Monthly Archives: August 2011

Converting the lightning detector over to RS-485

During the precessing of getting the RS-232 communication working with the lightning detector and my Linux box, I learned the advantages of RS-485. RS-232 sends over its signals as a single ended voltage. RS-485 uses a differential signal. This has … Continue reading

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Just neutered my first CueCat

Long time ago, Radio Shack was providing free barcode scanners called CueCats. They looked like cats (to attack your mouse?). In any case the idea was that you could scan a special barcode from a magazine article and it would … Continue reading

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Good Bye Irene, good bye Irene, …

Irene left this small mess in my neighbor’s yard.

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The real root cause (maybe?)

Just when you think you understand everything, life gives you a left hook.

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Sanity check for lightning detector

For the most part, my lightning detector is working well. I get the sporadic false alarm from the furnace kicking on or a florescent light fixture turning on or off. These false alarms are taken care of because they do … Continue reading

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A comment on comments

I have been updating this build log for about a month. Very few of the comments I have gotten have been related to the material. They have all been commercial spam or feeble attempts to make a “good job” comment … Continue reading

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Root cause to RS-232 bug found!

Last night I found the true cause of my RS-232 problems. The question should not have been why two computers did not work when one did, but rather how did any manage to work.

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Bug update

This bug is now¬†officially driving me nuts.¬† Just to review, for several years I have been working on building a lightning detector to shutdown my computer network during a storm when I am away from home. I learned a lot … Continue reading

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Heartbreaking Bug Revisited

Got time to look at the problem in much more detail. Last night I was just too upset to start work so close to bed time. Today I discovered that the baud rate was indeed correct. What i was measuring … Continue reading

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A test of my backup strategy

A week ago I got a string of messages from my XP workhorse computer indicating it was unable to write to the disc. When I powered the unit back on, the system was quite obviously ill. I turned it off … Continue reading

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