Comcast, Schedules Direct, and MythTV

My MythTV is set up with 2 tuner cards, one is connected to my main cable box, and the other was connected straight to the basic cable. I have LIRC control the cable box. Not long ago, Comcast issued digital set top boxes (STB) for all its services, even basic cable. I then had to add the STB and have LIRC control it as well.
On Schedules Direct I had 2 listing, basic, and digital. Comcast has now added more channels on the STB that are above and beyond Basic (like SyFi and Sprout, but not BBC or movie channels if you have a digital package) so I wanted to be able to tune them as well on MythTV. I set both inputs to use the digital listing since Schedules Direct only lets you have each linup once, and deleted the unavailable channels from the STB input. On the next run of mythfilldatabase, the channels were added back. Since I don’t want Myth to try to record on a tuner / channel that doesn’t exist, I wanted a way to automaticly clear the channels. I read in a forum where somone ran a cron job to do this for over the air channels they could not receive, but I am trying something different. I found that when mythfilldatabase ran, the “finetune” field was set to “NULL” on the new channels. All I needed to do is delete any channels that matched this. In mythtv-setup there is a setting for “mythfilldatabase program” that I set to a batch file “mythfilldatabase.sh” which contains:

#!/bin/sh

mythfilldatabase

mysql -u XXXX -pXXXX -e"delete from mythconverg.channel where finetune is NULL;"

XXXX are username and password
This way every time MythTV automaticly runs the command, it will clear the new channels on it’s own.
Of course, I will not have new channels that I may want added, but I can check for them on my own and run mythfilldatabase manually.

NOTE: if you use MythWeb, finetune will show as a blank (NULL) the first time making the new channels easy to find, but if you save changes, it will set it to “0″

I am going to let this run a few days and see how it goes!
One side benefit is since there is only on listing to download, mythfilldatabase runs in less time using cached data for the second tuner.

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Automatic Rain Barrel

We have a small garden out by our shed. It is not very big, sort of a “Square Foot Garden”. Just enough for some tomatoes, a cucumber and a few other plants. Of course one big key to a good garden is consistent watering, and of course I am a bit lazy and not very consistent. I wanted something to do it for me automatically.
images/rainbarrel/rainbarrel2.jpeg
The shed is about 50′ from the house, not far, but far enough to have to drag out a big hose. Living in a cold climate, the obvious solution do not work well here. I could not simply bury a hose without worrying about draining it so it will not freeze. I also did not want to bury any wire for automation either. I needed something that would stand alone, self power and supply water.

I decided on a rain barrel to attach to my shed. I simply used a 50 gallon trash can. I am not using the water for direct consumption, only irrigation. The first one was a heavy duty one some one had thrown away. (You can only use 35 gallon max for garbage here, so I could not use it for that) I lined it with a heavy 55 gallon “contractors” bag to keep the water clean and so it could be replace for easy cleaning. To hook it up to the gutter on the shed I made my own diverter/screen. (More on that later) The roof is about 10′x15′ and can fill the barrel with a moderate rain fall.

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Been even longer!

I finally added some information about my rain barrel system to the main page. It is only the beginning.
Automatic Rain Barrel
Have had a lot going on. Had a big job. Installed new floor. Remodelling kitchen. Wife threw the timing chain on her car. Big snow storm. And of course, Zoe!
Big job was building enclosures for 6 large LCD projectors used in the Sachs 5th Ave. Christmas display. They sat on a 5th floor roof and projected onto the whole side of Sachs store on 5th Ave. in New York. They not only had to protect the $100,000+ each projectors, but had to keep them between 50 and 100 degrees in the middle of winter, AND fit through a 30″x30″ window. Oh yeah, the 3 aluminium cases had to be done and tested in 4 weeks.
Finished installing new flooring in the kitchen to match the rest of the house before starting to replace all the cabinets. I am completely redesigning the kitchen as well.
The wife’s Saturn’s timing chain slipped about 6 teeth so it is torn down waiting to get the head checked and order new parts. Aside from new timing set, ($140) it will need head gasket set ($120) and new torque to yield head bolts.($80)
Then there was the great storm of 2011 with 18″ of snow to bring everything to a halt. I am scared to dig out and open the Saturn’s hood to see what blew in.
Zoe is doing great. Got 4 teeth and going to walk and talk any day.

Number of View :918