Bar Cuffs – Review

It’s time once again for another product review. This time the product is something I purchased when I was preparing for my trek to Sturgis, South Dakota. Since I live in Tampa, Florida the trip to Sturgis was no easy undertaking. 2046 miles each way. Lot’s of preparation went along with the trip. The three weeks prior to departure were spent ordering camping supplies, motorcycle parts, accessories and riding gear.

My plans included loading my highly chromed, customized 2015 Harley Dyna Wide Glide into my 5×8 enclosed trailer and towing it to the campground I selected called Rush No More. I purchased 4 Milwaukee Twins ratcheting tie downs with strong 2″ nylon and 4 Soft loop tie down cinch straps. For the handle bars, when I was browsing tie down stuff on Amazon, I noticed a product called Bar Cuffs. They looked pretty sweet, rubber covered over stainless steel. I figured why not, they are only $19.95 and were even sized for my 1.25″ handlebars. They arrived a couple of days later and were put into my staging spot in the garage.

When the time came to leave Florida, I loaded the bike into the trailer and secured the bars and rear shocks to the anchor points in the floor of my trailer. Checked that the bike was properly secured, loaded the rest of my gear into the back of my tow vehicle and began the long journey early in the AM of July 31st, 2015. It took me 3 days of driving 700+ miles a day, a couple of nights in hotels, lots of coffee and lots of time to self reflect. Which is what the whole trip was all about, time to myself and time to see some of the most beautiful riding spots in the USA.

When I arrived at my campground, I unloaded the bike. This is when I noticed after taking the Bar Cuffs off the handle bars, that they were not all that great of a product. You see after 2000+ miles the stainless steel inner parts of the cuffs had managed to chew through the rubber and in the process had scratched the living hell out of my brand new Tuffy handle bars. I was not a happy camper, not at all.

I took some pictures but its not that easy to get a good picture of the chrome scratches, but you can clearly see from the pictures of the Bar Cuffs that the damage was pretty severe. I really wished I had not used the Bar Cuffs and just went with the simple orange soft tie down loops instead. I had four of them and only used two on the rear shocks. 20160130_08304720160130_083032 (1)

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It’s a lesson learned and a warning to those that might be considering using Bar Cuffs on a long tow trip. Rethink this a tad, this could have been prevented and certainly the I-90 interstate from Sioux City, IA to Sturgis is not one of the smoothest roads in the land. Several times I hit bumps so severe in the road that the trailer tires left the ground and bounced around behind me like crazy. The bike stayed secured the whole time, I checked at every fuel stop for any movement or loosening of the tie downs.

For what its worth, I never went over 65 mph due to the fact that I was towing with a 2010 Chevy Equinox with the 2.4 liter Eco-tech motor. Cruise control was just impossible over 65 mph as every hill I climbed would send the motor to 5000 RPM and it would sit there for miles until the climb was over. Gas mileage averaged around 17 mpg the entire trip.

Chevy Equinox Tow Rig

@BTCArchitect AKA Edgar Soares – The ARCH Coin Scam?

EdgarWhen people think of crypto currency, the first thought that comes to mind is either… “what’s that?” OR “I know someone who got scammed”. Enter today’s topic of discussion, Edgar Soares. Edgar is also known as @BTCArchitect on Twitter. Supposedly, he is an accredited architect from the EU nation Portugal. He designed and built a crypto currency and a complete corporate ecosystem to power his business model that included projects like Blocktrust, iHash – a mining pool operation, 3D printing and a modular living space called Mobi.

Over the past weekend, without warning, he shut down his long time investors Slack communication channel. This forced his investors to take to Twitter to communicate and to ultimately form a mobile Telegram group for discussions. Things don’t look too bright for Edgar Soares at this time, He has a very pissed off Bulgarian club owner ready to feed him to a pig stye, and that’s just one of 120 plus CEO’s that he royally screwed over. He has blocked me on Twitter, along with numerous other people that called him out on his discrepancies.

ARCH Coin ICO raised somewhere around $450K USD at bitcoins price during the ICO phase. Those funds were ear marked for prototype construction of his Moby design. Everyone that was anyone in crypto circles either owned some or was keeping a close eye on Edgar Soares and ARCH coin. He was after all a successful trader, a reputable architect with a moderately successful online persona. Today that persona is crap.

Was ARCH coin the greatest BTC scam of all? Take a look at some facts and make the determination yourself. $450K USD raised. Not one blueprint shared with one single investor, not one clear image or video of the Moby project during the supposed construction phase that lasted a over a year. If you are building something as unique and cool as a Moby, don’t you think it would make sense to share some media tidbits to generate product buzz? Yes, that is what most businesses would do. No, not Edgar Soares though. All that was shared was 3D renderings that were built in Bryce 3D or an Autocad type design software suite.

All domains and IP related to ARCH coin were deleted without warning from public view. Slack channel deleted, effectively removing all traces of communication between Edgar and the rest of the investors in the Arch network projects. Multiple people blocked on Twitter after calling him out.

Take a look at what he shared to account for the 900 BTC crowdfunding. It just screams, “hey, I totally made this shit up when I was asked for reconciliation!”

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This whole thing just looks like one long, epic, drawn out scam. Fortunately for me I learned a valuable lesson early when trading and investing in crypto. Take profits early and often. I did, and made close to 25 BTC By selling half of my initial 5 BTC investment. I sold at near peak back in April of 2015. When things just did not add up, I should have dumped all but I was free rolling the remaining CEO seat to see what would happen.

Turns out my suspicions were correct and the ARCH network went into a steady decline and excuse after excuse was given to the network of believers in this coin. Edgar actually had the nerve to place the shutdown blame and his exit on one of his many investors for ‘leaking’ information. What was leaked was a warning, a certain individual was onto his scheme and forced his hand. This caused the shutdown, deletion and his attempt to erase the evidence and cover up what we have witnessed since the news went public.

One more thing, to @BTCArchitect specifically. I can still see all your tweets dumb ass. You think you are the only person with multiple twitter accounts. Blocking me was literally the stupidest thing ever. I have 5 twitter accounts, business, personal, comic relief. Yeah, I just wonder what you actually thought you were accomplishing by blocking your indentured servants. Time will tell how this plays out. I’ll update if anything worthy of mentioning comes to light. Geek out!

 

UPDATE: 1/27/2016

Last night I got an email from bitcoin talk forum. The email was related to a post that I had replied on and quoted several other replies. While there was no real reason to delete my post, as I was defending Edgar’s wallet code. The part that strikes me as dubious and telling is the quote from BTCArchitect that makes a very bold statement. Take a look at this screen shot I took from inside gmail. Since bitcoin talk sends you what has been deleted in the notification email, it makes this look as though Edgar Soares is covering his tracks. He definately would not want repurcussions from the oasrs.org society of Architects.

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The statement “As the member of the Order of Architects, memeber number 13031, I am totally liable for any work, words or financial agreement…inside architecture or out. Yes, out, my rep here supersedes any game we have been playing in “crypto”

He then links to a document at oasrs.org that is related to statutes and regulations. The link is only valid if you are logged in. Since I’m pretty damn sure of my Google fu, I went on a quest.

It would seem that if you translate this page http://wwwold.oasrs.org:8080/en/disciplina ethics play a keen role in the order of architects. Disciplanary action against his license and career choice? Stop it! Ultimately this could be the best form of retribution. Again, we have to take proactive stance, follow up on any leads and as usually, take a wait and see approach. Leave a comment for the record, include how much you invested, what drew you into Arch etc.

 

Why does my wireless go down?

I’ve worked for Cable ISP’s in several markets and can tell you one thing. It’s most likely not your equipment or your cable companies service. This might be confusing you somewhat. Most people think that if something is not working, something is wrong with the equipment. I can tell you from experience that is not the case. Unfortunately most techs and every single customer service rep you will speak to about this type of issue will be clueless and unable to help you solve the problem.

Wireless equipment shares the same radio frequencies as many other consumer grade electronic devices. Cordless phones, baby monitors and a slew of other devices broadcast signals all over the place. The closer your equipment is to rogue unwanted signals, the higher the chances are of interference. This is especially true of cheap, mass produced wireless equipment. As a field technician for Bright House networks for 5 years. I investigated and attempted to solve thousands of these types of complaints.

What’s the Frequency?

One of the most common causes of WiFi interference is neighboring WiFi routers operating at the same frequency. To explain what interference is in a term that everyone can understand, I’ll explain this as I would to customers that were interested in hearing more information about their problem. Let it also be known that most customers are not interested in hearing the technical details, they just want their service to work without problems.

Interference can be summed up into something similar to one person sitting in between two people that are talking about different subjects, at different volume levels and trying to discern everything that is being said from both. Or even worse you are attempting to hear one person speaking softly across the room, while another person is screaming obscenities in your ear. That is basically what Wireless interference is in a nutshell.

How can I tell if that is the problem?

If you have a smartphone you can download a wireless network analyzer app and determine if your wireless router is broadcasting at the same channel as one of your neighbors routers.Screenshot_2016-01-19-09-41-56

This is very common in apartment communities. Wireless routers can be configured to broadcast on different wireless channels and most of the newer routers can determine if a channel is clean.

There is also a very strong probability that the channel contains a rogue wireless signal. Let me say this, finding a rogue wireless signal is not an easy task. I had a customer in a very expensive waterfront home that had intermittent wireless problems. They had numerous service calls, and on my first visit with them, I began asking questions about what was done and said in the past. If they had purchased any new wireless equipment etc. Turns out they had purchased a video transmitter and receiver set for their kitchen television. The cable installer had explained to the homeowner that it was not possible to route a cable down the wall where the TV was located and they ordered a wireless setup that plugged into the main television cable in the living room and it broadcast it’s signal over its own proprietary wireless communication protocol on 2.4GHz.

When this was discovered I showed them how it was completely knocking out the system whenever it was in use. Simply unplugging this device fixed their interference and connection issues completely.

 

 

 

Adjust your Routers!

Screenshot_2016-01-19-10-20-17One of the easiest and most successful ways to combat wireless interference is to configure your router to use a quieter part of the wireless spectrum’s available frequencies. Looking at that screen cap above, we can see several devices broadcasting. I am in the process of isolating interference and notice that my Router named HotSpot is broadcasting on the same frequency as another unknown unnamed network. I say unnamed because it is not actually broadcasting its SSID. The router I am using is a Linksys WRT900ACS. This is a $230 router that considered one of Linksys top of the line units. It is configured by default to auto channel select. It should have selected a quiet frequency. Unfortunately for us, it did not, or another frequency came along and interference reared its ugly head.

For now I am going to set my router to manually broadcast on channel three and take a wait and see how that works out approach. In addition upgrading to 5GHz equipment would most likely solve your issues. However that is expensive and to use the 5GHZ spectrum you would likely have to upgrade a lot of your devices. In addition some devices are not going to work on 5GHZ. Chromecast does not, and our wireless printer that is only 2 years old will not connect to the 5GHZ side of our router. We have trouble printing from devices that are connected to the 5GHz network and talking to our printer on the old 2.4 GHz frequency.