I am really wondering if anyone ever actually reads this part of the show notes? If you are reading this, shoot me an email, email@example.com and say hi! Let’s see if I get any emails this week! While you are reading, get your graphic design game on and try out Canva. Head over to https://theAverageGuy.tv/canva and make your best Home Gadget Geeks album art (need to be 600 x 600p) and submit it to me for a chance to be featured on the podcasts. Pick any show or just do some freestyle. Love to see what you come up with. Try today.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg462
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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Mike Wieger, Ham Radio, antenna, radio, rfi, cigars, windows sandbox, Microsoft To Do
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The October 2020 Meetup Link can be found at https://theaverageguy.tv/Oct2020Meetup – Full schedule has been posted
A quick look at Windows Sandbox – install instructions can be found here:
Jim is on Cigar Authority on October 17 – https://thecigarauthority.com/
[1:40] The Table of Contents
[15:03] Mike talks Ham
[48:35]} Microsoft To Do
[58:38] Windows Sandbox
Jim Collison [0:00]
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 462 recorded on October 1 2020.
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation, all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison, broadcasting live from theAverageGuy.TV Studios. And Mike This is like I just every fall I’m just reminded how much I like fall, especially in the Midwest.
Mike Wieger [0:40]
The fall Nebraska is amazing, like the temperatures are perfect. These are the days where I like to go outside and work from home if I can, if I if I can get away from the meetings and have just some time ready to crank out some work. I like to go sit on the back patio
Jim Collison [0:51]
working from home is not bad when you grab the laptop really. I set out last night Tim Tim is home my marine son. And we went out and enjoyed some beverages in a cigar. And it was that perfect temperature or it was cool enough and windy enough that we just had to turn the deck heater on a little bit right. It’s that kind of thing. It was just that perfect temperature out there. No bugs, the crickets are kind of calming down cicadas are gone.
For the most part. I think we have a frost warning for tonight or tomorrow night one of the two coming in. And so it’s just it’s just the perfect time of year. I just love fall here in the US leaser all crackly and crunchy, we could use a little bit rain but but maybe not. But with that, we’ll post some show notes. And that’d be pretty good this week. By the way, if you haven’t been out to check out the show notes in a while I’ve been putting a table of contents in the show notes now.
So if you want to know where a subject starts, boom, in the show notes, if you want to know how to get to the meetup, we’re going to talk about that here in just a second bump in the show notes. So head out to https://theaverageguy.TV/hgg462 is kind of the easiest way to get there. Just go the average guy TV, it’ll be the, if you’re listening to this anything in the last four weeks, it’s gonna be right on the front page. So check out those show notes. I’m spending a little more time getting that table of contents that’ll take you right to it. So if you want to know meet up, boom, if you want to know when we started talking about ham radio, boom, they’ll all be in there. https://TheAverageGuy.TV/hgg462.
Big thanks to the October sponsor Canva. Ever heard of that? Mike canva.com. And you’re familiar with our friends over at Canva? And what they do?
Mike Wieger [2:27]
Yeah, I’ve heard of them. But I need you to I need I needed to learn more about them. Yeah, I haven’t personally used them. But I’ve heard they’re really good for creating images. Is that right?
Jim Collison [2:35]
Yeah, it’s exactly right. So like the album art that you see, if you go to the average guy TV here, I’ll show you really quick. If you head out to https://theaverageguy.tv and go to their front page. And then at the dashboard, Jim, you want to go to the front page. Let’s see if we can get there anytime. So as you look at this, of course, this is pretty standard graphics, the Home Gadget Geeks out although I built this on Canva that, that graphic there. But from time to time we post you know, I get some other contributions from from outside sources, and I make graphics for them. And, and that’s how I make them I make them on Canva you can do you can import all in your own images. You can you know if you go in here, I can say create a design, give me a custom dimension. In this case, I always make my album art 600 by 600.
It’s just something that works well for me, right? brings up a screen, I could this is if you’re watching if you do or listening on audio, this might be a good time to head over to video, I come in, I got a place to they have stock photos. Some of them are free, some are paid, they do have a paid plan over there Canva. They also have the ability to upload images that I want. So if we’re doing a custom, you know, we’re doing an event at Gallup this week called the Theme Thursday 2020 challenge. And so I just grabbed some of those graphics. And you can just bring them over if I wanted to do some things with them. I could bring them in, extend them out, make them pretty easy. make them bigger. It’s kind of graphic design for the graphic design challenged, right? Because you saw how easy that was right? I could bring those things in. I can resize them if I want to.
Mike Wieger [4:09]
And all in the web browser too. Right? Yeah, there’s nothing you need to download. This is all done the web browser.
Jim Collison [4:14]
Yeah, completely browser based. Maybe I want to add some check marks to these like, right, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna put check. And in search for that. It’s going to find some check marks for me. And then I can grab that check mark. Now in this case, it’s it’s black, and I want a white. Right. So I’m going to flip that over and now it’s white. Now I’m going to grab that and bring it over big. So let me just size that thing down. Boom. I just I made that image today. I think that’s the exact one that I shared on social media so fast that was to kind of create that image. Yeah, you can too. Canva has been around a while and they’re sponsoring us for the month of in there the affiliate, the sponsor affiliate for the month of October, go to https://theaverageguy.tv/Canva CANVA. if you sign up for an account there, we get a little credit for that here as well. But just kind of a great way to do graphics and images in his been. Go ahead.
Mike Wieger [5:10]
Well, no, I was gonna ask a question. So I saw on the homepage there, it looks like they have some templates for like that are sized if you don’t know the size dimensions it looks like they have like social media. So like, oh, YouTube channel art. That’s the one I saw. So it seems like it would be the perfect dimension. You’re just filling it in. That is super helpful. Yeah. Every time I go to upload like a new channel, or it’s like, oh, you have the wrong dimensions. And I’m like, I don’t even know what dimensions you want from me. So that’s really cool. That’s fine. That would be my biggest use case right there.
Jim Collison [5:37]
You can you can layer in there. You can you know, you can add text on top of things. Sometimes their text like this. Let’s get groovy. Okay, well, maybe I don’t want to get groovy. So I’m just gonna take that out, right? Yeah, and right. And, you know, I can take this one out as well. And then I can add my own. I can come over to the tech stellar element here. They got all kinds of different graphics. I can just bring those in, pop them in, size them up again, this maybe this one’s too big. Actually, that looks pretty good. It doesn’t really not not too bad on the fly. Right? Wow. It’s almost like I planned it. But I didn’t on this one. Seriously, I just I just faked it so
Mike Wieger [6:16]
and Brian asked Is this the free version of the paid version, this is the
Jim Collison [6:19]
free right now I’m using the free version. So you can there’s a lot you can do free, where you get into the some of the paid versions like you can see here, now showing as a free graphic. But then as we scroll down many of these many hours, like some premium ones, he lets go there in the photos. That’s this more prevalent in the photos, where you come in, again, a lot of free photos, if you want to jump in there. Usually I have a hard time finding things that are not free. There we go. This one is a pro. So in most cases, like I can buy it buy a pro image for $1. Which is pretty great. Yeah, I can use it anywhere I want, right? Yeah, yeah. No. Right on and so just a great way to kind of if you’re struggling with not listen, I’m not a graphics design guy. But I’ve been able to do some pretty cool stuff with Canva
Mike Wieger [7:06]
Well, that’s what it seems like it’s directed towards right like I don’t know my way around graphics. But the one you created for the website there the the image for that blog post looked like something I you know, you would have paid someone to do. And so it looks nice, professional
Jim Collison [7:20]
shadow, good colors. So about 10 minutes on that, right? You know, I just grabbed that this this, this one was actually a pre done and it was free. This this bubble, this word bubble is free. You know, go ahead,
Mike Wieger [7:32]
I was gonna say these tools like this, you know, when you think there’s so many of these for video editing, too, that there’s so many people now they’re making spectacular content. And they’re not firing up Final Cut. They’re not firing up Adobe Premiere, there’s some tool that helps them with the transition, you know, just like plug and play, we’ll make it look good. You give us the footage or like right here, right? We have a bunch of stock images, we can make it look really good super fast. I’m always impressed by services like this that are taking that you’re not starting with just a blank canvas anymore. It’s for kind of that intro user really cool.
Jim Collison [8:03]
Yeah, you can try they got a 30 day pro if you want to give it a try. And but the free version works I’ve pretty much been on the free version, I have paid for graphics as I’ve gone along. So I probably spent 15 or 20 bucks on graphics for these kinds of things. When you’re done. You just click download, you can download it as a PNG or JPEG. pdf, either standard or print. So you got a bunch of different options works out really, really well. Give it a try. They’re gonna we’re gonna be talking about them here through the month of October. So give them a try. https://Theaverageguy.tv/Canva and like I said anything you you if you sign up through that link, anything you buy or any plans you do help help us here at the edge. Get that TV so appreciate you guys doing that appreciate Canva have making that affiliate relationship available so we can get that done, as well.
Mike, Big thanks to Kyle last week he jumped in that was a fun. Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
Mike Wieger [9:01]
Yeah, blast that show.
Jim Collison [9:03]
It was one I enjoyed going back through into the transcripts for just because it was fun listening. He did he did a really nice job like Kyle’s kind of grown up on the show. I was talking to you after he dropped off and I was talking to you afterwards and I I just said it’s been kind of fun to watch Kyle kind of grow up on the show. He’s really good at this like this is something he should be doing on a regular basis. So I totally agree. Yeah, Kyle, thanks for for jumping in and and and given us the time some got me thinking about some things and some audio and and so Kyle, thanks for jumping in and getting that done.
We also want to talk a little bit about the October meetup. So we’re since we’re in October, October, Saturday, October 24. You’re going to want to join us head out to the average guy TV slash October OC t 2020. meetup all one word if can’t remember that it was too long, but that’s what I needed. It’s gonna go in the show notes that way I sent our subscribers if you go to the average guy, TV slash subscribe, you sign up for the new I actually am sending out kind of weekly updates now that these meetups are happening, like, I’m kind of motivated to send you guys updates on that. So if you haven’t subscribed, you might want to head over there and subscribe to that. That link will be in the show notes as well. But Mike, that link will get you to Eventbrite. If you get signed up, and a couple of you have already, that puts you in the mix, just to make sure I know how many are coming and how we’re going to plan this. And the times are in there, I think I have eight, one and eight. So 8am, Central, 1pm, Central, 8pm. Central. That’s it right? 8am 1pm 8pm. We’re just getting together, you don’t have to make them all you can just kind of come and go. But it’s going to be sometimes those slots in the morning. One will be to talk about what we’re going to put on to have you midway check out what we put on the evening will be pictures and maybe even if you’ve got time, or you want to bring it, you could bring it actually to the meetup to show what you’ve done that will taste
Mike Wieger [10:59]
Jim Collison [11:01]
Yeah, I think so if you’re in Europe, of course, you’ll be awake before we are. So start your grill then do what you don’t have to like, just join us get in there. Australia, same deal. If you want to start your grill as we’re ending. That would be awesome. We just love to have it. If you want to join as part of this kind of the streaming smokers we’re going to smoke, we’re going to stream smokers say that 10 times fast. We’re going to stream our smokers all day. And so if you want to be part of that crew, send me an email Jim at the average guy TV and we’ll get you set up. To be able to do that Mike, I’m just gonna have a webcam outside. I got all set up power.
I move plugs so I can have my laptop plugged in with a with a with a camera that we get the smoker, that’s all good. I’m doing an iPad just to make it easy. So I’m doing an iPad out there on a little stand. And that’s where I’m going. I’ve decided I’m roasting chicken. So the in the morning and I know that won’t take all day but I’m going to do Mark Robson’s trick. were slow and slow. Almost as slow as possible. Really just let that sit in there. And then and hopefully not catch fire like it did last time. Right? The drippings got fire. Yeah. Um, but then when it’s done,
I’m gonna wrap it in tin foil, throw it in the throat in the cooler. And let that sit. And what I’m really hoping to get is an all day meet, just drop it off the bone type deal. So when we get on a, we’ll bring that out we’ll show it I’ll have the camera in my kitchen we’ll be doing some things so and i think i’m going to do wings. So I think I’m going to put the wings on as the chickens coming off or around that one o’clock slot put the wings on for maybe a six o’clock something along those lines. I know they don’t take that long so I got to kind of figure out where they’re gonna go but they’re gonna be my afternoon grill so chicken than wings sent we won’t be able to eat them all what throw a party or something to do all that but love to have you join us get signed up https://theaverageguy.tv/Oct2020Meetup to ease in at m e t. Or check out the show notes get signed up. If you can’t remember anything. Just send me an email Jim@theaverageguy.TV and I will send you the link to it. Mike, I’m not really blasting that out on social. Because I don’t want some Twitter jackass coming on. Right, right. We don’t we kind of want to keep it to us.
Mike Wieger [13:23]
So we just in the family on this one.
Jim Collison [13:25]
Yeah, we’re just kind of mentioning it in the pot. Got any ideas you
Mike Wieger [13:28]
guys are all in the family. If you’re listening to this, you’re the family toys total, you’re invited. Totally
Jim Collison [13:32]
got any idea what you’re gonna what you’re gonna throw on the
Mike Wieger [13:34]
you got me thinking I so if you’re doing chicken, I might go ribs. So I might go ribs for the first bit. Those only take me about five hours. And then I was thinking the same exact thing was wings after the first round. So I’ll probably do ribs and wings, which would be kind of fun, because we can both kind of compare how we do our wings. My wings don’t take very long. But my ribs take about five hours. So we’ll, we’ll try that out.
Jim Collison [13:59]
I will, um, I’m going to take and copy and paste the link. There’s the meetup link in the chat room. So if you want to head over there and get signed up on Eventbrite, you can do that right now. Again, Eventbrite just gives me an opportunity to know how many are coming and how to plan for this. So we’ve got a couple already signed up, you’ve got time as well. And and this should be, this should be I’m kind of looking like, I’m kind of looking forward to it. The Patreon meetup went well, and this would be a great opportunity to just do what we do best, right, which is just Girl Meets MOOCs and meet meat. So yep, that’d be super good. Hey, um, you came on gave us kind of a ham primer. We did. We saw a really shady looking antenna hanging off the back of your house. Yes. And we but you got some updates. I mean, you like I’ve never seen anybody accelerate into these kinds of technologies like you do. You’re so good at this. So give us a spend a little bit of time catch us up a little bit on the ham side. We’re gonna actually I think, maybe do a live demo. Yeah. Sounds like I think That’s kind of cool. So yeah, hopefully, it’ll catch us up a little bit.
Mike Wieger [15:03]
Well, so when we were talking about getting into this, it was my very first time diving into hf and I think I hinted at the fact that we had to hunt around for some RFI, right, there was some radio frequency interference that was affecting my ham radio play. And you guys know that on the last show, I mentioned that I solved that issue by putting TP link smart plugs on all the devices I found in the home. And then whenever I want to play radio, I just tell a lady to turn off the RFID devices, I put them all into one group and, and we’re good to go. Um, well, the hard part about ham radio, though, is obviously when you live in a neighborhood like I do. It’s not just your house that you’re picking up. Sadly, you’re picking up every house around you in the RFI. So and that’s out of your control, right? I mean, I could go over to my neighbor’s house, knock on the door and say, Hey, can I come around your house with my little pocket radio and find all the devices that are interfering and turn them off? Would that
Jim Collison [15:56]
be okay, that’s not creepy at all.
Mike Wieger [15:58]
not creepy at all. No, no, definitely not. I already get some weird looks, we’ll talk about that we talked about my antenna upgrade, which we are talking about. But um, so the only way to really help that out is to fix your antenna. And when I say fix your antenna, there’s no perfect antenna. But there are ways that you can make it better, especially when you’re in a neighborhood. So number one is to really not use a vertical antenna. Vertical antennas are vertically polarized, and a lot of RFI tends to be vertically polarized as well. And they’re going to pick up a lot more interference from a neighborhood setting. So checkmark box for me, I was already not using a vertical antenna, you guys saw that I use a dipole dipole antenna is a wire antenna that goes horizontal or in a V shape. Usually the center’s up a little bit higher than the legs, if you can’t get your legs up high. And you know, it’s this is one of those things, Jim, I was telling my wife as we’ve been driving around. Now whenever I’m in the car driving around like neighborhoods, or when I pass anything, I’m like, dude, I’m jealous, that guy’s property look where he can hang that antenna, like he’s got some big trees in his backyard. The guy is even at the end of my cul de sac have these massive, you know, hundred foot trees. That would just be amazing to have in my backyard because I can hang an antenna off. But so so we’re we’re using a dipole antenna, which is already. The second thing really the only thing you can do is get it up in the air. You really need to get these thing as high as possible. Number one that just helps propagation in general, you’re going to hear better, but also the more it’s more distance you’re putting between your antenna and those RFI devices, so nothing’s gonna be perfect. You’re always gonna have issues with noise and RFI. But I just knew that if I could get it any higher, that would be great. And so I think everyone called it in the chat that I wouldn’t really stick with my antenna setup for long and it’s, it’s partly true, it’s that I have the same antenna. But I have actually changed the mast on it twice. Since we talked so I think last time we talked, I think I had the 10 foot PVC pipe deny sticking out of my roof. I think so.
Jim Collison [18:07]
So right. It’s kind of it was it was droopy though.
Mike Wieger [18:11]
Yep. So, uh, the setup I have right now is I have a old satellite dish mount. So I took the satellite dish because we don’t use it anymore took the dish off but kept the mount and it actually makes a perfect mount for a mast. And what I had done before was I had used PVC pipe that kind of slid perfectly into the mount. But and that’s what I had on the last show. And it was 10 foot tall. And then I put the center of the dipole I mounted the center have it onto that PVC post, well, that PVC post was not thick enough, gradually over time was just starting to droop more and more. And I just knew at some point it probably would have lasted for a decent amount of time, but it was going to crack and I would have had more of an issue that I want to deal with. But I really didn’t come up with my perfect solution yet. I kind of put a bandaid on that because what I did was I just went out and got a bigger PVC pipe a thicker one and I slid it over top of that PVC pipe so I had two PVC pipes, one that fit into the mount to kind of provide the actual supported mast and the other ones slid around the outside. Really to just give it some more structural integrity. But even that one first of all, it was only 10 feet higher than the house which was okay but not great. On second of all, it just started to droop to it wasn’t the best. So I did a lot of research kind of looking around and there were there are quite a few options. Really a lot of people actually suggested to try my hand at a vertical antenna because they come with the mass their ground mounted but they said but we kind of all came to agreement that be a neighborhood like we talked about vertically polarized, not good when you have that much our five verticals are fantastic. If you are out in the country and don’t have trees or anything, but you don’t have anyone around you. A vertical is a great antenna, but not for the neighborhood. So all I ended up doing was actually going out and getting top rail and top rail is you get it at Lowe’s Home Depot. It’s meant for Your chain link fences. So if you go to the chain link fence fence section, and the great part about it is they actually it doesn’t have to be kind of that standard steel color, they actually have the ones that are coated in a color like black actually was the only option at my low so I went to Lowe’s, grab the black top rail and there are 12 foot sections so I grabbed two of those and I grabbed the so they are ready that top rail you know one end gets skinny so it can slide into the other piece. But then they also come with you can add more integrity to that joint by they have kind of these steel joiners, so you saw the steel joiner on your side the two poles together, and you’ve got it. So that’s why I ended up going with for a mast. So I now have a 24 foot mast on top of my you know, whatever it is 12 foot 13 foot house at the corner at the bottom corner, because my roof is obviously pitched as a ranch style. And this is on the bottom corner of the roof. So the lowest part of the roof is where that mount sets. And so I caught up there actually this was just a few days ago got up on the roof the other day. And I didn’t really account for the weight difference because I took the PVC pipe down, grabbed the antenna off it mounted it to the top of this pole, the 24 pole and I’m sitting on my roof and I go can like a pole vaulter, I’m posting this 24 foot pole up. Like I said, I didn’t think about the weight though. And it actually started to go off the opposite side of the house. I don’t know how it actually I actually got it into the mass before I started to fall off the roof. And I swung myself around. But I held on to the to the satellite antenna holder. But we got it up. So now the antenna is up an extra 14 feet, right? So it’s up 24 instead of 10. And it’s worked really well. I’ve been I’ve been really surprised at how well it’s worked, I’m getting a lot more distance. It’s always hard to judge. And Jim, this is probably the most frustrating thing about ham radio, the band propagation, meaning how far I can hear and who can hear me changes on a minute by minute basis, and especially a day by day basis. Today, I could hear Finland tomorrow, I could hear nothing, right. And so it’s super hard to test whether an upgrade I just made helped or not. Because I have no reference point. There’s no standard for figuring it out if if you’ve if you’ve done well or not. But I’ve given it a few days now. And I would say averaging it out. It’s going alright, so that was kind of first upgrade, we made
Jim Collison [22:23]
my neighbor down the street. And on the corner is a big ham guy. And he has one of these kinds of antennas. Now I’m jealous, we’re not a neighborhood, unlike yours. He has a behind his house. And it goes up quite a ways. And then he just hoists the antenna up right through the through that poll. He’s got a line that goes down. And so I’ve been eyeing his setup. Now this isn’t his exact setup. It’s just one like this. It’s not quite as big as this. It’s a little bit smaller. I’m not sure you would catch him climbing on it like this. But it’s that same style. It’s the triangles that that that make their way up. Right reinforced. And he’s got a couple antennas on there as well. So I’ve been you know, it’s funny, it’s been it’s been there the whole time we’ve lived here,
Mike Wieger [23:10]
like all their attention now. Yeah. Yeah, what and that’s what my neighbors said. So actually, it’s been funny because they they obviously saw when I hung it the first time and they made we all joked about it. But I’m pretty close to the people in my cul de sac. But then all sudden, I was going out to hockey the other night, my buddy or my neighbor across the street goes, Hey, try to talk to Mars now or like, what’s your limit now? And I was like, yeah, and he goes, man, when you put that upgrade up, and I said seven o’clock, I said, Where were you? I almost fell off my roof. Dude, he goes, dude, you should have came and knocked on my door would have come over. And I think that’s the funny part. I told him I said, I said, I think my wife would probably ask me to do a written apology to everyone else to see this, this antenna. And he goes do I think it’s kind of cool. Actually, you know, I’ve told my buddy now I got a ham for a neighbor. And, and but I will share just real quick just so you guys can see it’s not a noxious. But I mean, it is definitely noticeable, right? So it’s this black mass. So I’m this is this is taken from the cul de sac side. So this is what the coldest act side is seeing. I kind of live on a lot that has street on all three sides. So completely surrounding the property. And really, it’s funny in the backyard, you don’t really notice it because I have a lot of trees that line the street. But it does get up there’s always I mean, so the mass goes all the way up. And then like I said, the dipole has two legs. So this is set up in the V formation. One leg goes to the battery. And this leg actually this is just rope from this spot of the house up and the antenna probably starts I think right about there. This is the short end of an off center fed dipole. So on and off center fed one side of the antenna is actually shorter than the other. It’s split up 66% 33%. So whatever your length is, you’ve got one thirds and two thirds. So I actually put the short side here. And the reason being because I used to actually have the long side of the antenna coming over to a mask that was on this corner of the house. And I thought you know Okay, so I’ve got While running right over my attic, and I do have two security cameras here, and those are two of the offending devices that I actually have to unplug when I want to play radio, I think it’s the way they get power, they have one of those janky POV but you actually have to plug it into a wall and then run that into the POV. It won’t work have a POV switch. So like, you know, instead of having wire run over all this stuff, I’ll use the short end and then have the long end go the backyard to a tree and I think that’s actually helped out a lot to where a more of the antenna now is away from the house not over anything electrical, which is which is actually helped out it’s been good.
Jim Collison [25:35]
Do you think you’ll have any neighbor problems with it in the future?
Mike Wieger [25:38]
I don’t think so. Um, I mean, in, in the world of ham, this is the most unobtrusive antenna you can get. I mean, there are guys putting theirs if you guys want to google google the step IR antenna, and there are people putting the step by or it’s a Yagi antenna. So it’s got literally so you got your think about, you know, those TV antennas you see in like the country or in our neighborhoods, where they have one street and they have the rails off the side, think of a massive gigantic version of that on a rotator so they can direct it. People are putting those on top of their house. So our Hoa I did check it does not have any rule against antennas. So I think that would be really the only way I would get in trouble is if the HOA had a rule against visible antennas. And, and they don’t. So I think until I start interfering with people’s electronics, I don’t think anyone will have an issue when satellite TV doesn’t work during the Nebraska game. And that might be an issue as I start to make people’s and really that’s a TVs are the can be affected by RFI. So you’ll notice that this is actually the most common reason that happens is there’s a bad transformer from the electrical company. So one of those ground mounted transformers are one that’s in the air has a crack in it. And so people around there, their TVs will flicker, they’ll have some really weird thing from that RFI, and people have experienced something like that. But really, you need to be pushing out a lot more power than I am. To have that issue. So no one will experience anything,
Jim Collison [27:06]
do you? Do you worry about lightning?
Mike Wieger [27:09]
Yeah, I do. That’s the next step of what I need to do. Um, you know, the funny part about this is you learn a lot. And Jim, I don’t know how I missed this in science class, I missed this in every single science class, you know, I always just thought that metal attracts lightning, I was like, Well, you know, it’s going to attract lightning being up there. Metal doesn’t attract lightning. But metal does conduct lightning. So it when lightning hits it, it’s going to travel through it and destroy anything it’s touching. Right. So that’s kind of the difference is I always thought like it would there was a there’s not a higher likelihood chance that this is going to get struck by lightning than if that was wood, for example. But it is something you have to worry about, obviously in Omaha doesn’t happen too often. But there are precautions you take. So what you do is you actually need to do this, my project this coming weekend is I need to run a ground wire from that base in the base of the satellite, and they actually had one for the satellite dish, I took it off when I didn’t think I was gonna ever use it, put it back on, run it to a ground rod right below it. And then what they also have is for your antenna, the CO x that runs straight down that goes into my basement and connects to my radio, the quacks cable actually where it’s split, you have what’s called a lightning arrester. And so it’s a connector on each side. And it actually when it senses that it’ll short itself and go to it’ll be attached to a ground rod. So the idea is that most of the electricity will go right into the ground rod, it’s still going to destroy anything on the other end. So you Always unplug the collect from your radio when you’re done playing radio. If you have lightning in the area,
Jim Collison [28:44]
well, lightning always follows the path of least resistance. And if that metal is the path of least resistance going straight to the ground, it will be attracted, it will go it will seek it and go to it and then shoot it down. But yeah, you want to make sure I mean, you you’ve got a big metal thing hanging out in the air. You know, if there’s lighting in the area, it’s probably going to hit it. So yeah, having a grounded is key and having it grounded. Well is key that you want to make sure that thing is grounded that 1.21 jigowatts that comes off though. Yes.
Mike Wieger [29:18]
We all know right back the
Jim Collison [29:20]
future. We’re all gonna one point 21 jigowatts. Yeah, so you know, you want to get that grounded just as soon as you possibly can.
Mike Wieger [29:26]
You know, it’s funny. Grounding is actually one of the most controversial issues in Ham Radio, because there is all sorts of rules, old rules, myths that you’re supposed to follow when it comes to grounding. But really, what you need to follow is the electrical code. And the hardest part about that for me my biggest headache I’m going to have when I work on the grounding is that my electrical ground so my AC ground for my house is actually not a ground rod outside. I wish it was mine is tied to the water pipe in the basement. So my water pipe which is valid that meets code, you can use the water pipe. But that means that my external antenna, because any ground you have, they all need to be bonded together. So I just can’t put a ground rod outside and have it ground my antenna and call that good. You’re supposed to have that ground rod bonded to your to any other ground for the house. So I’ll have to figure out a way to run a thick gauge wire or braid, they usually breeze braid quite a bit into the house and run it all the way to the water pipe, it’s going to be interesting, you’re not supposed to tap into the AC ground wire, because actually where that punches into the house is right by my electrical panel. So if I could just bond it right to the wire that runs from that panel to the water pipe, it’d be easy, but have to run a certain wire. So there’s so much when you get into this gym, it’s like one of those hobbies, it just never ends. like Oh, geez, there’s so many requirements that I need to think about. The grounding is the next phase. And it does actually help with RFI sometimes. Sometimes you can get rid of some static if or some they call it the common mode interference. A proper grounding can sometimes help with that as well.
Jim Collison [30:59]
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s good. It’s good to file follow code. This is one of those where that wire if you do get struck by lightning, that ground wire is gonna get hot. Oh, yeah. In fast. And so you want to make sure this isn’t one where you want to kind of rig it, you know, make sure it’s like, you’re doing it right. It’s to code. It’s in the right things. It’s doing the right stuff. Yeah. All all kind of important. Did you also did you change the the actual Ham Radio? Are you going through the computer now? Or what? Did you did you make some upgrades?
Mike Wieger [31:33]
I did. Of course I did. I can’t just so you guys will recognize that when we did the show. I had the radio actually right behind me in the spot right here. And I was using the mac number one it was it was not good posture. I think it was driving my occupational therapy, wife nuts that I was sitting in like, because this workbench doesn’t have spot to put your feet so I was hunched over I was in a bar stool plain radio. And honestly, I didn’t I didn’t sit down for long periods of time, I didn’t get to enjoy my radio cuz I wasn’t comfortable. So I brought the radio actually back to this main setup here. And you guys have seen pretty pictures of my setup, I have a nice, I have four monitors right in front of me right here, got my gaming rig that I’m coming to you guys on. And there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do with Ham Radio via the computer. I showed you guys that last time we did some, some FTA which is some modes you can do. But even more than that, there are some great applications that let you fully control your radio from your computer. So you actually don’t need to be sitting there playing with your radio too much you can be it’s the same radio right, you’re just using an application connected over USB cable to control it. So I did I brought my radio over here. It’s been fantastic having it here because now I sit in my comfy chair. And I actually have another mic right here. This is my ham radio mic. So this is connected to my Ham Radio. Same exact setup. So I have two microphones. And I can just pull that over and I actually have the Ham Radio now running through my go XLR. So I got everything wired up. And this has been great. It’s a game changer once I found out like Once you’re comfortable, being comfortable doing something is a huge thing. And just convenience right? And so comfortable and convenience was kind of my goal. So yes, so I run it through the through the go XLR. So I actually don’t even need to switch anything right now if I want to listen my radio, I just throw up one of the sliders on my go XLR mixer, and I can listen, just switch over to this microphone. And I’m good to go. We hear it.
Jim Collison [33:18]
Like Yeah, you can. Yeah, you play so we can hear I know some folks know what this sounds like. But but bring it up here. Listen.
Mike Wieger [33:25]
Yeah, so so this is what’s funny, too. So you want to know that one of the biggest offenders of RFI is actually this LED strip that I put on during the show to make my background look good. So we might hear a little static. But let me try here. First of all, I’ll give you guys what static sounds like. So when there’s nothing heard,
well, let’s go tune up to someone talking.
Somewhere between 50 and 55.
I can get it up to 60 feet, but it works really well.
Jim Collison [33:56]
Talking about antennas, they must be listening to the podcast, right?
Mike Wieger [34:01]
So they’re talking about their setup, that’s usually what you’re gonna find guys talking about. Let’s see what other guys are talking about over here.
Thank you for your service. They’re in the in the military. And I’m very happy to know that you
Jim Collison [34:17]
now know how Star Wars did some of their radio special effects. That’s
Mike Wieger [34:21]
what my buddy said as you’re scrolling around.
So let’s see here. We didn’t get
expect to hear somebody saying let’s get set up for our attack rod.
Jim Collison [34:38]
Seriously, they must have just recorded ham when they were making some of those radio effects.
Mike Wieger [34:44]
So what that is, is if you’re not perfectly on frequency, as you’re scrolling, when I’m scrolling this wheel, I’m changing frequency and it’s like the radio right? The old school radio that’s you start to adjust. You could hear him start to come in. And so it sounds like they’re kind of horrible and also as you get right on the frequency they’re talking on it It clears up. And that’s what they sound like. But there you can see we have two stations talking over each other.
In a tree close by,
Jim Collison [35:19]
of feels like we’ve gone back to the 1950s.
Mike Wieger [35:22]
You know? Well, I mean, we kind of have right like this has been around for so long. I just and so what I was just doing there is kind of cool when you look at the it is yeah, so Andrew called it that single sideband. So this is kind of one thing we didn’t get into. And I’ll give you guys a here’s here’s another fact you can take to your next cocktail party. I love this. So back in the day, on the hf bands for hf people use am radio. So just so think of a ham radio, like you tune your car they use as as the mode of communicating well am takes a lot of power for her for how far it gets, I guess is the best way to put it. It’s not very efficient, right takes a lot of power. And so what they decided was, so he has a carrier in the middle, and two sidebands to it. That’s how the audio looks like if you were to look at it, you would see the carrier in the middle and you’d see two side bands, they said, Well, you know, we don’t need super high fidelity for talking on HF radio, right? Like this isn’t the super high quality stuff we need. So let’s chop out the carrier and one of the side bands. And so now what you’re left with is called single sideband, which is by far nowadays, the most common mode to communicate on HF radio, you still use FM sometimes. So frequency modulation, you still use FM for the short distance, the ones that I was talking on for the first year that I was licensed when you’re doing short range, UHF and VHF, that uses FM. But on on this radio, mainly you’re using sideband. So the radios have I can switch to ATM if I want. And talking to him. And some old school guys are just like they’re not leaving as they love their mcfc you’ll turn around sometimes, and you’ll hear the ATM guys. And man it does sound good. I’ll say that. But the amount of power it takes is just kind of it’s useless really for for what you do on radio. And then so they made it even more complicated. There’s upper sideband and a lower sideband. Don’t ask me why they didn’t just pick one and stick with it. But now you have to memorize on which band you’re supposed to use upper or lower sideband. It’s not like a regulation. It’s not like a rule. It’s more like a gentlemen’s agreement that if you are below 10 megahertz, then you’re going to use lower sideband. If you’re above 10 megahertz, you’re gonna use upper sideband. There’s no difference. It’s not like one works better than the other. So I really have no idea why they didn’t just pick one for all communications. But
Jim Collison [37:38]
they did. So some reason. Yeah, probably some reason they’re somewhere in there. Ham didn’t fit into the pan. So they cut the end.
Mike Wieger [37:45]
And it does sound play. So he brings up a good point. Let’s just do that. Let’s switch to the opposite sideband. And I’ll kind of show you guys what that sounds like. I want to try and see if I can find a really strong signal here to show you guys this because a weak signal is kind of hard. Well, here’s an am station. So Mexican radio comes in. So it’s a really high pitch. I switch to am sad that yeah. So I’m picking up some. What’s your good that’s like, it sounds pretty clear. Right? And it’s a super powerful station. But let’s go ahead and switch back to lower sideband there’s a guy talking right here. I think I found one. Or is this just a tone? Are you tuning on the radio? Are you tuning on the computer? I’m on the radio right now. I’ll show you guys the app here in a second. See, see the problem on hf two as you can sometimes only hear one side of the conversation, depending on how far away the other guy is. So we’re not. Oh, I found one more. We’ll try this one in the wall.
Where’d you go? there? Yes. Okay.
It varies anywhere. But so he’s pretty good there. And we’ll switch to the opposite side band.
And he stopped talking, of course, but you kind of heard at the beginning. So it’s weird, you would think that you would still be able to hear it because you’re like, Okay, I’m just picking one of the sides. You’re really not they are kind of two different. So there’s your fun little lesson you’re hearing. And then I’ll I’ll show you guys real quick the app. So the app I chose to go at the night if you’re a ham hopefully you’ve you’ve heard of this app because amazing. It’s ham radio Deluxe. And it really is I would say the it’s it’s kind of a game changer. It’s the leading application for if you want a full Featured suite for for Ham Radio. So let me share my screen real quick here.
I’m sure this one.
So what you’ll see with Ham Radio Deluxe is it has, like I said, it’s the full suite for Ham Radio what I use it for. So there’s a lot of modules that come with it. But on this left side here, you can see this is my radio. So in a kind of a computer version, so we can see actually, the sound coming in right here, the different levels. So as we turn that up, let’s get tuned on this guy you guys can hear. So there’s the meter right here. And there’s that s meter. Oh, geez, this guy’s running 1.4 kilowatts, so 1400 watts,
Jim Collison [40:45]
how close is that to 1.21 Gigawatts,
Mike Wieger [40:48]
pretty far away. But he’s running 1400 watts compared to my 100. So he probably won’t be able to hear me if I keyed up. But the great part about this is that I don’t need to touch the radio. So a lot of times when I’m searching for pota, Parks on the air, people all know what frequency they’re gonna be on, because they’re on a spotting site. And so I can just faint right there. So I just changed the frequency of my radio and my radio instantly reflects it on the physical radio, which is great, you can switch your band here, set all your different noise reduction, things like that. But really, the great part about it too Is it connects to my logbook. So over here on the right side is my logbook. So I’m logging every single contact I make, well, if I go to add a contact, a lot of times you’re doing this really fast. And what you’ll notice is actually on the frequency for it, it just it just knows because it’s connected the radio what frequency it’s on. So it’s one less thing you have to enter when it comes to logging something because it just always knows what frequency radio is on. And, you know, this is kind of I know that USB connection to your radio isn’t totally new to Ham Radio. But you know, it’s relatively new to Ham Radio before you know, even when I was doing parks on the air before I started using my iPad, you’re manually doing this in a notebook. And then and there’s no problem with that there’s no requirement that you have log, but it’s nice. And a lot of people like it when you upload your log to a common site where they can, you know, confirm their contact with you. And I don’t know, it’s just kind of, there’s no hard and fast rule about it. But people really like it. So most of the time, you’re going to want to get your logbook digital anyway. So having some sort of app like this that can pull all this stuff in is really nice. And there’s so many other features of this. There’s satellite tracking, a lot of guys are really into talking off satellite repeaters. So there are a lot of satellites, low Earth orbit satellites circling around that are specifically meant for ham radio, guys, whoa, I didn’t think about that I pulled that number on screen. And a lot of guys really love because it’s the challenge, right? That that satellites only going to pass over you for about maybe eight to 10 minutes. At the best, right? It may even go faster than that, depending on where it is. And you don’t know Okay, do I need to aim my antenna straight up in the air? Is it going barely over the horizon? Where am I going to have to point my antenna to get the satellite. So there’s, there’s some satellite tracking in here that you can do your digital modes through a module here as well. Um, it’s really the kind of the full featured suite, there are so many things that this does. And the more powerful beefy radio you have with more features, the more that this software can even do for you. which is which is great. It is a little bit pricey. It’s $100. So right now I just started using this a week ago, I’m doing a 30 day free trial, just to make sure that I fully utilize all the features because there are a lot of free logging programs out there that are very, that are great. But man, once I got into this, I should not have done the free trial because now I’m kind of I feel spoiled when I’m doing things like this. But you know, the things about a digital logbook, too, that I like to think I didn’t mention is for this reason right here. So let’s say I hear a guy out there and it’s k for extra uniform. So when I type him in, it instantly pulls up the last two times we talked. So I’m like Oh, dude. And it pulls in from online his name, right? Cuz it’s using the online database. So instantly with that first second like rich, dude, you and I just talked on the 26th. We are actually over on single sideband on 20 meters was the last time we talked like oh yeah, I remember talking to you, how’s it going? And it’s and you can add in comments here. So I can say hey, like we talked about my antenna setup. So I have comments in here for everyone I talk to if I do a lengthy conversation, and then next time it comes up like oh, yeah, remember last time we talked about your YouTube channel? Things like that. So it makes it super quick and easy to kind of jog your memory on. Have I talked to this guy before? Or have I not? So a lot of just advantage here of using a digital logbook and something like that.
Jim Collison [44:39]
Yeah, yeah. Nice. That’s why podcast so I remember conversations, right again, kind of old, so I don’t you know, there’s some conversations we’ve had years ago. If I didn’t record them in a podcast, I would never remember them. That’s pretty cool. Mike, that’s, that looks really cool. Like that’s one of those when you showed me that I’m like, oh, oh, now I’m Thinking about this,
Mike Wieger [45:01]
like, oh, man, if we could get Jim into ham radio, that would be my day.
Jim Collison [45:05]
Oh my god. Well, I, I got to get the, I’ve got to get the drone that first flies up into the air when somebody you know, although lately with the pandemic, my neighbors are moving around a lot more that thing would be up and down all day. Yeah, plus the kids coming and going, Tim is here with me now. So anyways, but yeah, no, I don’t need another thing. But it’s super cool, Mike, that you’ve gotten into this and and i think fun for those in the community that have been into it, and are now kind of like maybe getting re enthused about it. Because you are. So do we have have you connected with anybody on ham? that’s a that’s a listener?
Mike Wieger [45:45]
Yeah, we have a few other obviously, Andrew out in the chat. He’s one run big one, there’s a few more I’m sure that I’m forgetting who because then we do have a channel for that in discord to check. And that’s the other thing too if you guys are on hf and Andrew asked what bands I’m on. I’m on 40 through 10. So that’s what my off center fed dipole does. I spend, you know, right now with the sun cycle, I spend most of my day on 40 or 20. Right now, what we were just listening to that was 40 meters. So we are around 7.2 megahertz was where we were tuned in on. But I do spend you know, 20 during the days a little bit better 40 definitely at night. And then hopefully, when the sun kind of picks back up, we’ll get maybe some more 1010 meter band going and I would love to get an antenna up for 80 meters or 160 I really just don’t have the room on my property, the way it’s configured to put it even longer antenna. But I have I’ve have thought about it, I’ve kind of been mapping some stuff out to see if I could put like an end fed out there or, or some way to, to get that going. But it’s it’s just it’s Jim, like we talked about. It’s one of those hobbies where you could ask me every single week, what do you update, and I would have something to tell you, because you can never perfect it. And you can always do some little tweak. To make things better. That’s just man, I’ve just been blown it.
Jim Collison [47:02]
Cool. Well, good, good to get an update from you. And kind of again, I’m sure there’s some some folks out there who’ve been doing this a while who are encouraged to hear some of this that you’re doing it I everybody likes to hear when somebody else gets into their hobby. Mm hmm. And so super cool. You know, it’s like a podcaster I get all geeked out when somebody else decides to become a podcaster. Yep. You know, there’s so many things to learn, right? There’s so many things to know. So super cool. No, sir. Well, we’ll as we’ll continue to do some more shows until you guys get sick of it. So keep, you know, my keep growing. And we’ll we’ll probably as we get closer to Christmas. We had planned his update for later in the fall. But But when Chris couldn’t do it, you were just like, Hey, I could give the update now. So I said yeah.
Mike Wieger [47:49]
And also, I’ll think of some fun facts we can learn to and, you know, Andrew asked if you and I would actually be within 70 centimeter band range. And we would so that’d be the cool part. If Jim did even if I just got Jim I should probably just give him one of my bow Fang radios and and tell him to go take his tech test. Because not actually not on simplex though I should clarify. It would have to be through a repeater. We do not have line of sight between Jim’s house and mind radio wise, we’d be close, but probably not. So we’d have to be talking to a repeater. But May Allah Oh yeah, we’re definitely in the same locale. We could talk on a few extra repeaters that we could both have our houses. I’m just gonna drive your house like I can’t deliver beer or cigars via Ham Radio. So when I want to talk to you, I’m just gonna come up with your house. Sounds good.
Jim Collison [48:35]
Yeah, I like that better. Mike, good update a couple other updates, kind of before we go, Mike. One is I’ve switched, you know, for years. For 30 years, I have tried to move my to do lists from paper, and I’m super effective on paper, like super effective. And I was a Franklin planner guy for a lot of years. I carried around this nerdy notebook that had Franklin you know, covey Frank now, Franklin Covey was Franklin when I first started with, you know, paid you buy these pages each year, you’d get a catalog and be like, oh, what kinda they’d have different styles Monticello and all these other right?
Mike Wieger [49:13]
My mom was huge into that too. Yep.
Jim Collison [49:16]
I Oh, dude, there was nothing better than a Franklin. like the smell of a Franklin plan. So funny is
Mike Wieger [49:22]
what she said to like, the smell of it was just like unique. Yeah.
Jim Collison [49:24]
Or the guy they put additives in there. Or that kind of right, right? Was it was just like, order and love and acceptance all wrapped up in in the paper smell right? And so you know, you you get new ideas, get a new, you know, batch of planner pages at the end of the year and in put them in binders and you know, all those kinds of things is the only thing in my life I was actually organized now. I didn’t actually follow this stuff I put in there but the planner look good. So, over the last I don’t know, you know, I was a poem, three guy and then a poem five And I’ve been trying to move my to do since then, really, I’ve been trying to move my to do list online and nothing has worked, right? Even when Wunderlist came out, everybody moved to Wunderlist for whatever reason Trello whatever those couldn’t do it, I tried, I got on Wunderlist I built the list for a week I ditched it, I just couldn’t get to it. So I don’t know, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, I said to myself, and I don’t know why I’m making the change, like I am going to force myself and I think I’ve been listening to Windows weekly, Paul Thrott was talking about to do and I’d seen the to do application on Windows, it’s available on the web. And in Windows, it sealed wonder list that Microsoft bought, then did nothing with for a couple years, and then they’re bringing it out and making as part of the office suite. And I think I got it, like I think I have finally moved. So my work PCs here I’ve got a screen right above it. That is the full time to do screen. This is what I needed in the screens touch. So I can just as I’m done with nice, I can just check them off. If I need to add more things. I just swivel to this chair, go to the web, Adam and type them in, boom. But during the day. Thanks, Tony for that tweet, by the way you just tweeted us during the day, I’ll be working here and just checking things off. In that that’s what I figured is what I needed is I needed that thing on something I could see all the time. I’m a visual guy.
Mike Wieger [51:31]
That was good. My question is what clicked so he was having a monitor devoted to that 100% of the time.
Jim Collison [51:36]
Yeah, yeah. So I got this 22 inch touchscreen I bought years ago to do some things with and plug that in PC was that I had been the kitchen PC. Yeah, okay, the kitchen PC. Yeah, that thing’s been a bunch of different stuff. It’s the weather PC to I’ve got, I can bring up my radar on it. And but to have that to do list. And then today, I figured out if I load the app from Microsoft, the Windows app, you can put in dark mode in go that just that now that is like I’m in like I, it looks great. It’s easy on the eyes, but having it all in one place in my workspace. That was the key, like having it there. So I could just check things off with my finger is like yeah, boop, boop, boop on a PC. So I thought, well, how am I going to do this at work. Because my work setup is completely different. I have Yeah, I’ve got this big 3444 or whatever inch monitor. But I don’t like I don’t want that that I want to see the to do list all the time. That’s the key, it needs to be there all the time. So I took my Surface three that’s sitting right behind me here on screen, and I took the power cable and because it’s in a dock here, that’s going to leave it at work. So the power dock is there. And then I’m just going to grab in the morning, so I go in, I’ll just undo that throw that in. Because that’s an easy thing to take to work with me it’s touchscreen as well. And then it makes a satisfying thing when I close something. Um, you know, when you close something out just makes this little nice little thing, right and in it so I set it up with the with the surface or with the pro Surface Pro, just put the kickstand out and set it down on the desk, monitor here. Surface Surface to my left, and then laptop to my right. And I’ve got kind of three screens like I do here. I did it one day, and it was like, This is great.
Mike Wieger [53:29]
You’ve got me thinking about that now too. Cuz Jim, my thing is I start doing everything digital. And then I fall out of it because I just the notepad is always there. Right But the screens not. So I think you might have solved my issue too is I have my notepad everywhere. But I never have a screen that’s fully dedicated to notes or to dues and so maybe taking my iPad in and having that just be the always on screen and just have a dedicated strictly that that could be my answer to you might have solved my problem, man, well, let me know.
Jim Collison [53:57]
It took me forever to figure out I need to see the thing, because that’s what the different sets of paper was. It was always on my desk. Exactly. I could always see it and you’d be like Jim, that’s dumb. No, that’s the way I’m wired. Like I need to have everything out in front of me all the time. It’s why my monitor hound because I want every monitor have a reason. And I want it to be showing something you know, I have this monitor up here that normally shows what’s going on in my Google Analytics. So I know when people hit the website but during this show, it’s the audio it’s what feeds Spreaker right. I Twitter and all my cameras on this monitor right below it right. These are the work these two are the work monitors that I have here. I have a dedicated discord box that in monitor that just has discord on all the time because I know if I don’t have it up, I will forget about it.
Mike Wieger [54:50]
Yep, you know, I’m the same exact way. No, I wonder how to and I have always something dedicated my right wing over here is discord to I have a whole motto that always discord old name Sit down here for work, because I can’t fit my work laptop on here on this desk. But when I’m down here, it’s,
Jim Collison [55:08]
well, there’s the work laptop. Now I just switch those around yesterday. So now I have a 24 inch monitor here that had been the 34 inch monitor. And, and actually, that setup wasn’t as good because it didn’t fit as well in here. So now that I have a 24, that fits perfectly underneath the touchscreen monitor, so they are literally like their their bezel, the bezel. Mm hmm. And it looks great, right? And then laptops, it’s off to the side, and it fits on the desk. And so when I’m working, I’m literally sitting this way. And then when I podcasting I’m sitting this way, and it it’s like, it’s taken me six months, but I think I have it all kind of nailed down.
Mike Wieger [55:49]
Now it’s time to go back to the office, you got it all? Well,
Jim Collison [55:50]
here’s the deal, though, I think I figured out how I want my office setup to be to, through all this, like, this is this kind of forced me into some productivity rhythms, that it’s like, you know, it’s really important that I get monitors in the right place. And each one has a purpose, and I know why they’re doing them. And each workflow. It’s, it was like figuring out workflows, you know, based on monitors. So, No, I’m not. I mean, it’s always a continual process of figuring out what works best for you. But I was trying to figure out why I’ve been so much more productive at home than I ever was in the office. And yeah, some of it is my friends distract me. Maybe that’s the other way around. But it just to be honest. But no, I’ve got more I have more screen real estate yet here. And then I do and so I can be mad, the more the more screens I have, the more productive I can be. So getting to do which you choose the application in your choice, but certainly what Microsoft’s doing is going to integrate in with a whole bunch of stuff if you’re already in the space available web and there’s an Android app, and there’s an iPhone app, and there’s a Windows app. So they’ve kind of got it everywhere. It’s in dark mode now. So which is super cool. So if you haven’t tried that, give it a try.
Mike Wieger [57:04]
So how would you compare that to just using like the feature in OneNote of like a task list in OneNote? A lot better.
Jim Collison [57:12]
I Well, for me. Oh, I actually I don’t think it matters. It’s whatever works for you. Okay, like I like the layout of have to do,
Mike Wieger [57:25]
okay, and they
Jim Collison [57:26]
lay out a wonder list I found to be do okay to do they have it for everything. So I just it’s I need big boxes in in, I don’t know about one note, and I’m sure you can make them bigger and some of those other things. But the you know, you’ve got in to do you’ve got some ability to set repeats and important and by date and some shuffle some things around. It’s also not so much. It’s not like a Trello board where there’s so many things you can do. You just kind of get overwhelmed. You’re like, Oh my god, I need a PhD to run this thing. Yeah, no kidding. You know. So in fact, I just got a nine o’clock notice from to do to, to go take my medicine. So you know, I’m an old guy now. So I’ve got to remind myself to, to go take, take notice. And Mike one more thing, an old product that we’ve been talked about ever on the show, and I want to kind of do a live demo. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna bring up I’m gonna share my screen here for a second, you get to see a little bit of behind the scenes here as we’re doing some things. let’s get let’s share screen number two. Oh, that’s handy. Okay, so maybe we won’t do that. That is let’s see if we can.
Mike Wieger [58:36]
I was wondering if that was just on my side that you were seeing that too.
Jim Collison [58:38]
Yeah, now that was flashing here. Now. Let’s go to let’s just go to the screen. Let’s see if this works. So there’s an application. It’s been around since 1903. And I think it became more popular in 1909. These are Windows, Windows 10 versions. And it’s just called it’s called and you’re gonna get the test or act here. But it’s just called sandbox. In one of the interesting things about is I tested it early when Microsoft was first rolling this thing out, I’m just going to go to Windows and type in sandbox. And you had you do have to you do have to install this thing on your computer. And so you have to enable some things. So look up if you Yes, you’re gonna couple windows. Hopefully it won’t walk me up completely. Can you still hear me? Ah, we lost you for a little bit there. Oh, boy. So maybe. Yeah, I was gonna say, you know, as soon as I started this thing up, I thought yeah, I wonder if this is gonna lock me up. You should be seeing hopefully, the sandbox window opening. Are you seeing that?
Mike Wieger [59:47]
Jim Collison [59:48]
Okay, good. So give it a second. So in that time that I was talking, by the way, it’s very CPU intention intensive, but in the time I was talking, it just started a VM for me. Windows 10. I didn’t have to go in and provision it. I didn’t have to go in and set up hard drive space for it. I didn’t have to tell it how much RAM to use. It just created an instance of Windows. And are you seeing this windows?
Mike Wieger [1:00:10]
Yeah, it’s blowing my mind. I had no idea this existed. This is like all new information to me.
Jim Collison [1:00:15]
Yeah. So again, they’ve been working on this for a while. And this this had been something they had used and or they had started with, it used to be super intensive, and they’ve really streamlined it down. And of course, like anything good that Microsoft does. Once they perfected it, they stopped talking about it. So one of the things, let’s see if we have that’s not good. It says it’s not connected. Why is that?
Mike Wieger [1:00:41]
I mean, it looks like it’s completely sandbox, even the connection? Maybe?
Jim Collison [1:00:44]
Yeah, yeah, well, there really, I was gonna, I was gonna do a demo of showing it’s supposed to connect for some reason it’s not and maybe the way, let’s um, let’s close that down again. And then maybe it’s the way I’ve got this shown. So let me remove this again. And we’ll stop sharing. And then we bring it back up. I’ll bring it up back up on my on my big screen. Let’s see if this. There we go. And then let me let me do search for it again. So just type in Windows sandbox. Like I said, if you’ve never done this before, you’ll need to do a few things to enable it on your Windows box. I’m going to disappear here for just a second or I may just lock up. We’ll see how that goes. And again, I just started it. You can’t see it running. Now I’m going to I’m going to bring it over to but in that in the time that it’s taken me. There it is, in the time, it’s taken me to kind of talk through this. It spins up a VM for you, which is super cool. Let’s see if it connects this time. I don’t know why it’s not connecting, it should be earlier today I tested it just to see it. You know, like, Can I bring this up in a live show and it worked. One of the cool things about this now because it won’t connect, I can’t do it. But it’s comes with the old version of Microsoft Edge. And I so this afternoon, I opened up edge and said upgraded to the new version of edge. And it did just upgraded right there, boom, I was done. The The one thing about this doesn’t state doesn’t save state. So when you’re in and you close it, you’re done. Next time you open it, it’s going to be this exact screen that you see here. So it’s what it’s great for is though, if you needed to test something if you wanted to run like you know, you want to wanted to run an application that you’re like, Oh no, or download an application from a site, you’re like, I know, right? We all have antivirus and stuff like that. But this is another layer kind of protection here. Or if you want to
Mike Wieger [1:02:45]
run a command line script or shell script, you wanna make sure you have it right. And you’re not going to completely crash something, right? Run it here in the sandbox, make sure it works. Okay, when you’re in the PowerShell, and stuff like that, and you want to make sure you didn’t mess it up. Probably a good way to test it. Yeah,
Jim Collison [1:02:59]
yeah. And so it’s, it’s good as it’s, as long as you leave it open, as soon as you close it, it’s gone. So it’s completely sandboxed away from everything. If you do something terrible here, you just close it. And that all goes away, runs off of the virtual machine, you know, technology VM, you know, the VM stuff that comes with Windows? Hyper V. Thank you. Yep. And is it’s enabled, if you go in, I think you have to go if you’re going to add a component to Windows, you go in there, and you’ll see, I think it just says Microsoft sandbox, click it, it’ll install some things and run it. It’s then it’ll show up as an icon in your start menu. If you need to know how to do it. Just search windows sandbox. And you can you to close that out, get some resource. Take you know, in this case, it’s going to take some CPU and some memory as it’s running that box. But a cool, another one of those cool applications that we kind of forgot about that. I was like, that might that might be an interesting little thing. If you need a quick sandbox to try. It’s available there in Windows 10. Works. works great. Listen, it’s a million times faster than it used to be. So they’ve gotten better.
Mike Wieger [1:04:13]
And even just I mean, there are people who spin up a VM just for like, a few hours on, you know, Unraid or something just to like test something out. I had no idea that existed that exists. I’ve I’ve done that on my Unraid Box before. And just to know that that exists.
Jim Collison [1:04:27]
I’ll be using that feature a lot. That’s really cool, dude, super fast. I could Yeah. Today this morning, as I was thinking about things to talk about. And I got reminded of this, and I was like, Oh, yeah, I wonder if that thing is still a POS because it was bad in the early days. And so I fired it up and boom, it was there. And I was like, wait a minute, like, so I closed it. Did It Again popped up again. I was like, sure. There’s like 15 seconds. Like,
Mike Wieger [1:04:53]
I can’t be this thing. This can’t be right. So
Jim Collison [1:04:55]
I did some digging, like I did some digging and it will not be if you’ve just answered Windows 10, it won’t be there. Like I said, you have to go and install it in do some things to make it. But super easy to get it on your box it takes depends on your PC but takes five minutes to get installed. Give it a try windows sandbox, if you want to give that a try. Super cool
Mike a couple remarks or reminders for folks on our way out October 24. Meet up in an EA t that’s I was calling with. That’ll be the branding on it stuff like that. There’ll be a link, I put the link in the in the chat room. There’ll also be a link in the show notes. If you want to join us we had a whole schedule of things. I head over to Eventbrite. It’s got the schedule in it. I’ll be updating the Eventbrite calendar invite as well, just to kind of make sure we’re all on the same page. If you have any questions, or you can’t find it, just email me, Jim@theaverageguy.tv . Or if you want to be one of the smoker cams. That’s live all day, and why wouldn’t you want to be? I think that’s going to be super cool. Let me know Jim@theaverageguy.tv. And we’ll get it done as well.
Just a small programming note, I’ll be out of the area here. The weekend of the 17th. And I’m actually gonna be in Boston hanging out with Ed Sullivan. And we’re gonna do ask the podcast coach, no show that Thursday, we’re actually gonna, I’ll probably stream the bitdefender interview or make it available on the live page that day so folks can watch it. We’re gonna send that down both channels, both Cyber Frontiers. Christian did that with me. So that’s coming up that weekend.
But Cigar Authority [9:30], No. [11:30]? 11 is the right time. 11 Central, noon, Eastern on that weekend, October 17. I get to hang out with the guys and talk podcasting on Cigar Authority, which is going to be super cool. So you’re going to want to come out very cool audience by the way, not as cool as you guys listening right now. But they’re pretty cool. I’ve been hanging out with in the last couple weeks on on, they do you know they do this live show on Saturdays at 11. I’ve been hanging out in the chat room. It’s nice not to be the podcaster but going to be on that show.
So head out to let’s see, where do we get information about this will to tie cigars but I found him the cigar authority find it on YouTube, follow him over there. 10/17 it’s gonna be a ton of fun. So if you haven’t, you don’t in by the way, you don’t have to be into cigars to watch the show. Come out and love to have you come out and join me. They’ve been they’ve been promoting me up on the show for the last couple weeks. So if you guys want to come out and join us in the chat room, that’ll be awesome as well. Mike, I’ll be thinking of you as I’m smoking a couple cigars that weekend. My bad cigars. I may not come back alive. Anything else? Let’s hope not. Anything else you want to add Mike before we wrap it?
Mike Wieger [1:07:42]
No. I mean, when you want me talk Ham Radio, I pretty much get a lot of my systems. No, I’m good.
Jim Collison [1:07:48]
Well, we appreciate you guys out there both listening live and listen to the recorded version of this. And as we come up to the December 3 10th Anniversary Show, we just want to say thanks for all that you do. I also want to thank our Patreon subscribers if you go to https://theaverageguy.tv/Patreon, you can be one of those as to I’ll be scheduling the next Patreon meetup probably early November at this point because of some of the things that are going on, but you can there’s still time to get in on that. So if you want to if you want to be a Patreon supporter, head up to https://theaverageguy.TV/patreon. $5 plans get you there
one man I started drinking sprite or seven up. It’s making me burp a ton.
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We are live every Thursday at 8pm Central nine Eastern. Oh, did that. So did I mentioned I didn’t mention during the Canva segment about the contest. Did I know Okay, so let me let me mention here real quick. So the most engaged listeners those who are going to do it it made it this far. ways this is a little bonus content for the end. So, you know, Canva is our kind of affiliate for the month of October. Um, I’d love to see you guys make a really creative album art for Home Gadget Geeks during the month of October. So head over to Canva you just use the free plan you don’t have to. If you want to sign up pay for some things you can but but you can use the free plan in what I need from you as album art for each of the show. So like for this show, I’d love for you guys to come up with some creative album art needs to be 600 pixels by 600 pixels.
That’s, that’s just what I need. So go in there, make a custom 600 by 600. Just start doing it. Like I want to see how creative you can be. I can’t use them all. But I may be able to use multiple ones in different ways. They’ll definitely make the website you saw that earlier. So if you’re so if you’re going to do that, get cracking on it. Now as soon as you’re hearing this, get moving on it. I’d love to see your art. Send me what you have for this show. Jim@theaverageguy.tv and it’ll go in the race the considering to be the album art for the show. Use Canva https://theaverageguy.TV/Canva to get in there. We are live every Thursday and TV slash live. We’ll do some post show. With that. We’ll say goodbye
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