Changing my drum brakes

At first, it looked like changing my drum brakes would be a daunting task. But after studying the repair manual and watching some youtube videos of people disassembling and re-assembling their drum brakes.

This requires three steps, removing the brake drum, disassembling the shoe and then re-assembling the new shoe and the brake drum.

Image result for rear brake drum

Removing the brake drum is relatively easy on my car this required just removing the wheel and then pulling off the brake drum. Then disassembling the shoe required removing several springs, the brake shoe adjuster, and the operating level. The hardest part of the process was removing one shoe pad on each brake that is attached to the operating lever from the C-clamp. The operating lever attached the pad to the backing plate. Luckily, I had a friend to help me remove the c-clamp. Afterward, I cleaned down the backing plate with WD-40.

Re-assembling, required attaching the C-clamp to operating level to attach it to the brake pad. Then replacing the other parts required for properly assembly in order. I adjusted the brakes using the brake shoe adjuster to ensure that wheel stops after 1 rotation.

Mac Mini has arrived

After trying to make due with installing GitBash on my Windows machine. I just found it so inconvenient not having a native bash shell. Even though there is bash for Windows in version 10. I still find it inferior to the Apple Terminal.

I’ll also be getting a new Mac Book Pro for my company computer , so I’ll be able to do more development work.
Overall I’m pleased with my Mac Mini so far. It took about 10 minutes to setup out of the box and syncs with my iPhone and iPad. I was able to install Python and Flask from the terminal easily.



Building the Solar System Part 2

I successfully installed a 480 Watt solar system on my balcony. The system consists of a charge controller (40A), two 6 volt 230 AH batteries tied in series to generate 12 V, three 160 Watt panels, and a 2300 Watt DC-to-AC inverter. The only draw back so far has been the DC-to-AC converter. which uses a modified sine wave, that causes some harmonic distortion when plugged into the TV.

Designing my Solar System Part 1

Being in energy and an advocate for innovation, I decided it was time for me to install my own solar setup. I intend to build a solar system with about 800 Watt capacity to power my washing machine, desktop computer, TV and modem.

The first piece of my system arrived a 1100 Watt inverter, 12 volt DC to 110 AC that will attach directly to my battery bank. The inverter made by PowerBright is available on amazon.com. I tested the inverter using my car battery and it is working as intended receiving 12.40 VDC from the battery and outputting 110 AC. I plugged in my laptop charger, and it drew 78 Watts while charging my computer. The next thing I need to do is size my battery bank capacity, chose a charger controller and solar panels.

My new Briggs and Riley Compact Garment Bag

A few months ago I purchased a Briggs and Riley 22 inch carry-on suitcase. It has served its intend use for my 5-15 day domestic trips. However, for short trips 2-3 days in duration I usually throw some items in my backpack or a small duffle bag. When I arrive at the destination my shirt usually becomes wrinkled or I tend to throw too much stuff in the bag.

After studying different luggage options I decided buying a tri-fold compact garment bag was a good idea. I can place 7-10 items of clothing inside the bag and a pair of shoes. This is more than enough capacity for a short 2-3 day trip. From a size perspective, the bag conforms to all domestic carry-on regulations and is a fairly light bag and well constructed bag. One downfall of the compact garment bag is there’s really no place to store dirty clothes except in the front pocket.

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Bash for Windows

I’ve been a linux user for at least 15 years, almost half of my life. Accessing my linux distribution has always come through putty or a mac terminal line. But it seems putty’s days are number as bash is coming to windows. Now I’ll be able to SSH easily into my servers and do my web-development.

Bash

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3055403/windows/windows-10s-bash-shell-can-run-graphical-linux-applications-with-this-trick.html

Without my laptop or tablet

Tonight is the first night in 10 years where I haven’t had my work laptop, or personal laptop with me. When I left the office tonight, I put them in my drawer because I had to run some errands and I don’t like keeping my laptop in my car,especially after my car got broken into in SF. But, I never made it back to the office tonight. It feels sorta nice and sorta weird at the same time. I guess it gives me more time to read the NYT and watch Netflix from my phone.