Tidbits 1/31/2017

Location Change

I got an email yesterday (1/30) alerting me that the Tailwaggers April USDAA trial has been moved back to the Jim Brandon Equestrian facility from the St. Lucie county fairgrounds in Fort Pierce.

Arcadia Rodeo Mosaic Arena

The Arcadia Rodeo Mosaic Arena had a formal ground breaking on January 6th. It is located just across the ditch from the RV parking on the East side of the Turner Event Center property. The drawings include a third row of RV parking and a bridge across the ditch from the RV parking to the Arena. It may be an alternative location in the Southwest part of the state for agility trials outside of the summer months. It is scheduled for completion this fall. The Google satellite view which has not changed for a while looks like they and done some ground preparation last year. http://arcadiarodeo.com/new-mosaic-arena/

AKC Event Schedule Calculator

For quite a while I have had a link to an AKC Event Schedule Calculator web page done by a Trial Secretary in Las Vegas (it is under Links|Other). She got out of the trial secretary business in March of 2016. The page still exists but she has changed her focus to building a "sophisticated online Dog Events Planning and Management System". I do not know how much longer her calculator will be available. 

I have put together a simple Excel spreadsheet that does some of what she did in her web page. AKC agility event schedule calc.xlsx It is under the Files menu. Since it is a spreadsheet, it is easy to adjust it to add additional checkpoint dates or change the way the opening and closing dates are calculated. All you have to do is enter the first trial date and the number of days and the rest is computed. Each date has a number of days until the event occurs from the current date. The number of days are highlighted as follows:

  • > 30 days - no highlighting
  • 8-30 days - yellow highlighting
  • 1-7 days - orange highlighting
  • < 1 day - light red highlighting

I have tried importing the spread sheet into Apple’s Numbers and Google Sheets. The calculations work fine but the formatting needs some tweaks. 

WIFI in your RV at trials

I have a number of devices in my RV that like to have internet access. I have an Apple TV, a satellite DVR and an over the air DVR in addition to phones, tablets and computers. I have found the magic of WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) routers that will take a public WIFI signal and rebroadcast it on a private local WiFi network. This allows a single sign on (if necessary)  to the external WIFI source eliminating the need to reconfigure each of the devices for each new site. These routers cost in the $25-$50 range on Amazon.

I actually have three of these devices. I use one for each situation so I do not have to do a lot of reconfiguration.

  • No WiFi at trial site - This is a TP-Link nano router designed for business travelers. It will fit in the palm of your hand and plugs directly into the wall socket. I link it to an old iPad that is connected to our Verizon wireless account and is set up as a hotspot. This eliminates the restriction on the number of devices that the iPad hotspot will allow. It does not have external antennas but it is not located far from the iPad.
  • WiFi at trial site - This is a Edimax unit with antennas. There is only one site that I know of with good WiFi coverage and that is Palmetto. If your cable company is part of the CableWiFi consortium you should be able to connect. http://www.cablewifi.com/
  • At home - This is another Edimax unit with antennas. This one is configured as a Range Extender rather than a WISP router. It extends my home wireless network into the RV. This way I can program my OTA DVR in the RV from the house.

All the routers have at least one ethernet port. The satellite DVR and Apple TV are connected by ethernet via a small 4 port switch. All I do at a location is to plug in the appropriate router and the ethernet cable to the switch. 

Having the three devices makes it plug and play. When I use the router for a public WiFi source, I will have to go into the router configuration to select the public WiFi Signal to use. However, since I use it mostly in Palmetto and usually park in the same space, it is pretty much plug and play as well. The satellite box, Apple TV and OTA DVR like to get a reboot or power cycle when I change routers. 

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