Monthly archives: March, 2015

Running Power to Garage Centerpost

Add your new circuit breaker. In my case, it is a new 20 amp breaker. Don’t forget to cut the main breaker!


Add the junction box and run NM cable from the circuit breaker to the new junction box. I used NM 12-2 w/ ground.

For an in-wall circuit breaker panel, I had to cut the dry wall above the panel in order to make it easier to run the cable down from the junction box.


Run 1/2″ steel tubing conduit along with NM cable. Use couplers, 90 degree bends, and clamps.



And run it all the way to your new outlet.


After twisting up the wiring in your junction box, close it up and label it.


Finish up the wiring on the outlet. I used a 20 amp GFCI outlet.


Creating Tables Programmatically with DynamoDB Local

For testing with a large number of tables, deleting and recreating tables manually in the AWS Explorer pane in Eclipse can be tedious. It easy enough to create a simple utility class to delete and recreate your tables. Your AWS Explorer immediately updates with results. This can easily be extended to populate with data, too.

Better Slider Handle

The Sparco slider handle was too wide and didn’t have enough vertical clearance with that front diagonal cross brace. Fabbed a new one using the ends of the Sparco handle.


The new one…


More room to pull up on the handle now…


Making Room for the Trans

So FFR says these 0.6″ spacers that came in the 6-speed kit go between the transmission and the mount. Doesn’t work for me.


In this pic, the transmission is resting on the pan (on the chassis). The transmission mount bolts aren’t long enough to accommodate the spacers. No new transmission mount bolts in the kit either. So used some other long bolts for testing. The spacer probably needs to be more like an inch or so to work. So maybe this is another 04 6-speed incompatibility.

So modified the chassis (Zach’s way).




Fits perfectly!

Also cleaned up the tail housing with the freeze plug. Great idea Kurk!


Setting Up a Spring MVC with AWS Project in Eclipse

Create the Spring MVC + AWS Project

I am running Eclipse Luna and added both the Spring Tool Suite (STS) and AWS plugins. I used the project wizard to first create a Spring MVC project.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.46.43 PM

With the project created you will get your MVC dispatch servlet configured and even a basic home controller.

Now onto AWS. In your project properties, add the AWS SDK for Java library to your build path.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.48.04 PM

Set up the Local DynamoDB Server

I am using DynamoDB, so let’s get a local DynamoDB server set up.

Install the DynamoDB Local Test Tool under Eclipse Preferences.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 2.33.23 PM

In the AWS explorer, set your region to local.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 3.06.07 PM

Now let’s see if it runs.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 3.09.38 PM

Set up the Local Tomcat Server with AWS Libraries

Great. Now let’s get a local tomcat server set up for testing locally. We will need to add the AWS SDK libraries to the Tomcat classpath via

 Create the First Domain Objects

Now let’s set up our first domain objects to persist to the local DynamoDB server. I’ll create an abstract User class and a EndUser child class using the DynamoDB Java annotations. There isn’t much here in the classes for now, but let’s just store username and password to get started.


 Create the Table in the DynamoDB Server

Now create the table in the DynamoDB server. You only need to specify the primary key.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.50.13 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.54.08 PM

The table should now show up in the AWS explorer.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.54.27 PM

Let’s use the default Spring home controller to test saving an EndUser since it is already set up to be the default launcher. Make sure to set your AmazonDynamoDBClient to use your local server.

Persist Data to the DynamoDB Server


Now we are ready to run it! Select Run on Server and choose your Tomcat Server (that was configured with AWS above).

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.45.11 AM

And you should get the default Spring MVC home page.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.55.48 PM

But that doesn’t show us if the user was created in the DynamoDB. To verify that, double click the User table in the AWS explorer. You should see the new entry in the User table. That’s it!

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.56.05 PM

An Amazon Web Services Mobile, Web and Cloud Project

Starting a new project that will involve developing a mobile, web, and cloud solution for a mapping application. Mobile will include Android and IOS. Simple image processing to resize uploaded images will also be required. Users must be able to synchronize data across all platforms. I’ll be using Spring MVC and Spring Security on the web side. I have not decided if or what template or web UI library I’ll use. That is something I can decide later. Near term I need to decide which PaaS solution to use: Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). I used Google App Engine a few years ago for a GWT and Android cloud application. I would like to use AWS to get that knowledge and experience. And AWS still appears to be the most popular cloud platform, so it is good to have it on the resume.

The following is a comparison of what my project requires and what is provided by AWS and GCP.

  • I will be developing in Java using Spring MVC and Spring Security. Both platforms support Java and these frameworks.
  • Both provide a NoSQL database solution.
  • I prefer to use a JDO or JPA persistence solution for flexibility. I like the idea of my code being portable. GCP supports JDO and JPA. AWS has their own Java Object Persistence Model. It appears to be similar to a JDO/JPA solution – just using their own annotations. The paradigm is the same, so probably not a big deal.
  • For running database queries, again AWS provides their own solution – less portable. GCP supports JDO and JPA queries as well as their own Datastore Queries. In my experience with GCP, larger and more complicated queries required using the GCP Datastore Queries.
  • Surprisingly, AWS does not have an image processing service. Third party services that work with AWS (like are available or you can spin your own. GCP provides an image processing service that supports resizing, cropping, etc.
  • For data storage (images), both platforms provide comparable services, Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage.
  • My application will provide a search feature. Both platforms provide a search service. Amazon has Cloud Search while Google has a Search API.
  • Critical to my application is integration with mobile. Both platforms provide Android and IOS mobile cloud APIs. AWS lists various services such as analytics, database, S3 storage, and event streaming while Google has Cloud Endpoints.  Here it appears that Google is lacking. Rather than provide access to specific services, Cloud Endpoints builds a client library to your API. So I am required to develop an API to my database and Cloud Endpoints builds the client library. That is more work.
  • Also critical is synchronizing data across all devices. In the ideal case, I could use the same persistence model across all devices. I have experience with this on my previous Google App Engine project and it is not easy maintaining data integrity between multiple devices and the cloud. AWS provides the DynamoDB Object Mapping for Android and IOS which is similar if not the same as the Java Object Persistence Model discussed above. Can I define a single POJO domain package to be used for the cloud, Android, and IOS? That would be great. GCP doesn’t provide anything like this. The closest that I can find is Cloud Sync which seems to be focused on lightweight user preferences and game data.

The last two bullets pushes me to use AWS.

Engine and Transmission in the Chassis

Got the transmission back on the engine and into the chassis to check out the clearance issues with the transmission oil pan. My 6-speed kit came with 4 .60″ spacers. I assumed that these were the spacers Jim Schenck mentioned they used to clear the chassis. There aren’t any instructions for the spacers. I am guessing they go on top of the engine mounts. Have an email out to FFR to confirm.



Out of curiosity I tried two at the transmission mounts. No way.


Assuming these spacers go on top of the engine mounts, that pushes the engine even closer to the top cross bars making an already tight area even more so.  A chassis modification might still be the best way to go.

6-Speed 2WD Conversion Complete

The center diff locking spool and the new oil pump gear mated up well. On the other side, there was about an 1/8″ gap with gear in the tail housing.


Debated on what tool would best to cut the tail housing and ended up using a reciprocating saw with a thicker 9″ blade. The tail housing  is an awkward shape so I bolted it to a universal square to hold it in place. It worked well and gave a straight cut.



Next up is plugging the holes. Not covered in the guide is a race, a plastic piece, and a metal dowel that had to be removed.




Tail housing back on and ready to go back into the chassis. I wish I had a pretty plate like the 5-speeds.


Center Diff Locking Spool From Possum Bourne

Received the center diff locking kit from possum bourne motorsports. It is a FWD or RWD or 4WD kit. It is so simple that its ingenious.


I’ll use the FWD component and slide that over the pinion shaft gear. Then slide the center diff locking spool over that and the driven shaft. Don’t need the RWD component obviously.



(Looking straight down on the center diff locking spool)

It did come with a new oil pump gear to match up with the center diff locking spool.

The length of the center locking spool looks correct to butt up against the transfer drive gear in the tail housing.

This is all just a cursory review. We’ll see how this all goes together over the next few days.

Seat Position, Helmet Clearance

Got my driver’s seat lowered and tilted back. I dropped the butt all the way down and tilted back about 20 degrees. Also, had to slide the seat way back almost up against the firewall. I’m 5’7″ and was surprised how tight it is to make the clearance requirements. I still have the sliders, but it seems rather pointless since I am already back up against the firewall.




Tilting back allowed me to clear that front crossbar.