Archive for month: March, 2012

A Tale of Two Gadgets: the TonidoPlug 2 and a Bus Pirate…

March 30, 2012 | Hardware, Microcontrollers, My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

A few days ago, I mentioned that one of my servers had died. I spent some time thinking about how I would replace it. I like having a 24/7 hooked up to the Internet to serve as a file drop and a place where I can use SSH to connect to other devices on my […]

The first Internet of Things Bay Area Meetup and the Air Quality Egg…

March 29, 2012 | Arduino, Internet of Things, Microcontrollers | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last night, I met with Nanode creator Ken Boak and Chris Jefferies from at Cafe Actual in Berkeley for the inaugural IoTBayArea meetup. IoT groups are already going strong in many cities like London, Amsterdam, and NYC, but now that Ken is operating here in the SF Bay Area, he wanted to get a […]

The Little Engine that Could…

March 23, 2012 | Hardware | By: Mark VandeWettering

In my home office, I have a machine called “fishtank”. I realized that I first bought it back in 2002, and since then it has been running various flavors of FreeBSD (probably beginning around 4.6 or so, currently running 7.2). At various times I’ve added or upgraded disk drives to it. While a power failure […]

On bread…

March 21, 2012 | Cooking and Recipes, Dieting | By: Mark VandeWettering

This morning I was in a rush to get out of the house, and didn’t have time to make a big breakfast, so while I was gathering my stuff, I cut a fairly thick slice of bread off the loaf I made last night and jammed it in the toaster. As I was about to […]

24 hours, 73 unique stations on WSPR

March 21, 2012 | Amateur Radio, WSPR | By: Mark VandeWettering

For the last couple of days, I’ve let my FT-817 and the WSPR software monitor 40m, 30m, and 20m (shifted as time permits, and as propagation shifts). Last night I managed to set a new distance record by hearing ZS6BIM in South Africa, at a distance of 16,941km. I also picked up a couple of […]

Listening to WSPR-ing…

March 20, 2012 | Amateur Radio, WSPR | By: Mark VandeWettering

I was interested in the WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) system for quite a while, but have not recently been running it from my home QTH. Yesterday, I decided to give it a whirl, and set it up to run on 30m (the classic frequency) to see what I could get. In the past, I’ve […]

QRPP backissues available on the Internet…

March 19, 2012 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

This morning, while listening to the latest SolderSmoke podcast, Bill mentioned that back issues of the Norcal journal “QRPP” were available for free download. Indeed, Chuck Adams has placed them here. I’m currently downloading them for myself, my brief scan indicates all sorts of good information, well worth adding to any archive that you keep. […]

Happy π-day!

March 14, 2012 | Math | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today is π-day (3/14) as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday. I was trying to get inspired to produce something pi related, so I scanned my bookshelves for the kind of fun recreational mathematics books that provide the raw grist for my geek mill. I found a copy of Peter Beckmann’s A History of Pi, which […]

Arduino Hole Dimensions Drawing

March 12, 2012 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’ve been kind of busy and distracted lately, so I haven’t had much time to get any embedded microcontrollers. I did dust off an Arduino FIO that I never played with, and charged up a 1000maH LiPo battery to power it. While it was blinking, I dug out my Xbees and started thinking of a […]

Breadboarding a Tellymate for the Arduino…

March 6, 2012 | Arduino | By: Mark VandeWettering

The microcontrollers of today are in many ways superior to the simple eight bit computers that I learned to program as a teenager, but one way in which most of them are decidedly inferior is that they have only a very limited number of actual peripherals. After all, even my simplest Atari 400 back in […]


March 5, 2012 | My Diary, News | By: Mark VandeWettering

About 5:30AM, I woke to find my bed slightly shaking, and maybe a hint of some noise. Just as I was about to drift off, a fairly violent jolt hit the house. Some various items were knocked off shelves, a fairly scary way to wake up. Carmen and I bolted for the door and waited […]

The battle with weight begins anew…

March 4, 2012 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Back in 2004, I blogged that I was joining Weight Watchers. Over the next year or so, I shed about seventy pounds, but then reached a stalling point where further weight loss seemed impossible. This frustration ultimately caused me to stop going. My weight held for a while, but over the years (and recently at […]