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Swamp_Yankee

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Swamp_Yankee last won the day on April 5

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About Swamp_Yankee

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    Hunterdon County, New Jersey

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  1. Remember the coyote howling video I posted a couple of weeks ago? My wife also posted it to her Facebook page and the pearl clutching from our suburban friends was pretty funny... "OH MY GOD!!! ARE YOU SAFE THERE!? I'M NEVER STAYING AT YOUR HOUSE PAST DARK!!!" Meanwhile our friends here in BT were like
  2. See my thread on this: We currently have CenturyLink DSL which is good for 10Mbps up and 1Mbps down. That is fine for us because we hardly ever have more than one TV going at once. If we do one TV will be pulling down an OTA (over-the-air) signal and one will be streaming (kids shows, etc...) I have three TVs so I need three Amazon Fire TV sticks, and I'll be using an Amazon Fire Recast to integrate the streaming content with the OTA content. I'm also going to need an antenna and some assorted wiring, etc... All told it will be a one-time $500 investment in equipment, but it will mean that I can just pay $45 a month for internet service and nothing else. Depending on what you want to stream and how many devices you'll have going at once you may need higher speeds.
  3. What problems were you having? Most of the channels I'm looking to pull in are either VHF HI or UHF. For some reason WPVI (Philly channel 6) is on VHF LO, but in order to get Philly stations I'd have to put in a rotor to point the antenna southwest anyway. Most antennas are built for VHF HI and UHF. We are about 50 miles from the major network (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc...) transmission towers in Lower Manhattan. What I need to research more is whether or not I should go "overkill" on the antenna or not. I could easily stick one of these monsters on the roof if I wanted to, but I don't know if there would be harm (ie: signal problems) in using an antenna designed to pull in stations from 150 miles away for stations that are only 50 miles away.
  4. Here is my report: Good point on the electronics-I could easily just run it all down to the second floor and house everything in the master bedroom. I've found that mounting the WiFi router high creates a wider range all around the house.
  5. I think I may have found a solution: Amazon Fire Recast. Its a DVR that allows you to capture OTA TV and integrates it with Amazon Fire TV. I would be interested in hearing from anybody here who currently does Fire TV or has a Recast. The plan is as follows: -Purchase Amazon Fire TV devices for all three TVs in the house -Purchase Amazon Fire Recast -Purchase a large, high quality rooftop antenna (Since we live in the woods we don't really care how it looks) -Mount antenna on 10' mast affixed to chimney for an overall height of 40' above ground level (The two dishes will be removed-one is an old SD DirecTV dish from the previous owner, the lower one is our HD dish) -Locate modem, router, and Recast in walk-up attic My TVFool report seems to indicate that I should be able to get all of the major NYC networks via OTA and probably Philly as well, though I would likely need a rotor to face the antenna southwest as opposed to directly east.
  6. TV habits in our house are as follows: 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. - Local news/Weather Channel 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. - PBS Kids 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Local news/Nick/Disney/Food Network Aside from that routine during the week we typically watch hockey and football (whoever is playing) and 60 Minutes. If there's a way that I can get all that and my wife can seamlessly toggle between all of it using one remote, then we can "cord cut, stream," etc... If not, then no.
  7. Satellite TV just isn't cutting it out here in the woods anymore due to tree cover that is not on my property and cannot be removed. I'm also not going to pay $1000+ for a climber or a bucket truck to trim the tops either. So unfortunately I'm going to have to go to Comcast-no, I'm not interested in cord cutting. Too much hassle to get local channels and sports plus I need the wife and kids to be able to pick up one remote and make everything work. Here is what I need: Local networks The Weather Channel Disney Nick ABC Family (or whatever its called now) Food Network No special sports packages (we watch the Giants when we can get the games, that's it), no movie packages, no "ON-DEMAND," etc... I just want to get the essentials and pay as little as possible. I would like faster internet than we have now through our current DSL provider (10Mbps up, 1Mbs down), but no phone service. Will I get anything if I play coy and tell them I currently have DirecTV and am looking to switch? What can I realistically expect to pay long-term, ie: after the promo-rate expires?
  8. All that's missing is a poorly spelled and punctuated barely intelligible review. "wurst deer spot evur!!!!!!!! wil nevar go bak again! stand wuz old and failing aapart and nevar evun saw deers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. I'll be the contrarian here and state that the media's coverage of tick-borne diseases is getting out of hand. The media loves jumping on anything to do with ticks and whipping people into a frenzy. It's terrible that this guy died, but he was also 80 years old and suffering from COPD. Chances are if he was younger and healthier he would have recovered. Not saying that I'm eager to contract this disease, but it puts it into perspective somewhat. Its kind of like the hysteria that used to surround West Nile Virus-yes it can be serious for some people, but most people that do get it just assume they have a cold and recover from it without even knowing they had it. The news has people believing that if they step foot outside of their house that they will be permanently disabled from Lyme, develop a meat allergy, become paralyzed, and now die of this disease. The reality is that these issues are exceedingly rare.
  10. I just called Harmony Sand and Gravel and got a price on 3/8" Delaware River Stone which wasn't bad. Looks nice and smooth/should be easy on bare feet which was part of the wife's motivation for sand. Now the only problem is its supposed to rain all week which means I can't bring the tractor in the yard this weekend...yesterday I was working about as slow as I could and it still tore things up in spots No way in hell I'm wheelbarrowing 10 tons of stone!
  11. Finally finished the propane tank fire pit over MDW (see the rest of the build here: We decided that the back porch/patio was too close to the house-not for safety reasons, but because of smoke, etc... So I needed another place to put it. Years ago there was an above ground pool in this spot-now it just collects water, breeds skeeters, and gives the dog a place to get muddy: Put some geotextile down that I had planned on using to stabilize a soft spot in our lane but ended up just putting in more drainage instead: QP left over from road work: Got a decent base down along with a drain to carry away any water that bubbles up from behind the retaining wall: The idea is to have the fire pit in the center set on top of some large stones, surrounded by Adirondack chairs. I'm going to build a little covered firewood storage against the wall, and eventually I'll mount some outdoor speakers on it. I get good WiFi coverage outside so I have an Alexa in the toolshed for music patched into a Pioneer power amplifier/Infinity speakers right now. The question is what to top the QP base with. The geotextile will keep whatever I put there from sinking into the mud, so I was just going to go with 3/8" clean washed stone, but the wife has her heart set on sand. If you've ever been to the "Boat Bar" outside at the Draught House in Washington you'll know why. I just feel like it will be a PITA to keep clean, plus sand is expensive. I can get 3/8" clean stone from the quarry on the next mountain over for $23.00 a ton delivered but they only do crushed stone AFAIK. Any suggestions?
  12. I'm going to try to do a generous 90°sweep out of the house and down-if it bulges out from the wall a bit I'm not worried about it as its the backside of the house that no one really sees. For lineset covers I'll be using off the shelf vinyl gutter.
  13. I don't attempt projects unless I know what I'm doing. I do DIY jobs because I enjoy them and it saves me money, but I'm well aware of my limits. The mistakes you reference in the job you repaired sound like simple carelessness and poor/sloppy workmanship. I wouldn't hire someone like that to dig a ditch let alone install a $1300 AC unit. Finally, I'm not sure how complex of an install that was, but all of these units will be installed on exterior walls and the drain hose will go right out of the wall and then straight down. My neighbor down the lane has mini splits and he made a wand attachment for his shop vac that sleeves into the end of the drain hose that he uses once a month or so. He said the biggest problem is mud daubers trying to build nests right in the end of the hose. The overflow switch is a good idea but I'm not sure if there is something compatible with the Mr. Cool units-I'll take a look though.
  14. Just pulled the trigger on one of these: https://www.costco.com/Mr-Cool-DIY-18K-BTU-Mini-Split-Heat-Pump-with-WIFI-Smart-Controller.product.100493414.html Our house is 120+ years old with no ductwork (hydronic heat) so mini-splits are our only option for AC other than window units. Mr. Cool units have been on the market for a few years now but I was a little skeptical at first. However, after seeing them used successfully so far and also that Costco now sells them (Costco is great at standing behind the products they sell) I'm a lot more comfortable. Mini-split units are used extensively in many other parts of the world-I was talking to my buddy who is a retired Army Captain recently and he never lived in a place with conventional central air until he moved back to the states. This will be the first of four units for a total of 6 tons of cooling with two 1.5 ton units upstairs and two 1.5 ton units downstairs. The house is 2600SF total with varying levels of air-tightness and insulation. The first floor is 1880s era and not very tight or insulated. Most of the second floor is a 1998 edition, so its much better in that regard. This summer I'll probably just do two units, one up, one down, and then add the other two next summer just to keep costs under control. Installation should be pretty simple. 20A/230V Power is supplied to the outdoor unit from the service panel-I'll be using a 20A two pole breaker and 12/2 Romex. The outdoor unit then feeds power to the indoor unit via a combination power and control wire that runs alongside the lineset and condensate drain hose. The linesets are sealed so that the system is completely DIY (no vacuuming down or charging with special equipment or licenses)-once you connect the lines and open the valves the system is operational. The only disadvantage is that because the lines are pre-charged, their length is fixed at 25' so any excess line has to be coiled up somewhere. I am trying to plan my runs so that I don't really have any line left over once it reaches the outdoor unit. I was going to have longer runs anyway since I want to keep the outdoor units off of the north side of the house since that's where our porch/deck area is and I don't want to be sitting out there on a summer day listening to a condenser fan blow hot air at me. Another nice feature of these units is that the condensers are compact and easily mounted on a wall up out of the way rather than on a concrete pad, etc... Finally, I'll be integrating all of the units with Alexa, so that I can easily control the temperature in any of the four zones via simple voice commands and activate/shut them down remotely. The unit will arrive this week, but in the meantime I'll be doing some wiring work with an electrician buddy so that hopefully I can work on installing the unit next weekend.
  15. Despite the healthy coyote population around here (see the video I posted recently) I've been watching a doe and fawn for the last week use the drains I cut into our road to go back and forth between fields. The first time I saw the fawn it couldn't have been more than a couple of days old as shaky as it was.
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