Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Pointy Stick Thingey

I was asked to lead some music, specifically, a congregation.  With my background, I needed a baton, and the closest thing I had was a piece of 3/16 stainless steel rod.  I grabbed it and did what I was supposed to do.  When all was said and done, someone was teasing me about my "stick thing" (which was hilarious, because that young lady knows music and what a baton is).

I needed to step up my game.

Today, I ran out to the "shop", and found a chunk of 3/4" round brass rod.  I drilled and tapped the end, then turned the outside down to just over 1/2" (I hit 0.600", not that it really matters), about 1.75" long.  I threw the 3/16" stainless into the chuck next, and turned the tip down, then flipped it and threaded it to match the brass pommel using an 8-32 common thread.  A dab of Loc-tite, and the baton (official term is actually "pointy stick thingey" now) was complete :

Note, the music is copyrighted.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Kennedy Cantilever Toolbox

I found a local guy willing to sell an old cantilever tool box.  I bought it for $50.  It was dinged up a bit, internal paint chipped, and needing some oil.  It seems functional.  Turns out it was a Kennedy 1017-336418 .

I was going to put the fly fishing tying setup into it, but it is a little large.  I might need to just make the right sized tool box for that and use this in another position.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Finally, MQTT Sensor for Home Network

I had been building my own home alarm system a long time ago.  I found that the event server had a memory leak I tried to figure out numerous times, but never succeeded in getting it identified.  It would just get killed randomly on the raspberry pi.  I needed a better interface.

The first iteration was the Arduino with code and a custom TCP connection for alerts.  The server side was the problem here.  This functioned well, but the "server" was a cheap desktop PC that failed because it was on all the time and wasn't designed to.  The PCI bus failed, and it went down.

After the server crash, I then moved it to a raspberry pi to get it online (I didn't care about the PC).  Though it functioned well, it was at this point that a memory leak raised it's ugly head.  I found a number of that I tried to figure out numerous times, but never succeeded in getting it identified.  It would just get killed randomly on the server by the out-of-object memory killer.  (SSH would also get killed, which made it difficult - the process killed was random, and the SSH job dying would force me to pull the plug on it and go through the filesystem scans, HMPH!).

At that point, I switched over to MQTT.  I ran some initial tests using Raspberry PI GPIO's as inputs and Mosquito as the server.  Most seemed to work, but the raspberry Pi would die on me weirdly.  I think the issues with the memory leak were the Linux distribution on the Pi, but it still frustrated me.  Rebooting it forced me to start those processes manually, even though they were in the proper RC files.

At this point, just MQTT (still Mosquito) and a few MQTT translator python scripts was the next move.  It's been going for a while now (with a few power outages) and it fires right up into operational state fairly quickly.  The GPIO's (probably where the kernel had the memory issues) have been offloaded to an Olimex ESP32-PoE device.  It has a simple MQTT plug-in loaded onto it and all it does is check pins and update the MQTT server. I do have one problem where the garage reports errors regularly, so I have to figure out one line (hope a mouse didn't chew through it, or next I'll have to go mouse hunting).