Posted by: RobPatton   in Cars

A few hours of cleanup and some reverse engineering to sort out the things my father had done over the years, and we have success.  Many repairs still need to be done to get it running without fear of fire balling, but this is certainly a step in the right direction!


And, another camera…


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Cars

Had some troubles with the doors after the trip, shook enough crap loose on the trip, that the doors wouldn’t open any more. Luckily the hinges are external, and we just took a door off to work on it.

Wondered if I could still fit in the car, and here is the answer!



No, I didn’t plan to start it, I dont have a battery or (at that time) a key.




   Posted by: RobPatton   in Cars, Life Stuff

The Subaru 360 was the first automobile mass-produced by Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru division. A number of innovative features were used to design a very small and inexpensive car to address government plans to produce a small “people’s car” with an engine no larger than 360 cc when most in Japan could not afford a car. The body size and the engine capacity were designed to match within Japan’s kei car regulation. Nicknamed the “ladybug” in Japan, it was one of Japan’s most popular cars, and among the smallest cars in the world to attract a significant following.

Approximately 10,000 360s was exported to the United States by Malcolm Bricklin, with an original price of $1,297.

The Subaru 360 received notoriety in 1969, when Consumer Reports magazine branded the automobile “Not Acceptable” because of safety concerns and lack of power. Because the car weighed under 1000 pounds, it was exempt from normal safety standards, but it was reported that it fared badly in a test crash against a large American car with the bumper ending up in the passenger compartment of the Subaru.

Sales soon collapsed, as there were various rumors of Subaru 360s being tossed overboard or being shredded to pieces. It was also reported that many 360s sat on dealers’ lots for two or three years without ever being purchased.

About this car:

It was produced from 1958-1971, and were the first line of vehicles produced by Fuji Heavy Industries

It is a 2 cyl, 356cc engine, producing 25HP.   It is a 2-stroke engine.

The car is 118 inches long, 51 inches wide, and 54 inches tall, a checks in at 900 pounds. It offers seating for 4 people.

It rides on 4.8 x 10″ wheels, with a top speed of 60 (more like 50/55)

About this time is when my father noticed this cute little car sitting ignored on a local lot.  I’m not able to find documentation that shows how much he paid for it, but I’m sure it was well under the $1297.

Those that did buy them found parts and service hard to find, since Subaru did not import them they were not obligated to honor them





   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Tech

For those that haven’t seen it in person, here is a rough version of my latest project. Normally you want your cameras looking away from the house, but during the ongoing home construction project we have, I wanted a camera to be looking at the house from a distance. My plan is to grab 1 frame per hour, and then assemble them into a movie when we’re done.

For this project, I needed to make sure I had a high end IP camera, preferably one that could do a 180 degree view, and the whole project needed to be able to run on batteries, as power cords would really get in the way with heavy equipment running.


So, for networking, I picked what I could find locally, a EnGenius ENH202 N wireless bridge. It came with its own POE injector, and its well made, and is able to handle a med length run while still keeping the connection speed high.


The camera of choice is an Axis M3007PV. Its 5MP, and is capable of a panoramic 180degree view, needed for this project.



Next, the boxes of all the electronics.

In this box you will find a power distribution terminal, 24VDC in, a 24 to 12 DC converter, since other things need 12VDC to operate, Two DC power POE injectors (the left runs from 9-36v) the right runs on 24VDC. I also have a voltage divider installed here, for use in the next item.


Box 2 contains a weatherproof location for an Arduino microcontroller. In this project, I wanted to be able to monitor the battery voltage. The Arduino can monitor 0-5VDC easily, and with a simple voltage divider, I can take input voltage, divide it by 11, and read about 2.2v. In software I do the math to convert it back, and boom, I’ve got 24.5ish volts.


And when I hit an internal (or external) IP, The arduino serves up a web page with battery info, including this.





   Posted by: RobPatton   in Trains

Its been 25 years ago that it was born, in the garage of Mr Hal Avey. Many years have taken its toll on the poor layout, and I’ve finally decided its time to clean it up…


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff

Cabinetmaker Jeff Sonksen paints portraits on Seminole Wekiva Trail. He has quite a talent, and I’ve got a project I hope he’ll be interested in. Its just a mile and some past me, so we took a ride up this weekend to take some pics…


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Tech

Finally made the jump this weekend!

I’ve spent the past 3 or 4 months experimenting with VMWare’s ESXi. For those that don’t know, ESXi is a “bare metal hypervisor” which means it can Virtual Machines without a host OS. *IT* is the host OS. Under the covers its just THEIR Linux, but its nice that its a quick install from a CD, and boom, you’re running.

Oh, no, it was not without its trials and tribulations. Not in the least. Their supported hardware (and thus drivers) are VERY limited. First option was a TOTAL bust. The second motherboard I used did not support the Virtualization option (even though the processors did) So that was out. Third system worked, but the built in RAID controller was not supported. First RAID card was supported, but motherboard did not support PCI. 2nd RAID controller and 3rd motherboard were a win, so I built two. Older RAM is mega ‘spensive, so I stuck with 16GB in each.

This is NOT a project you are gonna just grab a spare system and go to town, this supports server specific hardware, and anything less – You’re gonna have a bad time.

I used the stand alone converter to Virtualize a live machine, which is an amazing gift from the virtualization gods. This takes a live machine, and turns it into a VM running on an ESXi server. It REALLY trick. There are a few little things to watch out for (thin vs thick file system, and install VMWare tools) but its really impressive. I had been using this method to create live backups on my real running hardware. A couple years ago I had a complete RAID-5 controller failure, which caused me to loose my main server, and I was forced to go back to a backup about 2 weeks old. The data loss was minor, but the 18 hours it took to restore the backup was a hastle. This way I could go live on any machine with VMWare player or stand up an ESXi install and be back live in a matter of 30 mins.

The servers have been live for 4 days now, knock on wood no problems. I’m sure I’m just getting to a new level of headache, as I’m still fighting the licensing and naming monster that is VMWare.

They do a fantastic job of entry level desktop virtualization, and the FREE ESXi server. As soon as you want ANY other features of management/VM cloning/etc, it becomes an expensive headache. Its sad, really.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Tech

Got my B-Square box in from Hong Kong today.  This was a project that I helped fund on Kickstarter.  It took a long while to get here, but it is now!

B-Squares is a 3D modular electronics system with an emphasis on (but not limited to) solar power and expandable energy storage.  Each Square has a magnetic contact on each of the corners which allows the Squares to easily snap together without wires.  The magnetic contacts are also used to transmit electric signals between the Squares.  This design allows users to quickly assemble Squares into arrays, with power flowing through the array via the corner contact, without wiring or soldering.  Also, due to the use of multiple magnetic contacts on each Square, the overall circuit of the array can quickly be changed simply by rotating one of the Squares – for instance, the color of the LED Square can change with a flip or a rotation.

What is “3D” about B-Squares?  The Squares aren’t restricted to being connected side-to-side in a single plane, but can also be stacked on top of or perpendicular one another.  Think of it like a deck of electric cards that you can use to make 2D or 3D card houses and have the electricity flow through the entire array.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff, Money

  1. “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
  2. “He who does not economize will have to agonize.” – Confucius
  3. “The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” – Frank McKinney Hubbard
  4. “By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” – Agesilaus
  5. “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.” – Samuel Johnson
  6. “The way to wealth depends on just two words, industry and frugality.” – Benjamin Franklin
  7. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
  8. “We make ourselves rich by making our wants few.” — Henry David Thoreau
  9. “Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” – Elise Boulding
  10. “If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzu

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Guns

While at the range today, my 10/22 had a ton of mag issues.  Seemed like there was no spring pressure left.  Didn’t have a 9/64th allen with me to open them but by the time I got home they seemed better.


Just in case you wondered how they are built, its pretty simple.


When putting it back together, you need to tighten the cap nut at least 6 steps for it to work well.