Well, shit happens…

First off all;
Sorry for that.

A couple nights ago I tuned around the 20m Band and could hear exactly nothing at all. I will add a video of this sometime. Since this happens to me a lot, I wanted to test my Antenna. The swr-meter was showing ok, so I dropped my curiosity. At night I did not continue.

Today I remembered the problem and thought, maybe I could do some reverse beaconing with WSPR and see if I am recieved at all. After some fiddling with the software I managed to send out my WSPR signals. On the Spot database I then wanted to see who could hear me. So I first opened the list view. There were a couple of stations, so ok. Everthing is nice I thought.

It was not until I opened the map view to see that I fucked up. What a shame ! See for yourself:
wrong locatorDo you recognise my my Fuckup ?

I mixed up my Maidenhead Locator somehow as I entered it into the WSJT software. It looks like I’m somewhere in the middle of the sea off the coast of Netherlands und United Kingdom. It even looks a little plausible because many British stations seem to pickup my signal. But that is not the case. I am working in Berlin right now and my locator is JO62qm.

It was a sincere mistake and I really don’t know how this could happen. I just relied on the settings I had made earlier. I also don’t see how I could have mis-typed 62 as 24. It makes no sense. So, upon seeing this, I corrected my error in the WSPR settings. Seems like it was instantly sent to the online database of WSPRnet. Although I did not TX a while after the correction, the map showed up like this :
correct locatorThis is the way it should have looked from the beginning.

This remains one lesson to be learned:

If you have not used your stuff for a while,
check all settings before you go again!

So much for WSPR. I think I can now check this off from my Bucket List : http://burak.ozhan.de/blog/dl7bur-amateur-radio-bucket-list/

Arduino to Shield Interconnect

This one is a quickie
In one of the mailinglists I am subcribed the members were discussing if different Arduino shields are compatible with various Arduinos. I had years ago found a solution to this and want to share it, as it is simpler than anything else I have read about and i think it’s a pretty elegant solution too. It also spares you the breadboard aproach, that I personally never liked much.

So when you have a matching pair of an Arduino clone and a Arduino shield then you can just simply plug them in like this:
Shown here with a Digispark and the fitting Charlieplex Digishield. That is pretty straightforward.

But what can you do when you come across some incompatible boards like this ? Shown is a cheap ethernet shield with a Arduino Nano v3.0

This is what I came up with : I am using these wires, called “Dupont Line” or more accurately “Dupont Line 1P-1P”. With these you can easily connect each pin 1 by 1, just as you need them. See this:

I had a pretty hard time to find out what they are called (due to me not being a native english speaker) and even posting pictures in forums did not help. It is pretty vexing to know that something exists and is being sold, but not knowing how to order it. Now I know what to search for, the usual “chinese webshops” seem to be full of them.

They all have seperate connectors on both ends so you can freely attach them to any empty pin header. They come as a fully connected flat ribbon cable. So instead of separating them completely, you can also just leave them in groups to better distingish the signal they carry, since the colorspace is somewhat limited with only 10 colors.

Sooner or later though you will come across this problem: One side, eihter the shield or the Arduino will have sockets instead of pinheaders. But of course there is a solution to that one too. I use some spare pinheaders for the job, like this:

 

 

 

 

I simply press the metal pins to the middle of the pin header, that way I can i.e. connect two cables. This also works with the sockets on the PCBs. But the connection is not very stable. The lenght of the pins is just enough for the cables to hold on. So they fall of pretty easily. A better solution is to completely remove the plastic part of the pin header and stick the metal part into the end of the cable. Later when you don’t need it anymore, you can just remove it by pulling out. Put the little pins in a bag or they will get lost too easily. I also tried just simple uninsulated wires but they fall off to easily so keep using the pinheader-pins.

This way I can connect all my controller boards to all of my add on shields no matter what type they are. See a selection below :
I think this way of connecting shields with boards is a little bit more office-desk friendly than using a breadboard, which always seemed more “workbenchy” to me…

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below if you liked this.

Mailserver of my school is down again

So I just wanted to play around a bit with my half-dead SSD. I thought I’ll just throw it into my Fileserver to replace an old 2,5″ Notebook drive. So I replaced the hardware, but the SSD is meanwhile empty, formatted.
How do you fill it up again ?
Yes! You install an operating system.
What is new now ?
Windows server 2012.
Where do I get it ?
Dreamspark.
How do you log in ?
Using your University mail.
WHAT DOES NOT WORK RIGHT NOW ?
MY UNIVERSITY MAIL ADDRESS !
I hate the mail admin of my school. Within the last month the mail servers were down every other day. Also this is not the first time having problems.
So what ? U simply use another mail provier right ?
NO ! because at school all SMTP traffic not to the school server is prohibited !
GRR ! Really angry right now…