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44GuitarBoy 2 months ago
Hi guys. Would anyone be more electrically inclined than me and tell me what stupid mistake I'm doing here?

Looking to wire letter lights to Raspberry Pi. You know, these wall mounted letters with LEDs. My wife bought a bunch and instead of taking them off the wall to turn them off/on, I want to hook them all up to a breadboard with buttons.

But I'm stuck wondering what I'm doing wrong. I can't even wire one letter directly to the Pi. Here is a photo of what I've got:

Yellow wire is 3.3V, green is ground. Yellow wire is soldered directly to the battery slot, green wire is soldered to the dummy battery since I can't solder to the spring itself. What doesn't make any sense is how I can remove the dummy battery and use a dupont jumper wire and manually touch it between ground on the Pi and the spring and the light works, but when the dummy battery is inserted it doesn't work.

It seems to have something to do with the + end of the dummy battery. When it makes contact with the soldered yellow wire the circuit stops working I think. Why is that? If I take the + end out and hold the other end of the dummy battery against the spring it still works. How am I supposed to hook this up? Preferably while being able to fully insert the dummy batteries so that they don't stick out of the back.
44GuitarBoy 5 months ago
So apparently I was voted best office equipment/repair store in the local newspaper, News Item.

Other choices for the vote were CSP Office Equipment in Shamokin, and Best Buy in Selinsgrove. Do people really hate Best Buy that much? lmao
44GuitarBoy 5 months ago
So after looking at the garage door again it looks like the PANELS are what is peeling, not the paint. The door is wooden and the panels are replaceable, but now I gotta use a multitool to cut into the frame of the door and pop them out of the slits, get some plywood from Lowe's, and replace all 12 21"x24" panels.

Plywood is gonna cost like $50-$60 since I need around 48 square feet, but Lowe's only has 32 square feet boards, so I need 2. 🫠
44GuitarBoy 5 months ago
Almost have January's car payment lol.

I'm on track to have it well before the 15th (30 day mark), so hopefully I'll have some extra money to put towards some bills.....yay...
44GuitarBoy 5 months ago
So as much as I love padding my business checking account, I'm gonna need to spend some money eventually lol.

Since I'll be doing weekly/bi-weekly garage sales this spring/summer, I'll need to pay for some gravel to fill this gaping hole in the floor of the garage, and maybe for some Quikrete to put over the whole thing. Gravel alone could suffice though.

It wouldn't hurt to also get some stuff printed like signs and business cards. I can print up to 8.5x14 which is big enough IMO so I'd just need to get the business cards from Staples.

Then maybe a gallon of exterior paint to repaint the garage door (it's all peeling and old).
44GuitarBoy 6 months ago
I'm responsible as hell with my business, irresponsible as hell with personal finances.

Personal checking: like $30 maybe
Business checking: $1016 and counting

Business has no debt, meanwhile I've been perpetually paying my car up to 1 month behind for the last few months. I pay the overdue amount by the time the next payment is due and so on and so forth. Doesn't seem to be an issue though since they only seem to report 30+ days late on credit so meh.
44GuitarBoy 6 months ago
Welp out of nowhere I can't sell on Amazon.

Which is crap because I've actually been getting sales on there lately. Nothing crazy, like $40-$60 per settlement period (every 2 weeks or whatever).

But yesterday I got an email asking to verify my identity. Said I could upload a utility bill. Okay no problem. Uploaded our current water bill. Today I wake up to an email saying that it has been confirmed that I have been engaging in illegal activities and that my current $41 balance will not be disbursed. WTF

Trying to appeal results in the case automatically being closed with a message stating that it's the wrong email to appeal to. Someone on reddit said I can email Amazon directly and reply to the email stating my account was deactivated. We'll see what happens V(o_o)V
44GuitarBoy 7 months ago
So the point-of-sale software that I've been working on for the last 5 years is now be replaced with a new, better system.

I'm still using Materialize, but I'm eliminating the need for jQuery, Moment.js, and Tappy.js to make it faster and less resource intensive. The way I'm designing the new POS also allows me to write much less JS to get the same overall functionality, so I'm already pretty far with the project. I'm also designing the POS to be more OPEN, since a friend of mine is interested in using it for his business as well. I plan on designing it for "offline" use, but also want to add configuration to it to connect to OpenCart.

And unlike the current POS software that is incomplete, I will integrate this version directly with payment processors. I'm currently downloading Android Studio. Going to see if I can follow this tutorial to expose Java SDKs in a WebView's JavaScript context. If I'm successful in this, I can pretty much integrate whoever I want so long as they will allow my business to open an account and test the hardware.

A list of processors I've found that ONLY give you a Java SDK (or Flutter for iOS):

Processors that let you use a REST API:
-CardConnect (haven't heard back from them)
-Adyen (would not approve me ): )
-Stripe (but like the terminals cost like $100+)
-Helcim (but I got rejected from them for being too risky. ): )
-Clover (but you need to pay like $350+ for the WiFi enabled touchscreen reader. Cheapest reader for like $49 only supports using their own proprietary app; no way to code for it from what I can tell)

Square, and SumUp have the cheapest, most accessible readers. Plus I've never had a problem with Square so I suppose the first one I'd try to integrate would be Square.
44GuitarBoy 8 months ago
Can anyone give me their opinion? I discuss my dilemma here:

After sleeping on it, I could allow customers to redeem a gift certificate/coupon for the amount of the reward, and then they can easily use that to buy whatever they want. OpenCart gift certificates are simply subtracted from the order total, so it would just take $X off their order, no frills.

I could still implement the ability for people to buy things with points, just at full retail price. This would encourage people to continue to pay cash money if the item is on sale, and bank points for something else.

What do you guys think?
44GuitarBoy 8 months ago
Our realtor invited us to a home show this past weekend. He spent money on the tickets, so of course we had to go as it would make me feel bad if we didn't.

Of course Sierra gives everyone our info and sets us up to get quotes for stuff we can't even get right now lmao.

We had a guy come out to give us a quote on our roof. Like 1,500 sq ft for just the house, not even the garage, and they wanted $16k before discounts. Horse crap quote honestly. And after discounts for attending the home show and a "social media discount" for us agreeing to refer others to use their company online, we were still at $15k. But the fact that they can take $1k off so liberally makes me wonder about their price and if it's even worth it. Their quote also factors in ~300sq ft of rotting wood underneath the shingles. But, assuming our wood is fine, that would mean we'd be paying for something we don't even need.

The guy also said that they would need to do the entire roof. No partial jobs. Like lol alright, I'll just have my dad teach me how to do it and I can do the porch, patio, and side of the house myself. Then find another company to do the main roof for like $6k.

This company gave us a quote on our bathroom too. All I said was to widen the window so you can get out of it in an emergency, and to replace the tub/shower. Another $15k.

Clownery I tell ya. $30k on a $64,900 house? Nah, not gonna happen chief. I'd rather learn to do things myself, or do what I can on my own and hire someone else to do the difference. I didn't even want the entire tub/shower replaced. I don't like the color of the tub (pink), but the shower walls need to be replaced because it's cheap plastic and is broken/cracked in 2 places. No need to replace fliping everything lol.
44GuitarBoy 9 months ago
Think I'm done buying on eBay.

One seller accepted an offer I put in, but after I messaged them about a few other offers I put in, they told me no combined shipping. Fine. So I ask to cancel the order for the accepted offer and crickets. Now I'm going to have an unpaid item strike on my account.

Another seller I didn't realize had a whopping 4 day long handling period. I just messaged them a bit ago to cancel, considering they still haven't shipped the item yet.

Bunch of laughing joking numbnuts on eBay. Our income/household size allows us to get Medicaid still, so we're just going to get Prime Access and pay like $6.99/mo for Amazon Prime. At least then I won't get any bullcrap.

I'll still buy laptops from eBay from sellers I've bought from before, but nothing else man. Too much flim flam and too much of a free-for-all. Too many sellers that just sell for beer money, and too many sellers that don't give a crap about buyers and building relationships with them.
44GuitarBoy 9 months ago
2nd kid is a boy.

44GuitarBoy 9 months ago
Welp, going full circle and have an interview at Staples tomorrow. It's the only job I'm confident I can tolerate, and the nearest store is like 30 minutes away 🙃 Interested to see if they'll hire me. I plan on going into the interview with a nice colored t-shirt and my favorite cargo shorts. My prior 5 years of tenure should be enough.

The key should be confidence though. I'm confident I can get good pay. If not at first, within a few months to a year max. If they'll have me, I'll try to start at at least $13/hr, but will expect more later on if I prove to be an asset.
44GuitarBoy 9 months ago
So the good and the bad in regards to Sezzle for my business.

The good:
1. I get free exposure on Sezzle's in-app directory of stores. I can add keywords/phrases to help people find my store when they search for things on Sezzle. This has actually increased traffic drastically in the last week or so since I started using Sezzle. I just sent out a laptop today to someone who was from KY who found my site on Sezzle. It was a $220 sale.

2. The local poors seem to like it as well. This past week I sold a laptop to a guy here in town for like $100 and he paid with Sezzle on the website. And yes, the people in Shamokin, PA are poor. This is exactly why I wanted Buy Now, Pay Later in the first place. People are broke and so they rely on these platforms to get what they want.

The bad:
1. I'm getting abandoned carts. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because who knows if/when they may come back to place the order. The nice thing about OpenCart is that if they went to checkout and for whatever reason left, OpenCart still saves the order with the status "Missing Orders". As long as people go so far in the checkout flow, I can get name, address, phone, email, etc to follow up with people, which is what I've been doing.

2. The fees. Sezzle charges more than a simple credit card transaction with Stripe. While Strip charges 2.9% + 30 cents of the transaction, Sezzle charges 6% + 30 cents, basically doubling what I spend per $100. $3 vs $6 per every $100.

So that $220 laptop sale I had mentioned earlier was basically this:

After Sezzle fees: $206.28
After Consumer Priority Service Warranty Fee: $194.03
After shipping with insurance+signature: $178.19

I would have had another $6.68 if the sale was thru Stripe.

And to top it off, there is a fee that I did not see when signing up. If I do not process $300 a month, there is a $15 monthly fee for merchants. I don't necessarily mind this, since it encourages me to be on my toes and get more high ticket items like computers to sell. But seriously, they should charge the larger merchants that fee and not the ones just starting out. Luckily I made over $300 with Sezzle this month but who knows about next month.
44GuitarBoy 9 months ago
I feel so defeated. I know I'm probably too picky with jobs these days. I want something simple and easy like I had at Staples. I got $16/hr for what I felt was very easy work.

I tried a merchandising position at Walmart through Premium Retail Services. Trained with the manager for like 2 days. And, it just seems too complex for $13/hr.

The manager didn't really train me how to do much. Just how to go through and answer questions on the work app to perform the job, and put trading cards/toys out by checkout.

Looking at the schedule for this upcoming week, they wanted me to do all sorts of bullcrap. Like packing out a bunch of stuff from the back, asking Walmart leads/managers for permission to create new secondary locations for certain brands/products, printing labels, etc. I feel that it's a bit too involved, and a bit too dependent. When read the job on Indeed, they said it was very independent. But then I realized you need to constantly work with Walmart staff and get permissions to do things. Like I just hate working with people anymore. Customers are one thing, but I hate working together with others.

The manager also never taught me where/how to locate items in the Walmart back room. Like, shelves in the back are marked similar to the aisles, but she didn't teach me the marking system or what the letters/numbers meant to locate items effectively. She also didn't teach me how to print labels--all I got for that was some dumb video training the week prior to starting in-store training.

I've worked retail, and so I know that some managers are not very fond of 3rd parties coming in. Constantly needing to ask where things are, asking them how to print things, and asking for permission to do X, Y Z just makes me feel like I'm going to be nothing but a nuisance.

It's just too involved for $13/hr. And at like 10-13ish hours a week, I can make almost the same amount of money just continuing to do delivery work like I have been these last few years. After taxes, I would barely clear $100. And with bi-weekly pay, I'd be only getting like $200ish hitting my bank account. Not a lot IMO. I genuinely just don't think the job is worth that little pay with how hands-on and dependent on others that you are. If I'm going to be working so closely with Walmart, I may as well just work for Walmart itself. I don't understand why these companies hire 3rd parties to do merchandising. It's silly that while I'm stocking trading cards and crap the self checkout associates 10 feet from me are making at least $15/hr. They do less work and make more. Makes no sense man.