Archive for October, 2012

Laptop Woes and The Arduino

October 23, 2012

Tried to load Win XP on an A860 Dell laptop that had LINUX on it about a week ago…but was lacking the drivers to get many functions working including networking and internet to work. I found a 3.3 GB package from Russia that said would scan and update drivers for Win XP. Tried reloading Win XP today with the same results (lack of drivers) but then ran the driver update package and that seemed to fix everything. Was still missing the FT232R USB UART driver and a serial port driver…but found them with the Arduino software. So spent the afternoon playing with Ardruino micro-board and enjoyed it! Hope to get comfortable with the Arduino and then use it to interface with some projects on the workbench. Was really taken back with the ability to read analog voltages and then report those voltage to the laptop.

Been raining here a lot so no antenna work.  Did get leaves picked up once, but still have to repeat that process at least once more.  Several trees with lots of leaves left…but it won’t be long before all the trees are bare for the winter season.

Got on 40 CW last night and had a nice chat with Ken out in MO. He is 83 years young and only works CW…needless to say, he has a great fist and a joy to talk to.

Been clearing out lots of junk the last few weeks. We have garbage pickup early every Monday morning, so spend the weekend filling the trash bin with stuff that I forgot I even had. One of these days, I might even have room to buy new junk so I can fill in all the holes on shelves that I have created.

Got the Reggie II on the workbench and started doing the interconnects between the four PCBs. I have several projects that I have started over the years but never finished…so plan to complete them before I start any new kits or projects.

Stay tuned…

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Web Page Updates…

October 18, 2012

Hope to keep my web page ( http://www.qsl.net/wb8icn/ ) current with workbench activities, and I even made an entry to the effect about that today.

Raining today, so hope to get to the REGGIE II that I started months ago and never finished.

Fall 2012 Update…

October 12, 2012

Well, summer was here and now is gone. The summer was actually quite hot and then along came September and suddenly it was rather cool. Now I expect it to snow any day. Good old Michigan weather…if you don’t like it, wait and it will change in ten minutes. We did get out for three trips in the RV and enjoyed it.

OK, have started thinking about fall and winter projects. Got several partially built kits to completed so that will be first. Then a couple of workbench ideas I want to complete…then take some time to learn (relearn in a couple of cases) several microcontrollers…PIC, Basic Stamp, PicAxe, AVR (2313, Arduino, Butterfly), MPS430 and TI has just introduced the Stellaris-launchpad hosting the LM4F120 processor that has many in panic to order and get. It is by far the more complex micro-chip that I have seen. Since many ham projects now use micros to do much of the processing and interfacing, I figured it was time that I learned at least some of the basics to use them in upcoming projects and ideas.

Funny, but it seems I do more antenna work in the winter than the summer. Have two dipole antennas and three vertical antennas I want to play with for use with our RV for future outings. I found a good RS-232 to USB adapter, so I can now use my Micro 908 analyzer to use along with my notebook for antenna projects.

I have been urged by two friends to start updating this blog in a more timely manner…and they are both right. Since we will be here for most of the colder months (again), I might as well play on the bench, spend more time on the air and document what I do in a more complete and timely manner. I also have a web page (www.qsl.net/wb8icn) that never seems to get updated…so that too will be a habit I need to get into in the future. Will still mess with analog/RF projects and try to finish these Hands-On-Radio lessons/experiments. I guess I have no reason to say I have nothing to post in the coming months <smile>. Many times I feel like I have forgotten more than I ever learned!

OK…enough of the babbling…I will update this blog and the web page to at least let two people know that I am still vertical and taking nourishment, and snuffing solder fumes!