New digital microscope, slides, clover slips, and fecal tubes came in yesterday. I had the whole thing set up and read my first fecal in under 20 minutes. I found a fecal recipe pretty easy online. Salt, sugar, water.

The Microscope: Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand for Windows, Mac, Linux (2MP, 250x Magnification)

The Slides: AmScope BS-50P-100S-22 Pre-Cleaned Blank Ground Edge Glass Microscope Slides and 100pc Pre-Cleaned Square Glass Cover Slips Coverslips

The Fecal Tubes: SEOH 16 X 125mm Plastic Test Tubes with Caps, 25 Pack


Fecal Recipe:

1. Saturated salt solution

Specific gravity: 1.18 – 1.20

General purpose solution.

Sodium chloride: 400 grams
Water: 1000 ml

  • Stir thoroughly before use.
  • May distort eggs.

2. Salt/sugar solution

Specific gravity: 1.28

General purpose solution.

Sodium chloride: 400 grams
Water: 1000 ml
Sugar: 500 grams

Dissolve the salt in water to make a saturated solution.

Add the sugar to the saturated salt solution.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Sodium nitrate

Specific gravity: 1.18

This solution is sometimes used for strongyle eggs.

Sodium nitrate: 400 grams
Water: 1000 ml

Add sodium nitrate to water while stirring.

  • May form crystals and distort eggs if left longer than 20 minutes.


fecal recipe source: Flotation Fluids 

So far I am loving the new camera. I went with a more name-brand one, spent more then the cheap stationary cameras, but I can definitely tell the difference between this and the el-cheapo.

Foscam FI9803P

For starters, it performs like the $300+ cameras I use to install for business (Axis, great cameras) but at a fraction of the cost. I got these between $40-75 with shipping. Since we already have three PTZ cameras we figured why waste the money, and got a few stationary cameras to cover the rest of the spots we want to monitor.

Foscam FI9803 Snapshot

Above is part of the recording screen.The camera isn’t where it will stay. I have learned from replacing 4 crappy camera. And  put it up to test and confirm that the cameras will actually work before climbing up the ladder.

I will end noting that these things are impressive for the money. Incredibly smooth playback, great quality image, very nice color correction and still has a nice nighttime shot. They connected without any issue to my Blue Iris setup, as well as my phone and computer browser.


That’s it for now. Till later, Cheers.

We are playing around with new logo ideas for the site. Trying to get something finalized in time to print somethings out for our Bedford Farmers market debut May 7th.  Not really post worthy, but incase you do pay attention, that’s why things keep changing.




So we run a mix of tech here at HippyNerds.

Here is a general idea with some specs, links and info

Web/External Tech:

  • Hosting is being provided by my boss on our Hyper-V server
  • Our server is a virtual Ubuntu 15 Server
  • We run a mix of software on it which I manage from SSH (completely custom, so no stock options for security reasons)
    • Madsonic: our own Pandora without adds, and allows access to our music from anywhere (check it out: sonos, ldap and support for more) this also supports video and transcoding.
    • Apache: needs no introduction, but just incase: worlds most used webserver software: simply amazing stuff
    • ISPConfig (simplify management): was a process to install and configure (guide I used) but in the end it wasn’t hard, just took some time
    • eMail Server using RoundCube for webaccess –  (guide I used)
    • WordPress for site (clearly, just look around, you will see it) – installed using ISPConfig, applied changes to fix upload problems suggested here
  • Static IPs, Godaddy domain and external DNS

Internal Tech:

  • Synology Virtual Clone
    • Sec. cams
    • VPN
  • Media Management
    • SickBeard – The ultimate PVR application that searches for and manages your TV shows (find, rename, organize tv shows/series)
    • Couchpotato – Awesome PVR for usenet and torrents. Just fill in what you want to see and CouchPotato will add it to your “want to watch”-list (find, rename and sort your movies)
    • Madsonic: yes, we have two. the one in house is so that we aren’t trying to stream over our crap DSL connection
    • Headphones: Automatic music downloader for SABnzbd: keep your music collection updated, organized and tagged
  • Media/Storage: this is a pita because I haven’t bought any tech in ages, and wanted to not spend money
    • Movie/Download Target: This is all running on a HP HomeServer hardware running OpenMediaVault  (this is dying, I will be replacing  by installing 4tb drives and a 2nd raid controller in my home server box)
      • Download Temp – 250gb 7.2k drive
      • Movie Storage – 3x 2TB 7.2k drives, 2x 2TB external usb – software raided total 7.6ish TB of storage
    • TV Show/Music/pictures: Very old BuffaloTech TerraStation Pro hacked running TS-HTGL/R5 F/W 1.35
      • 4x1tb 7.2k drives, raid 5 around 2.7TB storage
    • Security Recordings: Windows Essentials
      • 1 15k 156gb dell sas drive: OS install, software, backed up to 500Gb external
      • 3x10k 300gb dell sas drives raid 5: this is the storage location
  • Networking: a mix of old and very old tech to make things work wired and wireless
    • Cisco WET200: using as a wireless bridge for my walkout basement home office
    • DLink DSL Router/Modem: crappy Verizon model, used for wireless G (non-service items) so phones and laptops use this
    • Linksys E1200 v2: running DD-WRT this is for service items G/N. I have WDS setup for extending to chicken coup and shop
    • NeatGear WG602v3 x2: VERY OLD but work well as extenders using DD-WRT for converting out wired sec cames to wireless while still extending the network to the shop and chicken coup (using external antennas)
    • 3com 24 port gig manged switch: I haven’t don’t anything with this really, just using as a unmanaged switch
    • HP 8 port gig managed switch: same as above, simply using because its gb and is higher end
  • Services: how things get address, talk, go outbound
    • Windows Server 2012r2 Essentials
      • DNS
      • DHCP
      • Home Domain
      • Software Host (see above for links and info)
        • headphones
        • madonic
        • sickbeard
        • couchpotato
      • VM host: Synology Soft Device (currently getting re-setup, was a physical box)
  • Media Viewing/Serving: I have played around with Plex, XBMC/KODI, Synology, MediaPortal, LMCE. But in the end, I always go back to my beloved Kodi (formally known as XBMC
    • Kodi 15 is on my following devices which have a shared database so progress and watch status is the same across all devices
      • Raspberry pi 2b: our main viewing device, connected to our tv through our denon amp
      • Raspberry pi b: with touchscreen skin, this will be my shop media center, its setup, but not in use at the moment
      • Ubuntu 15 desktop: my main laptop
      • Android phone: for on the go viewing
    • Madsonic: this is used for Music streaming, its the best on the go (subsonic app) and web based player imo. I use it on the following:
      • Devices
        • Android phone
        • iPhone 4s
      • Browsers
        • IE
        • FireFox
        • Chrome
  • Home Automation: still unable to find a software solution that I like. So no central management yet
    • Hardware:
      • power controls (outlets, switches) are Insteon
      • IR: iTach2 ir over network: no used yet
  • Security Cameras: a mix of old and off brand new
    • Hardware
      • Avacom HD PT – using as our porch cam for front yard viewing and package delivery
      • Dlink 5300 – using as our goat cam, currently waiting to be put-up
      • Wanscam w Foscom Hack – was our “baby cam” but it being re-purposed to the chicken coup
      • Others (located around the property/outside home)
    • Software: checking out a view now: installed on our home server. Still nothing found that I like as much as the synology security center

Our 2016 Chicks

We finally got our chicken coup updated to version 3.2. Which means no more chick stench in our house!!!! I am so excited for this to have taken place. If you only have 6-12 chicks, life isn’t terrible. But if you have the 36-40 we have, your whole house stinks and you wish you had a hardwire powered chicken coup that’s FAR-AWAY from your house. But we have lived and learned. We wont do chicks again in the house.

In order for this move to happen we needed to fix our solar power setup in the coup

chicken power
Solar powered chicken coup

Then we needed to install the door to the chick growing area for the coup, nothing fancy, just a board on hinges and a latch lock.

looking for chicks here
Chicks live here

Behind that un-painted door lives our chicks, a mix of meat and egg layers. Since we can only run the one light overnight without spending a few hundred on new battieries. We hope that t will be ok to let them all huddle together over the still cold nights (got down to at least 45 last night) under the 100watt bulb. When they reach teenage weeks we will separate the meats from the eggers.

Our 2016 Chicks
Spring Chicks

So have the lower sides of their area’s are enclosed to keep drafts out. They have two feeders and a 1 gallon waterier hung from their roof for feed and water.

That’s kind of it. They all survived the first night. So hopefully they all live through the next few weeks. I will say that we did close up the coup more so then normal. We closed the human doors, the window we installed and the two suicide doors as well overnight. The idea being that we keep as much heat as possible inside the coup as we can.


That’s it for now.
Till later, Cheers.