multimeter max mode
Monday, October 21 2019
As I was headed to the brownhouse early this morning, i encountered Diane the Cat in the driveway. But, unusually, she had no interest in me whatsoever. She was facing in the opposite direction, looking intently at something I didn't initially see. It was a fullgrown rabbit out in the open maybe 20 feet from Diane (and 40 feet from me). I froze, looking to see what would happen. Initially the rabbit just sat there, not knowing whether to run from me and Diane or whether it was best to wait us out. But then he or she ran off towards the road, with Diane in hot pursuit. But there was no way Diane could catch, let alone kill, an adult rabbit. She's a small cat, and even Clarence (a large cat) restricted his rabbit kills to babies. [This evening she would manage to catch a chipmunk, and I would manage to get it away from her, but a dead chipmunk would nevertheless show up in front of the pet door the next day.]
At work, I've been procrastinating returning to a sprawling web development job that was supposed to be my next project after I finished my Electron data importer app. I began some initial work on that back in the Spring, but I've had to return to my data importer to fix bugs and build additional functionality. Today, though, Alex had set up a meeting with my old boss Marcus about the web development job to show anything I'd built and ask "any questions" I had for him. He also told me that he'd been disappointed by my presentation Friday given how many problems my importer ran into (he can be a bit of a taskmaster). But I didn't really have anything to show or any questions. The project was too nascent. Still, I managed to come up with some questions that seemed good, including one about upgrading an Angular framework from 5.X to 8.X. I actually tried to do such an upgrade this afternoon before the meeting, and it turned into the rabbit-hole time-suck that every non-trivial Angular activity always does. The meeting, though, went really well, and seemed to sufficiently redeem the deficiencies Alex had noted in Friday's meeting.
I'd gone on my usual Monday office-food-related Hannaford foray today, and while out, I'd also gotten two new lowbeam headlights for the Prius. The ones in the car were only a few years old, and one had already blown and the other had become unreliable, so I spent extra on the replacements, opting for a pair that cost more than $30. Due to the presence of a fluid reservoir, the bulb on the passenger side is particularly hard to replace, but I'd made things a little easier on myself by severing some electrical tape that was limiting how far the bulb's cable could reach.
While Gretchen was headed off to her prison poetry class, I did yet more work on the stone wall in the forest. The work today was entirely towards building out thin spots in the middle of the wall. For most of its length, the wall isn't as thick as a traditional stone wall, so it probably won't last as long. But it also has substantial curvature, which adds to wall stability. This is a principle that Thomas Jefferson put in practice when having brick walls built at the University of Virginia.
This evening I did more experiments with the Pycom LoPy, managing to get it to log on as device to the local WiFi network so I could reach it from any other device on said network. When I first set it up this way and didn't see it showing up as an access point on my wireless devices, I figured I'd probably screwed up the configuration. But it was no longer an access point and this behavior should've been expected. Not immediately realizing this, I hooked up a USB-to-Serial adapter to communicate with it, at which point I saw that it was indeed behaving correctly. But then I started worrying if the USB-to-serial adapter I'd used was safe for use on 3.3 volt devices like the LoPy. If not, perhaps I'd damaged it! So I ran a few experiments using my most expensive multimeter, discovering (for the first time) its "max" feature, which apparently captures and displays the peak voltage of a changing waveform. This is perfect for situations like this, when one wants to make sure a digital signal never exceeds a certain value. I've been using multimeters since something like 1981, and max came as a total revelation. The USB-to-serial adapter's highest voltage was something like 3.4 volts, which was low enough to qualify as 3.3 volt-safe. To communicate this fact to a future version of myself, I painted part of the cable's adapter and cable a bright lime-green using acrylic paint.
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