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 > Your search for posts made by 'profdant139' found 695 matches.

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RE: Bright flat-panel LED bulbs: pricy but worthwhile, I hope

Tom, thanks for the link! And roadrunner, I do not know if the lumens are really what they say they are. It's a lot brighter than the old LEDs, for sure.
profdant139 06/15/19 07:18pm Tech Issues
Bright flat-panel LED bulbs: pricy but worthwhile, I hope

Several years ago, I bought a batch of inexpensive “warm white” LED bulbs online. (I use the outdated term “bulb” even though these are flat panels, not at all bulbous.) These were “no-name” bulbs from an unknown source, costing about $4.00 per bulb at that time. Those bulbs used a lot less electricity than incandescents and gave off an adequate amount of light. Over the years, though, the bulbs seemed to be getting dimmer and yellower, and one was flickering a little. We decided that we had to find a better alternative than the typical “no name” bulbs. After shopping around (and asking for advice on this forum), I decided to go with these bulbs, for $13.99 each – not cheap: Link to bulbs -- hopefully this one works (Original link was defective -- have tried to fix it on edit -- we'll see if it works.) One of the reasons I chose this particular vendor is that they have an office in the USA (actually in the San Fernando Valley, north of LA), and their website included a lot of useful explanatory material. According to the website, these particular bulbs are “natural white” and produce about 1600 lumens, about as much as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. Also, they have an aluminum double plate “heat sink,” which should extend the life of the bulb. They supposedly use a little more than 220 milliamps. I ordered the bulbs, which arrived the next day. When I opened the package, I was a little confused, because the adapter was not “wedge” shaped, as I had thought. It was a little metallic rectangle – this photo is from their website -- the dongle is on the left: https://i.imgur.com/xDeGdDHl.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. I emailed the company to ask if this was the correct adapter for my wedge sockets. The service tech answered my email within a few hours, explaining that the rectangle (a “T10”) sticks into the wedge socket securely. To me, having access to responsive technical support is a big plus, even for something as seemingly simple as a bulb. Installation was actually easier than screwing in a lightbulb. (Humor.) I was very impressed with the pleasant color and the brightness of the bulbs. These photos are unedited “before and after” shots, taken with exactly the same camera settings (an eighth of a second at f 4.5, with an ISO of 100): https://i.imgur.com/J71YB3Ql.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. https://i.imgur.com/a181A9Cl.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. I then took a reading using my voltmeter, and sure enough, each bulb draws just 200 milliamps. They had another similar product that was listed at $10.99 with half the brightness, but we really wanted to maximize the light: why not double the light for an extra three bucks? To put it another way, when you think about how often you need good lighting, the extra cost is less than a penny per use. But we will see if these fancy new bulbs are really worth the money – it’s too soon to say for sure. There is no way to know how long they will last or whether the aluminum “heat sink” is just a gimmick. But assuming that they are reasonably durable, I would say that for our purposes, the cost is more than justified by the extra brightness.
profdant139 06/15/19 04:34pm Tech Issues
This new Wrangler can actually tow a trailer

There was a recent thread on using a Wrangler for towing a trailer, and the consensus was "bad idea." Well, I guess Jeep was listening to the discussion, and they came out with the Gladiator, which has a tow rating of over 7000 lb, with a pickup bed. I'm not a Jeep person, but this new model may be worth a look: The Gladiator Jeep fans, what do you think about this?
profdant139 06/15/19 12:41pm Travel Trailers
RE: Tioga Pass: at least they're past the real bad stretches

I'm assuming the road is "closed to all entry" because of the dangerous snow-removal equipment -- back in March, all was quiet, and there were no signs forbidding us to hike up Tioga Road toward the pass: https://i.imgur.com/fNUwoN2l.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image. (Lest anyone think we are Arctic adventurers, the snow had been well-packed by snowmobiles, we only went a couple of miles toward Tioga Pass from the east side, and the weather was in the 30s, very comfortable for snow-shoeing and walking. Not much of an adventure, but fun to have the whole canyon to ourselves.)
profdant139 06/14/19 05:46pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Tioga Pass: at least they're past the real bad stretches

The latest info: "Tioga Road will remain closed at least through this weekend (June 15–16); this does not imply it will open just after the weekend—there is no estimated date for opening. Opening work continues, especially near Olmsted Point. The road is closed to all entry, including vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. This closure is being enforced."
profdant139 06/14/19 01:38pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Towing with Jeep Wrangler

I hate to be discouraging, but this is not safe. The two biggest problems are (1) the big tail wagging the little dog, and (2) braking. A Wrangler can pull anything. But it can't stop everything.
profdant139 06/14/19 09:33am Travel Trailers
New MVUM finder site, I think, and some odd omissions

I just stumbled onto this new feature on the Inyo Nat Forest site -- very handy for downloading PDFs of the motor vehicle use maps: R5 MVUM Finder Oddly, not all forests are on this finder feature, and some don't even post links to their MVUMs. I called Humboldt Toiyabe Nat Forest and was told that the only way to see their MVUMS is to use Avenza, which works on mobile devices but not on a desktop. I just wrote to HTNF and sent them this link from the forest service headquarters: FS HQ FAQ page And this is what that page says, among other things: "Where can I get a Motor Vehicle Use Map?" "Maps are required to be posted online and are most frequently found on a Forest's Maps and Publication Page." So I am confused about why HTNF does not post the maps, but I could be wrong. Maybe Avenza fulfills that requirement?
profdant139 06/12/19 05:41pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: The Wide Open West - an Example

Well, you got me beat: https://i.imgur.com/Inywydql.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.
profdant139 06/12/19 02:08pm Roads and Routes
RE: Portable Solar

I really like my 120 watt portable suitcase panels. If we are in really deep shade, I can take the panel and a spare battery far from the trailer and put them in the sun. (I rarely have to do this, but it is nice to know that I can.) Having said that, the rooftop panels are "set and forget." The portables need to be deployed and then packed. Not a big deal, but just one more little chore.
profdant139 06/10/19 09:08am Tech Issues
RE: Mammoth mountain to South Lake Tahoe ?

Here's a not so easy route, but very scenic -- take 395 to 89, just south of Topaz Lake, all the way to Meyers. I have done that route several times, towing a trailer. I am sure that sticking with 395 to 207 is faster than 89. The CalTrans website says that 89 is open, which is sort of surprising -- lots of snow this winter.
profdant139 06/09/19 09:37am Roads and Routes
RE: "Satellight Pollution" of the Night Sky by SpaceX

Just a follow-up on how a time exposure can reveal things we can't see -- if you look carefully at the upper left corner, you should be able to see two meteor tracks. We could not see them at the time -- there was a bright moon. We did not even know they were there until we viewed the shot on the computer. This was about a 20 second exposure -- it was taken in the Boulder Mountains of Idaho, north of Ketchum and south of Stanley: https://i.imgur.com/3ZWM2kfl.jpg "border=0" https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.pngClick For Full-Size Image.
profdant139 06/08/19 05:10pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: "Satellight Pollution" of the Night Sky by SpaceX

phil, the problem with very fast cameras is the phenomenon of "noise." If I set my ISO to 3200, a good Milky Way exposure will take 20 to 30 seconds, but the image will be pretty clean. If I set it to 12,800 (I think that is the number), it takes an equally-bright image in about 8 seconds. But the higher ISO is infected with a lot of electronic noise that is very hard to edit out. Having said all of that, your question is about approximating what the eye sees. I think that a 3200 shot at five seconds might do that much. But the joy of the digital SLR is the ability to take shots that are better than the eye can see. That feature has added so much to our enjoyment of boondocking. Based on absolutely no factual information, my guess is that the military folks have high ISO cameras that take flawless snapshots at night, but they are not releasing those tools for public use.
profdant139 06/08/19 05:05pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: My Forums

Yep. Go to goodsam. Not sure why that works and rv.net does not.
profdant139 06/07/19 10:13pm Tech Issues
RE: "Satellight Pollution" of the Night Sky by SpaceX

avoid, you'd be amazed at how many of my time exposures of the night sky have been ruined by satellight pollution. (I want credit for that phrase if it catches on!!) So as the sats increase in number, there will be more ruined photos. The sats show up like a long line in a 30 second exposure. No big deal for me -- I am just an amateur. It might be a problem for the pros, though.
profdant139 06/07/19 10:10pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Nevada 93

Great road. Just FYI, north of Alamo there is a fork in the road. If you go left on 318, it can save you some time, instead of staying with 93. But there is no gas on 318, so don't take the fork unless you have filled up in Alamo. (Unless, of course, you have a huge gas tank!)
profdant139 06/07/19 02:27am Roads and Routes
RE: Hello! questions?

PR, I have no advice for you. All I want to say is thanks! The job of a ranger these days is not easy, and we really appreciate what you do for the whole nation. Well done!
profdant139 06/03/19 09:24pm Travel Trailers
RE: sequoia national park

Crystal Cave is nice, but not for kids under three. They get badly scared when the ranger turns out the light so we can all enjoy total blackness. Ask how I know this. Great year for Sequoia -- lots of snowmelt! If the kids are old enough to walk a few miles, Tokopah Falls is amazing. And of course Giant Forest. The hard part will be finding a vacancy in a campground -- the opening is delayed a little due to the snowpack. Dorst is nice, and so is Lodgepole. How old are the kids, if I may ask? And how many days do you have for this part of your trip?
profdant139 06/03/19 06:42pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: north california coast

We like Kamp Klamath near Prairie Creek -- very quiet and rural. But I would go stir-crazy up there for several months -- nothing to do but look at the redwoods, fish, whale-watch, enjoy Saturday bbq and music at the rv park. Nice for a couple of weeks!
profdant139 06/03/19 06:05pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: ST tires any better nowadays?

The Endurance is made in the USA. I've been using them for 20,000 miles -- they seem very solid. But I don't tow over 65 -- usually less -- so I can't say that they are good at 75 mph, since I don't know.
profdant139 06/03/19 05:59pm Travel Trailers
RE: LED Bulbs for trailer interior in a real store, not online?

collie, good idea! We did that when we got the trailer seven years ago -- I am now replacing some of the LED "bulbs" that have begun to fail. They are not bulbs, of course -- they are flat panel arrays. I wonder if the phrase "light bulb" will be like "dial tone" -- a leftover from bygone days.
profdant139 06/02/19 10:23pm Travel Trailers
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