As previously noted, on Friday the sun will be setting at 4:30 PM for the first time this year. Then we will continue to see the sun set earlier each day until December 9th, after which it will start setting later. We are about four months out until we “spring ahead” and we start having sunsets once again after 7 PM.

Upcoming Sunsets:

4:30 pm sunset – Friday, November 17
Earliest Sunset – Saturday, December 9 at 4:22 pm
4:30 pm sunset – Wednesday, December 27
4:45 pm sunset – Friday, January 12
5:00 pm sunset – Wednesday, January 24
5:15 pm sunset – Sunday, February 4
5:30 pm sunset – Friday, February 16
5:45 pm sunset – Wednesday, February 28
Daylight Savings Time Begins – Sunset on Sunday, March 11 is at 6:57 pm
7:00 pm sunset – Monday, March 12
7:15 pm sunset – Sunday, March 25

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Cool but sunny for most of the week. Then rain and snow showers for the weekend and the opening day in the Southern Zone. The sun will be setting at 4:30 PM come Friday.

Weather Summary
Tonight. Mostly Cloudy then Slight Chance of Snow Showers and 27 degrees , 6:45 sunrise.
Monday. Chance of Rain/Snow then Mostly Cloudy and 41 degrees , 4:34 sunset.
Monday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 29 degrees , 6:46 sunrise.
Tuesday. Partly Sunny and 43 degrees , 4:33 sunset.
Tuesday Night. Partly Cloudy and 29 degrees , 6:48 sunrise.
Wednesday. Mostly Sunny and 46 degrees , 4:32 sunset.
Wednesday Night. Chance of Showers then Chance of Rain/Snow and 35 degrees , 6:49 sunrise.
Thursday. Chance of Rain/Snow then Chance of Showers and 49 degrees , 4:31 sunset.
Thursday Night. Partly Cloudy and 29 degrees , 6:50 sunrise.
Friday. Mostly Sunny and 44 degrees , 4:30 sunset.
Friday Night. Chance of Rain/Snow then Chance of Snow Showers and 29 degrees , 6:51 sunrise.
Saturday. Chance of Rain/Snow then Chance of Showers and 48 degrees , 4:29 sunset.
Saturday Night. Chance of Showers then Chance of Rain/Snow and 31 degrees , 6:53 sunrise.

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Bought a set of two 5050 LED RGB string, logic-grade MOSFET transistors and a 10 amp 12 VDC power supply. It will be interesting to see how well my LED driver will work once I get it all together — and if it improves my sleep.

The LED strings are 5 meters or 15 feet long. The strings each consume 3 amp at 12 VDC or 36 watts. The power supply can drive both but I will only use one, because a each string has 150 LEDs of the 5050 which put out 16 lumens a piece or 2,400 lumens at maximum brightness — which is about as bright as a 150 watt incandescent bulb.

Obviously, I wouldn’t probably drive them at full brightness, even while reading at night. The LED driver I am building will allow full control of brightness and color, so I can have a warm white light at night at a cooler light with more blue in the morning. I would probably code in a mode that would dim the lights into a nice red, fading to black in the evening, then have a bluish light in the morning.

I’ve made it this far in the day. Lots of sun, we are up to 27 degrees on our way to 50 degrees or so later. At least we aren’t getting the 10 inches of snow fell back in 1900 today. But who knows with the cold weather expected next week.

The sun will set at 4:37 pm with dusk around 5:07 pm, which is one minute and 5 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 47 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 7 mph. Today will have 9 hours and 57 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 21 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be scattered rain showers between 8pm and 4am, then scattered snow showers after 4am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low of 30 degrees at 6am. Five degrees below normal. Blustery, with a south wind 8 to 13 mph becoming northwest 18 to 23 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Yes, snow. Possibly more on Monday. I am glad I left the heat on when I went to work, although I wish I had remembered to turn it down a few degrees before leaving for the day. Not a big deal. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 29 degrees. The record low of 16 occurred back in 1965.

Big Red has been dropped off at the off-road shop. Hopefully it will just be a bolt needing tightening. That noise was bothering me a lot, even if it did pass state inspection. I just didn’t want anything to break down in the wilderness. I’ll just be glad it’s done. I also order the square nuts for the track yesterday, for mounting the solar panel.

My sinuses have gotten plugged up a bit since getting into the office, because of the heat and the humidity by the radiator. Hopefully I will make it through the day or at least enough of the day so I can get the principle business of the day done.

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until Thanksgiving when the sun will be setting at 4:26 pm with dusk at 4:57 pm. On that day in 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 37 and 27 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 45 degrees. We hit a record high of 72 back in 1931.

Heading into the nine o’clock hour, a little more clouds have pushed in and we are around the freezing point. That Tuesday Election Day holiday was nice. I think it’s the first Election Day I’ve ever had off in my life. Sunnier later and 46 degrees.  

Later on today, the sun will set at 4:39 pm with dusk around 5:08 pm, which is one minute and 6 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for clear conditions and 44 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Not too bad for November. Today will have 9 hours and 59 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 22 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low of 26 degrees at 6am. Seven degrees below normal. Calm wind. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 40 degrees. The record low of 11 occurred back in 1971.

Tomorrow I will drop Big Red off to address the rattle. Today I will order those square washers for the Yakima tracks to tie down the solar panel. For safety purposes I should make sure to ground the panels to the frame and add a fuse. Its a 100 watt panel so only a 10 amp fuse is needed. I’ll have to check the specs sheet.

I am glad that Election Day has come and gone, and it was a relatively quiet one for me staying out of politics until the very end. And now it’s very much November. I thought about heading out of town for Veterans Day Weekend, but it will be so cold on Friday into Saturday especially with the breeze. At least no snow (beyond flurries) is expected for the next few days.

Looking ahead, there are 9 weeks from the Coldest Day of Year (Avg. 14-30 degrees) when the sun will be setting at 4:42 pm with dusk at 5:13 pm. On that day in 2017, we had rain, snow, cloudy skies and temperatures between 38 and 17 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 30 degrees. We hit a record high of 55 back in 2016. I wonder if this will be another rather mild winter. Or we could have some really cold stretches like back in 2014.

Today was kind of a cold and gray afternoon. But later in the week will be downright cold. Maybe not so depressingly gray, but look at those wind chills. Sure, we have cold days in January but this seems a bit early for the second week of November. But it happens. At least no snow is in the forecast, even if your heat may be working a bit on Friday into Veterans Day.

Weather Summary
Tonight. Gradual Clearing and 28 degrees , 6:39 sunrise.
Wednesday. Sunny and 44 degrees , 4:39 sunset.
Wednesday Night. Mostly Clear and 28 degrees , 6:40 sunrise.
Thursday. Mostly Sunny and 48 degrees , 4:37 sunset.
Thursday Night. Slight Chance of Showers then Chance of Rain/Snow and 26 degrees , 6:41 sunrise.
Friday. Mostly Sunny and 29 degrees , 11 max wind chill, 4:36 sunset.
Friday Night. Mostly Clear and 15 degrees , 8 max wind chill, 6:43 sunrise.
Veterans Day. Sunny and 37 degrees , 8 max wind chill, 4:35 sunset.
Saturday Night. Mostly Cloudy and 21 degrees , 6:44 sunrise.
Sunday. Mostly Cloudy and 43 degrees , 4:34 sunset.
Sunday Night. Chance of Rain/Snow and 32 degrees , 6:45 sunrise.
Monday. Chance of Rain and 47 degrees , 4:34 sunset.
Monday Night. Partly Cloudy and 32 degrees , 6:46 sunrise.

Temperature, Through Monday November 13

I concede I may have to put the storm windows in and turn on the heat by the weekend. It will be 19 degrees come Saturday morning, and most nights going forward will be close to freezing. I guess winter is starting to set in. No more reds, oranges, or yellows to be seen on temperature meter. At least a lot of sun is expected.

As we head into the nine o’clock hour, it looks like we at around 59 degrees with rain showers on the way. 51 degrees later with the rain ending and the wind picking up. Going to be a cold November day, especially for going home time. Not to mention downright miserable for those out in the woods.

Standard time is back, you’ll need you headlights for the evening commute. The sun will set at 4:41 pm with dusk around 5:10 pm, which is one minute and 9 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 53 degrees. The dew point will be 47 degrees. Breezy, 20 mph breeze from the northwest. Today will have 10 hours and 4 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 25 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 33 degrees at 6am. Three degrees below normal. North wind 7 to 11 mph. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 28 degrees. The record low of 18 occurred back in 1962.

I think with this cold weather, I am soon going to have to put the storm windows back in an occasionally turn on the heat. I knew those days were going to come eventually. I don’t expect to be traveling as much these days so the budget will ultimately balance out. That said, the bus is ridiculously warm but I guess they have to get the temperature cranked up before the mercury falls this afternoon.

Thursday I will take the truck to the off road shop to check the bolts and tighten as necessary. It’s a pain, but I will have BDS parts should they broken — but I think it’s more likely to be just loosing up from the vibration. I should be back in business for the weekend, if all goes well. Hopefully it won’t be expensive. But after that I don’t expect any repairs for a while. I like my big truck, even if it is a bit costly to run. It takes me on many a fun adventure.

I am going to order the special t-bolts I need to mount the aluminum bar to Yakima racks which I will mount the solar panel on the roof on my truck cap. They should arrive by the weekend, so I can pick up the aluminum bar this weekend. Then it’s just a matter of cutting the aluminum bar to length — although I guess I could get two 4′ bars (which are really 47″ or so), rather then and skip the cutting. Four feet might a bit wide though as the tracks are 38″ inches apart, and I don’t want the bars sticking out too far. I am going probably get rubber bushings so the aluminium doesn’t rub against the brass bolts and cause corrosion or excessive wear. Lowes has a lot of choices for aluminum bar, but I bet also my local hardware store does too. I’d rather go to Delmar hardware for the bushings, and maybe I should buy both there. I want to go solar before my November trip.

I hope to start building some projects with my Arduino tonight. I will protype out my LED control project with the small LEDs I have before I invest in an three-color LED string but I’ve been pricing that out. I am not totally sure what kind of sensors I will use, but  the kit I have all kinds of sensors I could use for inputs, including a remote control. I’m thinking maybe use a light sensor to adjust brightness, along with a programmatic thing that would start out with dimming reds in the evening then yellows to blues for waking up in the morning. But I have all winter to figure that out.

Looking ahead, there are 7 weeks until Christmas when the sun will be setting at 4:27 pm with dusk at 4:59 pm. On that day in 2016, we had drizzle, mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 43 and 21 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 33 degrees. We hit a record high of 66 back in 1889.

Today is a nice morning with the clouds breaking up to the south and temperatures around 63. We will reach a high of 66 by mid day the drop back about ten degrees as the sky clear this afternoon. All and all not a bad day for November.

The sun will set at 5:44 pm with dusk around 6:14 pm, which is one minute and 14 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 56 degrees. The dew point will be 46 degrees. Breezy, 16 mph breeze from the west-northwest. Today will have 10 hours and 11 minutes of daytime, a decrease of 2 minutes and 29 seconds over yesterday.
Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 35 degrees at 6am. Two degrees below normal. Northwest wind 5 to 14 mph. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 31 degrees. The record low of 17 occurred back in 1951.

I am struggling to accept that it’s already November. October was such a warm and quiet month and pushing back my road trip by a month it made things go by quicker than expected. Then dealing with getting my truck inspected, tires rotated and oil changed was just another time stab, along with all the things going on in my family.

The bus downtown was running late, because the driver missed the exit on Interstate 90 to Slingerlands. I don’t know how you can miss that one exit but I guess she only runs the express bus a few times a week. It wasn’t a big deal, I was to work plenty early because the express bus normally gets me to work much earlier then necessary. A little traffic on 787, but not that much.

I am very excited about getting my Arduino starter kit, and building my own electronics. Sure you can build things without an Arduino, but the programmable chip makes it easy to fire off sequenced events, and preform a lot of electronic functions with much fewer parts then you would have if you built everything with individual electronic components. I know I will need more components but this will allow me to get started. It will allow me to prototype out designs on a breadboard before building permanent designs with a soldered circuit board. My first big permanent project will be the bedroom lighting project that will give me orange and reds fading to dark at bedtime, then orange-yellow-white-blue fading in at alarm clock. Once that’s built, it will make mornings a lot easier for me.

This weekend I plan to stick in town, and decide what I’m going to do with that rattling shock absorber. It can’t be that bad if it passed state inspection and the shop didn’t even mention it to me. I should either get a torque wrench (probably a good tool to have) or take it to the off-road shop next week. I was hoping that maybe rotating the tires would help in case something there was out of balance, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the shock absorber that is rattling — and only really on the rough roads. Maybe it’s only annoyance, but I don’t want to bolt to get too loose and fall off or even the bushing in the shock aborber wear out because of the vibration. I probably should have just had it tightened when they did the inspection, but I didn’t want that to raise red flags about other things that might be broken from the rough roads. I guess I could tighten it up without a torque wrench but I don’t want to over-do it.

I’ve made no decisions about Veterans Day Weekend. I might head out of town or I might not. Depends on the weather. The nights certainly will be coming earlier with the time change. I have no idea where I would go for the long weekend or what I would do. Maybe the North Country or the Western Catskills. Or the Green Mountains or eastern Pennsylvania. Certainly though not Western NY or Finger Lakes — too far for a three or maybe four day weekend if I chose to do that.

The other  thing I’m looking at doing this month is getting hardware to mount the solar panel on the roof of my truck cap. I have figured out I should be able to use regular washers and bolts to connect two steel bars like they use for DOT signs (but maybe thinner) across the Yakima tracks, then bolt the solar panel on to that. I have seen bars like that at Lowes. Then I have mounting brackets to mount the panel to that. It will be set back far enough on the truck cap that I don’t expect significant wind resistance.

There is one month until the Cold Moon in December when the sun will be setting at 4:22 pm with dusk at 4:53 pm (Standard Time).