Saturday, January 14, 2006



We use meters every day for lots of things. You probably have one on your wrist right now (a chronometer) for measuring time. There are a number of meters on the dashboard of your car for measuring speed, fuel level, oil pressure and engine temperature etc. Some cars have trip computers that tell you how far you'll get with the amount of fuel you have, under the current conditions.

It's fun to know what's going on, so I have a collection of meters for measuring all sorts of things. Not only can I do what one might normally do with a thermometer, that is tell how warm it is outside in January, here in sunny Florida, (almost 70 F) but now I can test the temperature of our freezers, air conditioners, ovens and grills with this professional Thermocouple Thermometer.

For testing temperatures of hard to reach places, I have this Laser Thermometer. All you have to do is hit something with the laser beam and the correct temperature will bounce back to the infrared sensor and show up on the LCD display. It even reads below zero temperatures of the sky when there is enough moisture for it to get a reading. Some of the applications are measuring temperatures of:
  • Electrical panels, circuit breakers, generators and gearboxes
  • Gasoline and diesel engine cylinders and railroad axles and bearings
  • Industrial maintenance
  • Refrigeration applications and depleted media
  • ISO 9000 maintenance
  • Electrical work
  • Registers air stratification and duct leakage
  • Food, frozen food preparation, safety and storage
  • Icing and de-icing on planes and asphalt
  • Bearings and motors
  • Power Distribution

  • Temperature range: -18 to 260°C (0 to 500°F)
  • Distance-to-spot: 6:1
  • Backlit display
  • Selectable °C or °F
  • Optional wrist strap and soft carrying pouch

I need to check the voltages of so many things and even test transistors with this multi meter:

There are a lot of two way radios around here and it's good to know on what frequencies they are broadcasting. This frequency counter does the trick.

Camilla and I walk every morning and we have often wondered just how fast the cars are going filled with the people rushing to start their day. This hand held radar gun was just the tool we needed. I haven't taken it on the road yet, but it might be interesting to see how fast the cars that speed by us are going.

What is radar?
Radar is an acronym for radio detection and ranging.

How does the Speedster work?
Once you press the trigger, the Speedster sends out 24 GHz radio waves at the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second. It measures the difference between the signal it transmitted and the signal bounced back to it and relays this information to the DSP to quickly calculate the speed of the object with an accuracy of +/-1 mpg.

How is speed calculated?
Speed is calculated using the difference between the transmit frequency and receive frequency (also known as the Doppler shift).

Many times when playing outdoor concerts there are local laws about how loud the sound coming from the stage can be. Once several policemen approached Camilla and told her they were pulling the plug on the concert. At first she laughed because she thought it amazing that I and my lone guitar could possibly be exceeding the local sound ordinance, but she soon realized they were serious. She begged them to let me finish the song and that she would go to the stage after it was over and tell me to end the concert. They agreed. She smiled as she approached the stage, I was already singing the last song of the show. This Sound Pressure Level Meter is great for keeping it all legal.

Have you ever wondered how much radiation is bombarding your brain cells? Well with this handy radiation detector, you never have to wonder again. We find it interesting that the radiation level in some hotels registers up to ten times the normal level. "It is difficult to account for a reaction like that." said Dr. Clayton Forrester.

* Protect against leaks and contamination
* Measure contamination of accident spills
* Survey groundwater for radium content
* Secure freight, transport and storage areas
* Monitor shielding and personal exposure
* Test for potential radioactive materials
* Check internal medical test levels (iodine-125)
* Monitor environmental air and water quality
* Maintain regulatory safety compliance
* Demonstrate radioactivity / nuclear principles
* Locate lost dangerous radiations sources
* Verify radiation levels at landfills and dumps
* Measure ambient background radiation
* Check watches, jewelry, and household items
* Check for safe food and water while traveling


Blogger Dan said...

Hi Roger,
Your show in Sarasota last nite was awesome. Thank You. We had front row seats. Wasn't born to follow was so moving. My older brother made me listen to that and draft morning back when I was about 15. A catylist in my life. I'm 53 now and living in Tampa. Hope to see you play again soon.
Thank You So Much!
Dan G

5:39 AM  
Blogger RRhodes4 said...

hard to put into words what the Byrds, especially the first four albums, meant to me. I was a folk rocker from Tambourine Man, on. I want to thank you for all you did! I saw you when I was 13 in Louisville,KY in the Dick Clark Raod show. Saw you again at Vanderbilt, my schools, in fall of 1971. Charles White was one brilliant find. My life would not have been as full in those years without the Byrds. Every time I pass through Tipton, MO, I can't help but start singing some of the beautiful Gene Clark songs. What an amzing time, what an amazing force. Last, I saw Gram and Emmy Lou Harris in 1972 at the Exit/In in Nashville. Again, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, an amazing album ahead of its time. Chestnut Mare, and My Life Was Just a Season know few equals. Some of the unreleased stuff in the boxed set of the late-'90's really took me back. Thanks for the trail blazing, taking the chances, and 1964-1968. I will always have the Byrds in my heart.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Mark Stuckless said...

Hi Roger,

Saw you mention Knoppix as a Linux Distro. You should check out Puppy Linux (latest version 2.10). You can boot it from cd or USB and it is small but fast. Comes with the basics you need and you can save your session on the HD of your laptop without disturbing the other OS. I use it with Opera 9 browser and really like it. Open source software is a great way to go! Power to the people.

Take care,


7:44 PM  
Blogger frank said...

I wish we could get you to play here in southeast georgia. I see that you live in Orlando now. Any chance of extending your current tour to include this area? Hey, we are very meter friendly.

11:45 AM  
Blogger james said...

And to think...the first real tech report I took to heart from you was the swiss army knife you were holding on the cover of Untitled!
Farther Along for sure!

5:41 AM  
Blogger redrobin said...

are you a dedicated brother? did you make the awesome unlabeled cd that was recently given to me of kingdom songs..

6:11 AM  
Blogger redrobin said...

there were also some songs on the cd that were written by the singer, I would say - yours?

6:13 AM  
Blogger Lee.Wilkerson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Lee.Wilkerson said...

In all these decades of listening to your music, I never realized you were such a geek. I'd like to have a bunch of those toys like you posted here.

I also consider myself a poet and musician although I'm not quite as widely published as you. (grin)

I've spent the past 3 hours wandering around your website and I keep finding more interesting stuff. Keep the faith, my friend.

BTW, some of the songs in your den are favorites of mine as sung by Burl Ives.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Jon Scott said...

Hey Roger,
Met you & Camila at T.Petty's and still play you on the radio.
Please connect with us
Jon Scott

9:22 AM  
Blogger Xian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Xian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Xian said...

I wish I could have seen you in the Byrds in the 60's. I was born 30 years later and way out of my era. :(

2:04 AM  
Blogger Mirawho said...

Funny, I was looking at the radar gun and thinking if you ever got a ticket, you could compare notes with the officer that stopped you. Hmmmm

9:47 PM  

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