Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quick guide to antenna wiring using existing cables

This guide primarily assumes two things.

  • You have/had cable TV
  • You want to keep your cable internet
The general way to switch from cable to antenna are as follows.
  • Find what your antenna choices are from entering your address in TVFool
  • Buy or make the antenna and put it in your attic or outside pointed toward your stations
  • Run the antenna to a near by amplifier
  • Run the amplifier to the input of the closest splitter
  • Change the direction of your other splitters
  • Directly wire your modem to your incoming cable provider
  • Scan for channels on your TVs
There is not much else to this. I have provided pictures of a typical setup and how it will look after it is rewired. I have also provided a picture including an unbalanced splitter for improved signals.

Some things to note:
  • Most antennas will work for signals that appear green on TVFool, don't buy magic antennas
  • An antenna is an antenna. There is no such thing as a HD or digital antenna. All that matters is VHF-hi and UHF
  • Don't forget the elevation of your antenna as it can drastically change results on TVFool
  • If you have stations in multiple directions you may have better luck pointing the antenna toward the weaker stations and see if it still grabs the strong stations
  • A preamp (one input/one output) offers the best flexibility. Distribution amplifiers are amplifiers and splitters combined. You can't change the splitter later.
  • You can make your own unbalanced splitter by using two 2-way splitters. Its the same result.

The solution below is ideal. The unbalanced splitter reduces the over amplification to the near by TVs while preserving the signal to the far TVs.

The solution below is ok. The near by TVs get over amplified by the balanced splitter but the far TVs suffer a 30% power loss. The unbalanced splitter is a much more ideal solution. Tip: You can make your own 3-way unbalanced splitter by chaining two 2-way splitters. The second splitter in the chain is the weakest and should go to the near TV. The first splitter has the stronger signal for reaching the basement splitter.

A novel way of managing multiple emails/accounts in one for gaming

I became addicted to a mobile game. The game allowed one account per email address but it was common practice for players to have 5-20 accounts. This can quickly become a pain to deal with if the player creates a separate email for every account. There are two potential solutions by using GMail. Plus addressing and dots. Both have their downsides but I believe I found a workable and reliable solution.

Plus Adressing

Plus addressing is a GMail feature where you can add a + (plus) after the account name and any tag you wish. For example if I have a game account which specializes in food I could use the following: The benefit is it creates an infinite amount of email aliases each one with a meaningful tag. There are two downsides though. Some systems do not accept the plus sign in an email address. Worse yet, some systems partially support the plus sign or stop supporting the plus sign after you own the account. For example, I gave Best Buy This allows me to identify email from Best Buy. However Best Buy has been spamming me too much. I went to unsubscribe and the mailing list will not accept my email address as an input. So the registration page has different email checks than the mailing list. One day Best Buy may make their login page address check match the mailing list address check and I would be locked out completely. That is a huge risk. Lastly there is a risk that you forget which tag you used for an account.... maybe I used instead of +food?

Dot Addressing

Dot addressing is a GMail feature where dots or periods are completely ignored in the account name. This means if your email is, its the same as and Dots do not have the acceptance problem with other email systems like Plus addressing has. It is more universal. However, remembering where you placed the dot is hard. And remembering which dot placements you have already used is hard too.

The Novel Solution

The down side to dot addressing was discussed above. The solution I created helps solve the problem and makes it somewhat easier. It is very common in the games I play to use names like Farm 1, Farm 2, Farm 3, etc for the extra accounts. So the solution is to use binary dot addressing to handle accounts. In binary there are Ones, Twos, Fours, Eights, Sixteens, Thirty Twos, etc places. We shall also assume that we will never start or end an email address with a dot. So what email shall we use? How about our initials and a representation for the binary places O,T,F,E,S,T. I actually decided to drop thirty twos place so I don't have any repetition. Perhaps this is an email I would use Placing a dot before the proper character would tell me to add that number (1). No dot would mean don't add the number (0). My main game account would be the original address, but I would use for Farm 1. The dot before the 'O' means 1. for Farm 2, for Farm 3. The dot before the 'O' means 1 and the dot before 'T' means 2, 1+2 =3. The system isn't perfect but I can always figure out which email address went to which account and I can easily handle over 30 dummy game accounts with only a 6 letter email address.

Good luck and enjoy!