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Thursday, April 23, 2015

SolderSmoke, ArduinWoes, and BrainwagonBastas!

It might not be apparent, but I have it on good authority the guy with the blue face pulling the Brainwagon was saying "BASTA!" when this drawing was made,  probably after an evening spent with Arduinos and their fascinating I2C libraries. 

Mark, K6HX, kindly offered to help us with our ArduinWoes (painful details are available in SolderSmoke Podcast #175).   Mark went to the trouble of getting the display and I2C backpack that have been giving us trouble, and then went and did a lot of testing to find the origins of the problems.   He has written this all up in two brilliant blog posts: 



You will notice that Mark has made quite liberal use of the word "basta."   As Pete has noted, in order to get the full effect of this very therapeutic Italian word, you have to make use of the correct hand gesture.  Veronika nails it at about 1:28 in this video  (WARNING: VERONIKA CAN BE QUITE EXPLICIT):

Thanks Mark for all your help on this.  I'm not sure if we are entirely out of the woods yet, but it is reassuring that we are not the only ones screaming...

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  1. Hi Bill,

    What a well spring of memories --it was like being at home again! I understood everything she said without even listening to the video --the hands do the talking.

    Pete, N6QW

  2. Well, this is a good resource! I've built a receiver, using modules from Kits and Parts. They are obsolete now, and I've been making some of my own to finish the project.
    I decided to go the other way for the display; with a parallel LCD panel, and a small one at that. I got a 16 x 1, or 1601 version, but it was not without drama. It is configured as a 8 x 2, but all on one line. So, trying to write a message requires two lines of control. At the moment, the numeric is line 0, and MHz and USB are on line 1. Stupid, but whatever. It was cheap.
    Now, I have added direct port code to read the encoder and switches more reliably, so I can switch the radix for tuning, change the bfo for upper/lower sideband, and I'm testing code for multiple band switching. Maybe I can employ this with a companion transmitter as well.
    I was going to use a Pro Trinket, from Adafruit, but finally decided to just drop the processor on a piece of perf board with the LCD, Si5351, encoder and switches. I'll send pictures when it's more finished.
    Keep up the good work; you're helping me to actually finish this project I started four years ago!


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