My First Cruise

This is me- heading out of pier 90, on an eight-day Carnival cruise to the Caribbean.

On the upper deck with shipmates. Enjoyed watching the ship sail down the Hudson.

Approaching the Verrazano bridge. I missed the shot from directly beneath. We cleared the bridge from what looked like 6 ft.
My Son is in charge of the cabin.
At dinner with the entire group. My wife isn’t impressed with the water.
My son is happy.

The Sitdown dinner is nice. They prefer the buffet.

Wife says, “Finally, the food is coming”.


Deck party – wobble- wobble…

Get in there- Yeah, Yeah..

Big Sis got moves too
Get on down Ty.
Sleeping quarters

First stop

First stop, Dominican Republic

We got this!

Island hopping in style.
Ready to explore
My niece and daughter left us to do their own excursion


Not your typical city bus

Gang activity? Lol
Public Housing
Life in the mountain

Our tour guide, Eduardo, informative and hospitable

ok, whos asking all those questions?

Nephew picking mangos
That boy stays masked up.

Wife and i reppin – Amber Cove.
Sis still acts like she did when she was five. LOL.


Lido deck

Grand Turk

Margaritaville Pool
Happy Wife.

Beautiful views

Jerk Chicken was slammin
Wild Donkeys
Back to ship

That deck life


Private beach – no ships allowed.

Shuttling back

Wife learns to Dougie.
Formal night
Love is…
Corn Hole Tournament…..came close, but no trophy
White Night
Coast guard – Fight night

Back to work.

Fear of Riding the Subway

For those of you who are not from NYC and are watching subway crime surge, I am sure you are saying to yourself, “How do they live in that city”.

On April 15, a gunman tried to annihilate a subway car full of passengers. On May 24th, Daniel Enrique was shot dead while riding the Q train. At 4:30 Pm ,On June 6, a woman was pushed to the tracks. And countless other slashings, muggings and attacks have taken place.

For New Yorkers riding the Subway is not an option. Most don’t have the luxury to telework. Most can’t afford to drive to work. And calling the daily Uber is just not realistic.

The Irony

June 7th, 6:30 am – the tranquility of the F train.

It’s moments like this that only New Yorkers can appreciate.

Please Don’t Steal My Catalytic Converter

It has happened again. 7:45 am, I am at work and I receive the following text from my Wife;

Hi love, something suspicious just happened outside the house by my car. Can you see that far out with the camera?

I call her right away, she further explains, in front of the house, a car pulls up next to hers, she hears a drilling noise.

She didn’t have to say anymore. I already knew what had happened. Yes, this is not the first time that the catalytic converters we’re stolen from one of our cars. In a matter of minutes thieves have gotten our EPA certified green house gas limiter.

Typical catalytic thief tool

How does this web work. Some sources say street thieves are getting anywhere from $25 to $300 per cat from scrap yards. The scrap yard sells to a recycler. The recyclers extracts and separate the precious metals.

Catalytics contain Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium, which are rare and in high demand. With the price of Rhodium selling for $22,000 per ounce.

NYC has an automotive jem nicknamed the Iron Triangle. It is a conglomerate of not too nice looking body, glass and muffler repair shops . It is in Willets point, Queens, across the street from Citi Field. Drive slow, the streets are poorly maintained. Within seconds of approaching, someone in the street will solicite you to their shop.

Take your choice anyone of the muffler repair shops will weld in a new universal catalytic converter for whatever the days haggle is. I got my new one installed for $170.

I hope you won’t have to visit this place. But if you have to, it’s a third world jem for a first world problem.

Digispark Attiny85

Yes this is another Arduino chip. Smaller form factor, less processor speed, less I/O pins. But yes this is an Arduino chip.

The Digispark Attiny85 is a Attiny85 chip with all the supporting components. No need to connect to Arduino to program, everything along with USB interface is included in this small compact form factor.

Although the same Arduino IDE is used to program this chip, the settings and upload process is different. See for a complete list of proper settings and setup.


Being small, powerful, compatible and cheap, do not hesitate to use this in your next IOT protect.

How Electric Scooter HUB Motors work

Electric scooters have become very popular, it is a convent way to commute and get around in congested urban areas. The driving force behind the electric scooter is the Hub motor. The hub motor is exactly that, a motor in a hub of a wheel. Hub motors can be placed in the front and/or rear of the scooter.

Outrunner Motor

The type of motor that is used in this hub is called a Brushless DC outrunner motor. Outrunner means the outer part (wheel) rotates, opposed to inrunners, which have a rotating inner part. The part that moves is called the rotor and the part that is stationary is called the stator. In Brushless motors, DC voltage is applied to coils without the aid of brushes. Brushes have long been used as a method to provide power to the rotor.


In a nutshell, the hub motor has two types of magnets, permanent and electromagnet. The electromagnet functions like a permanent magnet, with the added feature that it can be switched on and off electronically. The coils are switched on and off in a sequential manner causing the adjacent permanent magnets to attract or repel, resulting in rotor (wheel) rotation.

The electronic switching is generated by the scooter’s controller.


Wheel (rotor) with magnets
electromagnet (phase coils)
coil with reed switches to detect movement

See wheel rotation

Displaying text on LCD

It is quick and easy to connect a liquid crystal display to the Arduino to display text. This setup uses the I2C communication protocol, allowing user to connect two data wires instead of eight. Within your program, make sure you include a Liquid crystal library as well as an I2C library.

See my code:

//Compatible with the Arduino IDE 1.0
//Library version:1.1
#include <Wire.h> 
#include <LiquidCrystal_I2C.h>

LiquidCrystal_I2C lcd(0x27,20,4);  // set the LCD address to 0x27 for a 16 chars and 2 line display

void setup()
  lcd.init();                      // initialize the lcd 
  // Print a message to the LCD.
  lcd.print("2022 is a good year");
  lcd.print("to code");
  lcd.print("in the snow");
  lcd.print("Powered by s.b.smith");

void loop()

For more info:

Measuring distance with Ultrasonic sensor

The ultrasonic sensor is the most popular way to measure distance and sense detection. Using sonar technology, it sends electromagnetic waves out (TRIG), any object in front of it reflects the waves back (ECHO) to the sensor. The sensor detects the time it takes for these waves to return back to the sensor. The amount of time that the wave comes back is used to determine distance.

The internal working of the sensor is as follows:

The HC­SR04 is triggered by setting the TRIG pin HIGH. Once the burst is sent the ECHO pin will automatically go HIGH. The Echo pin will remain HIGH until the the burst hits the sensor AGAIN. You can calculate the distance to the object by keeping track of how long the ECHO pin stays HIGH. The time ECHO stays HIGH is the time the burst spent traveling.

Arduino operation

Connect Echo to Arduino pin 2, then connect Trig to Arduino pin 3.

Install and Run code below. Open serial monitor on Arduino software. Put your hand close, then further away from sensor. The distance your hand is from the sensor will be displayed.

For more details go to:

Servo Motor Car controlled by Arduino

This is a basic Arduino code to get two wheels to rotate. This project uses continuous rotation servo motors. Although I am using a motor driver board with my Arduino, in actuality a driver board is NOT needed. The pictured BRAIN PAD is not used in this example, so ignore it.

See code below. The important thing to know is that the Write code controls the speed and direction of motor from 0 to 180. The midpoint is 90, which indicates stopped motor.