Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   I would gladly give up
Wednesday, March 12 2014
The other day I took delivery of a very cheap Meade weather station, one that only shows time and date (as received via WWV broadcasts), indoor temperature and humidity, and outdoor temperature and humidity (as transmitted by a standard Meade remote sensor). I wanted to see if the 433 MHz sensor receiver board inside it was identical to the boards used in their more expensive weather stations. Yesterday I'd discovered a strange incompatibility evidently engineered into these weather stations. While the more expensive weather stations can get data from the sensor that had come with the cheap station, the cheap station could not get data from other sensors (even though it is supposed to be able to get data from up to three sensors). I've done the research in Meade's website and in other places and nothing is ever said about the compatibility of sensors and stations. We're only told that certain stations can monitor up to five sensors while others can only monitor three. If one digs deep, one finds that all the sensors and stations operate at 433 MHz. The sensors themselves are unreliable, inaccurate, and have poor broadcast ranges, and after adding to that the terrible documentation, I would gladly give up on the brand completely were it not for a single simple fact: Meade is the only affordable weather station that can receive data from more than one temperature sensor.
Today I opened up the cheap Meade weather station and found that its 433 MHz receiver board looked exactly like the boards used in more expensive Meade stations. I cut the three-wire ribbon cable connecting the board to the cheap weather station's main board and attached a stereo audio jack to it, allowing me to plug it into a more expensive Meade station (one whose 433 MHz board I made swappable at the end of a standard eighth-inch stereo audio cable). I found that it worked as a perfect replacement for the 433 MHz board I had been using, so if the engineered incompatibility with sensors is in the cheap weather station's main board, not its 433 MHz receiver board. The next step is to look at the output of this board in an oscilloscope and see how its waveforms differ from the waveforms produced by a standard 433 MHz board (the kind one can buy on eBay or

The warm weather continued for most of the day, though at some point rain began to fall. There was another blast of arctic air on the way, and if it had arrived early enough while the rain was still falling, it might have led to substantial snowfall (which was predicted for areas north of Albany). We were lucky, though, and the rain stopped soon after the cold arrived. There was, however, a period of freezing rain that coincided with Gretchen's drive home after a day full of social and quasi-professional meetings. She had to stop twice along the way to scrape off her windshield.
After Gretchen got home, we watched tonight's episode of Jeopardy, the one where Arthur Chu (who famously "hacked" the game to get to just shy of $300,000 in winnings) went down in defeat. We'd been at a live taping of Jeopardy and seen him play in real life, but this doesn't mean we hadn't grown sick of him.

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