Monthly Archives: November 2020

How to Improve the Performance of Your HDMI Cables

There are some useful guidelines to improve your HDMI cables performance.

Use signal boosters. Depending on quality, most HDMI wires lost their signal in roughly 10 to 50 feet. With these devices, power is enhanced making them to continue on remaining powerful even on long cable runs. There are, however, HDMI cables which run for 75 feet and have already a built-in signal booster inside the cable.

Use signal equalizers. This is another device which can maintain the signal’s quality and strength even with longer cable runs. It can also be called a signal enhancer. Aside from enhancing the signal, it can also eliminate any superfluous noise disturbance. Losing the dynamics of the HD technology is not something to worry about as the device does not remove it.

Use signal extenders. It helps by extending the signal down the extent of the cable subsequent to receiving the signal.

Use signal restorers. They are minute gadgets where weak signals are re-harmonized to reach their HDMI quality to the fullest. It expands the distance to have the signal trek even for over a hundred feet.

Use fibre Optic Cable. This is the best but the most expensive alternative. Fibre optic cables are normally utilized after a maximum of 150 feet run length was attained. Likewise, HDMI cables can reach a maximum of 1,649 feet efficient run with its fibre optic.

The quality of the raw materials used dictates the maximum run length and efficiency of the cables. Thicker copper wires in twisted pairs are usually on the category of higher value cables, but spell add-on expense on the part of the consumer but still with no guarantee of efficiency. Even high quality HDMI cables strive to transmit better signals for more than a distance of 50 feet.

You still need to invest in other add-on devices to enhance the signal of your HDMI cable over long distance.

What is CNC?

CNC is the acronym of Computer Numeric Control and it is often associated with plasma cutting as in CNC plasma cutting. A plasma cutting unit that is controlled by CNC is controlled by a computer. There are two basic classes of controls, industrial PC-based control systems and hobbyist/artisan PC-based control systems. The industrial CNC systems, such as the ones produced by Hypertherm or Burny, are robust enough to stand up the harsh production environments. They have a touch screen that can be housed inside of a heat shield for additional protection. The industrial CNCs are very costly, but they come highly recommended for any application because they are not vulnerable to typical PC problems meaning they have very little down time. Due to the high cost you will not often find industrial scale CNCs in a hobbyist’s garage. The artisan and the hobbyist plasma cutter use standard PC-based controls with I/O cards for controlling the plasma systems and the drives. Since these are regular PCs they are prone to an array of computer problems, but none that cannot be fixed.

If you want to use a CNC for your plasma cutting there are some things you will need. You will need a table for the cutting to take place on. On each side of the table you must have a rail that the drives can use to move the plasma systems; we will call this the x-axis. A bridge or gantry must span the table and each end must rest on the rails. The plasma system must be attached to a rail on the bridge which will allow it to move back and forth; the y-axis. Industrial strength set ups us fabricated steel for the construction of the table, rails and bridge. On the other hand, extruded aluminum is used for the hobbyist and artisan CNC plasma cutter set ups. The difference is that the steel is more robust and will withstand constant use whereas the aluminum can only withstand occasional use. If building one of these machines sounds a little scary to you, there are lots of kits that you can buy or you have the option of buying ready built CNC plasma cutters.

If you cruise the web you will be able to find many videos showing CNC plasma cutters in action. It is not the easiest topic in the world to explain and I suggest you check out some videos if you have not seen a CNC plasma cutter before.

Investing Money in 2014 and 2015 for Retirement – An Old Pro’s Viewpoint

In 2014 and maybe 2015 and beyond, investing money will be tougher and putting together the best investment portfolio might mean investing money for safety vs. higher investment returns. The best investment ideas are slim pickings. There is very little that is normal in today’s world of finance. My reasoning and background follows.

In 1971 I had my Masters in Business (finance) and knew nothing about the investment world or investing money. Actually, I found it quite embarrassing, because adults that I would meet in the business world thought that I might have the best investment ideas in my pocket – due to my education. The years that followed were not the best investment environment, and I became a stock broker in Columbus, Ohio in 1972. I learned real quick what my job was really all about: selling investment ideas… SELL the sizzle NOT the steak… I was informed by my sales manager.

Forty years later, investing money is a game that I find has changed little. It’s all but impossible to find the best investment, and the world of investing money is primarily a sales game aimed at uninformed investors (more than 90% of the investing public). I once read that NOW is always the hardest time to invest money. I’ve seen difficult times in the markets for over 40 years and I’ve NEVER repeated that phrase until now.

At this time, I am afraid that it is really true. Allison and I have three children, who are all basically 30-something and trying to make it in a difficult world. Investing money for retirement is not an option for them. It is an absolute necessity if they don’t want to work for the rest of their life. Many folks my age are covered by pension funds plus other entitlements, but that’s not the norm for 2014 and beyond. Now, let’s get down to business and talk about investing money in 2014 and beyond; and the best investment ideas I can muster as an older (but still on top of my game) retired financial planner.

If you have a 401k at work participate in it, and take maximum advantage of your employer’s matching contribution if your company offers this feature (it’s free money). Investing money here is automatic and almost painless. This is one of the best investment ideas available for accumulating a nest egg for retirement. Plus, the tax advantages will put a smile on your face each year at income-tax time.

Open a Roth IRA with a major NO-LOAD mutual fund family and start investing money each month through their automatic investment plan. Enter “no-load funds” into a search engine and you’ll see some of the biggest and best fund companies at the top of the page, names like Vanguard, Fidelity and T Rowe Price. Give them a toll-free call if you have questions – like do you qualify, how much can you invest a year, and will they send you free literature. A Roth IRA (or Roth 401k if available) is one of the very best investment ideas for accumulating money for retirement. A Roth account (IRA or 401k) is TAX FREE investing, as long as you follow the rules. Tax free is as good as it gets and difficult to find.

Mutual funds are the average investor’s best investment vehicle because they offer both professional management and instant diversification in the form of a managed portfolio of stocks, bonds, and money market securities. When you invest money in a fund, you own a very small part of (own shares in) a very large investment portfolio. There is always a cost for investing money in funds. All funds charge for yearly expenses. This can amount to less than 1% a year in NO-LOAD FUNDS, with no sales charges when you invest money and no extra ongoing management fees. Or, you can pay 5% in sales charges off the top when you invest money, 2% or more for yearly expenses and 1% to 2% in additional management fees if you work through a sales rep (financial planner, adviser, or whatever).

One of the best investment ideas for 2014, 2015 and beyond: keep your cost of investing money as low as possible. This could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars over the long term. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

Do all that you can to learn about investing money; and especially learn about stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Once you understand stocks and bonds, getting a handle on mutual funds is a piece of cake. What are the investment options inside your employer’s 401k plan? The vast majority of them are likely mutual funds – mostly stock funds, bond funds, and/or balanced funds (that invest in both stocks and bonds). There will likely also be one or two safe investment options that pay interest: a money market funds and/or a stable account.

Investing money successfully in 2014 and beyond could be very difficult due to today’s investment environment. First, record low interest rates mean that safe investments that pay interest are paying close to nothing. Second, bonds and bond funds pay more interest, but when interest rates go back up to normal levels they WILL LOSE money; that’s the way bonds and bond funds work. Third, stocks and stock funds are pricy, having gone up in value and price well over 100% since 2009. In other words, best investment ideas are few and far between.

Here’s the best investment strategy in 2014 and beyond for beginners who want to start investing money for retirement and keep it simple. In a 401k and/or Roth IRA account invest (monthly or each payday) equal amounts into a stock fund, bond fund, and money market fund. If your 401k has a stable account option use this instead of the money market fund if it pays more interest.

Mutual funds are always one of the best investment ideas for most investors – if you invest money in low-cost no-load funds. (Your 401k plan should have no loads, sales charges). When investing money for retirement in 2014 and 2015 keep three factors in mind. Two of these always apply: keep costs low and invest money across the board in all three fund types listed above. Your third factor is to give money market funds equal weight in 2014 and beyond for added safety. Normally, you would give them less weighting.

Victory Motorcycle Shift Ratchet Replacement

The Victory Motorcycle is a very well built piece of machinery. I have owned a Victory Kingpin since 2004. I have had no problems with the motorcycles and am very pleased with my motorcycle. This article will address the one issue I did have that is related to a failed shifter part. The dreaded Victory Shift ratchet.

One day while riding, I began experiencing downshifting problems my kingpin. It only happens from time to time and it feels like it is hanging up when i am trying to downshift. I have adjusted the clutch cable and changed the oil with no resolve. I am running full synthetic AMSOIL 20W50 motorcycle oil in the transmission and was thinking the oils was too thick for the clutch plates. After changing the oil to the Victory OEM multi-blend synthetic, the problem with shifting still existed.

I decided to take a few more test rides to diagnose the problem. I did notice that if i push the shift ratchet shaft in (has about 1/8 inch movement in and out) it seems to temporarily stop the problem. I went to the Victory Motorcycle Solutions community site and have read people talk about shift ratchet as being the culprit. after reading several posts on this information, I contacted my favorite Victory motorcycle dealership, Santa Rosa VeeTwin. They confirmed that I need to replace the shift ratchet. The reason being the rest spring fails over time.

The Victory dealership explained that Victory changed the ratchet somehow after 2000 due to hard shifting complaints. They also stated that they have seen more issues like this with those Victory riders with driver floorboards. The drivers with floor boards will typically do a lazy shift. Anyhow the ratchet will be worn on both ends, thus allowing the shifting to continue down and not engaging.

Being that I am handy with a wrench and always up for a challenge, I ordered the OEM replacement parts from Victory. I needed to get the shift ratchet and new transmission gaskets. I have the Victory Kingpin service manual but it did not explain exactly how to do this shift ratchet replacement. So I took my time and video taped everything.

The basics steps involved in doing this shift ratchet replacement is as follows:

1 – Drain all of the oil out of your Victory Motorcycle. Trust me, I did not do this and made a huge mess when I removed the transmission cover.

2 – Remove all of the transmission cover bolts.

3 – Now the hard part, pull of the transmission cover. Note the clutch magnet is very strong and will not want to give up the cover too easily. Pull straight out and watch your fingers.

4 – Once the cover is off and the remaining oil spills out, observer how the shift ratchet is positioned. Note this by taking a picture or video taping it. You will need to install the new shift ratchet in the same position with the star wheel engaged correctly.

5 – Do the replacement and not clean off the old transmission cover gasket and install the new one. This is a must to prevent leakage.

6 – Install the transmission cover. Again be mindful of the magnet, this will suck the cover right on and take off your finger if you are not paying attention.

7 – Install the cover bolts evenly and check torque settings.

8 – Fill the bike up with AMSOIL full synthetic 20W50 V-Twin motorcycle oil.

9 – Start the bike and check for oil leaks.

10 – If all looks good, test ride the bike and see how wonderful it is to have the shifter working again.

You are now one of the few and proud Victory motorcycle owners to go through this incredible maintenance activity.

Self Mastery – Insight and Reason

The Scripting One individual plays the lead in each vignette to follow.

Can you find common threads?

A nine-year-old girl bounces off the bus and runs for the front door to tell her Mother about the incredible day she’s had at school. She’s met with great acknowledgment, hugs and musings about how smart she is. By the time the little girl is 12, this type of support begins to fade and when she reaches her early teens the outer reflections are almost completely shut down, replaced with comments about how she is too full of herself. As her childhood relationship with her Mother fades away, the girl goes within to find both her answers and her worth, doing more observing than interacting. As her the relationship with her inner voice matures, she occasionally offers up her wisdom in the face of family issues. Occasionally her comments are tolerated, yet mostly they are disregarded, or met with lots of resistance, criticism and invalidation.

“You’re such a know it all!” her Mother says this venomously, her teeth clenched, at least once daily.

A man and a woman in a potential romantic relationship are talking about their spiritual experiences on the phone one evening. They have a lot in common; movement and body-oriented therapies are at the root of their personal spiritual practice. He speaks to his decades of Tai Chi practice, she speaks about the many different modalities she’s learned and practiced over the past 25 years, all of which play a deep role in her current self-discovery. He speaks loudly and authoritatively about his teachers and gurus, the transmission he’s received from years of focusing on one thing and how this is the only way to a deeper understanding and spiritual advancement. She “gets” what he’s saying as her cells remember many lifetimes as a yogi, a monk and other similar paths. She’s also experienced depth in the energy of his particular method when she attended a 6-week class several years ago.

“You’re really arrogant aren’t you?” he says this softly, almost off-handedly, though its point searches expertly for the target inside her.

One friend asks another friend for reflections on her increasingly intense life situation. Nothing new, it’s been going on for 15 years and input is requested several times annually on this particular topic. The responder has gone from being thrilled and enthusiastic to help her friend out of the dilemma, to being disengaged, responding from a distant place of reason. Even so, she continues to share her insights honestly.

“Why are you so distant? You seem so disinterested?” the distressed friend asks. The input goes un-received for the umpteenth time. Or, she says, “Please don’t confront me now, your certainty is really scary!”

Raising the Bar This level of consciousness has a glass ceiling. In spite of its high level of beingness, it’s also like an unstable atom ready to either shatter the glass or to bounce off its invisible barrier, back into the chasm of anger, hopelessness and unconsciousness where it readies itself for another climb upward. Under its transparent umbrella, there’s a lot of angst and suffering, a breeding ground of inner, existential commentary coupled with fear of advancement into the unknown.

The way through this false transparency is humility, to ask and actually receive support from outside our own belief systems, beyond our rigidly held dogmas. Breakthrough happens when we are able to relinquish our controls and begin to see that other people are realizing and actualizing right alongside us.

Key in this discovery is to embrace all of humanity, to recognize our common potential, and simultaneously to sustain our individuation, our certainty and confidence, our will and courage within.

David Hawkins identifies this level of consciousness in his book, “Power vs. Force,” as ‘Reason,’ the home of great scientists, statesmen, religious leaders, lawmakers and Nobel Prize winners.

These people have reached the pinnacle in their vocations and careers, in the context of the highest, solely human, potentials. They are at the top of their financial games, they rule world governments and churches, they establish the height of the bar for global discovery and advancement.

There is one very crucial and forgotten piece here: the fact that we humans are filled with divine energy, that we are spirits embodied and we have a soul connection to a higher power, God or creator. Although many here are connected to spirituality and religion, we act like atheists in the context of our daily choices and actions, standing almost exclusively on our personal willfulness and physical energies.

Our lack of engagement with a greater spirit eventually exhausts our comparatively tiny resource bucket. Dangerous is the self-bred arrogance that comes with our intellectual knowingness, or at least the belief we have reached the top of some distant monument to ourselves, overlooking our domain.

Some of us know spirituality exists in this place, and likewise make statements to the fact that we’re following a soul path, yet we forget to include the divine in our daily lives. We forget to consult with our inner voices, our higher minds, the Gods and Goddess of our hearts, and our divine guidance.

Personally I see this as a place with immature satisfactions, a place with false floors. It’s also an important stepping-stone to achieving and sustaining a causal relationship with the eternal truths.

It’s a place we can visit occasionally while we grow into our integrity. Here we can sit in the sun and weed out attachments to dogma, gradually decrease our propensity for intellectual pontification and surrender our complacencies. A station with many benefits, we can stop here to gather Cosmic energy; we can observe where we’ve come from, and the road to where we’re going.

The Club of Rome and Education

The Club of Rome:

Eugenics is a lot like all the other arrows in the quiver of the social engineer. Francis Fukayama’s book The End of History and The Last Man is a powerful reminder of how much ‘absolute religions’ are mere tool for the elite, and I think everyone should read what he bluntly states. In order to design or engineer a quality environment we must have ethics or principles that allow decisions to be made that benefit all life on earth rather than a few elites who operate to benefit their cronies and share a little with their paladins in some Physiocratic ‘trickle down’ approach to the governance and resources or opportunities that humanity has the duty to fulfill according to some over-riding purpose. That purpose might be divine but it must make sense and be commonly apprehended or shared. I happen to think there is an intelligence and collective conscious design. I also think we are part of this design and can make mincemeat or a thorough botchery of it. We are individually responsible for being like gods as Jesus (John 10:34) and all so many adepts have made eloquently apparent. We are part of God and should help she/he/it achieve what is RIGHT.

Is that an elitist attitude? Maybe it is at some point, because I am not one who caters to the destruction of the human gene pool or one who thinks anyone deserves a free ride at the heart of it. That is not to suggest that I think everyone should not be enabled and encouraged far more than has been done in the WASP world of history in the last two millennia and more. I probably share more with Thomas Paine and his New World Order types than I share with bleeding heart naïve do-gooders who seek something they have not fully examined. I think helping babies exist and take food from the mouths of others in India was not a godly or good thing, for example. The Club of Rome and I share a great deal in terms of how we view the opportunities and problems that our leaders must address. Here is a good point they make.

“Systems of education are less and less adapted to the new issues, to the new emerging global society we are presently involved in. New priorities force us to redefine the role of education, which should be conceived as a permanent learning process.   Transmission  of knowledge is no longer sufficient, and new objectives such as developing one’s own potential and creativity, or the capacity of adaptation to change are becoming essential in a rapidly changing world.

The Club of Rome considers that education is both part of the global problematique and also an essential tool to become an effective actor in control of one’s own life and within society. If there are “Limits to Growth”, there are “No Limits to Learning” (titles of two Reports to the Club of Rome).” (1)

Their recommendations to limit population growth can be seen from many points of view but their prognostications of doom and gloom have not considered various technologies which continue to make it possible that the outcomes their reports have predicted will occur. In fact there are technologies I think they are not even aware of if you go by what they say on their web site. There is no reason to limit population growth if we enable all people to fulfull their potential. However, that certainly is not being done and the number of people who know their soulful potential to any real extent if less than one per cent.

Windscreen Wiper Water May Cause Pneumonia and Here’s How to Prevent It

Legionnaires’ disease, a rare disease, is a severe bacterial infection affecting respiratory tract (pneumonia). The organism involved in this condition is Legionella pneumophila that usually founds in mist from hot tubs, air-conditioning units and showers. Transmission occurs by breathing in mist from water that contains these bacteria. General symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain and headaches.

Windscreen wiper may cause Legionnaires disease A recent study found that “Windscreen wiper water may be the cause of 20% of cases of Legionnaires’ disease and adding screen-wash to wiper fluids could save lives”. This finding is based on a case-control study which surveyed the driving habits and known risk factors of the Legionnaires’ disease. They study was conducted after an unusual high number of cases were reported in England and Wales and around this time it was well established that professional drivers were five times more likely to get Legionnaires’ than people from other lines of work. The study was aimed to further explore the possible reasons for the difference between the occupations.

The researchers contacted the 75 surviving cases who had acquired Legionnaires’ disease and also included 67 control people without the disease. The participants were provided with a questionnaire asking about their driving habits, other recognized risk factors and possible illness sources in the vehicles. They were asked what kind of vehicle they drove, its age, car service history, content of the wiper fluid tank and whether their driving was for societal or occupation reasons.

The results showed that two factors were associated with a high likelihood of being infected: driving all the way through industrial areas and driving or being a traveler in a motor vehicle that used windscreen wiper fluid with no screen-wash. The researchers calculated that about 22% of infections in people could be due to driving or being a traveler in a car that did not use screen-wash in the windscreen wiper fluid. The detected a firm link between people who do not use screen-wash and the danger of Legionnaires’ disease. Although because of case-control nature of study it cannot confirm causation, the investigators state there is a reasonable biological connection. They believe it is plausible that the bacteria grow in the sluggish water of the wiper’s fluid tank that can become an aerosol when it is sprayed onto the windshield.

Though not proved causal relation, until more conclusive results comes, it is advisable to add screen-wash to your car’s wiper fluid as it can limit the transmission of bacterial causing Legionnaires’ disease.

Video Screen Splitter: Transmission of Signals From Multiple Sources to a Single Destination

A Video Screen Splitter is a device which is used to relay images from multiple sources simultaneously on a single display device. Alternatively known as a distribution amplifier, this device transmits images without data loss and it appears as though the source is directly connected to the display. Consisting of two units, a local transmitter placed next to the source and a receiver placed next to the display, this device has the capability of splitting and boosting the signals. Available in 2, 4, 8 and 16 orts, they can also be cascaded or daisy chained together to achieve a greater configuration. Amongst the various models of the screen splitter available in the market, the most common ones are the DVI Splitter, the VGA Audio video splitter, VGA Video, S-Video, Component Video, HDMI Video and Composite Video splitter. All these models are classified on the basis of the video signals that they relay.

Some key features common to all these models are easy installation, plug and play functionality, no requirement of additional software or device drivers and long distance transmission of the video signals while maintaining signal integrity. While the DVI and HDMI splitter are highly demanded models, the most basic one is the VGA splitter.

On the other hand, the Quad Video Splitter is the most innovative device in the KVM industry as it simultaneously displays signals from four analog or digital sources on a single display device. This unit has numerous display modes such as the Quad mode wherein the screen is split into four fields of equal size with each field displaying content from one source respectively. The PIP mode is one in which up to three video sources is displayed as thumbnails on the right hand side of the full screen image. The dual mode allows the left halves of the full screen images from two video sources to be displayed side by side at full size and the full screen mode allows one of the four video sources to be shown at full screen size and maximum resolution.

All the different types of the Video Screen splitter are FCC and CE certified as well as RoHS compliant and allow switching between sources through front panel push buttons and RS232. High end models enable switching through IR and TCP/IP control as well. Ideal for situations where images from various sources need to be replicated on a single screen, they find usage in remote monitoring and surveillance facilities, financial, commercial, educational, government and military environments.