This is a great find. The only disappointing thing was the size of the box it was delivered in from B & H Photo:
Couldn’t it have been sent in a bubble mailer? 😕
Disassembly & Prep
If you’re looking to gently take off your original jack, it (dis)assembles the same way as the replacement.
My old jack was bent, so there was no point in saving it. I cut the wire but made sure to not cut the strain relief sleeve. Alas I realized you must disassemble the old jack to get the strain relief sleeve out anyway.
Once it’s free, drop the sleeve into the new replacement casing.
Put the sleeve and casing on the wire, followed by the included clear insulation sleeve.
It’s imperative you put these on before soldering, because you can’t put them on after soldering 😬
Carefully strip the outer cable sheath. It’s very flexible and rubbery. Inside the three wires don’t have traditional insulation. They have a braided insulation that is similar to the wire itself. Separate them and wet your fingers to keep the twists tight.
To keep everything together, pre-tin the wires.
Here’s the layout of the jack. I double checked with a multimeter before soldering.
I started by soldering the sleeve wire. Then I used a tweezers to thread the other wires through the holes.
Test & Final Assembly
With all wires soldered, but before crimping, test it out. I carefully plugged the headphones into a computer and verified sound in both ears and double checked correct left-right balance.
With everything confirmed working, we can now button it all up. First crimp the jack to the cable sheath with a needle nose pliers.
When we moved back to Minnesota and started looking at houses before Jules was born, my realtor took us to a house in Fridley. I was dead against the place before we even arrived because I had mentally determined it was too close to my parents house.
I don’t know if our realtor did this on purpose or not, but he approached the house from the east (a route I wouldn’t have chosen), which showed that just down the hill is a lake.
There’s something in my lizard-brain that made me not hate the house because of its proximity to the lake and to my parents (for childcare reasons). I swallowed my pride and we bought it.
I wound up buying my parent’s canoe in hopes we’d launch on the lake nearby, but canoeing is an activity that is better with at least two people. Convincing my family to go was rare 🛶 So we sold the canoe and got two kayaks from Menards.
Those kayaks were fine, but eventually I wanted one with a couple of extra fishing features, without going to a full fishing kayak – because sometimes I like to just paddle around and sometimes I want to fish.
Finally the price listed was “view price in cart” so I did and checked out, saving almost $200 off the regular price.
How is it?
Construction, like the Swifty, is very sturdy. The handles are molded into the boat so they’re indestructible. For car transportation, I’d normally use the handle eyelets to run an extra strap to the rear hitch. The handles are too big for my normal strap hooks. I’ll have to add some rope or something. Bringing it home from the store was unnerving because the van has no sunroof and normally the handle strapping is what lets me know the kayak is still up there.
What I sort of forgot was that to equip fishing rod holders, I’d be investing another $100 in ram mount equipment. If you just want a couple of holes to drop your rod into, the Swifty and Mustang options are good choices.
The boat itself is great. It tracks very nicely. Strangely there’s no drain plug like on my cheapo Menards rig, so when the cockpit gets rain inside, it can be tricky to dump. I got a huge car wash sponge from Walmart to assist. I’ll likely buy a cockpit cover to keep water out during storage.
The back compartment is completely sealed from the cockpit, which is nice. In my old kayak any water inside the boat was going to get to the back too.
But there are several ways to measure. My torso is 30.5″ which calls for 210-230cm. My height is 5’10” and the boat is 29.5″ wide which calls for a 240cm paddle.
Having spent too much money at Dick’s on the kayak, I had a $20 reward to put towards a paddle. The Vibe Journey Paddle is the one that is in stock at every store, and it was on sale for $37 so I could get it for less than $20 with my reward. But it only comes in 230cm 🤔
Ultimately it didn’t matter because compared to the hardware store paddle I had, it was larger. 😎
On the water
On the lake it tracks very nicely. Not that the Menards one was bad, but this is clearly a step up. It’s got a nice place to hold my phone (put it in a dry bag!) and a water bottle, plus an indent to rest the paddle.
The problem that I have is not with the kayak, it’s with my nearest waterbody. I wish is that Moore Lake wasn’t bisected by a state highway 😞 It’s so easy to go down there, but it’s not as relaxing as it could be. The noise from the cars nearby is unrelenting. It’s especially bad if you want to go for a quick paddle after work, when everyone is battling their way through rush hour.
In April of 2022 my VOIP home phone stopped receiving incoming calls. I could still dial out, but nobody could call the house. I received warning emails from Skyetel every 3 hours that my SIP endpoint was unreachable by their servers.
I understand that automation helps if someone just needs to reboot their router, or forgot their wifi password. But for those who need genuine help getting shit done, it presents a huge barrier. It took me 9 calls and 3 trips to the xfinity store to get this resolved…
I phoned tech support to explain that port 5060 (for SIP service) was being blocked on my connection.
The first guy I talked to said they won’t open up that port unless I subscribe to xfinity’s VOIP service. Honestly, I didn’t want to talk to this guy anymore. He was obviously from India. No offense, but he sounded more like a scammer than a helper. I wanted to talk to someone who actually works for xfinity in the US, that actually knows how their network is set up. Before I hung up I got the phone number for Advanced Technical Support. It’s 888-780-8571. You’re welcome.
I called that number and magically wound up speaking with an actual technical rep based in these United States. BTW, this won’t happen every time – I’ve yet to figure out what automation magic I did to skip past the overseas nonsense.
But the Netgear CM1000 isn’t a combo modem/router. It doesn’t have a firewall or port forwards or anything. It just passes all connections on to my OpenWRT router which has firewall/forwarding/wifi/etc.
So the tech guy suggested I try an xfinity-supplied cable modem (at a rental fee of $15/mo) to see if that solves the problem. I wasn’t thrilled with the extra cost, but he said it’s pro-rated and might be worth seeing if it fixes the problem.
Approach 2 (playing the game)
So I went into my nearest xfinity store, went home with a new cable modem, and set it up. Then, to my dismay, when I went into the port forwarding settings on the modem, I consistently got this error:
I called technical support back and they said:
You need to go back to the xfinity store and get a different modem that is supported by the xfinity app. I’ve made a note on your account so they’ll give you the correct one this time.
WTF. OK, so I went back and returned my modem for another one. The new one worked with the app. I did have to do some weird things like disable IPv6 on my router so that it would show up in the xfinity app as an available device and port-forward destination because xfinity only supports port forwards via IPv4.
What’s really going on?
After configuring the router and updating my IP at Skyetel, it seemed to work 💪 Our home phone now rings after dialing. I called xfinity tech support again to re-activate my Netgear CM1000 to see if it will continue to work. Hey – it worked… But why?
My hunch is that by selecting a port forward in the app, something else is getting configured in their network to allow incoming connections – something upstream from your rental router. We’ll see how long the setting lasts before I have to go (temporarily) rent one again 🤞 Also – I was able to reactivate IPv6 in my router without issue.
The next day, the phone rang and it was music to my ears! ☎️ It was my daughter’s friend and they made plans to get together. Then the day after that, I received my first spam call 😱
Holy 💩 y’all – I just spent two weeks not being able to share my screen on Ubuntu. It started with a regular system update that I think updated Wayland. I noticed that my fonts in certain applications looked sharper – likely meaning that the 4k scaling was working better. Then I noticed that zoom wouldn’t share the whole screen, it would just share a portion. 😩
To be clear about my setup, I was running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with a dual monitor setup. I had been using Wayland because my XPS built-in screen is 4k and my external is standard HD (1080p).
As luck would have it, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS was recently in my update queue, and I figured it couldn’t get much worse. So I upgraded, but (womp womp) it didn’t help.
Now zoom wouldn’t show a normal screen sharing option, but it had a new “System Capture” selection.
The system capture selection would bring up another new prompt:
But after I clicked “Share” nothing would happen. People on the other end would just see a black screen.
After some research it seems that the new sharing subsystem for Wayland is called PipeWire. In my quest to debug it end-to-end I found this handy guide for debugging screen sharing in Wayland, the “It doesn’t work” Troubleshooting Checklist.
One of the steps is to check the pipewire service itself:
systemctl --user status pipewire
And mine was up-and-running but was returning this warning in yellow:
I recently took a trip to Scotland. I didn’t plan ahead to add international calling because I thought I could disconnect for a week. Sometimes the world has other plans.
After landing in Glasgow I turned on airplane mode and left wi-fi enabled. Not surprisingly, I received a couple iMessage texts from some of the Minnesota Brass staff.
What did surprise me is that I was able to send and receive regular text messages as well. I wondered if it was because I had enabled Wi-Fi calling. My suspicion was confirmed after I enabled it on my wife’s phone and text messages came pouring in 😩
It came in extremely handy when British Airways automatically canceled our flight home. An aside about British Airways:
BA is an excellent example of a company that has automated too many things. Our flight from Glasgow to London got moved by 20 minutes. We received an email stating that it had moved and if everything was OK, no action was required. Behind the scenes the automated systems at British Airways determined that the time to make the connecting flight was no longer sufficient and automatically canceled our return trip (without notification).
We tried to remedy this by walking over to talk to the BA baggage and ticketing agents directly at the Glasgow airport. But they’re just contracted workers that can check in luggage, they can’t do anything when it comes to reservations. The only option was to call.
We spent 4-hours on the phone calling and re-calling British Airways to remedy the situation. Calls of course were routed to their call center in India where it was extremely difficult to get through (usually a 20-30 minute hold time) and once we got through they were very eager to get us off the phone, stating that “the team is working on it.”
The fastest way I got through was to call American Airlines once they were open (who was the US partner for London -> Chicago). Then I gave them my ticket number and they transferred me to the BA support line, and somehow I was magically at the front of the BA support queue.
Ultimately half of our party got home on the original flight, and the other half had to stay an extra day.
Once it’s enabled you’ll see a “<Carrier> Wi-Fi” message at the top when you’ve got a good wifi connection.
You’ll need to verify your home address for emergency calls. Keep in mind that if you’re on wifi with the cellular network disabled, the address reported to emergency services will be the address you entered (likely your home address). So if I dialed 911 in Scotland they’d think I’m calling from Minnesota – be careful!
When making calls over wifi with your cellular service off, it will be like you’re dialing from home. No need to dial any extra country code stuff. Just mind the timezone differences 😎