the first board for my clock
Monday, October 12 2015
The day was so warm and sunny that set off shirtless to collect today's 101.2 pounds of firewood. I was back at that place near the north end of the Gullies Trail, this time cutting up skeletonized oak 80 feet or more down the slope at the very precipice of a steep slope down to a part of the Chamomile that I have never approached from either the north or south. My saw continued to act up, failing to make a cut that wouldn't pinch. I'd changed out the bar to see if that was the problem. I'd been using a bar with a little sprocket on the tip, and I wondered if the slightly-protruding axle of that sprocket was the problem. Evidently not. Now I know the problem is entirely the blade.
Gretchen went to Emergency One this afternoon to see why her urinary-tract infection (now possibly in her kidneys) has failed to improve despite going on a wide-spectrum antibiotic. Tests were performed and living bacteria were found in her urine, so she was prescribed an even more powerful antibiotic. A rash on her neck that she'd thought might be a reaction to the antibiotic she'd been on proved to be a case of ringworm instead, and she received an ointment for that. The new antibiotics made Gretchen sick to her stomach and all she managed to eat was matzo, and even that didn't sit too well.
Meanwhile, I made some progress on my clock project. I hadn't had to build any circuit boards for it until today, since all its components could just be connected with hookup wire. Today, though, I made a board with a socket to accept a WTV020SD audio card. It included a little PAM8403 amplifier and some tied-together pins allowing me to increase the number of available grounds and +5 volt pins. I made a rookie mistake in doing all this and failed to ground the WTV020SD, grounding the empty hole next to the pin that should have been grounded, and this caused the device to obstinately refuse to work until I tracked down the problem with a multimeter (which I also had to fix today after one of the wires came detached from a probe). Once I had it working, though, I still had problems. It seems that the audio amplifier drew so much power that whenever it sent a loud sound to the speaker, the voltage available (provided by USB) dipped below a usable level and the Atmega328 running everything crashed. Capacitors, even large ones, did not help. To keep it from crashing, I had to keep the volume down. But even then, occasional noise coming from mysterious sources could create loud enough noises to make it crash on its own.
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