Cars4Kids – Limitless Top Speed Race

I like to drive fast. Really fast. I love adrenaline inducing acceleration and speed. There aren’t a lot of good options for that around here. Sometimes I sneak a hair over 70 while I’m on the freeway. I’ve also been known to find abandoned roads and go a couple miles an hour over the speed limit. Imagine my delight when I learned about the Limitless race being hosted in Eagle Mountain UT. Your car. 2 miles. As fast as you want. Heaven!

Eagle Mountain Blvd- two large turns and then a mile of straightaway. Longer would be better but that’s still a nice stretch of road. A lot of participants- myself included – were hoping to hit 200+ mph. Utah elevation coupled with a hot day limited people’s top speed a bit and a 2005 Ford GT’s 192 mph ended up being the fastest of the day. My best run was my first and I hit 184 on my speedometer (178 on a radar gun). It was an interesting experience to drive with no fear of being pulled over on a nice straight stretch of road during the day. Still plenty of adrenaline too.

My family came along for part of the event but the heat got to the kids quickly. The spectator seating area was situated in some deep dust and positioned at the mid point of the road only allowing the audience to watch cars accelerate away after the road’s second turn. Understandably the fam bailed after the first run but it still great to have them there! Hopefully next year they find a way to improve the spectator experience a bit. Not to complain too much- Cars4Kids put on a really good event!

Cars4Kids is a local organization that sponsors car-related charity events. In the Limitless event drivers pay double their top speed and that money goes to the Utah division of the Make a Wish foundation. It’s a great way to help people while enjoying awesome cars.

Speaking of awesome cars- Dan, from What’s Inside, was testing out his Tesla Model X at the event. In theory his car should have hit 155mph before being restricted by a speed governor. Did he do it? Watch the video below to find out:

 

Porsche 919 5:19:54 Nürburgring Record

It’s been more than 35 years since Stefan Bello completed his 6:11 Nürburgring lap in a Porsche 956 C (the history around this run is fairly interesting). I like to keep a close eye on Nürburgring lap times; It’s exciting to see what “your car” can do in a track environment like this.

Naturally I was excited to hear that Porsche’s 919 Hybrid Evo had set a new track record. “Set” might be the wrong word though- the old record was obliterated. The new time of 5:19 is so much faster it’s hard to comprehend. I’ve posted the official run from the car below. Keep in mind that 300 kmh is about 186 mph! On some of the straight track sections Timo Bernhard is driving at over 220 mph.

When the production 919 comes out you can bet I’ll be in line… probably at Disneyland. But thinking about the 919 for sure. 

Porsche 2018 Photo & Video Shoot

I do a lot of cosmetic stuff to my car and so periodically it makes sense (to me) to grab a few pictures of these changes. Since I fancy myself an budding car photographer I took on this mission personally (and no… this is not my iPhone camera). I figure posting six pictures of my car should be plenty since I also cobbled together a video montage. I’m certain this kind of obsessiveness will delight whoever ends up with my car someday. In the meantime I’m slightly less sure it will delight the Internet.

Plain in many ways, but beautiful…

That backside. Nothing better.

She waits patiently. But when we get underway she’s a monster.

When something is this pure the gossip is hard to come by. [Huh? What does this stuff even mean – Ed]

Some say no one “needs” a car like this. They are exactly right.

Black wasn’t my first choice when I got the car. But it’s my first choice now.

I can’t help but sing the praises of this car just a bit. In many ways it’s a nondescript monster. The handling, power and precision are unmatched. It’s the only car I’ve owned that hasn’t left me disappointed (yet). I think it’s okay to splurge on one thing. This is my thing and it’s worth every penny.

Want to hire me to take pictures of your car or put together a fun little video? That would surprise me. That being said, feel free to drop me a line if you’re in Utah.

 

Porsche 991 MACarbon Fuel Door

What’s better than a stock part? A carbon fiber part! MACarbon makes an awesome all carbon fiber fuel door replacement for the 991 series. I tried to hold out but there was never any hope:

Installation was a little tricky as my part required a slight modification (as have some of my other MACarbon items) but I don’t mind that stuff at all. The fuel door looks fantastic, and, in my opinion, it’s a part I would recommend to anyone who wants to shave a few ounces off their car (okay, it is lighter but that’s obviously not why you’d get this part).

Raptor Recon Illuminated Modifications

A few months ago I picked up a few illuminated Recon modifications for my truck. I’m a sucker for pretty lights so I thought these would be perfect. The illuminated door sills were a no-go from the moment I opened the box. Peeling / cracked stickers, missing hardware and a questionable installation procedure had me scratching my head:

The next illuminated parts were SVT vents on the side of my truck. The quality was much better and the install went smoothly, for the most part (the body clips provided by Recon didn’t fit correctly):

You win some and you lose some! I’m still looking for better door sill replacements (maybe non-illuminated). If you come across some shoot me a link.

Porsche 991 TechArt Carbon Fiber Diffuser

And now for a sad story with a happy ending. In March (has it been that long?) I purchased a Techart carbon fiber diffuser. The diffuser arrived quickly but:

I had bought the diffuser from an online vendor (who shall not be named as the experience wasn’t great, but it wasn’t all their fault) but I wasn’t able to make any headway getting the problem solved. Happily a representative from TechArt actually saw my first video and invited me to reach out to him. I did and TechArt offered to produce the correct part for my car:

In the end what’s an extra month or two? This kind of stuff isn’t a big deal and I am very impressed by the way TechArt stepped up. In fact it makes me feel extra good now to have TechArt products adorn my car. Even though this isn’t a high contrast addition (it sort of disappears into the valence) I still think it looks excellent.

Sideshow Statues: Transformers & Star Wars

For my fortieth birthday I got myself statues from Sideshow (what else would a forty year old want?). Being an adult is awesome.

First up is this Boba Fett:

Next are three 80’s style robots (Optimus Prime, another Optimus Prime and Voltron):

It’s true that you can’t really play with statues. But you can’t play with toys you leave in the box either. At least I get to take these out of the boxes and display them! All of these are limited edition productions and are available from Sideshow.com at the time of this posting.

Netgear Orbi – Making a Mesh

We have long struggled with Wifi in our home. There are a few elements working against us: 1) We have 3.5 levels and a lot of space to cover. 2) Part of that space is an excavated portion of the basement where nary a wifi signal can penetrate. 3) Part of our space is a main floor office which, for reasons unknown, is wifi Bermuda Triangle 4) We need Wifi in our garage for various devices and this exterior area has been difficult to cover as well.

In order to get internet to the nether regions of our home I had previously set up three separate networks (Seriously? How sad that your nerdy friends didn’t rescue you…). The basement & excavated area had a NightHawk X6, the office had its own NPowerLINE Wi-Fi 1000 and the upstairs had a separate NightHawk X8 which also covered the garage. Things mostly worked but the setup made it hard to share printers, seemed to confuse devices (they often switched networks or disconnected altogether), made it hard to lock down the internet (i.e. parental controls) and made certain aspects of home automatic difficult to use if you were on the “wrong” network. I knew I needed to eventually fix the problem (Sonos connect amps with 3 networks? Uh… no) but there was so simple one router solution. I dreamed about having some kind of mesh network but my ability to set one up was much too limited to undertake a project like that. And so I waited. Until one day…

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…Netgear released the Orbi. Billed as a “mesh network” system (slightly misleading) the Orbi consists of a Router base and satellite nodes. The base establishes a link with each satellite and they create a relatively seamless “mesh” network (it’s a hub and spoke system but as far as your devices are concerned it’s all the same big network).

I opted for the 3 node system which is billed as covering 8,000 square feet (I don’t have nearly that much space, but you can’t have too much Internet, I say). I positioned the base in our mechanical room next to our cable modem- that was the easy part since I didn’t really have a location choice. However, you have to position the satellites within reach of the base so I had a few placement mishaps on that end. Eventually I ended up with a node in the basement by the excavated areas, one on the main floor across from the office (inside the office was a disaster) and another in the center of the upstairs (in a bedroom).

Side note: Our network “infrastructure” was a complete mess (“So wait- you have a router plugged into a switch that goes into another router and then into your modem?”). When I installed the Orbi I took the opportunity to organize and simplify things quite a bit.

I spent a lot of time wandering around making sure that every nook and cranny of the house had acceptable internet. Speeds are much faster now and, based on a few days of use, much more reliable / stable. We may benefit from an additional satellite in the future (it looks like people are using up to four satellites) but I think for now we’re covered (nerd pun!).

We were hoping to implement Disney’s Circle, which was offered with the Orbi system. However, there is an Orbi firmware issue and the current stable version is not compatible with Circle. No word on when that will be remedied. It’s really too bad because the Netgear parental controls aren’t great (they suck). That being said we can still use the Orbi app to turn internet access to devices on an off which seems like it will be useful.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Orbi system and feel like it’s been a great (and desperately required) upgrade. Hopefully it’s smooth sailing from here on out.

Update: 4/13/2018 – Having now had the Orbi system for a week I can say that computer connections periodically drop for no apparent reason. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the computers switching to a different satellite. It may also be an issue related to Parental Controls that I tried to set up (it was a mess- I turned them off but I’m wondering if I left something misconfigured). Such hassles.
Overall: 8/10 (dropped connections)

Update: 5/23/2018 – The Orbi system has turned into a bit of a liability. Nodes randomly lose base connection and Internet. Devices attached to the network are randomly booted. Internet speeds are wildly inconsistent. I can’t find documentation or information to remedy these situations. I think we’re moving back to our old routers. Sigh.
Overall: 4/10 (suckville)