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Posts posted by haresfur

  1. 8 hours ago, KennethT said:

    Check these out:


    I don't know if they ship to Australia, but in the US, they're about US$50 each...  I've found that they've have been pretty reliable so far...


    Those are the ones that didn't calibrate well (I hope the person calibrating them did it right). I think they would be fine for many purposes, though. Lucky for me, work is paying for the toys.

    • Like 1

  2. On 1/14/2020 at 12:36 AM, KennethT said:

    I'm actually doing this now... but not using a DC motor control - just a 24V power supply with a fast switching mosfet.  The arduino sends a pwm signal to my mosfet driver (basically a fast darlington pair) since the arduino output isn't strong enough to drive the mosfet.  I have been using some really good, not inexpensive but not very expensive either, moisture sensors - they put out a dc output which the arduino reads through an analog input.  I've used it for a year and I'm pretty happy with it...


    I like this so much, I'm actually going to use these lights to light the new apartment, but then I need to tweak the arduino code a bit since its default PWM speed is about 1000Hz, which is way to slow if you want to take digital photos inside (you get ribbed bars across). By tweaking the code, you can increase teh PWM frequency.


    Yeah, I forgot that the reason I went with the motor control is that I'm switching latching-solenoid irrigation valves so I have to be able to reverse the polarity. Interesting about the PWM speed.


    Are you using capacitance sensors? We found some cheap ones were all over the map in terms of calibration, which was disappointing. I'm about to test some Time-Domain Transmission sensors but at about $300 AU a pop, they aren't exactly cheap.

    • Like 1

  3. On 11/13/2019 at 7:56 PM, haresfur said:

    anyone had any success controlling earwigs?


    As a bit of a follow-up. I hadn't been mulching the beds with earwigs because I know they like moisture. But I tried and it seemed to help some (at least until I fried everything in a heat wave). Seems counter-intuitive, but I think what is happening is that the moist mulch keeps them happy under the surface at least for long enough for the seedlings to get established to where they fight their own battles.

  4. On 11/18/2019 at 8:28 AM, KennethT said:

    Dimmers are not an issue - the lights I've been experimenting with are 24V DC, and I found a great driver which is dimmable by varying the resistance across 2 terminals - very easy for me to integrate into an automated control system, or just with a variable resistor.  Are the 120V COBs dimmable?  I'd assume not since the driver is built-in...


    I was planning on having the tree lit with different lights than the rest of my plants because the new apartment is a loft space, so I'd rather not have blinding lights on while we're sleeping!  So if I was to give the tree 16 hours of light, I'd have the lights turn on around 6AM and turn off at 10PM which will coincide nicely with our normal schedule.


    Another dimmer option is pulse-width modulation through something like an Arduino controller. You will have to send the PWM signal from a pin on the Arduino board to something like a DC motor control to jack up the signal to 24V. Bonus is that you can use the micro-controller as a timer to turn the lights on & off and even monitor soil moisture (caution many low end soil moisture probes are crap). 

    • Like 1

  5. On 11/21/2019 at 1:41 PM, Kim Shook said:

    I adore dining out alone!  I am almost never without a book and sitting enjoying a meal and reading is my idea of heaven.  Since I quit smoking 9 weeks ago, I am missing the end of meal light up as soon as I leave the restaurant, but I'm getting used to it.  Most of my lunches out are guilty pleasures (buffets, meat and 3 joints, etc.), but I'll be happy to play!


    A book is useful for dining alone so that the people at the next table don't notice that you are listening in on their conversation

    • Like 1
    • Haha 9

  6. 38 minutes ago, Hassouni said:

    Will they not special order it? If they have an account with Caribbean Spirits it should be no problem.


    On another note, the Green Zone now has @Rafa's Blood Simple on the menu and god damn is it good



    I'll have to try that, although the results seem likely to vary with the type of honey. 

  7. 3 hours ago, Smithy said:

    @haresfur, more info on the mountain pepper berry, please? I don't want to derail this topic, but I do want to know more about that spice.


    It is native to cool parts of Tasmania and Victoria. I tried growing one once but cooked it. Perhaps I'll try again but with my luck will probably end up with a male plant and no berries. I haven't tried the fresh berries but the ground dry one are brown that some people think taste peppery. I don't but there is a nice subtle flavour to me. I just coat the meat, bag and sous vide. It ends up looking like it has been seared so that helps with the presentation IMO. I don't know where you can get it in the US. Here are a couple of links Tasmannia lanceolata and This native berry has four times the antioxidants of blueberries. I also found a recipe where they mixed it with wattle seed as a rub on lamb which I'm keen to try.

    • Like 2

  8. On 12/29/2019 at 1:10 PM, nickrey said:

    Ok, I think I have it.


    They are put into cheese on a cheese platter so that the cheese can be cut without someone touching the cheese to do so. It's probably more of a "cheese handle" rather than its apparent name of "cheese button."


    A solution to a problem I didn't know I had

    • Like 3
    • Haha 1

  9. On 12/26/2019 at 4:40 PM, heidih said:

    Do tea towels count? This one is gorgeous - from sis. . UPS showed up in the pitch dark yesterday honking!!! Scared me. Apparently they do not have back up beepers and are directed to honk.No street lights or outdoor lighting allowed so very dark.  Delivered a heavy box of See's candy from stepmom's banker. She is out of town and told me to tuck in freezer so no idea what type. 




    Nice. An Australian icon.

    • Like 2

  10. Mountain pepper crusted flatiron steak. Mountain pepper berry is an Australian native that doesn't taste particularly peppery to me. I coat the steak with ground berries, seal and sous vide at 58 for an hour 15 min. This one was chilled and sliced. No searing although I have done that and decided it took away from the flavour of the berries. I actually went a bit overboard on the coating this time because it was a touch gritty. Or maybe it wasn't ground as fine. Still was happy with the result.

    • Like 4

  11. Very little cooking but that's the point of a traditional Aussie cold Christmas lunch:




    Jarlsberg, aged Gouda, Port Salut

    2 kinds of kalamata olives, Sicilian green olives, green olives in gin & rosemary

    garlic smoked mussels, tiger prawns, smoked salmon with capers

     tomatoes, cuke, salad mix, piquillo peppers, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted chili eggplant

    cocktail sauce with wasabi to adjust the heat

    loma, sous vide mountain pepper crusted flatiron steak, smoked ham


    More than enough for 2

    • Like 8
    • Delicious 1

  12. Certainly no goose expert, but I did one a while ago (the dearly beloved must have been out of town). I sous vide - confited the legs then coated in dukka and browned - trying to replicate the ones from a local restaurant - Masons of Bendigo. The problem was that the legs fell apart so I'd do them for less time. I roasted the rest because I didn't want the skin to get soggy in the sous vide. Still wasn't crispy enough but I'm glad I just roasted it rather than sv. That is if you want the skin.

    • Like 1

  13. On 12/20/2019 at 8:08 PM, Bernie said:

    Bit of trivia for your contemplation.

    I SV my steak at 48C that's  ~118F

    Its summer over here on top of the world (why do all the earth globe manufactures insist on putting the north pole at the top when everyone knows that Australia is the top of the world..but I digress)

    There is a place called the Nullarbor in South Australia where the air temperature reached 49.9C that's ~122 F


    If I was to SV my steak at Nullarbor, I would probably have to it in the fridge.


    Or I could vacuum pack my meat and just leave it on the table.....


    Yes there are hotter places in the world but not usually towns where people live...




    Relevant internet link Datsun pork roast

    Stu Pengelly cooked a pork roast inside his old Datsun Sunny during a heat wave in Australia.

    • Haha 2

  14. On 3/1/2019 at 2:32 PM, KennethT said:

    My wife and I will be spending a short holiday in South Island over Christmas this year.... we're planning on spending most of our time seeing the many natural wonders of Otago - we're not really into bungee jumping or anything like that - but we do like hiking with nice scenery, kayaking, and other non-energetic stuff!  We were thinking about staying in Queenstown as it seems to be central to a lot of the attractions of the region.  We'll have a car, and don't mind a bit of driving - I'm actually looking forward to driving on the left side of the road, and driving around beautiful scenery with very little traffic - it will be a nice change of pace from my daily commute here in New York City!


    Is this a good idea, or are there any suggestions on other places we should use as a base of operations instead?  Also, please chime in with any dining recommendations as well for good local fare...


    No specific dining recommendations but the green mussels are good. I would definitely look for a fish and chip shop to try the southern hemisphere fish. As far as driving goes, the really long one lane bridges with two way traffic were pretty wild.


    Oh, try to find some Pavlova 

    • Like 1

  15. On 12/12/2019 at 7:03 PM, DanM said:

    I have beef ribs cooking away in 62° water for another 24 hoursish... What else can I cook at the same temp to make a nice side? Thank you!


    I seldom do anything except meat in the SV. I think most veg are done at a higher temperature, though. 


    Next time, maybe do up some chicken breast to freeze for later use.

  16. 36 minutes ago, dcarch said:


    If that tank is above ground, you may not need a pump. There should be enough hydro-static pressure.

    If that tank is to be under ground, you may already know that you may have to anchor it down to prevent flotation, just like the installation of gasoline tanks.




    It's above ground but a couple of meters head won't drive much. The pump does self-prime. Smallish pump but now I can run a hand spray-nozzle. I haven't tried it on the micro-emitters yet. There's no way in heck I'd want to dig a hole to bury the tank in our clay & bedrock.

  17. This topic reminds my of my time in Uni, when we staged the great winter broccoli rebellion. It was one of the few available winter veg my house could afford but we had had enough!


    Last week I did last-gasp sous-vide lamb shanks (post-sear, then coated in dukkah and quickly crisped again). My lamb lady said, the slow cuts will go into sausage for the summer.

    • Like 3

  18. On 10/1/2019 at 1:56 PM, MetsFan5 said:

    blue cheese totally kills any dish that it’s snuck into for me. I’ve tried it in all types— salads, with figs, at Beechers, at Eataly, on a filet and it’s a hard no for me. 


    I like blue cheese but it usually makes my mouth itch. Took a long time for me to realize that isn't normal and I must have an allergy.

  19. On 10/26/2019 at 10:36 PM, dcarch said:


    I am assuming you are not one of those  "Square Foot"  gardener?:D




    I finally got a pump for it. I had been using it only for deep watering trees and a low-pressure bobble sprinkler that couldn't keep up with everything.

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