Daily Archives: April 17, 2018

John Wayne Ate Here . . .

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Jan and I headed up to Baytown about 9:30, making the 1 hour trip going up Hwy 146 and crossing the Houston Ship Channel over Fred Hartman Bridge as we came into Baytown proper.


Jan calls this the Sail Bridge, for good reason as you can see. A very beautiful bridge.

We got to our destination a little after 10:30, and while Jan went down to get together with Rudy’s wife, Caroline, Rudy Leggett  and I started looking at the problem.

The property owner has a remote-controlled gate, but he wanted to control it from further away, like anywhere in the world. So he purchased what he thought was a BFT cellular gate controller like this from a local fence company.

BFT WiFi Video Box

But after the owner had a friend install it, they could never get it to work right. It was supposed to have video from the gate with two-way audio, as well as remote gate control, all using a phone app. But the only that worked was the video, and only when standing right by the gate.

Rudy had texted me info on the whole layout last week and right off the bat I saw some problems, like this wasn’t actually a cellular connected unit, just WiFi. The cell phone versions are completely different  models.

Plus they wanted to hook it up to the router in their house about 600 feet away. They had trenched in conduit and pulled 3 CAT 5 Ethernet cables through it, one to use and two spares. Always a good idea.

However 600 feet of CAT 5 does not a good signal make. At an absolute maximum, a CAT 5 ()or CAT 6 for that matter) is good for 100 meters, or about 328 feet. And that’s under perfect circumstances.

If you want to be sure you’re to have a good signal, 200 feet is a better, more realistic goal. But that would mean digging down to the conduit, cutting into it, cutting and re-connectoring the cable, and then inserting two Ethernet switches as repeaters in the line every 200  feet.

And then you’ve got to get power to the switches. Now the obvious thing would be to use PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches, but the BFT manual says that’s a No-No.

They did all this because they didn’t think they could do a WiFi run, but it certainly looks doable to me . . . with the right equipment.

But all of this was moot since the gate controller didn’t work directly at the gate. And we spent several hours trying to get it set up, configured, and talking to the phone app. But nothing worked.

We even tried rebooting the box and starting over, but we were never able to even see the video. Nothing we did looked anything like what the manual said we should be seeing. So at this point I’m pretty sure there is a problem with the unit. So now the owner needs to decide how he wants to proceed. 

Giving up for now, we followed Rudy and Caroline into beautiful downtown Baytown to have lunch at a local landmark restaurant, Rooster’s Steakhouse & BBQ.

Rooster's Baytown

Besides the good food, Rooster’s was known as John Wayne’s favorite eatery when he was in the area filming Hellfighters in 1967-68,

R0oster’s even has ‘Wayne’s Wall’ commemorating Wayne’s visits.

Rooster's Baytown Wayne's Wall

Hellfighters was  loosely based on the life of Red Adair, Adair, ‘Boots’ Hansen and ‘Coots’ Mathews, all famous oil well firefighters, served as technical advisors on the film. And besides Wayne, the film also starred Jim Hutton and my former next-door neighbor, Katherine Ross.

Jan got the Grilled Chicken with Green Beans and Fried Okra, while I had the 2 Meat Combo BBQ Plate, with Brisket and Ribs, along with Green Beans and Fried Okra

Rooster's Baytown Plate

The ribs and the sides were all delicious, as was the sauce. But we’ll have to agree to disagree about the brisket. In fact the only times I’ve had brisket like this was up North. Down here in Texas it’s called ‘roast beef’.

Only about 1/8” thick, it was gray and kind of tasteless. Next time I will get the sausage. But we will go back.

After saying our goodbyes to Rudy and Caroline, Jan and I headed home with a stop-over at Krogers for a few things And that was it.

A very nice day.

Thought for the Day:

Sometimes I wish that more people were fluent in silence.


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