Wilma, Marie, and VU
Sunday, October 1 2006
This morning Wolfgang, the guy whose solar installation I visited the other day in Shokan, came over to see my setup. I gave him a tour of the solar deck, showed him my Arduino development efforts at my main workstation, and then took him down to the basement to showoff the complexity of pipes, valves, and other plumbing errata. There was so much to show: my homemade heat exchanger, my antifreeze resupply system, and those crazy boxes full of relays and electronics (only one of which I'll be replacing with my new Arduino box). In aggregate it's an impressive display for anyone interested in this stuff, even if I don't carefully quantify things the way Wolfgang prefers.
Our friends Penny and David came over today for something of a brunch and then settled around the fire, which I'd made, and did some actual work using our DSL-powered internet connection. (They don't have broadband at their place in Marbletown.) Occasionally David watched a little football on our teevee. Meanwhile I was in the laboratory putting some finishing touches on the software that would soon be controlling my solar panel heat sufficiency hardware.
Later this evening I replaced the existing flip-flop-and-potentiometer-based solar sufficiency electronics with the new Arduino-based box. Since all its inputs and outputs were the same as those of the old circuitry, the replacement was easy. The only caveat was to provide a ground to a set of wires shared by thermistors so my Darlington array chip could share a ground with the 30-volt relay circuitry. (Everything on the Arduino is based on a 5 volt maximum.)
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