3,535 reputation
1019
bio website embedinc.com/olin
location Littleton, Massachusetts
age 57
visits member for 1 year, 5 months
seen Apr 16 at 16:34

Electrical engineering consultant specializing in microcontrollers and the circuitry around them. Master of engineering in EE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1980.

We are certified Microchip design partners, and have been in the top catagory consistantly since around 2000. Various free downloads related to developing PIC firmware and other things are available at http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.


Jan
15
comment Is cougar hunting legal?
Yes, cougars are allowed to hunt. If not, how do you expect them to catch food and survive?
Jan
10
comment How much heat can a candle lantern provide while winter camping?
@Russell: Oops. I was thinking 8x3 and somehow managed to write 8x4, then propagated that error further down. That is all fixed now. 8x3 feet is very small when considering the dissipation surface of a tent. Keep in mind we're talking about a tent, not a bivvy sack or the like, meant for winter use. Also, the dissipation area will be more than the footprint area. Again, I was being conservative with the numbers to point out that it clearly won't work. If you disagree, show where the math or the logic is wrong. Claiming "doubt" is no useful information at all.
Jan
8
comment Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?
@Nisan and whatsisname: Any stove capable of burning white gas is capable of burning regular gasoline as these are chemically mostly the same thing. The issue is the additives which can cause problems, some over the long term. As Nisan says, it's "not recommended", and as whatsisname says, burning white gas is "better". We are all saying the same thing here, so I don't understand the objections.
Jan
7
comment Can I mix fuels when using the MSR whisperlite international stove?
@Nisan: It seems like you are just repeating what I said. What point are you trying to make?
Jan
6
comment How much heat can a candle lantern provide while winter camping?
@sgd: Saying snow has any particular R value makes no sense. Perhaps some particular type of snow at a particular depth may have a reasonably repeatable R value, but just "snow" doesn't. In any case, for this snow to matter in the analisys above, it would have to cover the tent. A tent covered in snow would be better insulated than one that is not, but only for temperatures below freezing. Snow is essentially a infinite heat sink at its melting point.
Jan
3
comment Kepler Track: Brod Bay to Iris Burn Hut in one day?
What is the total distance you are planning on hiking in one day? The lettering is hard to see on the chart. Also, it you're not in such great physical shape, fix that before you go. Just running a few miles at lunch time or whatever can make a lot of difference.
Dec
29
comment Adequate Shoes for Travel
Hey, us American's aren't that dumb. We also know all Canadians wear plaid flannel shirts, carry large axes, end sentences with "aye", and are named "Nanook".
Dec
28
comment Is it dangerous to sleep in a tent alone in a forest in -20?
The tent size issue for heating makes no sense. The 30 W or so your body puts out raises the temperature in even a small tent a insignificant amount. See the recent discussion of a candle raising the temperature, and that was assumed to put out 100 W.
Dec
26
comment What dried vegetarian foods have the highest ratio of calories to volume?
Peanut butter may be a very dense food in terms of sustinance per pound, but it is also serious bear bait. Anything you manipulate it with will have a smell. It's not quite as bad as frying bacon and eating it in your tent in the evening, but I wouldn't take peanut butter to bear conntry.
Dec
26
comment Adequate Shoes for Travel
If it was southeastern Iowa urban village I might know, but sorry, don't know anything about Canadian urban villages.
Dec
19
comment How long does mayonnaise last unrefrigerated in the back-country?
Mayo, really!? Some things simply aren't appropriate for backpacking trips. My answer is to bring something else. There are plenty of foods. Is it really that big a deal to not have mayo for a few days? You wouldn't bring cans of diet coke, milk, ice cream, and a lot of other stuff either. What's the big deal?
Dec
18
comment What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?
@Russell: Radiational cooling is a lesser effect, and pretty much a non-issue under a heavy canopy of leaves. Also, light or dark in the visible range does not necessarily map to reflectance in the IR range, which would be used by radiational cooling. Blue means it reflects at the short blue wavelengths and not at the longer red ones, so quite possibly is quite dark in IR.
Dec
13
comment Trail maintenance: what is considered inappropriate when maintaining a trail?
I'm not getting what you are trying to convey by not looking too hard in a national park.
Dec
13
comment Are there any exceptions to the layer principle?
@Mr.W: Also down is great insulating material, as long as you keep it dry. It is realy bad when wet in multiple ways. It gets very heavy, to the point that it could actually damage the garment, and looses much of its insulating property. A down jacket is therefore a great answer, but to only a rather limited set of conditions.
Dec
13
comment Are there any exceptions to the layer principle?
@Mr.W: I grew up in New England with "winter jackets" in the winter, although none of them were down. As I said, I find the windbreaker over wool sweater more comfortable and certainly more versatile. Of course that is a personal preference. I only wore a down jacket briefly once. While very nice and warm, it also felt "puffy", but the real problem was that I got hot in it after just hiking up a moderate hill. Then I had a all or nothing problem. Layers would have been nicer, as I could have removed just part of the insulation.
Dec
11
comment Are Ice grips worth buying
Would these things be acceptable to wear indoors on some floor types? If so what types? Or, do you always take them off on entering and put them back on when leaving? How much of a hassle is that if you're carrying a bag of groceries, for example?
Dec
11
comment Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling?
Everything is a tradeoff, so never does any harm is just plain wrong. The "harm" in this case includes extra bulk and weight to carry, additional fatigued caused by that, less enjoyment due to shlepping the helmet and possibly wearing it if you don't like helmets, etc. The real question is whether those "harms" are worth it, which I'm not addressing. My point is that knee jerk "always do ..." answers without any discussion of the downside are wrong or misleading at best, this one being no exception.
Dec
9
comment What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?
@Russell: Bow saws are definitely more effective than those little folding saws, but I wouldn't want to take a bow saw if I mostly wanted to hike and maybe do a little casual maintenence. The folding saw can be folded and stowed, but a bow saw is a fairly large item, even if light for its size and capabilities.
Dec
8
comment What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?
@Mr.W: I saw the serrated edge in the picture and took it to be a saw. I didn't even notice it was billed as a machete until you mentioned it and I went back and looked. You are right, my experience is in temperate forests and I've never used a machete and I've never seen one used by anyone else in many hours of trail work here in New England with many groups. As a saw, that thing looks like a toy, but I have no opinion on its machete aspect.
Dec
7
comment What is a good tool for minor trail maintenance while hiking?
@Mr.W: I've done a lot of trail work, and have never seen anyone wear eye protection. I wear glasses most of the time, so that gives me some protection I suppose, but my purpose in wearing them is to see better. In wet weather, I wear contacts when doing trail work. I have never felt I needed deliberate eye protection.