red shirt is almost good enough
Wednesday, September 27 2006
I spent most of the day building a replacement for my primitive flip-flop-based solar sufficiency controller using an Arduino board. I did it the right way too, making it so the actual Arduino controller can be separated from my customized electronics just by pulling it off a set of pins. A few experiments established the happy fact that I wouldn't be needing op-amps to read the thermistors whose readings provide all the raw data my controller needs to make its decisions. All the hard work would be in the software, but that would all be very straightforward and easy to change, and could handle all the difficult scenarios in a few lines of code. Ideally I want to have a system I can survey and reprogram from my computer in the laboratory, but it looks like that is going to require figuring out how to run 60 feet of USB cable, which isn't known for its range. (There is USB going up to the solar deck from my computer, but this requires two sixteen foot long active extension cords.)
This evening Gretchen and I dined at the Reservoir Inn with our friends Susan and Don. We hadn't seen Don in awhile. His new CD is in the process of being released, and he finds this period an uncomfortable time. He expects jazz fans to find it insufficiently jazzy and non-jazz-fans to find it excessively so. Watching Don confront the half lobster that constituted the bulk of his dinner had a certain entertainment value. One should always wear a bib when tackling a lobster, but wearing a red shirt emblazoned with the word "HERO" is almost good enough.
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