Day 48: Saturday, quiet

Today was a typical rainy day here in the Portland area. One of Susie’s doctors called and asked me how she was and rescheduled her eye appointments. The doctor offices are coming out of lock-down now, and they are calling to work out what to do. Susie is well, so the doctor has put off her next appointment until July.

I made lunch and dinner. We just had pancakes and bacon for lunch-dinner. I had a few cornbread muffins for breakfast. They are terrible–I bought mixes for next time, Famous Dave’s. Susie also had a late snack of Eggos.

I can smell the solder on me. When I was a little kid, dad was always working on electronics, and the smell of solder is something that makes me happy. I was working on my robot projects today. More parts came from Sparkfun today!

My RFM69 transceivers are here. These are neat newish hardware that replaces all the underperforming versions I have worked with before. These are good for 300 meters, are low power, and have excellent support with breakouts made for these by both Sparkfun and Adafruit.

I built one test platform and put headers on the matching transceivers so I could use my usual jumpers on it. I was able to get them to pass data between each other (once I got the network and node numbers correct). I am using something newish. There is a new 3.3V Arduino Pro that I have soldered into the test platform. Interestingly these Arduino Pro also works in Python, but I had trouble making that work, so I returned to C++. I am am very comfortable in C++, but there is so much cool available in Python. I prefer it now.

IMG_1074

(This is the test platform all soldered together)

IMG_1075

(This is the Arduino Pro with headers connect to the RFM69 by jumpers)

The Arduino Pro is stripped down, and so I use a serial-to-USB device to upload programs and to read the serial communication. The output of serial I/O is copied to the port so I can monitor what is happening on the device. It is incredible how far these devices have come from the original Italian device made for a class on microprocessors. And how can I not love a device named after an Italian bar? These are best for single-threaded work: theĀ ATmega328 based device is not fast, but the blue-smoke Gini has never appeared for me.

I had a few snacks for dinner. I was just enjoying getting a few bits working on my robot stuff and skipped making dinner.

I called my friend Michelle Smith and she was baking. She got a recipe from the British Baking Show and was making special cinnamon rolls. She sent me pictures. Excellent! I think the whole USA is baking.

The reports are that the virus has taken over one-thousand six-hundred Americans today. I picked one of my favorites that I can sing to remember these people, their medical workers who are witnesses to their deaths, and their friends and family: It Is Well With My Soul.

 

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