brew-hoo-hoo

so went to the brewery today to hook up the monitoring stuff.

got it out, hooked it up to a tank. went to the computer. plugged in the xbee explorer. had to download the FTDI drivers, but that was expected. copied the software over. CRASH!

so I am sitting there like WTF then started to wonder about updates on their machine. and sure enough they didnt have .NET 3.5 or the SP1 so my app couldn’t find System.Linq and I couldn’t compile it into a .Net 2.0 project because I am using Linq.

today was the first time I have actually used my Publish feature on a project. it allowed me to select dependencies and .Net 3.5 SP1 was already selected so I published it and copied it over and ran the “Installer” and it of course needed to add .Net 3.5 SP1.

once it got everything installed we started it up and started monitoring the tank we plugged in and the temperature on the tank was 192. WHAT?!?! so either in the time it took us to walk from the back of the brewery to the front, the tank went up to near boiling, or the readings were wrong.

so as it turns out, the voltage readings between modules were different… I am not sure how that happens and it makes me wonder how accurate those things really are but between the one I got to test on, and the one strapped to a tank, it was reporting different temps.

So now what? I guess I am going to either switch to the LM35 or the DS1822 One Wire sensors. I have both of those laying around.

what does that mean, well it means i have to make a new enclosure for the sensor and inject it into the same port their temp sensor is in.

I guess another good thing that came out of it was I now have a better idea of what all they want to monitor. They want ambient room temps, outside temps, cold room temps AND tank temps. So I am going to be working on this stuff for a while.

Im thinking the arduino is a little overboard for what I need since i can just get an ATMega and some sort of wireless chip and communicate but for now, this works fine. well, once we get our own sensors in there.

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xbee wireless with arduino and an lm35

check out the flickr stream. i got 2 xbee series 2.5 radios connected and through a sparkfun usb explorer and an xbee arduino shield on an xbee.

at first the setup sucked because i couldnt write the firmware without a reset but when i jumped the reset pin and the ground pin it accepted it and worked fine. One thing i had issues with was I was using vista so if i unplugged the xbee or the usb xbee explorer then i would have to restart X-CTU program or else it would brick the xbee.

one trick i found that somehow worked with a bricked radio was just have the usb explorer plugged in and just hot swap the radio with it self (pull it out and put it back in without unplugging the usb cable) this usually got the radio back in a talking state. but i would have to of course restart x-ctu.

once i found the reset trick was really working, i updated the firmware on one to znet 2.5 router/end device at and set the node identifier to 1 and panid to 9933 and the baud rate to 57600. then i put the other one on, did the restart program trick and set the other one to znet coordinator at and set all the same stuff except the node identifier was set to 2.

plugged arduino shield in and pulled the jumpers off completely and put the router device end radion on then plugged in the usb. the arduino was then programmed to write to the serial at baud 57600 and uploaded the sketch.

then unplugged the usb, put the jumpers on xbee and plugged usb back in. now we have communication!! if you connect a terminal to the arduino then you should see the output. switch the com port to the usb explorer and you should still see the communication being sent. in my case it was testing first and the temperature second time.

now that they are talking, there really isnt much more setup.

to do all this stuff i used references from all over the net. i found a pdf that described the whole process with a xbee programming board but not the usb explorer.

l337 soldering skills

I totally forgot. So my mom has had this TV since i was in high school, which was more than 10 years ago. but the thing is, it is a 65 inch TV and replacing it is less than appealing, especially during this consumer holiday “season”

The TV has an issue. This happens to be a pretty well documented issue for this TV. The issue is that its got some convergence issue. The red and blue¬† (or some say green) shadows are showing on opposite sides. so the left had red shadow and the right had blue. The solution? turns out it just needs a re-solder. the IC’s that control convergence get cold joints and then start to suck.

the previous fix that I had put into place during the thanksgiving holiday was I put a piece of hanger on the heat sink pushing, and pulling it (2 different times) into a place where it works. This is fine and dandy for a 2 minute fix but should definitely not be done long term as it just exacerbates the actual issue.

so yesterday i took the TV apart with my little bro and we re-soldered the IC responsible. it has been running all night last night and today and now tonight and it is good still.

Now i know what your thinking, why didn’t i do this first, well i didn’t have a soldering iron at thanksgiving. and also the hanger fix worked for days at a time.

long story short, her Mitsubishi might be fixed for a while (until it needs re-soldered again) or it might be a multi-day or multi-week fix. Sure she still needs a new TV, but to replace a 65″ TV would cost over 1500 bucks that just didn’t need to be spent right now.

I guess that says a lot about me because my TV was a used TV purchased for cheap because it had some over heating issues… and it works now with just a little heating help. lets hope it continues to work for a while because i don’t want to buy a new one or a new bulb right now and would rather just not have a TV if it goes out.

oh, and my seeed studio order shipped so my Sparkfun button pad should be up and running soon (6-14 days, Hong Kong post shipping time frame)