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It's DAMN cold out...

January 30, 2007 11:09 AM

Between having trouble starting my truck and freezing my butt off it’s too damn cold.

I think when I decide to retire I will do my damnedest to convince my wife to move to someplace that is warm all year around. I don’t think that will be too hard. ^_^

Unfortunately I live in the US Midwest and that means snow. Not a lot right now but it’s still annoyingly cold out.

It’s quite possible though that it’s not that cold and we’re just going through a winter like I used to experience when I was younger. In general my blood has thinned so to speak. I’m less resistant to cold and heat than I used to be. Hopefully that will change when I lose the weight.

Not doing good on that front. I’m eating all the wrong things and getting almost no decent exercise. That means no weight lost. I haven’t gone above 250 pounds yet but that will happen if I’m not more careful. Need to make a more concerted effort towards handling that.

I’m probably going to buy my USB audio mixer today. It’s not a big one - two inputs - but it, along with my B&W G4, should give me professional sounding audio for not only the podcasting stuff but singing as well. Still working on getting the MIDI stuff right. I can import midi files into Garage Band but some of them don’t come in as separate instrument tracks. That makes it hard for me to get the sound I want. *sigh* I wish I could play an instrument. That would make at least recording my own songs a little easier. I think I need to take a music theory class.

My Pismo seems to be working ok for the moment. I took it down to it’s component parts yesterday and cleaned off the heat sink so I could install some thermal compound to it. That and re-seating the power/sound board seems to have done the trick. It hasn’t locked up since. *knocks on wood* ^_^

It may yet be that I can use the Pismo for a while before having to buy a replacement. I find that I’ve grow too accustomed to having a Mac laptop with me on a daily basis. If I wait two months I can buy a refurbished 17“ MacBook Pro or a 17” PowerBook G4 without affecting the principle in my credit union account. I hate to think that I’m buying another notebook but the 17” of either model is highly attractive to me. I could really use the screen real estate and I’m sure the display is a little crisper than the one I’m using now. I’ll stop now so my Pismo doesn’t get upset. ;-)

Working on creating the electronic turn-signal canceling for my bike. Can’t remember how to de-latch the SCRs I’ve got so I’ll probably order some power transistors today so I can finish the project by the end of February. I’d like to have the thing done and able to be road-tested by the first of April. Hopefully it’ll be warm enough to take her around the block at least by then. I think I’ll do something geeky and put a weather-protected serial port on the side of the bike so I can plug into it and read out the data or change the programming on the fly.

I can easily see this turning into a whole “bike monitoring” system when all’s said and done. Of course to do that what I’ll have to do is make the turn-signal routines a sub-function of the monitoring. That way it basically will monitor and record data until the turn signals are triggered then run the auto-cancel routine. I’m wondering though if 20mhz is fast enough to do the monitoring routines while flashing the blinkers and running the auto-cancel routines. I was trying to design this with only one chip but it suddenly makes sense to use a couple of LM555s for the flasher routines. This also gives me the ability to have emergency flashers that can be activated regardless of the auto-cancel.

So basically it would go like this:

1) BSII monitors it’s input and waits for turn signal input.
2) When it sees turn signal input it sends a logical HIGH to the appropriate LM555 circuit.
3) Once it sends the HIGH signal it compares the speedometer reading with a known value.
4) If the speed in 0 then it continues monitoring and flashing.
5) If the speed is not 0 then it starts counting off pulses until 150 meters is reached.
6) If the speed is > than a certain amount then it starts a 10 second timer.
7) When the 10 second timer or the 150 meters is reached it turns off the LM555 circuit by dropping the logic signal LOW.
8) GOTO 1

It’s amazing. When I think about things like this it’s like my mind expands and I can see the entire framework of this complex machine that I could build if I had the time and money. The same goes with anything I do really. Now I just need to remove a lot of the obstacles in my life so I can do those things and make those complex frameworks a reality.




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