Author Archives: David

Wahoo Headwind

The Wahoo Headwind is a ‘smart’ fan specifically designed for cycling.

When I first heard about this product, I was quite dubious. First, and foremost, it’s expensive. $250 for a fan is pretty high. Also, for some reason, my initial though twas that they were trying to reproduce the experience of a headwind while cycling.

Well, cost aside, most of the reviews of the fan I saw were pretty positive. With the holidays upon us, this is what I decided I wanted

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4iiii Viiva Heart Rate monitor revisited

Some time ago I posted about my general dissatisfaction with the 4iiii Viiva heart rate monitor.

In a nutshell, in addition to being a ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) heart rate monitor, it also acts as a bridge between ANT+ devices that don’t offer BTLE functionality. In my original review of the Viiva, I complained because few software offerings provided support for it and the data is sent to apps wasn’t accurate.

Well, I need to revise my opinion of the Viiva … it has gained adoption and now appears to be quite useful.

Those who use training programs (such as Zwift) with Apple TV have already learned that the Apple TV only supports 3 total BTLE devices connected. One of those devices slots is already taken by the remote control. That leaves only 2 more slots.

If you’re using a training program, you’ll need at least 3 devices connected (possibly more) …

  • Cadence sensor
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Trainer
  • Speed sensor (depending on the trainer)
  • Power meter (depending on the trainer)

In my case, I need a cadence sensor, heart rate monitor, and Kickr smart trainer (which acts as both a smart trainer and power meter).

You can use the Zwift companion app to gate the BTLE sensors, through the phone, to Zwift … but I find that to be somewhat twitchy (see my post on Zwift, which I will create later and link).

With the Viiva HRM, I’m able to pair my cadence sensor (which broadcasts in both ANT+ and BTLE) to it and feed both it and the heart rate data to the Apple TV without needing an extra BTLE connection slot.

So far it’s working well … the only issue I’ve had is that sometimes it takes a little while for Zwift to pick up the Viiva heart rate monitor.

Another option to accomplish the same thing is to use the North Pole Engineering (NPE) CABLE ANT+ to BTLE gateway. I tried using that but had problems with the hardware. It was probably defective. Getting support for the device, from the manufacturer, was pretty difficult. I ended up giving up, returning the device, and using the Viiva (since I already had it).

Cioppino

This is a recipe that I really like … I originally found it on the American Diabetes Association web site, but it moved … I found it again here and decided to reproduce it here, just in case it moves again.

  • Makes: 9
  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

1Tbsp.olive oil
1Tbsp.butter
2Stalkscelery, chopped
1largeonion, chopped
4Clovesgarlic, chopped
1can(28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2cupsclam juice or fish stock
1cupdry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
1cupwater
1Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp.worcestershire sauce
1bay leaf
1tsp.dried oregano
1tsp.dried basil
1/2tsp.crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2lbs.halibut, cut into 1 inch cubes
24largepeeled and deveined shrimp
12mussels
salt and pepper to taste
1/2cupminced parsley

Directions

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and garlic, and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, wine, water, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the halibut, shrimp, and mussels. Cover and increase the heat to medium high. Steam the seafood until the mussels have opened. Remove the bay leaf before tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information

PER SERVING
Makes: 9
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories195
Fat6g
Saturated Fat1.5g
Trans Fat0g
Carbohydrate12g
Fiber3g
Sugars7g
Cholesterol65mg
Sodium385mg
Protein24g
Choices: Vegetable 2, Lean meat 3

Garmin RTL-510 Radar

Review of the Garmin Varia RTL-510 Radar

Standard disclaimer:

Being into technology, I’ve accumulated a fair bit of bike tech also.  As such, I’m going to try doing thumbnail reviews of some of the bike tech that I current, or used to, use.

These aren’t going to be super technical reviews.  For that kind of thing I suggest you head over to
DCRainmaker‘s blog or GPLama‘s YouTube channel.

These are going to be my impressions of the product … what I like, what I don’t like, what could be better, and some things that should be left just the way they are.

All the items I’m going to review have been purchased outright by me and I don’t get any compensation for the reviews (unless I provide an Amazon link, in which case I get a small commission).

A few years ago I decided I could try bike commuting to work. The office I work in has a bike rack and (lucky for my co-workers) a locker room with showers.

I figured I could leave earlier than I normally would, ride the 20 miles to the office, lock my bike up, shower, and start work about an hour after I normally would. I would leave a change of clothes, toiletries, and fresh cycling kit for the ride home.

A few years ago a 20 mile ride to work would have seemed impossible, but now it’s really not a big deal. Takes about 90 minutes.

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Poor Customer Service

Once again I’m experiencing some very poor customer service … and, at least in one case, it really surprises me that I’m experiencing it.

So there are two major issues I’m experiencing …

  • A major internet provider email service. My newly spun up Amazon LIghtsail instance is unable to deliver mail to their customers.
  • A relatively small fitness device manufacturer isn’t providing timely support for their product.

The first issue is with the major internet provider (who shall remain nameless, but the company name is often abbreviated to three letters.

I’m in the process of moving my mailing list server to an Amazon LIghtsail instance … but when I send mail to this ISP’s servers, it gets rejected with an error that indicates an email to contact.

About a month ago I encountered the error while testing and send a message to the address indicated. A week after my contact they responded saying that the block had been removed.

Unfortunately, in some final testing before my planned migration (this coming weekend), I encountered the error again.

I thought it has been resolved, but apparently I was wrong.

The big issue is that it takes them a week to respond. So there’s very little chance of the issue getting resolved before this weekend. As a result, I have to postpone the migration. I would not be surprised if it takes more than a month to resolve the issue.

To be honest, I’m quite used to this kind of response from a major internet provider … they probably get slammed with this kind of request. Plus, I suspect, they really don’t care about small business that want to send mail to their customers.

The other issue is with a relatively small engineering company that makes a device that gates ANT+ signals to Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).

I purchased the device to make it easier to use Zwift with my Apple TV.

From the moment I got the device I’ve had problems. Their web site has no ‘support’ contact information. I tried filling out their ‘contact us’ page but got no reply. Finally I sent a message to the email address listed on their domain’s whois information and got a reply indicating they forwarded my message to someone else.

My first attempt to contact them was December 8th.

A few days later I got a response indicating they were aware of the problem and were working on a fix to their configuration app. They also asked if I would be interested in a replacement device to see if that fixed the problem. I responded that I would like to try a replacement and provided a shipping address. This response was sent on December 13th.

I finally got a response today indicating that they would like to get the device back for analysis and asking where I purchased it and the order number. I provided the requested information and they informed me that I would have to go back to the purchase place to get an exchange.

Sigh … more delays.

In the case of the internet provider, I’ve come to expect that level of customer service. In the cast of the engineering company, I’m quite surprised. They should be much more responsive to customer issues. Especially since they are catering to a niche market.

OK, today’s rant is over.


Garmin Edge 1030

OK, I’m going to try something new.

As you are probably aware, I’m an avid cyclist.  I really like cycling.  Some may say it’s an addiction (albeit on the healthy side).

Standard disclaimer:

Being into technology, I’ve accumulated a fair bit of bike tech also.  As such, I’m going to try doing thumbnail reviews of some of the bike tech that I current, or used to, use.

These aren’t going to be super technical reviews.  For that kind of thing I suggest you head over to
DCRainmaker‘s blog or GPLama‘s YouTube channel.

These are going to be my impressions of the product … what I like, what I don’t like, what could be better, and some things that should be left just the way they are.

All the items I’m going to review have been purchased outright by me and I don’t get any compensation for the reviews (unless I provide an Amazon link, in which case I get a small commission).

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Protecting domains from spammers

Spammers quite often ‘spoof’, or fake, the from address of an email.

As a result of this, many unsuspecting domain owners are being ‘blamed’ for spam that appears to come from their domain.

Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way to protect your domain from this: Publish DMARC policies.

If you are publishing SPF records and signing your email with DKIM, you can publish DMARC policies that tell receiving mail servers what do with emails that don’t align with the SPF and DKIM information.

SPF policies are DNS records that indicate what mail servers your mail is sent from.

DKIM is a way to add digital signatures to your email so that receiving mail servers can verify it was sent from an authorized source and that it wasn’t modified in transit.

Now what if you have a domain that you NEVER send email from?

Protecting those domains from being used in spam is even easier.

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