Link Dump – 2018/07/31


Circuit Breaker Install

My brother had asked me to help him upgrade some wiring for his shop, because he only had one 15 amp circuit powering the entire shop. Running his planer along with a shop vac would trip the breaker. I’d never installed a circuit breaker, but I was up for the challenge. This weekend I finally got some time to make a trip down.

For the new circuit we decided to use a 20 amp breaker in case he gets a machine that requires more juice. We (Mostly him, because crawling around in the hot attic was all on him.) ran 12/2 Romex wire through the attic and across the porch roof. Then we did a bunch of outlet rewiring to swap two 15 amp outlets with 20 amp ones connected to our new circuit. We also added a new 15 amp outlet from this circuit on the outside of the shop where they could plug in their patio string lights.

We saved the scary part of installing the new breaker for last, which might have actually been the easiest part of the job. The inside of that box is still extremely dangerous when MAIN is turned off, so I just had to be careful not to touch the wrong things (or die). After closing up the box and flipping the switches everything worked as planned!

2018 Maker Faire Detroit

Yesterday I went to Maker Faire Detroitย again with my brother, since we had such a good time last year. Unfortunately we were both very disappointed because it was almost exactly the same as last year. Same vendors, same makers, same companies, same activities. Everyone’s booths were even in almost the identical locations as last year. Guess we won’t be going back next year. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

PHP: Display Country Flag Emoji From ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 Country Codes

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to display emoji country flags from 2 letter country codes. I couldn’t find PHP examples anywhere. Character encodings confuse me, but after looking at some JavaScript examples and other PHP encoding info I was able to get something working.

$country_code = 'US'; // Uppercase
echo mb_convert_encoding( '&#' . ( 127397 + ord( $country_code[0] ) ) . ';', 'UTF-8', 'HTML-ENTITIES');
echo mb_convert_encoding( '&#' . ( 127397 + ord( $country_code[1] ) ) . ';', 'UTF-8', 'HTML-ENTITIES');

For U this prints out ๐Ÿ‡บ and for S it prints out ๐Ÿ‡ธ. When those two characters are side by side they get displayed as ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ.

If you have an improvement or this helps you out, leave a comment.

Golf Course Nutrition


I like to walk the course when I golf, which ends up being around 6 miles at the Sawmill. It can get exhausting, especially on the really hot days. One thing I’ve been doing this year is packing a small cooler so I can eat throughout the round and I don’t run out of water.

In previous years I’d often get headaches after golf rounds, probably from the sun and dehydration. The headaches have pretty much been eliminated and I haven’t felt my energy fading over the last 3-4 holes like in previous years. Probably has something to do with my improved scoring this summer too.

Rewired MacBook Pro Charger

One end of the cable on this cheap charger had worn out to the point where it would only work if held in the exact right position. Or so I thought. After a little rewiring and heat-shrink tubing I found out that it’s actually something on the inside portion of the connector. I’ll have to see if I can open up the case.

1968 Chevrolet C10 Truck Interior

This week while on vacation I spent a lot of time finishing up the interior of the truck. Big thanks to my Dad for his help. Most of the work is far from perfect, but it’s a huge improvement from what it was, especially for a couple of guys who had no idea what we were doing.

First, here is how everything looked before we touched anything. With the exception of the glove box and door panels all of the interior green-ish paint was extremely faded with some rust.





Just a little dust on those sun visors!




Parking break, so you can see how the bulk of it is covered up later.


Side panel vent which actually does a really good job of circulating air through from the outside. The passenger side has a vent as well.


Check out the hack job using washers to keep the shift indicator in place.


This picture has a pretty good glare, but you can still see how worn the gear lettering was.


The instrument panel was faded and boring.


The right blinker was all out-of-place, so the general lighting bled in and it wouldn’t light up properly when the blinker was on. The lighting wasn’t great overall here and check out that orange filter for the shift indicator.


I don’t have a later picture of the new speaker, but this old beat up one from the top center of the dash was in rough shape. It rattled and hissed as the volume went up.

Here are all of the upgrades…


Fresh paint on the dash to more of a retro green that goes well with the brown seat, carpet, and dash pad. I don’t like the brown stuff, but those parts are all pretty new so no sense in replacing them. Still don’t understand why the previous owner would have picked brown to go with a black truck. Painted the glove box black and added a light inside of it.


The ash tray was also painted black. Added a new bezel to go with the new ignition cylinder and replaced the lighter/charger with one that works. The old one didn’t even have any wires connected to it. I nearly put the entire truck up in flames when I initially wired it backwards.


Freshened up the black on the doors, changed the color of the panels to match the green dash, got new screws, and painted the panel strip silver.


New sun visors with chrome hardware.


Black paint on most of the interior and a new bezel for the dome light.


Installed an actual headliner and trim. The trim was chrome, but it didn’t fit worth a shit after drilling and cutting mounting holes the frame, so I painted it to make it blend in with the rest of the black.


It’s a little hard to see here, but this is a chrome cover for the parking brake.


New side panel vents.


All new hardware on the steering column and black paint. New wiring harness inside and got the horn button working.


Can actually read the gears now.


Put in a brand new instrument panel bezel, knobs, and circuit board. After removing the button used for the horn that had been in the choke position I put a dummy choke knob in there since the carb has an electric choke. Fixed the housing around the right blinker indicator so it lights up properly now. The gauges are the same but I pained the extremely faded needles; they really pop out now!

I have a new speedometer ordered because the odometer doesn’t work at all. I was able to take it apart and thought I’d repaired it by glueing back together one of the gears. It must have snapped again because the miles stopped turning over a day later. There are some inaccuracies which may be due to the old speedometer, so after I get the new one I’ll see if I have to take a look at the speedometer gears in the transmission or maybe replace the speedometer cable.



While moving the radio and other dash parts out-of-the-way, I think we bumped the wiper fluid pump motor, which must have been really loose because one of the bolts was out completely and the entire pump was dislodged from working properly with the wiper motor. I ended up having to take the pump motor off and learn how it works in conjunction with the wiper motor. Got it figured out, adjusted, and tightened up.


I replaced the dash light bulbs with green LEDs and all new bulb housings, which were quite corroded. The picture doesn’t do the lighting justice. The green lights are sweet at night. I also put a piece of green plastic inside the shift indicator instead of the previous orange, which I thought was too distracting.

I couldn’t begin to estimate how many hours we’ve spent working on the interior. I made some mistakes and learned a lot.

I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

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