Author Archives: Scott

About Scott

I grew up near Houston, TX and served in the U. S. Coast Guard for over 30 years. I have an electronics background and continue to work in the electronics engineering field. I taught myself the basics about automotive systems as well as how to perform some of my own maintenance (cars and bicycles). I became involved with Amateur Radio and computers in 1995. The explosion of technology has made my job and several of my hobbies quite interesting. My hobbies include Volkswagens, bicycling, photography, electronics, amateur radio, web management, and reptiles. Visit my websites to learn more.

Eurofest Maggie Valley with Growing Comms Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I shared an update which shared recent amateur radio activity as well as my plan to attend more car shows with my communications exhibit. Eurofest at Maggie Valley, NC was easily the largest VW show on … Continue reading

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Ham Radio Updates

I’ve been neglectful, but busy. I’ve enjoyed making YouTube videos and publishing every week. However, spending so much time making videos meant that the writing on my website had fallen behind; plus, the more time I spend creating, the less … Continue reading

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Volkswagen Show Catch-Up!

This entry is a bit late. I find it difficult to take the time to write articles when I’m focusing on creating YouTube videos. Coincidentally, I find it difficult to DO the things worth sharing if I’m making YouTube videos. … Continue reading

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My First POTA Road Trip

My website has fallen behind. I hope to do some catch-up work in the coming weeks. While this site has been primarily automotive-related, my content has always followed my interests. I’ve been doing a lot of upgrades to my amateur … Continue reading

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Orion-Tr Smart 12|12-30 360-Watt DC-DC Charger

A car’s alternator is NOT appropriate for charging LiFePo4 batteries. First, it’s output voltage is not quite correct; nor, is it intended to charge two batteries (starter and aux) with differing chemistries at the same time. Next, and perhaps more … Continue reading

Posted in Ham Radio, Microlanding, Mods & Projects, Product Review | 2 Comments

100-Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate Secondary Battery

This year is the first time in many years that I spent a lot of time using my ham radios. As much as I like to drive, operating on the HF bands often requires log work, especially during contests or … Continue reading

Posted in Ham Radio, Microlanding, Mods & Projects, Product Review | 4 Comments

Deep Discharge – Get Restarted Fast!

Own a car for long enough and you’ll eventually find yourself with a weak starter battery. If the battery is just old, then maybe it will turn-on all of your accessories, but lack the grunt to turn the starter motor. … Continue reading

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Five Years in a Mk7 GTI! More Mods or Time to Sell?

I can’t believe it’s been five years in my Mk7 GTI already! Is it too late to add more mods to this geriatric GTI or should I sell it? According to some, I’m way overdue for ditching this car! I … Continue reading

Posted in Milestones, Problems, Product Review | 3 Comments

Rear Seat Delete: New and Improved

This entry may seem like déjà vu if you’ve been following my site for a while. Yes, I had created and installed a rear seat delete in 2019. I removed it after a couple months of use because I felt … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Fault Diagnosis and Lessons Learned

This report is LONG overdue! I had drafted it, then forgot about it. Oops! What follows is my recollection of a engine fault that my GTI suffered while pulling a trailer on its first Coast-to-Coast trip. I have a series … Continue reading

Posted in Maintenance, Problems, Road Trips | 2 Comments

Fuel Economy with IS38

One look at that title must have you wondering – “What kind of lunatic tracks fuel economy in a modified GTI?” THIS GUY does. HAHA! Coming from a Volkswagen turbodiesel background and having a lifetime of fuel economy testing under … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Product Review | 2 Comments

APR Stage 3 with OEM IS38

This is the upgrade I thought I’d never do because it increases maintenance needs and removes some of the low-end torque that I really enjoy… and it’s expensive. Still, I would have instinctively seen an IS38 as a good upgrade … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | 6 Comments

VA to CA and Back: Full Trip Wrap-Up

Being a former TDI owner, I still love to track fuel economy and other technical stuff. Come to think of it, I’ve tracked MPGs from the day I got my first car, a 1973 Beetle in 1986. Overall for this … Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 3

As I was digging in my suitcase and deciding what to wear, I saw a strange color that surely was not my normal thing. “What’s this?” A kid somewhere is upset! I guess finding someone else’s clothing mixed-in with my … Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 2

I left Rawlins, WY bright and early. The drivers of the pickup trucks that had parked around me were early birds! They were already gone long before sunrise. I was certain that I-80 would be endless miles of boredom; that’s … Continue reading

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Return to VA: Part 1

My wife got up around 3:30am to pack her bags. I slept until about 10 minutes before we needed to leave. The hotel was just five minutes from the departure terminal; so, I had the luxury of kicking her out … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Packing and Sequoia National Park, Round 2

After a good night’s rest, we went to my mother’s storage unit to unpack and decide what was coming home with us. I nearly had a heart attack every time I heard my wife say, “Awww…” It seemed like a … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Giant Forest

In my previous entry, I had left my trailer in a pull-out just below the snow-line on the mountain climb to General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. I didn’t want to spend too much time away from it since … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Sequoia National Park, The Ascent

I awoke nice and early because I wanted to beat the crowds to Sequoia National Park. My goal was to photograph the car with some Sequoias and to get a photo with the car/trailer in the fallen tree tunnel. The … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 3

Next, I entered the place that compelled me to pack extra fuel in the trailer: Death Valley. Websites and blog write-ups warn that there is no cellular coverage in Death Valley. They’re not kidding! I easily drove over 150 miles … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 2

I mentioned in my previous entry that I arrived in Flagstaff under moderate snowfall. I settled into my hotel room and enjoyed an early evening inside. Silly me, I didn’t look at the weather forecast before going to sleep. I … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Part 1

Rainfall during the days leading up to my departure was killing my workflow. But I got things done when I could. Here’s the trailer’s interior as it was for the outbound trip. I don’t think I mentioned that I’d be … Continue reading

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Return to CA: Kick Off

It came time to hit the road again. You may recall my “Coast-to-Coast” series from November (shared in January). My wife and I had driven to CA to retrieve my mother’s cremains and some of her effects. What we didn’t … Continue reading

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From the Vault: Our 2011 Road Trip

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com. I duplicated the journey on this site because it was a good trip and still … Continue reading

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From the Vault: Our Tour of the Northern United States (1999)

Note: This journal is printed as it was shared on my previous website at StealthTDI.com. It was updated periodically and followed by friends at TDIClub.com (before it was a registered site). As a result, it is written in a present … Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Exterior

The exterior: The final stretch! I had initially sanded the original paint and had a plan to have it wrapped. I did that before a lot of other projects started. Lockdowns put the wrap on hold. My goal was to … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | 5 Comments

Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Interior

With the roof resealed and basic wiring done, it was time to work on the interior. I started with the insulation. A lot of DIY trailer converters like to use the pink stuff or the blue stuff. Unfortunately, the green … Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – Electrical

With the roof fan installed, I had some encouragement to rework the trailer wiring so that I could get some airflow while working inside. The factory wiring was terrible! It looked like this on both sides of the back door. … Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Roof

In “The Problems,” I mentioned my need to reseal the roof after finding leaks inside the walls. In order to reseal the roof, I first had to strip away the existing sealant. I thought that would be easy enough with … Continue reading

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Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion – The Problems

Converting my Homesteader Fury tiny cargo trailer into a sleeper turned out to be a real challenge! It was easy to assume the job would go smoothly since the original owner only had it for a year and was using … Continue reading

Posted in Microlanding, Product Review, Tiny Cargo Trailer Conversion, Trailer/Cargo | 2 Comments

Coast to Coast: Return Trip, The Final Stretch

We continued to Oklahoma City and checked in at our planned stop. It was a convention center. I knew unloading would be painful as soon as the receptionist gave me a map to the parking area. UGH! There was only … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Return Trip, Pt 2

We hit the road very late after loading the cats and Mom’s effects, perhaps 2pm. So, we didn’t aim to get very far, just out of the area and into our first hotel at a decent time. We took at … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Return Trip, Relearning to Pack

Our first order of business in the morning was to assemble the kennels and then repack the car without using any of the interior cargo space that we previously had. The three kennels took up everything but the floor behind … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Dealer Visit and Memorial Service

I drove to the dealer to get a set of ignition coils, commonly referred to as “coil packs,” while the rest of the family went to Sequoia National Park. They were not in stock. So, I ordered them for pick-up … Continue reading

Posted in Problems, Road Trips | 2 Comments

Coast to Coast: Outbound Trip, Pt 2

We got settled in our hotel room in Alamogordo, NM plenty late and planned to shoot at White Sands the following morning. Getting sunrise or “golden hour” shots would’ve been great. But the park didn’t open until 7am, or after … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: Outbound Trip, Pt 1

Day 1 took us to Morrisville, TN. I wanted a short day so that we could practice the load and unload of the trailer, basically getting our act together for the longer haul. I lucked out and found a nice … Continue reading

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Coast to Coast: The Plan

My brother (from central Texas) and I recently visited my mother in central California for what we were certain would be our last chance to see her alive. She was 72 and had suffered from a rare neurological disorder for … Continue reading

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Baun Performance Cat-Back Exhaust

Updated on March 16, 2022 If you’ve followed my site for a while, then you may recall that I had almost no interest in upgrading my exhaust. I had even added a resonator to suppress the extra drone that resulted … Continue reading

Posted in Mods & Projects, Performance Related, Product Review | 4 Comments

Scorpion SA-680 Black Widow 10-80m Antenna

I had a long weekend commute on quiet highways from 2006-2009. So, surfing the HF bands was a great way to help the drive pass. I was using a Yaesu ATAS-120A. Performance-wise, it can be described as “adequate, but  not … Continue reading

Posted in Ham Radio, Mods & Projects, Product Review | 6 Comments

Replacing the Manual Transmission Oil

I had a Mk3 Jetta TDI for 445,000 miles. I practiced 100,000-mile manual transmission drains, with the exception of one shorter interval during a differential upgrade. I decided to use the same drain interval on my GTI. Volkswagen does not … Continue reading

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