Sunday, September 25, 2011

Android, take two...

Ok, well, that little Android pad impressed me so much I decided to find a good one.
I called on the advice of my old college professor, Mike Lee, and he steered me right.
I've got an Archos A101 in the mail as we speak.
He said the Archos 70 would do just fine as well, but the A101 has a few touches that make it worth the extra bucks to me.

I'll heave up more info when it actually arrives.

"Waste" of a good day.
Finally making progress on my new weather station.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check it out in action here

I've been out of my mind since the last one broke. I've been frantically trying to get the new one finished. The Terrace (the flying site this lives at) has become one of my favourite places to fly. The meter is amazingly useful for knowing if it's worth heading out to the Terrace or not. I'm feeling pretty lost without it.

So while today was flyable, and likely quite nice, it was thankfully cold. My desire to freeze my butt off for a flight was shall we say "lacking"... and thus provided a nice excuse to sit home in front of the fire and bang away on the new meter.

Yesterday I found my way around a "showstopper" roadblock that's been plaguing my life. With that out of the way, I was well keen to start building as I know I can finish now... the rest is within my skills and not "Gee, I think I might be able to figure this out".

It's not done, but I gotta sleep sometime. I got most of the hard work out of the way today. I'm very happy with that.

I've got some chores to attend to tomorrow. Hopefully I'll wind up with a little time to finish this bugger off too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hey cool... I'd forgot about this post... guess I'll finish it...

I bought a cheap iPad knockoff
It's called a "uPad" hahahahaha. It's the cheapo cheapo one, but it's convinced me that Android pads kinda rock. With a better battery life and a good screen, this thing would actually kinda rock. And I'm sure the more expensive ones have that.... this is the $100 junker model.

Far easier to use than what I'd expected and it comes without all the Apple "NO!, you can't do THAT!" bullshit.

We'll see where the hardware all goes. I could easily switch from the iPhone now that I know the Android stuff is this good.

Windy day. I took advantage of the crap weather to try and get my wind meter project sorted. For those that don't know, I've been building wind meters. I can write up more on the history of this project some other time. I'm currently working on version 2. The original one met it's demise at the hands of an unknowing earth-digger-machine. It's time was coming either way as the cell network that it uses will be turned off at the year's end anyway. This has just increased the need to get the new one done. So, bad weather = good excuse. I went bashing away at it till I was ready to throw stuff. Probably four to six hours. Fortunately, Keith arrived and we sorted it out. It's so much easier when you've got someone that actually knows what the hell their doing helping you out. This project would have taken probably ten years without his help. (Thanks) Keith got me pointed in the right direction just in time too. He had to go, but by this point, we were in familiar territory. No worries, I was working with circuits that I'd made before instead of trying to work out how to use new ones. Or so I thought. After Keith leaves, I must have taken my stupid pills again, cuz I couldn't accomplish the most basic of tasks. I mean, easy stuff that I've made plenty of times before just wasn't working. ARG!!! I checked, and rechecked and dug through my old designs. I tested different components... recently, I'd run into the problem of a bad batch of chips... how frustrating was that? I mean, out of the box... bran new shit... wasn't working??? Yeah, bad chips it turns out. Not this time. Everything checked out... except when I tried to use it. Eventually, I just decide, screw it... I'm starting over! I rebuild everything from scratch. Then, bingo... it just works. Well, as it should. I diagram it all. I'm not letting the working model go away. No way. Then I take the diagram and have a look at the one I was working on earlier. DOH!! I'm such a moron. One simple simple mistake. LED out connected to the positive rail instead of negative In plain English... I had my lightbulb plugged in backwards. I hate being so stupid. It makes life so much harder. ;) Well, there's my windy day ramblings for ya. I think I'll go clean up the pile of electronics now. Jim