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About jwmiller33

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    HotSpotOutdoors Specialist
  • Birthday 06/02/1987

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  • Location:
    Duluth, MN

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  1. jwmiller33

    40HP merc steering issue

    Thanks for the help guys. Lots of great input. Over the weekend, my buddy tried greasing it up and used a rubber mallet to tap on the port side steering arm to try and loosen it up and didn't get it to budge at all. He ended up going to RJs are ordering a new steering cable. However, the only cable they could order was 6 inches longer than the old one so theres a little concern it will be tough to fit it in there with how rigid that cable is. Do you guys have any advice for working the new, longer cable into place?
  2. jwmiller33

    40HP merc steering issue

    A buddy of mine just got an early 1980s 16 ft Lund counsel boat with a late 70s/early 80s 40 hp Merc that won’t move/steer. The boat and motor seem to be in really good condition for how old it is but the steering seems to be locked up. It wont budge if you move the steering wheel and it also has no play if you try to assist with moving it by hand. I only had 5 min to look at it last night but I did notice there were 2 grease zerks on the steering unit and another one near the back side of the transom. My first thought was to grease up the zerks real good and see if that loosens it up. However, if the grease doesn’t do anything, I am kind of stumped what the problem would be. My experience is only with tillers so these older steering units are foreign to me. Before having to take it into a shop, does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this or troubleshoot? I’m guessing the steering cable might be shot but I don’t know how to diagnose this without tearing it all apart. Any help would be much appreciated. Attached are a couple pics.
  3. jwmiller33

    First year garden

    I bought my first house almost exactly a year ago and am looking to put it in a garden which is kind of a new adventure for me. Since I don't have the best soil in my yard, I am thinking I am going to build some raised garden beds out of some 2x12s. I am looking for some suggestions on this. Is 12" of soil deep enough? Any do's or don'ts from people that have done this before? I've never done a solo garden before, so I am kind of in uncharted territories. I want to make some salsa and possibly pasta sauce so what all should I grow? Tomatoes and peppers are on the list... what else? I'm located in Duluth so temp/thaw wise, we are at least a week or 2 behind the metro still.
  4. jwmiller33

    Frabill sled cover

    I also bought a clam cover for my predator and it works great and I saved about $40. I spent about 2 weeks in December trying to find a matching Frabill cover to go with my new predator (purchased at the ice expo) and could not believe that you couldn't find one anywhere or on any page. I must have called darn near every fishing store in the midwest. I was even calling wholesalers trying to find them and had no luck. Another big swing and miss by frabill as this is the 2nd year in a row they have ran out of covers for the predator in the beginning of the season.
  5. jwmiller33

    Trolling motor size

    What do you currently have on your boat? Are you talking bow or transom mount? Whether or not the 80 will work depends how heavy your rig is.. "17ft lund" is pretty vague so its hard to say. Your rig may be light enough for the 80 to get you to trolling speed but what it really comes down to is batteries. Going full blast on your trolling motor is surly going to wear your batteries down to nothing in short order. I'd make sure you have a 36volt system either way and buy the biggest batteries you can fit in your boat.
  6. jwmiller33

    Frabill Predator or Citadel

    The big difference in these shacks (besides the bench) is that the predator has a much bigger/deeper sled. The predator will not fit into a 5.5ft box with the tailgate closed without having to prop it up on the lip of the tailgate. The rod holder built into the citadel is nice but the only drawback I see is having a rod box that is fixed to your shack meaning you dont have a rod box to use if you go on a fishing trip where you are not using your shack.
  7. The whole split with FM/HSO has to be one of the most absurd things I've ever seen. Taking something that was awesome and make it more difficult and less user friendly. Trouble logging in, finding posts, remembering which page you made a post, and even just trying to get to the page from a bookmark. Unbelievable! I used to be a daily poster and viewer of FM - had to create a new screenname because of log in issues. Now I rarely ever even come to the page because of how difficult it has become and obviously the decrease in traffic has further compounded the issue. It is really sad because this used to be such a great site!
  8. I purchased my first home this last spring and am getting ready to gear up for winter. It is in rural Duluth and has a 32×32 detached garage that was built 6 years ago. It is a nice garage and is insulated, but does not have a heat source installed in it yet. I want to get it heated for this winter so I have been looking at both electric and propane heaters and still am weighing the pros/cons of both. I was wondering what the general consensus as far as cost and efficiency goes in terms of electric vs propane. I live out in the sticks so natural gas is not an option. I know it all depends on the temp set and cost of fuel source, but I was curious about the general consensus on this topic. I do a lot of wood working as a hobby, so I want to be able to crank up the heat to get it comfortable when I am working out there. Otherwise, I just want to keep it a little warmer than outside to keep the vehicles comfortable to get into in the morning. I’m not sure what most people do as far as setting a heating temp goes in a detached garage but I was thinking of getting a programmable thermostat and set it up only heat at night – something like 5PM – 5 AM – since it wont be used during the day. Can anyone offer some examples of what they have set their garage at in the winter? I’m trying to keep the cost down and heating it 24/7 seems like a waste. Also, my experience from fishing in ice houses has taught me that fans are key in getting the most out of your heat. Do people typically install fans in the ceiling or is the fan in the heater typically sufficient? Also, does anybody have any suggestions on how many BTUs I should be looking at? It is 32×32 w/ 10 foot ceilings. I did a few google searches and found a few different websites that give you a suggestion based on the dimensions and intended heat level and I keep getting suggestions in the range of 36k-45k BTU which is a pretty large range. Does that seem sufficient? Any insight/advice that could be provided would be greatly appreciated!
  9. My golden's first birds; shot on opening weekend in the Duluth area.
  10. jwmiller33

    Aurora 3/16, 3/17

    I was using a Canon that is one of the earlier DSLRs (I'm not sure the exact model off the top of my head but I could tell you later when I am home). I'm not sure what you mean by pulling EXIF data but that may be because I had to manually convert the files to JPEG using a web site. This is because when I tried to put the images on my computer, they came over in a ".CRW" format that I couldn't open/view on my macbook nor my work laptop (windows). One person I talked to said you can change the file format in the camera settings but I played around with the settings and was not able to find a feature that allowed me to have the images saved as a different format. Like I said, this was literally my first time ever using this camera (was given to me as a gift). Do you have any suggestions on the image format? Or a program for viewing them? I don’t have photoshop but I’m assuming this would be a program that would work but I’d rather not spend the money on the program. The lens on the camera is a 28-200mm, so not exactly ideal for these types of shots. I am currently looking at buying a new lens… Something along the lines of 11-16mm. Essentially I would like to be capture more of the scene in my shots. Do you have any input on this type of lens? I did not post process or edit the pics at all. They are straight from the camera with the exception of me converting them from .CRW to .JPEG. Perhaps when I converted them, I lost some image quality? So if I’m understanding you correctly, the higher the ISO, the more “noise” I will get in the pictures? If I wanted the sky to be darker in these shots, should I be adjusting the ISO down?
  11. jwmiller33

    Aurora 3/16, 3/17

    I'm extremely new to photography but I did manage to get out on St Patty's day and it was my first time shooting exposure pictures. I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. I'd love to get some constructive criticism since I am so new to this. I was going back and forth between 25 and 30 second exposures which I now think were a little too long (the stars got streaky and I wish they were more clear). I was also flipping between ISO of 800 and 1600 (1600 is max on my camera). Aperture was 4.5 if I remember correctly and I did not switch that at all. Here are a couple of my favorites from that night.
  12. Did anybody get out and capture pictures of the northern lights on Monday and Tuesday night of this week? It's not very often that we get two strong storms like that on back to back nights. It provided people with ample photo opportunities across not only MN but all over the midwest.
  13. jwmiller33

    Lets see your hunting dogs

    This is my one year old golden, Finley.
  14. Here is a gopro video I finally got around to editing from earlier this spring on LOTW. There are a lot of nice fish in the video including a 30 incher towards the end. Enjoy!
  15. jwmiller33

    kicker steering

    I have a 9.9 kicker tiller that I do a lot of trolling with. The main motor on the boat is a 225hp Merc that is mounted on a jack plate (herein lies the problem). I wanted to get one of those arms installed that is mounted on the big motor and attaches to the kicker motor so that when you turn the steering wheel on the big motor, it steers the kicker. What I am trying to accomplish is being able to steer the kicker from the driver seat with the steering wheel. I realize the throttle will still be controlled from the tiller arm and that is not a concern. I brought the boat into a shop in Duluth to install the steering arm and they said they couldnt do it because of the jackplate. Other than getting an entire power steering system installed for the kicker, does anybody have any ideas for a way to tether the main motor and kicker motor steering together? I was thinking maybe there was a way to install the steering arm so that it isn't permanent meaning that I can simply attach it somehow when needed so the jackplate movement wouldn't be an issue. I am curious to hear if anybody has any ideas or suggestions. Here is a picture of the set up in the back of the boat