Breadcrumb NavXT Title Trixx 1.2.0

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Announcing the immediate availability of Breadcrumb NavXT Title Trixx 1.2.0. This version introduces support for alternate title for terms of any taxonomy. Additionally, this version contains a couple under-the-hood code  improvements centered around receiving plugin updates.

Users with valid and activated license keys should receive an update notification within the WordPress dashboard and be able to use the update mechanism to update (just like with any plugin in the WordPress.org repository).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Calling the Breadcrumb Trail

There are several ways of calling Breadcrumb NavXT’s breadcrumb trail. The first decision is between using the included widget, or calling one of the bcn_display* functions. This guide covers some examples for calling the breadcrumb trail using the bcn_display() function.
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LED Turn Signals and the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2)

One of the original turn signal bulbs in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2) burnt out last week. While getting into the taillight assembly is not too difficult, it isn’t something I really want to do again. So replacing the fragile incandescent bulb with a LED based bulb seemed like a great idea. Luckily, there are several options for replacing the 3057 flasher bulbs. I picked the Sylvania Zevo 3057R, which contains red LEDs that match the lens cover.

LEDs happen to be a double edge sword. They are more efficient, so they draw less current, which is cool. But, that reduced current draw can cause problems with turn signal flashing circuits—typically referred to as hyper-blinking. In older vehicles the flasher module can be replaced with a solid module that supports LED and incandescent bulbs. However, in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, this functionality is taken care of by the vehicle’s computer system. Now, this should not be a problem, except there is current detection circuitry to determine if the bulb is burnt out (and then emulates the hyper-blinking of traditional systems). While this is good for alerting the owner that the bulb needs replacement, its current threshold is set too high for LED bulbs. Thus, I get the hyper-blinking issue.

There are two potential solutions to this. One is a hardware hack, the other involves hacking the vehicle’s computer. The popular solution is to place a high wattage, low resistance resistor in parallel with the LED blinker bulb. This will fake out the current sensor and will result in the normal blink rate. The issue with this is the resistor needs to sit somewhere, and this is incompatible with re-installation of incandescent bulbs. The other option is more ideal, though it requires hacking the computer responsible for the current sensing. Naturally, I am looking into this second option.

As an interesting aside, the hazard flashers blink at the standard rate with the LED bulbs. Additionally, when set to accessory mode, the first three flashes will be at the correct rate. There appears to be a delay in detection or communication of the ‘burnt out’ state. These two behaviors could possibly be exploited to deliver the expected behavior with LED bulbs via a module plugged into the ODB port.

It would be nice if Jeep made available the source code for the module responsible for this, and provided documentation for it. Modifications for off-roading are an integral part of Jeep culture, why can’t this be extended to the software running on its electronic modules?

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Segate 4TB Expansion and Backup Plus

This is the first in a series of posts regarding a new server build one is working on. The current local server, a HP Proliant Microserver (Gen 7 with a N40L) is four years old. While it can still handle print and file serving, it is having issues with its newer tasks. Specifically, transcoding Plex streams to Chromecasts and Fire TVs is a stuttering affair.

To start the build, one needs to have a case. Finding a good quality rackmount case, with hot swappable drive bays, at a reasonable price leaves just one option, the Supermicro SC216. The problem with the SC216 is it has 24 drive bays for 2.5″ drives. Most manufacturer’s only have 2TB drives in the 2.5″ formfactor. However, there is the ST4000LM016 made by Seagate.

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Order Bender 0.7.0

Introducing Order Bender 0.7.0. This version adds code that takes advantage of new features in Breadcrumb NavT 5.4, allowing terms without parents to be the the preferred term for a post’s hierarchy as presented by Breadcrumb NavXT.

I know I said in the last release that Order Bender will make it into the official WordPress.org plugin repository so everyone will get update notifications. The truth is, it likely will not make it into the WordPress.org plugin repository. The Breadcrumb NavXT specific functionality introduced in this version will make its way into a Breadcrumb NavXT extension plugin. So, you’ll have to manually update (by first deleting and then re-installing).

Installation is quite easy:

  1. Download the Master branch zip archive from GitHub
  2. In your WordPress Dashboard navigate to the plugin uploader (Plugins > Add New > Upload)
  3. Upload the zip archive
  4. Activate and enjoy!

You can keep up with day to day development via the Order Bender’s GitHub Repository.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]