goes off & finally most all window units in the 5,000 Btu range don't have a remote, this unit does - so all in all, it's worth considering the switch. Next month I'll report back how well it works in real life. One more thing, my current unit switches off at 70 deg F -  this unit goes to 60 deg F in cooling. 

Below is the link with more info.

The unit is set to arrive this monday late in the day & I already installed my in the door temp testing set up - picture to follow latter today maybe ?

The unit arrived but seams to have some operational quirks that need to be ironed out, it does not operate properly when used with the inverter, Im guessing some adjustments are still needed ?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Privacy, accuracy concerns as license-plate readers expand - SFGate

This type stuff is always one of my favorite stories, 
because nobody thinks it will happen to them.

Haddad said license-plate readers have an error rate as high as 8 percent. "There's some acknowledgment by the manufacturers," he said, "that there's a significant percentage of the time that they're wrong."

Denise Green had just dropped off her sister at the 24th Street Mission BART Stationwhen a San Francisco police car with its lights on pulled up behind her and officers yelled, "Put your hands up!"
Sgt. Ja Han Kim ordered her to step out of the car, and as Green complied, she turned and saw several officers with their guns trained on her.
They forced her to her knees, handcuffed her and searched her 1992 Lexus. Green overheard officers standing near her license plate shouting numbers to each other.
"It's not a seven?" one said.
"No, three five zero," another officer replied.
Green, a Muni driver and 50-year-old San Francisco resident, had been detained because an automatic license-plate reader the city had installed on its police cars mistakenly identified her vehicle as stolen. The officers did not confirm her license plate with their dispatcher.
"It was a nightmare," Green said. "I had no idea what was going on or why they were treating me like a criminal."
Five years later, as Green's lawsuit over the incident nears a trial, the use of license-plate readers has emerged as one of the biggest concerns among privacy advocates. Car-tracking technology is becoming ubiquitous in cities around the United States, and the types of data collected and analyzed with the help of license-plate readers is expanding into other realms of personal information.
Documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting show that a leading maker of license-plate readers wants to merge the vehicle identification technology with other sources of identifying information. Vigilant Solutions is pushing a system that eventually could help fuse public records, license plates and facial recognition databases for police in the field.

Livermore firm

The Livermore company released facial recognition software last year for use in stationary and mobile devices. The technology uses algorithms to determine whether a person's face matches that of someone in a law enforcement database. Like license-plate readers, privacy advocates say, the technology can make incorrect identifications that ensnare innocent people.
Vigilant also is the market leader in license-plate data collection. The company runs the Law Enforcement Archive and Reporting Network database, which stores more than 2.5 billion records and adds 70 million new license-plate scans monthly.
Vigilant sells license-plate readers to more than a dozen California agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, sheriff's departments in Orange and Sacramento counties, and police departments in Alameda, Union City, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Rafael, Novato and Sacramento.

Peek into future

A company PowerPoint presentation about its products, obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting, contains a section on the company's "near-future" that includes a fusion of public records, license-plate data and facial recognition. Other technology will help law enforcement find cars using a "probabilistic assessment" of a vehicle's location based on historical data and public records, according to the presentation.
Another PowerPoint slide prepared for Texas law enforcement shows how a combined data program could work. It would pull mug shots from a Department of Motor Vehiclesdatabase and notify law enforcement if "a vehicle is associated with someone with a known criminal history." The slide also describes "facial images embedded into" the license-plate record.
Amy Widdowson, a Vigilant spokeswoman, said the slides were of a prototype program that did not actually include facial recognition technology.
As for specific references to merging license-plate data with facial recognition and public records, Widdowson said the slide "is merely showing that law enforcement can combine data from public records with LPR (license-plate reader) data to reduce their search area for a suspect."

Privacy fears

Privacy advocates said combining historical plate-reader data with public records and facial recognition technology runs contrary to law enforcement's argument that license plates are not considered personally identifying information.
Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at theElectronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles Police Department to obtain information about their collection and use of license-plate data, said Vigilant's plans could represent a major change in the technology.
By combining the location data from license-plate readers with public records such as court files and property records - as well as photographs of people from criminal or DMV databases - into one search tool that could be used with facial recognition software, license-plate readers could move into uncharted territory.
A plate reader could tag a passing car and the names of people associated with the vehicle and keep a log of where that person traveled.
"When you're combining data from multiple sources, it becomes incredibly revealing," Lynch said.

S.F. lawsuit

For her part, Green's lawsuit against the San Francisco Police Department is heading to trial after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's decision to dismiss her claim. At the time of the incident, police used license-plate readers manufactured by PIPS Technology, not technology from Vigilant Solutions.
San Francisco officials declined to comment on the pending litigation.
Green's attorney, Michael Haddad, said the incident took a toll on her. "It was extremely terrifying, and Denise ended up having to miss a couple weeks of work and get counseling afterward," he said.
Haddad said license-plate readers have an error rate as high as 8 percent. "There's some acknowledgment by the manufacturers," he said, "that there's a significant percentage of the time that they're wrong."
This story was produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, an award-winning nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more, visit E-mail:

The Bass Pro shower curtain

         Here is my quick morning project, I saw this cute shower curtain a while back at Bass Pro so while not perfect, I still decided it would make an interesting little topic for the trailer. It can be put together a little smaller to just cover the shower door, but in this case I put 3 small extra ceiling hooks so it also covers the battery and it's easier to read the sayings. I still have a few more little odds & ends to complete, you know what they say "it's the last 5%" that takes 95% of the work.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


This system allows you to monitor the voltage and 
usage on your batteries, unit BVM 702 allows for 2 batteries.

Click on the link below:

Victron Energy BMV700 Amp Hour Meter

Above there should be a direct link to a you tube video on how 
to install this battery monitor, its very simple if not please use this direct link.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A new $500 million satellite can see you from 383 Miles away

How to install a full size 250 watt solar panel

        This is my 2nd post on this subject because to be honest my first plan was not 100% perfect. For those that follow me,  I originally installed all my panels with 3 M  -VHB tape, while this is not a bad plan if one does not want to drill holes into the roof, I got a little carried away while on the highway and accidentally exceeded the max 55 MPH limit. I wanna leave it at that, because I have heard stories where LEO will want to sent you a  $500 ticket in the mail for having been an admitted LAW BREAKER ! on FB.

        For those that love drilling holes into your roof I offer the following advice, if one drop of water gets into to your charge controller or your inverter following your wire, your equipment is smoked.

One more note on RV or trailer solar panels, most are sold for these guys at 20-100 watt panels that put out 15-18 Volts DC maybe, it becomes very hard to charge your battery when the voltage is so low. Because that what you get at high noon, not 8 am in the morning. Some of these suckers are paying $4 to $8 per watt on these mini panels. The larger panels have 30+ volts DC and I would always recommend a MPPT charge controller, panels sell now for $1 per watt but truck shipping is expensive. If you buy 1 or 20 panels Trucking costs are the same. Look for good quality solar panels vs cheapest price. If your gonna get good stuff figure on $5 per watt for everything, CC , inverter & good battery. If you buy cheap crap you will only have enough solar power to charge your iphone. If you use a generator it will cost at least $1 for every kw of power  vs .15 cents for the utility company - not including the cost of the generator. If you wanna start small buy some good L16 flooded batteries & a good charger and offer to someone a buck or two to let him charge your battery during the day off his generator to cover his gas.

After scratching my head for some time as to why my beloved solar panels decided to fly back home to China, I came up with this new rack, because basically I hate these contractor roof racks that stick up 8" above your trailer. This one is not as bad as others but still not to my liking.

I really hate these 

Here my 5 racks easily fit into my dirty PU

Below is one rack in the driveway

Rack installed on the front of the trailer

Side view

More side views

More side views

I have decided to leave the old panels in place & make some new brackets
 from .065 Diamond plate approx. 4" x 16" with a 90 deg bend and curve. 
These will then be taped with VHB to the roof and also screwed into the side channel. 
This will allow some flex while at the same time giving me 400% more secure panels - 
so those little suckers don't fly back to china anymore.

Here are the 12 new brackets, they still need a little work 
before being installed early next week when the VHB take gets here

How to install a full size truck tool box

This is SPECIAL POSTING for my # 1 buddy TEXAS- RIVER-RAT

I don't wanna post too much high tech stuff....but this here project I wanted to get TX's professional TEXAS sized opinion 
Now this project came about because "I gotta admit" I got really green shades when I saw Mark519's toolbox & gen set.
Mark519 also has an extended 24" longer tongue then mine :thumbsup: :thumbsup: 
Since I can't weld like Mark519 & he didn't wanna make one for me :cry: :cry: :cry: 
I was getting really desperate :x :x :x 

When I first came up with the idea - a few of you kind CT experts jumped in and said it too big & I will smash the box..... when I turn the corner - NOW YOU KNOW , that just made me MORE prove you WRONG !!!
If the CT's say it can't be done - who am I not to bust my nut to make it happen :beer: :beer: 

             So here it is THE FINAL WORD !!!

The full size tool box fits, also no problem making standard 90 deg turns, with short bed Tundra , no mods needed.Because this is OTTCT I had the bottom of the box cut in by 3" for that little bit of extra spice. and to SLAM it OUT- of - the PARK....
I put the whole thing on slides & locks, it now has clearance till you jackknife .....

So come on brother Texas-River-Rat , batter up - give me another TEXAS SIZE Grand Slam challenge :beer: :beer: :beer:

I'll keep you posted when I get a reply
my money is on that TEX is speachless

Because this is OTTCT I had the bottom of the box 
cut in by 3" for that little bit of extra spice.

Here are my 2 tool box locks

Box slides to the right 

Box slides to the left

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Solar Tracking Linear Actuator only $59

          Don't you just hate it when you bust your nut to find something you really want for days at end and you just have the worst damn luck, you can't find it if your life depended on it. Now boom here 2 months latter it falls out of the sky right into your lap @ 1/2 price of what all the other bum's wanted for this product.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

3M™ VHB™ Tape 4950 White, 1 in x 36 yd 45.0 mil

        I just ordered some more of these ( one each ) - 3M VHB tapes "Very High Bond" one in white and one in black that has the same specs but is $30 more. Mostly to see what the difference is between the 2 tapes. Stay tuned and I will update you how it turns out. YOU ASK WHAT ARE THESE USED FOR ? Well the answer is simple, its a foam tape that sticks 2 parts together almost like super glue...., example in cargo trailers metal side panels are screwed every 6" - this tape allows the trailer to have a screw-less exterior, much cleaner & stronger looking, allows for metal expansion without creating wrinkles. you can use this to glue solar panels to the metal trailer roof.

Well the mystery was solved by Mary, mostly because the Black tape was not in stock.

               In answer to your question, 3M set's list pricing and we base our discount pricing on this. The black is normally around 10-15% more. In this particular instance, it's the theory of supply and demand. We buy the white (4950) in bulk quantities and are able to pass that savings along because we sell more of this product. The black (4949) is not as popular so we buy smaller quantities and pay an up charge for those so that we are sure to provide our customers with product within the shelf life. 

Below take a look at the data of how strong this tape really is
look at the bottom 2 lines, it will take a force of 25lbs to remove 1" squared of tape
140 lbs per sq inch for Normal Tensile & 80 lbs per sq inch Dynamic Overlay Shear
Now you know why its so damn expensive

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Favorite out of this world Thai Soup

        This is my all time favorite Thai soup, for those of you who have never ever tried Thai cooking you will be in for a real treat. I was after my friend for quite a few years to even get the secrete ingredients, mainly because one bowel of this soup in a Thai restaurant costs $13. That would make this pot worth about $208 if 16 people ordered this in the Thai restaurant. The cost of this pot was approx. $35 it can also be made with large shrimp vs chicken if one prefers.

Before starting we took a quick side trip 
for some Vietnamese BBQ pork sandwiches,
then it was off to Lion Supermarket

We start with large pot 1/2 full 8Q of water
This is Ginger and we used approx. 3 oz

Lemon grass we used 3-4 stalks, cut into 2" strips
and smashed to bring out the flavor

One bundle of Cilantro 

1-2 bundles of long green onions

Special fish sauce 4 - 5 ladles worth is used 

Special fish sauce 4 - 5 ladles worth is used

The instant Tom-Yum Soup mix

The Asians prefer a brown male chicken as they say its larger

This is really the whole chicken, feet , neck & all
It is chopped in smaller chunks and added to the soup

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms, but your favorite kind can also be used
we used a min of 2 boxes

Here is the chopped ginger & Lemon grass

Red hot peppers & garlic are minced

Secrete required ingredient
10 leaves from Thai Lime tree
with the spines removed

The minced pepers & garlic 

Chop the mushrooms in 1/2 

Chop the onions like this

Add all ingredients in this order

again we start with large pot 1/2 full 8Q water

add 1 tablespoon salt to 8 Q water

add 2 tablespoon Tom-Yum paste to 8 Q water

add chopped garlic & peppers

add Thai leaves & lemon grass

add 5 ladles of lemon or lime juice
add 4-5 ladles of fish sauce

Stir soup and add cut chicken parts,
cook approx. 25- 30 minutes light boil

when chicken is tender add mushrooms

Last add cilantro and cut onions
let stand 3-5 minutes
SOUP is ready to serve