Blogging again…

Hopefully I’ll pick up the blogging pace a bit now that I’ve moved everything over to wordpress.com.  In preparation for un-password-protecting the blog, I’m going through all of my old posts, and the only thing I’ve noticed is that all of my links to other blog entries are broken.  Nothing unexpected, but I wonder if there’s anything that can be done to prevent this from happening every time I move the blog (it’s moved 3 times now, and it’ll probably move again).  Probably not, but right now all my links reference posts by number, and it might help to change them to use named permalinks.

My latest pet project at home is preparing us for the impending cutover to digital TV.  We’re far too cheap to pay for cable or satellite TV (although FiOS may be hard to resist), so I’m concentrating on getting a nice setup for receiving over-the-air digital broadcasts.  Following some instructions I found on the Internet (where else), I built two homemade UHF antennas.  The author of this web page uses a single antenna with a rotator.  At our location, though, we’re smack-dab in the middle of the Baltimore and DC TV markets.  So I can set 2 antennas up in the attic, one aimed at Baltimore, and another aimed at Washington, and pick up pretty much every station within 50 miles, without the hassle of a rotator.  The only issue is combining the signals.  The antennas work great separately, but I haven’t tried using a combiner yet (I try to avoid going up in the attic this time of year..).  Using a combiner in this kind of setup is always going to result in some signal loss, so the question is, will the resulting combined signal be acceptable?  I don’t know, but it’s easy enough to try, which I plan on doing soon.  If the combiner setup doesn’t work well, the other option is to run separate antenna feeds to each TV and then use a switch similar to Radio Shack Cat. No. 15-1968 (each TV would need its own switch).  I know this will work, but it obviously involves extra work and expense.  But it’s still preferable to a rotator, IMO.

Sort of on the same topic, I picked up one of those much ballyhooed digital “convertor boxes” awhile back, to use with our old TV.  Total outlay was just over $20, thanks to the $40 coupon from Uncle Sam.  This is an Apex model that is being sold at Best Buy.  It works as expected, and includes all the standard features you would expect from a digital tuner (TV guide, signal strength meter, etc).  However, I kind of wish it had come with a universal remote.  The included remote control works fine, but it’d be a nice touch if I could also turn the TV on/off and adjust the volume with it.  As it is now, I’m stuck with 2 remotes until I can find a cheap universal remote that can also work the convertor box.

More later..

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